Friday, February 24, 2017

It Wants In - Short Story

Hello and thank you for stopping by. 

This week's short story is in response to Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenge from a few weeks ago when he had his subscribers submit three word story titles. It was then up to us to choose one of ten selected titles and write a story. You can find his blog here:

This one is mine. I struggled this week - it put up a fight, but after all the kicking and screaming, I'm glad to have at least met the challenge. It started out in second person POV and I couldn't seem to get out of it, so that was new. The title seemed to go to the dark side, I hope you enjoy my take on it. 

It Wants In
(Title by Mollons)
by Michell Baillargeon

The best part about being alone isn’t just the peace and quiet, it’s being able to do what you want, when you want and not having to answer to anyone. Of course, when you mess up or make a bad decision, you only have yourself to blame. That’s the price you pay, I guess; the compromise for so much freedom. Seems fair. 

People frequently get the wrong idea about living in the “boonies” all alone. You enjoy your own company and are protective of your alone time. You find yourself having to constantly defend your lifestyle. You’re not a hermit, after all. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely, and you’re not lonely; sometimes it’s just nice not having to deal with people. 

Besides, as you tell your family, you’re not completely alone. You have Benny. A sweet-natured, yellow lab rescued from a shelter in the city. After just a few months, you are the the closest of friends and he’s always at your side.

You’ve invested a lot in being alone, it comforts you. You’ve never been afraid to be alone, it never occurred to you. 


You spend the afternoon working in your yard, Benny tags along only leaving your side to chase bunnies. The chase usually begins with a small yip and screeches to a halt as soon as the bunny reaches the edge of the yard. When Benny returns to your side, you wonder if it’s not so much about catching the bunny as much as it is about the chase. Both you and the bunny realize that the edge of the woods acts an invisible fence for Benny; it gives both of you peace of mind. 

Goosebumps appear on your arm and the chill interrupts your focus on chores. You straighten up and stretch against the kinks in your back, a result of being hunched over for most of the afternoon. The sun has moved across the sky when you weren’t looking and you realize there’s not much daylight left. You look back over flower bed you’ve been working on and are happy with the results; weeds have been removed and replaced with several flats of annuals. There are now wonderful burst of color where there were none this morning: yellow, orange, purple and red. 

Wait. Red? You hadn’t purchased any red flowers. The goosebumps reappear on your arms, but this time it’s not from the cool air. You ignore them and look around for Benny, calling him as you approach the end of the flower bed where the red thing is. Curiosity has the better of you, is it a bag or a cloth? It doesn’t look like either. Your steps slow to baby steps and then you pause, still a few feet from the red thing. 

“Benny, come here boy!” Where has he gotten to? You look around the yard and scan the wood’s edge. He’s not there. You call his name again as you take another step closer to the red thing. You feel your heartbeat quicken as fear captures all rational thought. You don't want to look. You don't want to see. It can’t be him.

You close your eyes and take a deep breath, pushing back the fear. You have to look, you force yourself. Opening your eyes, you close the final steps to the red thing. At first, all you can see is red. Shiny wet pools of red. Its abstract quality confuses you for a moment, then you realize that it’s blood; but, just blood, no Benny. You have a momentary reprieve until the bloody scene comes into focus. A trail of blood leads to the back of the flower bed. A cold, boney hand clenches at your heart, once again you call to Benny. Nothing. 

Stealing yourself against what you will find, you round the corner of the flower bed. As you approach the back side of the bed, you try to fight off the many images in your mind of what might be back there. You’re trying to convince yourself that it could be anything, anything but what you dread. You’re procrastinating and the sun it setting, if you want to see what it is, you have to do it now while there's still any sunlight left. You try to lighten the mood by telling yourself, “it’s fine, you don’t really want to see what’s back there, anyway.” Reality sinks in, there’s no one else to do it. You take the last step and make the discovery you’ve been dreading. 

