Tuesday 10 October 2017

Don's Therapist (A Free Flash Fiction Story by Graham Downs)

It's the month of scary, so I thought I'd give to something to freak you out this month. Please let me know if I've done a good job, and if you enjoyed my little free flash fiction story.

Here goes. :)

When I called Don, I heard nothing on the other end of the buzzing line. For a moment, I thought he’d hung up on me. Then hesitant laughter rumbled above the static. “Thank goodness you’re safe,” he said.

I almost dropped my cellphone, and instantly forgot why I’d phoned him. “What? Why?”

“Oh, nothing.” He chuckled again, nervously. “I’m probably just being paranoid, but there’s just been a story on TV about a rabid dog in town.”

“Really? I haven’t heard anything.”

“Just be careful, Edith, okay?” There was silence again, then his voiced dropped to a whisper. “D-did you hear that?”

I strained my ears. Nothing. “Hear what?”

“A-a growl, coming from outside.” More silence. Then, “It’s scratching at the door. Edith, come quick. Please, help me.” He was whimpering now.

Pressing the phone against my ear, I shot up and looked frantically around the room for my bag, my keys. Scooping them up, I headed for the door. “Okay. Okay, Don. Lock yourself in the room. Stay on the line. I’m on my way.”

By this time, Don was blubbering incoherently, like a man begging for his life.

Now, if you know Don, you know he’s always been prone to overreaction, to bursts of panic. But this, this was different. I’d never heard him so frantic. In fact, for the past few weeks, he’d been much calmer. He’d been doing well in therapy, and taking his medication regularly. And he said he’d seen something on the news. I just couldn’t risk it.

I collapsed into the driver’s seat of my old Uno and slammed the door, panting. “Don? Are you still there?”

“Yes.” His voice was hoarse. A low whisper. “I think it’s in the house.”

My hands shook as I turned the key in the ignition. The car spluttered. A second time. A third. Finally, it roared to life, and I turned onto the street and sped away.

What should I do? Hang up and phone the police? Or put him on hold? No. I couldn’t leave him, even for a moment. No telling what would happen if I did that.

Two minutes. Just two more minutes and I’d be at his house. But what would I do when I got there?

I screeched into the driveway. There was a light on in the living room. The front door was closed. All was peaceful; the occasional dog barked in the distance, and faint moonlight illuminated the driveway.

“Don, I’m here. Where are you?”

His heavy panting was my only reply.


“In my room.” The sound of his voice made me jump.

I exited the vehicle and walked up the drive, a bad feeling gripping my heart. Oh, Don, I thought, if you’ve been wasting my time....

When I got to the front door, I heard a blood-curdling scream, almost causing me to drop my phone again. I scratched frantically in my bag and found what I was looking for. Thank goodness I’d remembered to grab Don’s house keys. My hand shook as I tried to press them into the lock. “Don? Don? Answer me, Don.”

I finally got the door open and stepped into the room. The TV was on. On the screen, someone was being attacked by a wild animal. Probably a werewolf.

In a huff, I hung up the phone and stormed down the passage to Don’s room. I tried to open it, but it was locked, so I banged on the door. “Don? You open this door right now!”

A moment later, the door opened to Don’s panicked face. He was white as a sheet. I shoved him back onto his bed as I barged into the room. A quick look around proved my suspicions: on his bedside table sat the sealed bottle of pills. His prescription, that I’d taken him to the pharmacy to get refilled three days ago.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Don, why haven’t you been taking your medication?”

His eyes shot open and his jaw dropped. He pointed behind me, and I heard a growl. I turned, just in time to see white teeth flashing as something leapt at me. Jaws sank into the flesh of my arm, and I screamed.

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