With no will and no living relatives the house and its contents are up for auction.

The room is a disaster of audio tape cassettes. Most of the boxes seem to have degraded and vomited their contents into a communal chaos. All seem to be unlabelled.

It takes him three hours. He decides to take one; part souvenir, part curiosity.

His old cassette player is in the garage and that’s where he listens to it.

Ten minutes of crackling static. Disappointed, he is just about to give up.

Then the screaming starts.

Human and real.

Far too real.



Gregor can only watch in terror.

The thing cracks open his companion’s head. It slobbers over the contents and then runs its finger around the insides. It scrapes like a man desperate for the last of the butter and finally satiated drops him like a ragdoll.

Gregor whimpers.


Inspired by my breakfast this morning (the butter that is, there were no brain eating monsters).

It actually also inspired a second story but that one I’ve submitted to The Drabble – so we’ll wait and see how that works out.

‘Cartoon Eyes’

I’ve gone with a shorter format again today. While I’ve written many short stories at 500 words or more, squeezing a story into anything shorter is pleasingly unchartered territory for me.

I half remember a George RR Martin quote where he opined that the best way to improve your writing was to read (or write -this is where I forget) as many different genres as possible.

I’m fast realising that one of the great benefits of flash fiction (a term I only just discovered this week) is that it allows for just this; and dabbling in new genres is as much of the appeal to me at the moment as the challenge that such brevity brings.


‘Cartoon Eyes’

The first note is stuck to his windscreen. It’s a pair of cartoon eyes. They are looking down and to their left. He assumes its Dave in accounts ‘havin a larf’. He crumples it up and drops it. He never litters but he feels a vague, cloying embarrassment that whatever the joke is he’s not in on it. A tiny act of rebellion; his anger manifest.

The second note is on his front door. The same pair of eyes stare back at him. This time one is half closed. He assumes it’s meant to be winking but to him it looks tired or maybe even retarded. A pang of guilt accompanies him as he enters his house that he thought of the word ‘retarded’.

He cooks for himself, eats, washes up and blends the banality of his work into the banality of television. On the way to bed he makes a last minute deviation to his study and his computer. He tells himself it’s to check his work email because he will not admit to himself that its for pornography. But it is.

A jpeg icon sits in the middle of his desktop. He opens it. The third note is a pair of eyes again. But they’re crosses.

They’re dead eyes.

He realises someone is standing behind him.




‘Rock Pools’

Aiko scanned a proprietary eye over her brother and sister and seeing all was well laid back against the sun warmed stone. Just two more hours and her parents would be home and their sticky hands and endless chattering would be their problem and not hers.

She let her mind drift to the evening to come which quickly turned to thoughts of Shiro and the look that had been in his eyes the last time they met. Tonight something would happen she was sure of it. That warm feeling inside of her was met in kind by the sun from above and along with the rhythmic swell and crash of the waves slumber drew her down into its embrace.

The scream shattered it and tore her to lucidity. Aiko scanned frantically for her siblings with the wild incoherence of someone who didn’t realise that had been sleeping. She pushed herself to standing as a cloud passed over the sun and sucked the light and heat from the day.

Then a small head crowned by a red ribbon was running towards her and relief returned with the sun.

‘Sumi. Why are you crying? Where’s your brother.’

Sumi ran into her arms. ‘Down there. I hate him! He’s mean.’

Aiko’s relief was complete. Nothing more than one of their little squabbles.

‘What’s he done?’ Aiko said wearily.

She took her sister’s hand who led her over and around the rock pools to a tiny cove. Aiko had to stop herself from laughing. Hiro was there marching back and forth with an octopus perched on his head.

‘Must kill Sumi. Must eat Sumi,’ he said in a monotone drawl. His arms were held out in front of him to complete the mock zombie effect. Mock zombie octopus effect Aiko corrected herself still struggling to stifle her smile.

Sumi was clutching her leg and wouldn’t look at her brother.

‘OK Hiro. Very funny. Now take that thing of you head and say sorry to your sister.’

‘Must kill Sumi. Must eat Sumi,’ Hiro repeated and started walking towards them. Sumi whimpered.

‘Stop it Hiro,’ Aiko snapped. Her patience was wearing thin.

‘Must kill Sumi. Must eat Sumi.’

Aiko’s next words caught in her throat as Hiro lunged for his sister. Instinctively she held up her arm and Hiro’s teeth sunk deep into her flesh. She screamed as he tore away a gobbet off flesh. Aiko staggered back in shock as Sumi wailed and clung to her in terror. She looked down at her arm in incomprehension and then back at her brother. His eyes were clouded like pearls and the fat, gelatinous creature writhed and pulsated around his neck and shoulders. She gagged as Hiro greedily chewed over the meat of her arm.

Aiko scooped up Sumi and ran.

It looked after them with some displeasure.  It was still hungry.

But there were plenty more fish in the sea.


The suggestion was ‘Japanese girls/octopus. I had the idea for this one just before I went to sleep last night (unfortunately).

For these 500 word short stories I am working on a theme and topic suggested to me at random, normally through asking friends on Facebook. Feel free to message me with a suggestion of your own. I will consider anything that’s not too gratuitous or explicit.AM.