Flash Fiction: Because of Maude

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month the prompt is to use three of the following words in the story- tremble, start, tiptoe, yank, and dresser.

 Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of A BLANKET FOR HER HEART.  

 Because of Maude

 by RC Bonitz

I wake up with a start. Noise, some kind of noise has broken my dreams. Just as well–I was dreaming about the woman down the street. Maude Fremont, my friend, seventy-eight years old, the poor thing was raped and murdered in her bed just a week ago.

I’ve been having nightmares ever since. Tonight’s dream probably woke me. I’m all ears though, always am when the house starts talking to me. My imagination takes flight when that happens. Drives me crazy for a while until I work up the courage to get up and check the doors and windows. I–

“Crash, tinkle, tinkle.”

That’s not imaginary, that’s glass breaking. Downstairs, at the back door. Oh God, someone’s breaking in? I try to still my breathing but I can’t, it’s echoing in my ears. What am I going to do?

 I bought a gun this week, because of Maude. I can dial 911 and defend myself until the cops arrive. I hope. I’ve only had one lesson on how to use the gun.

A slash of moonlight slips between the heavy drapes and scores the rug with faint illumination. I fumble for the bedside phone with trembling hand; knock the damn thing to the floor somewhere in the darkness. I have to turn the light on, have to but I shouldn’t, he’ll know where I am.

But I do it. Push back the covers and drag my legs out, turn and slide off the bed, grab the phone off the floor. Push the “on” button. Stab it again. No dial tone- it’s dead. Oh my God, he’s cut the wires. Where’s my cell phone? In my purse. Downstairs in the kitchen. Where he is.

My heart is pounding, panic rising in my belly. I hear him, walking, checking out the house. What’s he looking for? My bedroom? I turn the light off again. Want to curl up in the dark and disappear.

I need that gun I bought the other day. Which is in the dresser all the way across the room.

I tiptoe toward the dresser, listening for him. The floor creaks. I stop, wait, strain my ears. He’s not moving either, probably listening just like me, Oh God. I’m sweating, can’t think of anything but getting to that gun. With slow small steps I start again. Something crashes to the floor downstairs. He’s moving too. Fast.

I throw myself at the dresser, yank open the drawer. Where’s the gun? Tangled in my undies. He’s coming up the stairs!

Tearing the clothes away, I scrounge for the clip, the only one I bought. It’s there. I shove it in the gun and turn as my bedroom door flies open.

Huge, he’s silhouetted in the nightlight from the hall. I raise the gun. The safety? No time, I fire. He fires. I empty my gun into the shadow of his body. He falls.

Shaking, I draw a deep breath. It’s over. Is it? My nightgown is wet. I’m bleeding.

The Spot Writers- our members.

RC Bonitz



Val Muller



Catherine A. MacKenzie



Kathy Price

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