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The Shadows

·251 words·2 mins
Flash Fiction Deadlines For Writers

It all started a few months ago. Maybe it was years. My sense of time is … uncertain. I had returned home from work. Just another day in the office, busy doing things that made little sense, but I was well paid for whatever it was they thought I did. The fridge contained the usual assortment of aspirational foods. The broccoli was starting to turn yellow, and the cauliflower had grey spots, so I grabbed a microwavable meal from the freezer.

Settling down in front of the television, I sensed movement from the kitchen. Looking, there were only shadows. Before I could click to resume my show, I heard a scratching noise. Turning again, there was nothing. I flipped on the overhead light, and scanned the room.

A series of clicks snickered from the shadows of the stairs. My sister told me once about how raccoons could get in. Back to the kitchen, I checked the back door. Locked. Picking up a skillet from the stove, I went upstairs.

I checked the bathroom first. Nothing. Bedroom, nothing. Guest bedroom, which was really just a junk room, empty. But it was cold. Not chilly, but icy cold. I could see my breath. The light went out. I swung the skillet wildly. The door slammed shut, and I felt an icy hand at my shoulder.

Now the consuming, gnawing hunger returns. I hear a car pull up the drive. Melting into the shadows, I lurk. A family enters. Tonight will be a feast.