Last week’s prompt over at  Flash Friday tasked us to write a 200ish word story that took place in a kitchen based on this photo prompt:


I hope you enjoy my offering, which received a special mention for the “best bait”.


(208 words)

Everything seems louder in the dark.

Especially the screams.

My body catapults out of bed, and before my sluggish neocortex can catch up with the more primal layers of my brain tissue, I’m in the kitchen. Holding a butcher knife. As if that would help.

I take in the scenery as my heart recedes to a more sustainable rhythm. Stainless steel appliances, a swiffer leaning beside the granite-ish counters. No doubt this is my twenty-first century apartment. But when I close my eyes they are still there. Prisoners proclaiming their innocence until their throats run dry and hoarse. Guards wearing their uniforms like a sultan’s robes, gliding through the halls with absolute power over life and death, mercy and suffering.

I should have never let my friends drag me on their so-called ‘paranormal investigation’. Glorified trespassing, more like. But we hadn’t just trespassed on government property, we’d crossed a far more sinister line. I could remember every moment of the doomed adventure, the warning spikes of the electromagnetic field detector, the cold chills, running for the exit. But there was one thing I couldn’t remember: Leaving.

I stare desperately at the kitchen, my home. I am here. I got out.

But why do I still hear them screaming?


Thanks for reading!


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