Thursday, January 24, 2019

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 4 - Rest in Peace

The prompt this week was to roll for a random genre. I decided to use whatever I rolled the first time, whether it was something I was comfortable with or not. Well, I rolled a 7, which was ghost story. I have to admit that writing ghost stories is not my usual fare, but I accepted the challenge and came up with the following. I tried to tell the story from an unusual perspective, and I hope you enjoy it.

Rest in Peace

Why do people always wish for the dead to ‘rest in peace’? What if they didn’t ‘die in peace’? What if they don’t want to ‘rest in peace’? I’ve been thinking about that because recently, I’ve had death touch me personally. I’m still trying to figure it all out, and I learn something new about my feelings on the subject each and every day.

“Carla, it happened again this morning. I don’t know how much more I can take.”

“Elaine, I know you reported the first incident and they wouldn’t do anything, but if you report it each time you believe she came in, wouldn’t they bring her in and question her?”

“It’s a waste of time talking to the cops. They keep asking me for evidence. I told them I know who’s doing all these things to me, but they don’t believe me. I just don’t know what to do. My brother shoots himself, my parents die in a car accident, and my brother’s ex has been coming into my home and trying to make me think I’m crazy. Now, she’s trying to kill me. How much more torment can I take?”

Let’s find out, shall we?

“What’s really going on, Elaine? You said Sara comes in and moves things around, and your lights flicker sometimes. While that’s annoying, I hardly think you’d lose your mind over stupid pranks. You think she’s trying to kill you? Why? Unless she feels you’re responsible for Danny’s death.”

“I’m not responsible for my brother’s suicide. I didn’t even know he owned a gun.”

“I know you’re not responsible, but it’s probably easier for his girlfriend to blame you than herself. Didn’t Sara break up with him just before he…well, you know.”

“That’s what he told me. He said she was going away.”

Going to help her sick aunt for a week. Not away.

“How was he after she left?”

“He stayed in the house and moped around.”

Not moped. Snooped.

“I know you loved your brother.”

“I adored Danny, but when he was dating Sara, he spent all his time at her place. It was tough for me to get things done around here with him under foot all the time.”

Tough, indeed. Wasn’t easy to screw with the brakes on your father’s car so they’d fail on the mountain road knowing you were being watched.

“Elaine, your house is so big, I would think you could go for days without seeing each other if you wanted to.”

“That’s true, but Danny was all up in my business day and night after Sara left, and I don't know why.”

I’ll give you three guesses.

“Elaine, he was upset.”

“I suppose. That must be what drove him to pull the trigger.”

Knowing you’d be arrested for attempting to murder your parents drove you to pull the trigger.

“Sara didn’t even come to his funeral, did she?”

“She told me she couldn’t bear to see him like that. She also said something about already finding comfort, and that would be enough. She must have been planning her twisted revenge, and found comfort in that.”

“I still don’t understand. Have you still been trying to reach her?”

“I don’t know where she’s staying. It has to be close by though since she comes in and out of my house at will. She knows I’m in and out during the day. Damn Danny for giving her a key and not getting it back.”

“Wait, Elaine, we’re off track. You said she’s trying to kill you? Why would you think that?”

“Carla, there were bits of broken glass at the bottom of my shower. I would never have noticed had I not dropped the shampoo bottle. I could have been injured stepping on all that. My lotion bottle was leaking too because there were pieces of glass in there as well. What if there’s glass in the coffee maker or cereal boxes? I could be laying there bleeding to death and no one would know.”

I would know.

“Did you leave everything as you found it? Have the police come take a look because that would be evidence; although, how they could link Sara to it, I’m not sure. But at least they would take you seriously.”

“Oh, I intend to. I just have to go to Millford and drop some papers off at the bank. I need to get them there before noon to release the last of Father’s foreign accounts to me. I’ll personally report these recent attempts on my sanity and my life to the police on my way home.”

No you won’t.

“Well, don’t take the mountain road, Elaine. I know it takes longer on the highway, but it’s safer. If only your father had taken the…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought that up.”

“Carla, I know that road. I’ll be okay. Taking the highway adds an hour and half to the trip and I don’t have that kind of time. I’ll talk to you later.”

No, you don’t, and no, you won’t.

The police ruled it a tragic accident when Elaine Cooper’s car missed the last curve on the mountain road. It was doubly tragic since that was the exact spot where her parents' car went off the edge and plunged hundreds of feet to the rocks below. Elaine’s car exploded on impact just as her parents’ car had. People just shook their heads in disbelief that so much pain could be visited on one family.

Elaine really did know that road, but when I appeared in the passenger seat of her car and told her it was time to pay for murdering me and our parents, I guess the shock was too great. She lost control of the car and went over the side. I’m not sure if I can rest in peace now, but putting my arms around my girlfriend, Sara, while she sleeps helps us both, so I suppose that’ll have to do. For now.


  1. A nice bit of revenge. It appears you can use the ghost story genre quite well ;-) I like that third person, as a narrator, adding a sense of foreboding. I did miss that shift it as first, though. It would have helped me to see something like "I smiled. Let’s find out, shall we?"

  2. Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your comments. I wasn't sure I could do the ghost bit! I like your suggestion. Adding "I smiled" before that first shift would have personalized it and given the reader a clue that someone, or something, was near. I also think that addition would have made it a bit darker right at the start. You can never have too much dread!