Prophecy – Speakeasy #132

Storms predicted throughout the night...
Storms predicted throughout the night…

I sit up in bed, hands clapped over my thudding heart.  My quick, raspy breaths wake my husband.

“What’s wrong, babe?”  Andy mutters, eyes still closed.

I take the invitation.  “I had this nightmare.  I was trimming the hairs near Trixie’s eyes that make them tear, and cause that yucky dog smell.”

“Mmm-hmm.”  A snore creeps into his breathing.

I nudge his shoulder.  “As I squeezed the blades together, I noticed the point of the scissors in Trixie’s eye.  I pulled it out slowly.  At first, she didn’t appear injured, but then blood gushed from the slit in her eye.”

“Weird.”

“It seemed so real…”  Even after sharing the burden of this dream, a sense of dread keeps my back rod-straight.

After a lengthy silence, I hear a mumbled, “Want me to check on her?”

“Please.”

Andy shuffles to Trixie’s bed, in the family room near the fireplace hearth.  “Oh my G-” His footsteps thump faster on the tile.  “What?  I don’t…”

“What’s wrong?”  I call, jumping out of bed.

“Don’t… y-you don’t want to see this,” Andy says.

Too late.  I round the corner and glimpse my dog sprawled in a pool of blood with a knitting needle in her left eye- the same eye injured in my dream.

I don’t knit.

*****

Two nights later, on Halloween, we walk our son, Trent, through the neighborhood so he could acquire more candy than a person should consume in a lifetime.  Being twelve, it could be the end of trick-or-treating.  This year, it seems evil lurks beneath every costume.  Even the toddler ballerina; her unblinking stare makes me uneasy.

I don’t relax until we reach home and are safely locked inside.

“I’m not tired yet,” Trent says.  “Can I stay up and watch something scary?”

I check my watch.  “It’s a school night, but you’ve got one hour.”  I sit on the couch with him and flip through the channels.  “Friday the Thirteenth?”

“Meh.  Anything else?”

I click through several more programs, lingering on a deep-voiced narrator explaining, “He entombed his sister in a vault, though she’d been very much alive…”  I switch channels.

“Wait, go back!”

I glance at Trent.  “You sure?”

“Yeah.”  He grins.

I press the ‘last’ button on the remote.

When the eerie music and final credits play, he asks, “Did that really happen?”

“I’m sure those people thought they saw ghosts.  I think they are Poe fanatics who just wanted to be on TV.”

“But they found two bodies when they demolished the building.”

“Coincidence.”

“So you don’t believe in ghosts?”

I shake my head.  “Time for bed, kiddo.”

Terror flickers in his eyes.  “I-I don’t want to.  Can I sleep with you?”

I smile.  “You’ll be okay.”

Unable to convince him, I stay in his room.   When his breathing is even, I descend the stairs to my own room.

*****

I sit up in bed, hands clapped over my thudding heart.  Another nightmare.  I’d been in the kitchen fixing dinner.   With a butcher knife, I trimmed the fat from a roast.  As I cut the slimy white from the pink meat, it quivered.  I stepped back, and the roast beat like a heart.  I picked it up in my hands, ice cold to my touch.

I glance at the outline of my husband laying with his back to me.  I touch his shoulder and jerk my hand away from the chill.  I roll him onto his back and see the knife handle sticking out of his chest.  The one from my nightmare.

Lightning flashes, and the glow casts my shadow on the wall.  At first I think the rumble is thunder, but as two by fours crack and plaster drops onto my head, I realize I’m living Edgar Allen Poe’s prophecy.  “Noooooo!”  I shout, but the evil spirits bursting from the walls just howl in response.

I don’t know who or what possesses me, but I rip the handle from Andy’s chest.  Blood spurts from the wound.

The knife clatters to the ground and a scream pierces the night.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

This was written for the Speakeasy #132 challenge, which is to write a piece under 750 words which includes some kind of reference to the media prompt, The Fall of the House of Usher, and a last line of:  “The knife clatters to the ground and a scream pierces the night.”

I hope you find the story as disturbing as I do.  Part of this is from an actual nightmare I had several weeks ago.  If I’m not around, it could be that I’ve sought the psychological help I apparently need…or my house has held me captive. Bwahahaha!

Click the badge below to check out some of the other interpretations, or even better- submit your own frightening tale 🙂

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63 thoughts on “Prophecy – Speakeasy #132

  1. Angela Death October 22, 2013 / 6:11 AM

    Wow! I’m completely impressed! You had my heart thumping!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:03 PM

      Yay! I’m glad you got into this crazy story, Angela 🙂

  2. Catherine Johnson October 22, 2013 / 6:22 AM

    Wow, they sure are creepy! I’ll be super careful when I clip the dog with her new extra strength clippers today 😉

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:04 PM

      Please, do be careful, Catherine! Learn from my nightmare mistakes 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:05 PM

      Just watch out for the evil spirits in the walls, Phil 🙂

  3. Debbie October 22, 2013 / 8:34 AM

    Yikes, Janna, these are so frightening!! Perhaps you need to change your bedtime ritual?? I’d be afraid to close my eyes if I thought I’d have to have nightmares like these!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:07 PM

      Hahaha! Your comment cracked me up, Debbie! I usually don’t remember dreams, but I did have a bizarre dream – the scissors poking my dog’s eye and it really freaked me out. (The dog is fine: no knitting needle in her eye.)

