Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 35: The Wish

The challenge this week was to write a horror story that included the following words: Cafeteria, keyboard, segment, washing machine, and chandelier. My story shows we need to be careful what we wish for…

The Wish

“Ricky, I am sick of eating in that cafeteria down the street. There’s enough food here to feed a small city, but I’m not allowed to eat any of it. My aunt said her protector told her no one was permitted to consume the food except her, although I may partake of a segment of a dessert item. Partake of a segment? Who talks like that? I’m telling you, she gets nuttier by the minute. I can’t wait for that stupid nurse of hers to leave so I can get rid of that old biddy once and for all.”

“Her protector? She has a bodyguard?”

“No. Her protector is some spirit thing she conjured up. It gives her advice and protects her.”

“That’s wild. Why is her nurse leaving?”

“She found some dope to marry her, so she’ll be moving out. Besides, Aunt Lucy can get around better now since her surgery, and won’t need a full-time nurse anymore. She told me she was glad I came to live with her after mom and pop died in the accident. Fool thinks I’m going to take care of her.”

“Jen, she never suspected you had anything to do with your parents’ death even though she knew you hated them?”

“Of course not. No one ever suspected I was the one who cut their brake lines. I cried so convincingly when they notified me that their car couldn’t stop and went over the cliff. The cops are still investigating my old man’s business partner.”

“Don’t you think they’d look at you when they find out your wealthy aunt is dead?”

“Don’t worry about that. She’s old and nutty as a fruitcake. No one is going to suspect anything if she takes a tumble down that staircase in her house. Besides, I’ll just turn on the tears again. I’ll wait a day or two after her nurse leaves, and then good old Auntie Lucy is going to have a terrible accident. Once she’s in the ground, you can move in. Then, we’ll just wait for her lawyer to hand over the bank accounts to me.

“I should probably hang up now. Her nurse will be down soon to make Aunt Lucy’s dinner. I’ll call you when it’s over. You know, sometimes I wish I could get inside her skin to fool everyone and cash a check and get my hands on some money now. Wouldn’t that be a kick?”

“If only. But, I’d want you to get back into your own skin right after. I wouldn’t want to have to put my hands on that dried up body of your aunt’s!”

“Good one, Ricky. I’m going to head over to Kenny’s Kafeteria. The special tonight is meatloaf. Lucky me. Bye for…what the Hell was that?”

“What’s wrong?

“I heard something behind me. Ever since I got here, I’ve felt like someone’s always looking over my shoulder. Then there’s a cold wind that passes by me here and there, even though the heat’s blasting on high. One time, I could actually feel hot breath on my neck, but when I turned around, there was nothing there. It’s not Aunt Lucy. She’s still spends most of her time in bed, and her nurse is always with her.”

“It’s your imagination. Those old houses can get creepy.”

“I’m sure you’re right. Bye, Ricky.”

“Bye, doll. Be careful though. You wouldn’t want to piss off your aunt’s protector!”

###

“Aunt Lucy, I need to wash some clothes, but your washing machine is broken. You need to call somebody to come and fix it.”

‘Oh no, dear. My protector told me I should close off that part of the house. Going down those steps into the basement is how I broke my hip, and he said I shouldn’t risk my safety. Bundle up your clothes and I’ll call the cleaners. They’ll come pick them up and bring them back when they’re done. By the way, Jen, I called and had the computer service disconnected today.”

“Why would you do that? The internet is my only contact with the outside world.”

“Honey, the keyboard was missing some keys and my protector told me not to replace it. He said anything I needed I could get over the phone. I didn’t know how to use that thing anyway. I only bought it so my nurse could keep in touch with her friends and family while she was living here.”

“Screw your protector. I’m going out to eat. You can fix your own meals from now on because I’m not your servant.”

“Why are you speaking to me this way, Jen? My protector doesn’t like it when anyone raises their voice to me.”

“I’ll talk to you any way I please. You’d better be in bed when I get home, old lady, if you know what’s good for you.”

###

“Why is the house all dark? The old crone never turns all the lights out. Where the switch? Oh, here it is. Great. So now the chandelier doesn’t work? I can’t reach that thing to put new bulbs in. Maybe Ricky can fix it when he gets here. Can you hear me, Aunt Lucy? My boyfriend’s coming to live here with me. Just me, because you won’t be here. Know why? You’ll be dead. You hear me? Dead. I’m on my way up now and we’re going to take a quick stroll down the stairs. Well, not we. You’re actually going to take a quick fall down the stairs. What was that? Lucy? Are you down here? Did you say something?”

Jen felt the room turn icy cold and something sharp dig into her shoulder. When she turned around, standing in front her was a creature straight out of a nightmare. It stood upright on two legs, and Jen estimated its height at about 9 feet. It had two arms and hands, and each hand had five fingers, each with sharp claws on the tip. One of its hands rested on her shoulder. Its skin was scaly, and it had a muscular build. Its large face resembled that of a wolf, with deep set black eyes, and saliva dripped from its fangs as it spoke.

“The lady of the house is dead. She passed on in her sleep while you were out.”

“Who…what the Hell are you?”

“I was Miss Lucy’s protector.”

“You’re real? I thought she…”

“I know what you thought. I know all about you, and what you had planned for her.”

“What are you talking about? I wasn’t going to do anything to her. Not really. It was all just talk. Please don’t hurt me. Please just let me leave.”

“It is my plan to grant your wish.”

“My wish? What did I wish for?”

###

“She was so young. First, Miss Lucy passes in her sleep, then her niece suffers a massive heart attack. Terrible tragedy."

“It truly is. I stopped by that evening to check on her because no one was answering the phone. That’s when I found them both. I do have to say, Mr. Harper, I’ve never seen an expression on a dead body like the one I saw on the face of that young woman. Even in death, the look of abject terror remained. With Lucy’s only living relative now deceased, what will happen to her home?”

“As her attorney, I can tell you she recently changed her will and left everything to a group of ladies she was close to, who call themselves Friends of the Other World. They conduct s√©ances and are fascinated with ghosts and that sort of thing. Miss Lucy told me she had been advised to cut her niece out of her will. She wouldn’t say by whom though.”

“Interesting. Let’s go pay our final respects to Miss Lucy and her niece.”

###

“Lucy really looks at peace, doesn’t she, Doctor?”

“She does indeed, sir. Do you have to get back to your office? May I buy you a cup of coffee?”

“I would appreciate it.”

###

“Where is everybody? Is someone there? You’ve got to help me. Please. Can’t you hear me? I’m not dead. Not exactly. My body might be, but I’m in here. I’m in Aunt Lucy’s body. I don’t know what’s going on. The thing – her protector, it heard me wish to be in her skin, and now I am. Forever. No. Please don’t close the coffin. You can’t put me in the ground with her. Listen. For the love of God. Why can’t you hear…”

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