Photo Courtesy Of Safestyle UK
Mouse over the door to open it!
Our authors Jaime & Raechel Faulkner are making a name for themselves as writers of flash fiction.
However, it seems as though a lot of people are unaware of the term “flash fiction”, so we asked them to write a sample story so we can show you what we mean when we talk about “twisted flash fiction”.
The exact definition is somewhat fluid, as this excerpt from Wikipedia shows: “Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.”
The Twisted Flash Fiction stories that Jaime & Raechel write are all 500 words long (as measured by their writing tool of choice, Scrivener), which definitely qualifies them as flash fiction, while the “twisted” part comes from the fact that all of their stories have an unexpected twist at the end.
So, on to the sample story, which is called The Secret Door. (The inspiration for this story came from a flash fiction challenge issued by the author Chuck Wendig).
I’d seen so many movies and TV shows that talked about “walking into the light” and waiting for your “personal door” to appear that I’d come to see them both as nothing more than clichés.
So to have both of these experiences happen to me at the same time was as surprising as finding an honest politician.
But I’m getting ahead of myself – let me back-track for you, to put you in the picture.
It was early February and I’d been driving in an unfamiliar dimly-lit inner city neighborhood when I was distracted by a storm warning on the radio, so I never even saw the young child run into the street in front of me.
I truly hoped his grieving parents were right in their beliefs, that their little boy would go to Heaven and enjoy everlasting peace, even though I didn’t share their faith. Never much of a believer in supreme beings or the after-life, either in the Heaven or Hell variety, I’d always lived my life taking responsibility for my own actions: no quick confession, no Hail Mary, no penance for me – my own conscience was my one and only judge, jury and executioner.
Still shaking when I got home, I jumped straight into the shower, as though trying to wash away what I’d done. It was fruitless, needless to say, and afterward, when I wiped away the condensation from the steamed-up mirror, I saw a monster looking back at me – I swore bright red horns were growing out of my forehead.
The Devil’s eyes – or maybe they were my own – burned into my brain, and a compulsion grew deep within me, forcing me to remove the old-fashioned cutthroat razor from the glass resting on the shelf above the sink.
To be honest, I’m really not sure whether I tried that hard to stop myself from slicing open my carotid artery.
And that’s why a fountain of blood sprayed the bathroom walls.
I vaguely remember falling to the floor and bleeding out, painfully, before I lost consciousness.
Which brings me up to date again.
This four-paneled door, sporting a huge ornate knocker, appeared out of nowhere and I immediately knew what it was, in spite of my former disbelief.
Should I knock first, or should I just open it?
Hesitant, I reached out but before my hand could lift the large ring, the door mysteriously swung open to reveal a blinding white light.
I’m not sure whether I walked through that portal or whether I was sucked in. Regardless, I heard the heavy door slam shut behind me. Startled by the noise, I turned in time to see the entire doorway dematerialize, leaving me standing in a dry ice-like fog any rock concert organizer would be proud of.
The mist slowly cleared to reveal me standing once more in my bathroom, razor blade in hand at my throat, and mind overwhelmed by an ominous feeling of eternal déjà vu.
If you enjoyed that, then please check out their two volumes of Twisted Flash Fiction – both Volume 1 and Volume 2 each contain ten stories similar to the one above (i.e. they’re all 500 words long and they all have their customary twist at the end).
You’ll also notice the name “Coffee Break Tales” on the covers. This indicates that the books can be read over a cup of coffee (or two). If you’d like to find more stories by Jaime & Raechel that feature their signature twist, then please check out the other books in their Coffee Break Tales series. (You’ll also find hundreds of other quick reads, listed by both genre and estimated reading time, on that site too.)
PS If you would like to be notified automatically when we publish future collections of Jaime & Raechel’s Twisted Flash Fiction stories, please sign up for our Newsletter, using the form near the top right of this page.