a flash fiction mystery by Terrel that was recently published on Teen Ink 

Today is like every other day. For a blind man like yourself, who seems to be concealed in fear, what is there to expect? Well, despite being tied up to a chair with iron rings around each of your fingers, claws on each nail, slowly pulling them off, peeling them, like orange skins, this day couldn’t get any worse. Until you are sacked. You then hear wheels moving. You find out you are in a wheelchair going somewhere. But where? Then light shines upon your face as a man in a gas mask comes up to you with something. You can’t see it, of course, but you can sense its fate and ideal plan of pleasure to its victim who apparently is you. You hear purring of something like a tiger, but more motor like, then it all goes blank.

But that was seven hours ago.

You don’t have a specific name, so people don’t regularly talk to you because they can’t greet you with a proper name. And it is impolite to call somebody “you” or “him.” That’s how life works, though: when life gives you lemons, figure something out to do with them. You then arise from your bed, you aren’t blind, though. That’s good; now you could see the Mississippi street.  Jackson, Mississippi, exactly. You look to your left, and see a desk full of papers. All jumbled like pancakes waiting to topple. “Business work,” you call them. You turn on your flashlight near your nightstand because you realize the power of your house is out. Strange. You then hear a sudden fall of a vase. A crook? You turn your flashlight on with a slight CLICK! Then the dust particles fly everywhere.

Your room, a complete mess.  Laundry everywhere, books toppled from shelves, cracks on the walls. What do you expect for a rusty apartment you rented years before? You want to see pearly designs lining the floors? A chandelier maybe? Oh… how about a plasma tv? No, the only tv you can afford is an old Admiral tv that luckily has black and white. Well, what’s left of it…

No time for gazing.

You head to your housephone down in the living room, then you hear giggles. Weird. You are on the way downstairs, slowly toward the living room to call the police. But then those giggles turn to sobs; and like magic, a girl in a white dress and long grey hair soon grabs your attention. As soon as you reach for her, she jumps out at you and with a demonic voice says, “You’re it.” Those eyes, which seemed to be stitched together. But strangely staring into your soul. All roped. Like they are sewed.

Bluff. She called you Bluff. Not a very nice of name. After all, she can tag you. Right?
You have been tackled by a little girl. That could possibly conclude to domination. And, well, she dominated you. Anyway, you get up from your fumble and look for the phone. You find the flashlight and look up upon the phone. But sadly, a phone doesn’t hang on the wall like it normally does…cracks do. Those cracks make a path through the hall into your living room with a static tv buzzing in the background almost speaking to you, saying, “Pay attention to me. Not any of this nonsense; I can show you the truth.” Sooner or later, you look into the televised trance of the static and go to turn it off. Then your garage door opens. You see your van driving out of your house, all ghost-like. But in the passenger seat, a man in black shades and a torture device around each finger draws your attention. You chase the van.

As soon as you try to catch your last breath, you notice a hospital that this strange man with your van stopped at. What a relief! You think. He slowly walks up into the hospital like he owns the place. You decide to hide behind a dead bush. What’s the point? They’re all dead. Like you. Fear grabs you and won’t let go, its hands all bloody. They are dripping slowly like a faucet onto the ground. It doesn’t help. All it does is grip your fear until fear doesn’t seem to be pulled back. It is all here and shown to you. All of a sudden, you hear a whisper by your ear.

“You’re it.”

Now that you seem to be distracted the man grabs you by your coat sleeve, pulls you in onto a wheelchair, and rolls you down a dark ominous hall. “So glad you can join us,” he replies. You can’t answer. You’re crying now. His fingers, you now realize are scraped to the bone and it is touching your hair, curling it. Then he leads you into a room. It looks like people died in here, blood, guts and rotting flesh everywhere. He stares into your soul. You can’t stare into his, though. Why? The gas mask. He then swings a hard blow upon your face. You can’t bear the slap of his hand and try to cover it, but alas, you can’t. Your arms are tightened on the wrists of the wheelchair arms. You’re trapped. He lifts you up with unbearable strength and slams you to a table, and tightens the shackles on your arms and legs.

Then comes the purring. The roaring comes as you’re laid on the table like platform.  You begin to cry but then before you do, your eyelids feel a sharp jab. You see a long silver needle that carries along a brown string. He stitches them one by one by one to show you the pain. “All done,” he says. You finally get to cry, but you can’t. When your tear sheds, it piles up like a water balloon and blood replaces your tear. “On to the next one!” he cries out joyfully. Then… you can’t see anything. The supposed “tiger” comes out real fast now, as if it’s pulling out your insides like a saw forking them, looking for something. You scream a wail of pain as the man in the gas mask breathes close to you and says, “Let’s check it out.” With that, he pushes his bony fingers through your chest, pulls out your intestines, like spaghetti, and cuts them. He soon puts them into this old blender, which to your surprise still works and drinks them. He keeps doing that to the rest of your insides until your chest looks like a bowl crafted from flesh. Which it pretty much is.

He leaves you there to rot. Before he leaves though, he tells some rats for some apparent reason to finish you up. For dessert. The man finally leaves. Then he goes to his van and pulls up to a lady and her child about five miles up the road walking home from a playdate at the child’s friend’s house. He smiles at the little child.

“You’re it.”

Then he drives away.


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