Stay

Horror flash fiction by Agustin Guerrero

 

“Mommy, you don’t have to tuck me in. I’m not a little girl anymore.”

My mom leans in and kisses my forehead. She smiles at me, but the tears glazing her eyes betray her emotion.

“Don’t cry, Mommy. I wasn’t going to be your little girl forever. You know that.”

She doesn’t answer. The back of her hand brushes my cheek before she gets up to leave. I watch her as she crosses the room. She reaches out for the light switch and looks back at me. I smile at her and she plunges my room into darkness.

I hear the creak of the stairs as she goes up to her room. She hasn’t made it to the second floor before the voice starts again. A hushed whisper carries through my room. It’s the same whisper I’ve been trying to ignore as many nights back as I can remember. It starts out soft, so soft I can barely make out the words. But as the night goes on, it grows louder.

It’s time for you to join us, Harper. Come with us, Harper.

I don’t sleep anymore. I have to listen to that whisper from the moment my mom turns out the light until the first rays of dawn drive the voice away. I have tried to reason with it, but it never says anything else. I can’t convince it to leave me be.

Come with us, Harper. It’s time for you to join us, Harper.

It’s not a boy or a girl whispering to me. It doesn’t sound like anyone I’ve ever met. The voice sounds like that of an old man mixed with a baby’s scream. I don’t like the whispers. I wish they would just leave me alone.

Come with us, Harper.”

“I can’t come with you, my Mommy needs me!”

The voices continue to whisper, ignoring my pleas. I start singing to myself. It’s the only way to drown out the whispers.

The next morning my mom comes in my room after the whispers have faded. She turns on the light and sits with me on the bed. I look at her and I wait. She takes my hand in hers and squeezes. I watch as some of the rotted flesh falls away from the bone.

“Mommy, the accident happened a long time ago. I think I have to go. I don’t want to, Mommy, but I think I have to.”

I hover over her and my body. I don’t look how I used to. The curly blonde hair has been falling out, leaving yellowed patches of skull bone in its place. My eyes are gone, filled with the eggs of the flies that have taken up residence in my body. It’s hard to look at me, but it’s harder to see my mom cry.

The tears are rolling down her cheeks. Her shoulders move up and down in silent sobs. I try to hug her but as usual I go through her. She leans down and kisses my forehead.

“Okay Mommy, I’ll stay.”

 

 

6 comments on “Stay

  1. Again, awesome premise! Reminded me of the movie The Others. One criticism is that the narrator’s voice is very frequently incongruent – her dialogue with the voice calling her is childish (“mommy needs me”) as is her attachment to her mother, but in all other respects it’s a very adult and dark voice. Also, and this is relatively minor and perhaps just me – I have a hard time imagining the voice as a mixture of an old man’s whisper and a baby’s scream. It sounds great as a phrase because of the antonyms, but I don’t know whether it helps bring the voice to life for me. I wish it did – the voice is the central horror element in the beginning! Same footnote on offering up criticism as in the previous comment.

    • Hey thanks again for reading! I haven’t seen The Others but if you recommend it I’ll have to give it a go. I see what you mean about the voice of the little girl. I struggled with it because I wanted her to appear like a little girl but at the same time convey her understanding of the situation. I was afraid if the entire story was written in her voice it wouldn’t convey the right tone. It’s something for me to really look hard at now. And you’re right if the voice can’t be “heard” by the reader the piece kind of loses something. I’ll have to see if I can come up with a better way to describe the voice in my head. That kind of makes me sound crazy…

      Again your critique was amazing. I really appreciate your comments. If you have any interest in maybe reading some of my in progress work or my novella I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. If not I understand completely!

      • Hello Augustin! So sorry I’ve been MIA – other things going on, barely read or written a word! But I’m hopefully back now. Thank you so much for your comments! I’m not an editor at all – very far professionally removed from literature actually – JD/MBA student. But I like to think critically about my reading. I’d love to read more of your writing. I can’t promise to have time for longer works especially once school starts in September, but if you have a short story or sections of a novel you’d particularly like someone to take a look at, send them over! bookishbusinessblog@gmail.com 🙂

      • Hey! I was glad to see a new post from you earlier, your blog is one of my favorites. I really enjoy your critical approach. JD/MBA student huh? Wow, I’m sure you’re in for a crazy semester come September. Best of luck! I’ve got a few things I’m working on, I’ll email you soon. Thank you in advance.

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