Flash Fiction: A New Monster

It seems like such a long time since the last challenge, but Chuck Wendigs Flash Fiction Challenge is back, and this time with a sort of Halloweeny theme. The challenge called “Brand New Monster” requires me to write a piece of Flash Fiction of no more than 1000 words that includes an entirely new monster. So no vampires, werewolves, ghosts etc…

Here is my entry. Hope you like it. If not, for the love of god tell me why not or I’ll be up all night.

***

By the time Maggie left work, the rain was torrential. The sky was pitch black except for a small circle of light where the moon was trying to break through. She said goodbye to her colleagues and hurried off down the street, pulling her raincoat tighter around her. Rain soaked her greying hair and spotted her glasses as she ran across the street.

She ducked down an alleyway, even though going down dark alleys is not something she usually does; she’s heard such stories. The weather had made her much braver and much more careless this evening.

As she hurried down the alleyway the single flickering street light slowly gave in to the darkness, leaving only vague shapes and shadows.

In an instant her bravery deserted her. Her walking slowed down and all she could do was try not to focus on the darkness. A cat screeched behind her, causing Maggie to turn round and stare where the sound had appeared to come from. As Maggie turned back around she walked into something. It was large and very soft.

Looking up, Horror filled Maggies mind and she opened her mouth to scream.

“Rarrrrrrrgh!” The large fluffy monster roared at her. Though the sound wasn’t terrifying; it was more akin to the noise a cat makes when stretching rather than a bestial roar.

Maggie opened her mouth to scream. As she did so, the street light popped back on again.

The thing standing in front of her was this large pink, cuddly thing. It had the face of a teddy bear, it’s purple hair had been put in bunches and It wore denim overalls embroidered with flowers.

The fear in Maggie’s eyes melted away instantly.

“Hello?” Maggie said.

“Raaaaaaaaaarghhh!” the monster squealed again.

Maggie giggled. “Oh, you are adorable. What’s your name?”

“Name? I am Jorstib, The Playful erm… No the Destroyer of Worlds. Yes, Destroyer of Worlds, that’s it”. The Monster flexed his fluffy arms.

“Destroyer of Worlds, eh?” Maggie grinned trying not to laugh in his face.

“Yes, I have done many evil and er… naughty things. I’ve hurt people and um… put stuff they need down sofa cushions so they end up being late… Mwa ha ha.” The monster tried to imitate an evil laugh, but ended up spluttering out a series of squeaky coughs. “Oh will you just look at the weather, we should stand in here.” The monster gestured towards an open garage. Putting an arm around her he guided her into the garage.

Once she was inside, Maggie looked at the creature setting up some seats from old bags, whistling a tune as he hurried around. Maggie cleared her throat, as a desperate gesture to stop smirking at this rather sad pathetic creature. “Ok Jorstib. Why are you here?”

“I am here to um… kill you.” The monster turned round and squared up to Maggie but looked away when she met his gaze. “Oh, what’s the use? This isn’t me.”

“What do you mean ‘This isn’t you?”

“This! The sneaking around dark alleys, threatening people and then… well then the icky stuff. I help kids with their maths and spelling, I can play fun games with them, sing songs etc. Not hurt people. I mean for god’s sake, I’ve already made sure you’re dry and comfy… ooooh scary.” The monster raised his arms in a mock ghost movement.

“I guess. At least you haven’t offered me anything to eat.”

“Oh, where are my manners? I think I have a candy bar on me somewhere… ” The monster started to frisk himself but then stopped when he saw Maggie’s sympathetic expression. “Ah you were joking. Dammit! Guess I just have to get used to the fact that I’m never gonna be scary.” The Monster sat down on one of the piles of bags, and put his big podgy face in his hands.

Maggie’s heart sank. There was something about this fuzzy-looking creature. It could be his big brown eyes, or his big cuddly belly but she wanted to help him. Maggie sat down on another pile of bags next to the monster.

“Look. You seem like a nice monster. A really nice monster actually, but you have to stop putting yourself down. All it takes is a little self-belief.”

“Self-belief?” The monster took his head out of his hands and stared wide-eyed at Maggie.

“Sure. You can be anything you want, if you just believe in it.”

“Really? No foolin!” His eyes wide and bright.

“Definitely. I used to be scared stiff of standing up and speaking in front of people. Now, I’m the Executive Design Consultant to a large company.”

“I don’t know what that means.” Admitted the monster.

“Oh” Maggie said, a little dejected “It means I can basically stand up in front of people now. I believe in myself.” Maggie reached out and took the monster’s hand, “I’ll help you. Close your eyes.”

The Monster’s eyes disappeared behind two large orange caterpillar-like eyebrows.

“Now” Maggie said, “Imagine the worst things you can think of. Now imagine yourself doing them. You’re tearing the heads off puppies. You’re kicking old ladies in the crotch. You’re forcing people to eat gravel, and laxatives. You are the very biggest, baddest and meanest monster ever.”

