MonsterMash Blog Hop

What happens when a bunch of writers decide there isn’t enough FlashFiction in their lives?  Why, they issue a challenge – Write a story inspired by Annie Lennox ‘s “No More I Love Yous – 500-700 words – post it on your blog… and share the link.

Here is my Monster Mash-up for the Halloween crowd… for details check out


Look Who’s Outside

It started with a whisper, in the dead of night, when no one else was around. I tried to ignore it, but as I’d drift off to sleep, the whispers would turn my dreams into nightmares.
I stopped sleeping.

I was able to function normally for a few days before the lack of sleep began to affect me in ways I’d never expected. Worse, the voices were back.

This time they weren’t whispering, but it was as if everything they said was backward. I could almost understand what they were saying, but for the life of me, I couldn’t.
I was in limbo. I was afraid that if I slept, the voices would make sense and I wasn’t ready for that. I knew that if I understood them, everything would change.

I would stop being me, and the voices would take over. The problem was, the process of fighting it only seemed to accelerate the process. I was at the end of my rope when a friend told me about a sleep study at the University, where I could get paid, and someone would monitor my dreams.

It meant there was a chance for me to receive the messages in a controlled environment.

If anything happened, there would be witnesses.

I knew it wasn’t the best idea, but I was desperate. I was starting to see trees in the middle of the road as I drove, and at dusk, as the shadows lengthened, I swore I saw people jumping out at me as I passed by.

By the time I was called for an interview, I was practically begging them to include me in their project.

Marcia, the woman conducting the interview, seemed interested in my experiences and felt that the perception switch I was experiencing had taken me outside the normal range of human experience.

She kept talking about shamanic journeys and spiritual enlightenment. Honestly, I would have walked away if it wasn’t for the stick-figure of a man who walked through her as we were talking. She kept on talking as if nothing had happened, but the man turned to me and gave me a smile that was as black as the midnight sky.

’m not sure, but I think some of that void found its way into her mind. They say she wasn’t the same after talking to me.

One of her associates gave me his card and told me that he would call me, but I saw that space-cold void in his eyes as he spoke, and I knew he was like the stick-man.

I gave up talking to people, retreating into my room, it was safer that way. At least I could keep the shadow-figures from taking anyone else’s souls.

As the days went by, it got harder and harder to think, to remember why I’d locked myself away. I found Marcia’s card and flipped it over.

Office of Unexplained Temporal/Spacial Incursions and Dark Enterprises. I snorted. Thinking that it was a name in need of an acronym, I sounded it out. OUTSIDE.

I swore I would stay in my room, to protect those I loved, but the lack of sleep caused the nightmares to grow worse until I screamed myself unconscious.

The police were there when I woke up, and so was the man who’d given me Marcia’s card. I couldn’t feel any change inside— but the voices were gone.

There are monsters in my room, dark, soulless things that could rend flesh with a thought. They are terrible and fearsome beasts. They are of the OUTSIDE, and the outside is in me. I am the monster that I feared.

With a smile, I turn the lights on and wait for the trick or treaters to come. Something tells me, my treat will do the trick.

637 words (not including the title)



October 24, 2018

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  • Second (shorter) attempt to comment; I really enjoyed this one and got “origin story” vibes from it (how was Marcia never the same again? what did the narrator and monsters go on to do?) that really engaged me.

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