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Guard Duty

·300 words·2 mins
Flash Fiction Deadlines For Writers

The street light at the far edge of the property flickers, and a high pitched whine emanates from it. It’s fall and the nights are starting earlier now. The smell of dry leaves mixed with dampness makes it a little more difficult to notice new smells. Murphy watches a person walking along the sidewalk. As they pass the street light, they don’t notice the whining sound.

Murphy raises himself up, and casually walks down the three steps of the front porch. He sees a figure detach itself from the flickering street lamp. It is covered in so many shades of grey that it seems to be made of dusty rags. Murphy sniffs the air. The person on the sidewalk is still just walking along, completely oblivious. The ghostly figure moves away from the street light. Two sets of sharp claws emerge from its sides. Its top stretches upward, forming a gaping maw packed with spiked teeth. The apparition sails through the nighttime air, and slowly approaches the person on the sidewalk from behind.

The person is now almost at the gate at the front of Murphy’s yard. Murphy whines, stamps his feet, and twists his large body like he’s shaking off water. Run, person! Run! Murphy thinks as a whimper escapes his mouth.

The person, now at the gate, looks away from their glowing toy, and sees Murphy. The person stops, smiles, and waves at Murphy with their fingers, like a single hand clapping. “Hi puppy!” they say.

Murphy lunges forward, barking with the deep rumbling voice that only belongs to Bloodhounds. The person jumps, and moves faster down the sidewalk. The apparition turns to Murphy, hisses, and returns to hover about the flickering street lamp.

Murphy harrumphs, walks back up the porch stairs, lays down, and watches the sidewalk.