  4. jacquelinecaseypoetry October 22, 2013 / 10:46 AM

    Well, lol, it looks like you have experienced one of those horrifying “dream-within-a-dream” Shakespearean thingees. I think you and I both should see a pyschiatrist after that one!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:08 PM

      Thanks for reading, Jacqueline! I hope I don’t get a bunch of therapy invoices sent to me because of this bizarre story 🙂

  5. pileofbabies October 22, 2013 / 12:24 PM

    Goodness. I was cringing throughout!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:11 PM

      Sorry about that 🙂 Thanks for reading, Pileofbabies!

  6. GodGirl October 22, 2013 / 1:37 PM

    This is genuinely tense and eerie. I particularly like the line ‘But I don’t knit’… Really kept me hooked, and I love the way you worked in the Poe references.

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:14 PM

      Thanks for reading and sharing your reaction, GodGirl! I really wasn’t sure if this odd story would appeal to anyone 🙂

  7. J. Milburn October 22, 2013 / 1:54 PM

    I always look forward to reading your challenges and you never disappoint! Wonderful writing!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:15 PM

      Thanks, Jeremy! I really appreciate you taking time to read it 🙂

  8. Quickstepp October 22, 2013 / 2:15 PM

    Jesus! Umm, if I woke up to find a knitting needle in my dogs eye I don’t think I’d just move on with my day. Yikes!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:17 PM

      Haha! That’s not an average day, but it really did set her on edge. Maybe if she quit sleeping, bad things wouldn’t happen? 🙂

      • Quickstepp October 23, 2013 / 7:57 AM

        And that’s an entirely different tale of horror…..

        • jannatwrites October 23, 2013 / 9:33 PM

          Hehe…I think you’re right!

  9. Sean October 22, 2013 / 2:32 PM

    You’re getting good at these. Haven’t figured out if that is a good thing or not :P. this just shows that you have an extensive range of talents. Thanks for the read although I thin your hubby may need to sleep with one eye open now lol

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:20 PM

      Your comment made me laugh, Sean! Thank goodness my husband doesn’t read any of my stories…I think I’ll just shuffle this one away….

      I appreciate you reading my stories when you can. October is almost over, so my challenge to write creepy will end as well. We’ll see what my new normal is after this 🙂

  10. Suzanne October 22, 2013 / 5:03 PM

    Yikes! This is intense and terrifying! Poor dog. Poor husband. Poor you, if you’re having nightmares like this! So well written and boy did you ever step up the creepy this week!

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:22 PM

      Thanks, Suzanne. I had reservations about posting this one, but decided ‘why not?’ 🙂

      The only part that came from my nightmare was the first section with the scissors in the dog’s eye. I think it came from my husband talking about how we needed to trim her hair and I really don’t like to do that because I’m terrified I’ll poke her eye out.

  11. Eric Alagan October 22, 2013 / 7:03 PM

    “…I don’t knit….”

    Okay, but I wonder whether she sleep walked to her grand ma’s and back – with a knitting needle.

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 8:23 PM

      Well sleepwalking could make things interesting. She could also be sleep-knitting…now where did all those scarves come form?

      Thanks for reading and your fun comment, Eric!

  12. Peggy Smith October 22, 2013 / 8:28 PM

    I use to be afraid of running with scissors now I’m afraid of knitting needles. Well written.

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 10:46 PM

      Hahaha! Sorry about that, Peggy 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and picking up a new fear along the way!

  13. camgal October 22, 2013 / 10:10 PM

    Lol @ Peggy Smith. Awesome piece jannatwrites, my heart was skipping beats literally.

    • jannatwrites October 22, 2013 / 10:46 PM

      I’m glad you liked the story, Camgal! I appreciate you taking time to read it.

  14. Julie October 23, 2013 / 7:08 AM

    OMG! What a Fantastic creepy story! I followed you over from pile of babies as I really enjoy her writing and if you don’t mind I am gonna poke around here a little bit too…wait, I am gonna poke around even if you do mind. but of course you don’t because that is what this place is for. How’s that for overthinking things? Side note, even creepier as a coworker’s little dog just lost his eye to a scrap with the big dog who shares his home….

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2013 / 9:31 PM

      Your comment cracked me up, Julie! I’m glad you decided to check out my blog (yes, I leave the doors/windows unlocked :)) and that you enjoyed the story.

      I’m sorry about your co-worker’s dog…that would be awful. Thank goodness it wasn’t a knitting needle, or I’d be really freaked out. (Let’s just say I’d avoid sleeping and trimming fat off roasts.)

  15. Natalie DeYoung October 23, 2013 / 2:00 PM

    Eek! Horrific! Nightmare-coming-true is HORRIFYING because you can’t control it!

