You First

Check out my horror piece that was recently published by Flash Fiction Magazine.

I was fortunate enough to have a short horror piece published by Flash Fiction Magazine last week. I wrote “You First” in August.

I grew up in a somewhat isolated farmhouse, where (much to my family’s chagrin) the power and telephone frequently went out for long periods. I remember that the mildest thunderstorm often was enough to knock out our utilities. The power and telephone companies rarely had an explanation and certainly took their time restoring service to us. I had been reflecting on those childhood experiences before I started to write this story. The setting for “You First” is essentially my parents’ house, with some elements of my grandparents’ house (which was an even larger, older farmhouse that had a seriously creepy vibe on certain nights). The setting could easily be located in rural Pennsylvania or West Virginia

“You First” takes place on the remote Hetherington farm, where two local farmhands, James and Pat, are making a routine delivery of hay bales. Their early morning work is interrupted by bizarre sounds from the farmhouse. Concerned for the safety of the elderly Lawrence and Martha Hetherington, James and Pat investigate. The pair encounter a frazzled Martha, who shares that her family has been murdered by a devious entity that she has managed to trap in the basement. James suspects that the old woman has gone mad and murdered her loved ones, but Martha invites the two men to have a look in the basement for themselves. 

“You First” is just under 1,000 words. The first draft ran close to 1,500 words. Editing out a third of the content was tricky, but I am satisfied with the result.

Clicking the picture below will take you to “You First” (the picture, by the way, is the actual basement door from my parents’ house). Let me know what you think!


More #twitterfiction

I have more #twitterfiction to share with the world!

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Follow me @jojascully!

With the school year starting, I haven’t had much time to post. However, I did want to share some more of my #twitterfiction. A few of the posts are tagged differently (#microprompt, #thepush, #zealouswriter, etc.) but remain examples of #twitterfiction as far as I am concerned. Generally, my posts could be categorized as science fiction, although a few may contain elements of dark comedy or horror. A few don’t fall into any single genre. 

There are plenty of additional examples posted on my Twitter – @jojascully. You can also find a few here. I try to post at least a handful each day. 

Let me know what you think! 

Rounding a curve, he noticed the other train fail to crest the final hill. The became much more terrifying.

Unexpectedly sent into the game to return a punt, he was elated until he noticed a burning wick sticking out of the laces.

He ordered the moat be filled with snapping . If he was going to face a siege, why not have some fun with it?

The new ski slope in was a success, sans the “” issue. The poor dears tended to wander in the way.

No matter how tight he made the stitches, this arm just didn’t look good. He grabbed his shovel and went to find another.

He lowered the phone just as a voice answered. She was still gurgling with life. He didn’t want help to arrive too soon.

Police cruisers shot through the cemetery gate with blue and red flashes. His career as a grave robber had been a brief one.

He stepped back slowly. The dryer had been eating socks. Now, the dog was missing and there was a collar in the lint trap.

From the ground, he could see the graveyard was alive. Birds. Rodents. Insects. All examples of life. He was no longer one.

She was upset when he built a . She was more upset when he brought back hatchlings for the kids.

An old man rushed back into the burning apartment to save his stamp collection and found himself in a sticky situation.

He never had so much cash in his wallet. Who needed two kidneys? One was fine. Now, where to first? The hospital or Macy’s?

First responders to the circus train wreck gained a new appreciation for the “death-defying” feats of the performers.

The car ride to the ocean had always been long, hot, and boring. Now that the world was drying up, this was even more true.

His release from the hospital occurred just before a zombie plague was introduced to the emergency room. Finally, a lucky break.

The Norse used animal fat in place of butter. Unfortunately, the “I Can’t Believe it’s not ” industry never took off.

Of course, no one knew he was a serial . But, brother, the folks at the lumberyard would be sorry they fired him.

! ! ! She cashed her first paycheck of the 21st century and planned to shop ’til she dropped!

Reaching the top of the cliffs, he strained his failing eyes to focus on the sea. He wished to see a spring tide one last time.

Charred survivors of the blaze were rushed to the hospital. The spread of the fire to that haven was an unwelcome development.