“Yeah, take that evil puppies.” The monster squeaked.

“That’s it.” Maggie cheered.

“Have some of that, old women. Feel my claws, you er… teenagers with minor misdemeanors…”

“That’s it! You’re getting it.”

“Ha ha! I hope you don’t need those lungs, Father.” The monster stood up, eyes still closed but licking his lips.

“Erm yep, that’s very good but you have to keep control.” Maggie looked down and spotted the monster’s clenched fists.

“Flesh, Blood, gore dripping down the walls of a Winnebago.”

“Erm, well I’ve got to go.” Maggie stood up “but I think you’ve got the hang… a Winnebago?”

The monster opened his eyes, the chocolate-brown colour had gone and had been replaced with a bright red. His lips withdrew to reveal lines upon lines of razor-sharp teeth.

“I think that worked.” Said the monster, an evil grin crossing his blackening lips. “Thanks ever so much for the help.”

The monster reached out and grabbed Maggie by the throat, his other hand punching through her rib cage and tearing out her heart.

He dropped Maggie into a crumpled heap on the floor and popped the red, bloody mass into his mouth. He chewed slowly, savouring every second. Finally he swallowed the mass, and sucked the gore off of his clawed fingers.

“Such a helpful woman.”

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13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: A New Monster”

  1. Don’t want to keep you up all night….
    I liked it. The start was a little slow for my tastes but I loved the character you created in the fuzzy monster. Kind of saw the ending coming but more in “I hope this is what happens,” sense rather than a “how trite and predictable *close blog*” sense.

    I look forward to finding the time to pick through the rest of your work. V(^_^)

    John

  2. Ha! I love how the fuzzy monster turned feral at the end. Poor, helpful Maggie didn’t know what hit her.

    Having a great time reading all the entries in the challenge. So many different, wonderful monsters!

  3. I liked it 🙂 Especially the rapid change at the end. I do agree with John that something in the start needs to pick up a little faster.

    (Note: I only give suggestions to stories I like! You can take ’em, play w/ ’em, leave ’em; whatever you like 🙂 )
    What if you gave the monster a “cute idea” of what “evil monster” is? Like leaving out mediocre candies for kids to find or slowly taking the stuffing out of some child’s stuffed animal. That’ll give him something to strive for so he reaches his goal at the end.

    Your monster knows there’s terrible evil inside of him waiting to take charge, but he just can’t seem to get himself there without a little help.

  4. Man did I like this story! I liked the start of it personally, I always think that that a short story CAN be like a novel, with at least two acts…the slow build up gives a change of pace and imagery, like the ending of Lord of the Flies (Just reread for the first time since I finished high school. Amazing last chapter.) And you know I like long intros…

    1. Thanks, it’s always good hear that.

      I haven’t read the book since I was at school. We then had to watch the film of it as well afterwards of course, which was nowhere near as good. I might have to pick up a copy. I can probably get a lot more out of it now than I could back then. It was all ‘parachutists’ and ‘boulders’ to me when I was young.

  5. I’m not qualified to offer suggestions. Besides, I come off sounding like an asshole when I do. It’s a gift.
    Luckily, then, that I like the story. What an unusual monster. Very nice.
    And what the hell kind of monster story *doesn’t* end with someone’s heart getting ripped out?
    Nice!

    1. Your suggestions are always welcome no matter how asshole-ish they may be.

      I’m glad you liked it though. When it got to Maggie’s death, the monster was either going to bite her head off, or tear her in half. Then I thought that a simple death made the monster more detached and matter-of-fact about killing someone… I think.

  6. Very nice. I liked your monster very much. Again, I could see where the story was going as soon as Maggie started trying to help the monster, but in a good way. It’s like those scenes in a horror movie where you want to scream at the TV: “No! Don’t go down into the deserted basement during a thunderstorm when the power’s just gone out! It’s not just a fuse! You’re about to die, you stupid girl! Don’t– too late.”

    My only criticism would be that the beginning drags a bit. The first 4 paragraphs could probably be condensed into 2 without losing any of the character set-up. Other than that, it reads beautifully.

    (And I will now learn to fear all of my son’s fluffy toys.)

    1. Thanks for your comments, they’re very helpful.

      I guess with the beginning, I haven’t quite got used to how quick 1000 words can just disappear once you’re in the flow, and then there’s that whole ‘killing your darlings’ thing as well.

      Toy’s should be feared. Mind you my mum used to make porcelain dolls. So the time I went into her studio and saw about 35 decapitated dolls heads (some with eyes, some without) just staring at me, might have something to do with that.

      I still haven’t had time to do that re-write though. Even if I can’t get it updated for the challenge it’s still a worthy exercise for the future. I can pretend that you’re all prospective publishers.

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