    • jannatwrites October 23, 2013 / 9:39 PM

      That would be awfully scary…time to swear off sleep and drink more coffee? 🙂

  16. Jeffrey Hollar October 24, 2013 / 12:49 AM

    While I’d love to wax poetic, philosophical or editorial here, let me just content myself with saying this was was some SERIOUSLY scary sh*t! 😉

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 12:09 AM

      Hahaha! I’m so happy it scared you, Jeffrey! I don’t really write scary- that’s been my October challenge…I’m glad I pulled it off 🙂

  17. Anne Chia October 24, 2013 / 2:42 AM

    This story totally creeped me out Janna! Why did it have to be in the dog’s eye? I had goose pimples while reading the rest of it with trepidation, and sure enough, you delivered more. Great story

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 12:10 AM

      I know, the dog’s eye was creepy, but that the scissors was part of a super-scary dream and I just had to use it. Thanks for reading through to the end, Anne 🙂

  18. JMC813 October 24, 2013 / 10:16 AM

    Awesome. This is exactly the kind of stuff I love. Dark Flash fiction and Poetry are what I love to both read and write. Drop by my page for a look anytime. This was a great piece. U can’t wait to look around at what else you have done when I have more time.
    Keep Inspiring

    • JMC813 October 24, 2013 / 10:17 AM

      LOL. I can’t wait to look around. Not U…….Ha Ha.

        • JMC813 October 25, 2013 / 12:40 AM

          Good. Way ahead of me. Sometimes I don’t even know what I mean! lol

        • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 6:22 AM

          I think we’re all there from time to time, JMC!

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 12:12 AM

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and liking this post, JCM. I will definitely stop by and check out your blog soon! I don’t usually write quite so dark, so I hope you’ll find other pieces that you enjoy.

      • JMC813 October 25, 2013 / 12:24 AM

        I tend to write on the darker or more introspective side, but I love reading and drawing inspiration from every type of writing. poetry to flash fiction, Happy, philosophical, sad scary. As long as it takes me on a journey I love it all. Thanks for sharing your work with the world.

        • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 6:22 AM

          Then maybe you won’t have subscriber’s remorse, JMC 🙂 Most of what I write does address the darkness, but I like to end on a hopeful note…I don’t do ‘happily ever after’ stories because that just doesn’t feel real to me…I can’t relate so why should anyone else?

          Yeah, I’m rambling now. I should make a rule about blogging to late…or too early in the morning!

  19. Anja October 24, 2013 / 6:50 PM

    Oh this was such a great read!!! Now poor lady will be living a life like on Nightmare on Elm Street….must stay awake. 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 12:15 AM

      I’m glad you enjoyed my creepy story, Anja! I really wasn’t at all sure about whether I pushed this one too far 🙂 I’ve never seen Nightmare on Elm Street…mostly because I like to sleep through the night without waking up with night terrors!

      • Anja October 25, 2013 / 2:49 AM

        I rarely watch scary movies because I am just a wimp. lol

        • jannatwrites October 25, 2013 / 6:24 AM

          Oh, me too, Anja. I was probably ten or eleven when my mom was watching a made-for-tv movie…it wasn’t supposed to be scary, but it really freaked me out. It was one of those stalker-type ones and he’d sneaked into her house and hung her cat in her closet. Scarred me for life!

  20. Imelda October 26, 2013 / 6:44 PM

    Wow! My heart was thumping as I read your story. If you have not heard me say it yet, you are (also) very very good in this genre. Don’t tire of writing thrillers.

    • jannatwrites October 27, 2013 / 9:12 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Imelda! I appreciate your support – I’m glad you liked the story 🙂

  21. agjorgenson October 26, 2013 / 8:36 PM

    You nailed it. My heart is racing, and not in a good way!

    • jannatwrites October 27, 2013 / 9:13 PM

      Hehe! Thanks for reading, Allen – this one really was a creepy one!

  22. pattisj October 27, 2013 / 1:02 PM

    You’re so good at this, it’s scary.

  23. Lala Rukh January 5, 2014 / 12:57 PM

    That was so scary Janna Now I am not able to sleep tonight 😛 I had been wandering on your blog here and there reading your posts and I am impressed by your writings. I love writing fiction but I am not as good at it as you are. You are an inspiration to me 🙂 Love you ! Keep going 🙂 xoxo

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2014 / 7:39 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the scary story, Lala! I had to go back and look at this one…October was my month of scary…and this one was one of the strangest stories that came out of it. Thanks so much for reading, and I appreciate your compliment, but you shouldn’t put down your own writing – I’m new to reading your writing, but from what I’ve seen, you can tell a story 🙂

      • Lala Rukh January 6, 2014 / 4:09 PM

        Thanks for having your confidence in me. I just wrote one.Don’t know how bad is it though 🙂 Love you xx

        • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:37 PM

          I can’t wait to read it. I’ll stop by later tonight if I’m not too sleepy after Boy Scouts 🙂

        • Lala Rukh January 7, 2014 / 8:24 AM

          And I can’t wait to have you in my world 🙂 Love to you xx

        • jannatwrites January 7, 2014 / 8:45 AM

          I’ll get there today!

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