Flash Fiction: Storm Shadows (304 words, present POV, suspense/horror/thriller I think)

My house is dark when I wake up at two in the morning, woken by the approaching storm. I sigh and get out of bed, grabbing my torch before heading to my basement to check the power box. Storms and power failures go hand in hand in my suburb, and I can’t afford a good generator either.

As I step into the hallway, I think I hear something shuffling in the dark. Probably my old dog, Maxi. I flinch at the flash of lightning and the explosive thunder that comes close enough to shake the windows.

I hate storms, but unfortunately I live in a stormy area, and it’s the height of summer. Storm season. Just a few more weeks before winter chases the storms away…

Shaking my head, I walk down the hallway, beam travelling over the various pieces of art that I’ve collected over the years. My favourite piece is a painting of and old robed man sleeping under the Boer War Monument.

At least, I hope he’s asleep. There are a lot of weird rumours surrounding that piece, but I like it.

Lightning lights up the sky again as I find the door to the basement and open it. Something in the dark makes me shiver, but I push it aside. This is reality, not one of the horrors I like to write in my spare time.

The stairs creek as I walk down into the darkness.

Something knocks an empty paint can over, and I turn to the sound. Sickly yellow eyes stare at me from the darkness, and something leaps at me, ghastly arms extended to grab a hold of me. I stumble backwards, falling over a chair and landing hard on my back as I let out a shrill, terrified scream.

The lights come back on.

I’m alone.

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