Dropping to your knees, you reach out to Benny. He looks up at you with sightless eyes as blood drips from the ragged wound in his neck. The fur around the wound is matted with still more blood. You know he’s gone, but you reach out to him anyway, hoping he feels comforted where ever he is.


You’ve been sitting at your kitchen table staring at a cold cup of tea for an hour. Unanswerable questions cycle through your mind. You glance over to the box with Benny in it. You’ve wrapped him gently in an old blanket and, even though it’s been dark for several hours, you’ve positioned the box in front of his favorite widow. The one he loved to look out of and watch for bunnies. You’re going to have to move him soon, you know that; but you want him near for a little bit longer.

A small noise coming from the porch breaks through the fog of your grief. You acknowledge it, and just as quickly disregard it. This is the boonies, there are all kinds of creatures out there every night. You rise and pour the cold tea down the sink drain, deciding something stronger is called for, when you hear the noise again. This time you cock your head towards the sound and really listen. The sound is faint but persistent. The inside door is shut, muffling the sound, but you’re sure - something is scratching at your screen door and it sounds like it wants in. Maybe it’s a squirrel or a…   heck, you don't know. 

The level of persistence has piqued your curiosity, you have to look after all. Standing on tip-toe in order to see out the window, you strain to see what’s making that racket. Between the darkness and the bad angle, all you see is the night; and now the scratching has gotten louder. Not because you’re closer to it, but because what ever it is has doubled its efforts. 

Concern is beginning to outweigh your curiosity, but you have things that need to be done. Your thoughts momentarily turn back to Benny and a lump forms in the pit of your stomach. Yes, there are things to be done and it’s up to you, you alone. There’s that word again. It’s not so comforting now, is it?

The screen door is banging against the doorjamb now; you can tell that the hook is still set in the eye, but not for long. You step back for a moment, trying to ignore the rush of blood pounding through your ears and the goosebumps on your arms. You admonish yourself for being such a sissy, but then you recall poor Benny lying behind the flower bed. Maybe you do have reason to be cautious. 

You remind yourself there are things to be done and this has to be handled first. There’s no one to get rid of your spiders for you and there’s no one to open this door. You've had a moment to calm down when you realize the banging has stopped. You look around for some form of protection and grab a nearby broom, it’ll have to do. 

A deep breath and you switch on the porch light, you listen for any sounds from the porch. Nothing. It’s now or never. You hold the broom in front of you and at once it seems ridiculous and small; but it’s all you have. With your other hand you slowly open the door; just a crack; the broom your first line of defense. You pause for a moment, then open the door wider when nothing happens. 

A hole has been torn in the bottom of the screen and you move quickly cover it with the broom. What the heck? You scan the porch searching for the source of all the commotion and your eyes land on a bunny. A single bunny, nose twitching, inches from the hole in the screen. You let out a breath you didn’t realize you had been holding. Relief sweeps over you. 

You bend over to get a closer look, all is not right with this bunny (as if all had been right up to this point). It raises its head to return your stare, unafraid. It looks at the hole in the screen, you follow it’s gaze. It wants in. In a heartbeat, he’s up on its haunches and through the hole. In your surprise, the broom is of no consequence and you stumble back, landing on the floor. As the bunny lunges at your jugular, you notice the dried blood on his chin. 


  1. Frighteningly chilling! The part about Benny was heartbreaking—I lost my own dog 2 years ago, though thankfully not to bunnies—and I was mentally chanting for the MC to grab a shotgun or a knife, or something more effective than a broom.

    The second person POV really worked well here. I don't read much of that POV, but this was great.

    1. Thank you so much, Urban Spaceman! I really appreciate the feedback. I haven't read much second person POV, either, so I'm not sure how I ended up there. I'm so happy I was able to make it work and that you enjoyed it.

      I'm sorry for the loss of your pet, I know how hard it is. I lost Pepper (and a small piece of my heart) last May.

      Thank you, again.