Don’t Pull the Plug

“You can’t be seriously considering it, Sir.”

“Of course, I am. I don’t want to any more than you do, but I have the lives of millions of people to consider.”

“But, Sir. Think of the future. What would it be like for our children!”

“I’m doing it for them!”

“Sir, I can’t let you do it.” He pulled out his weapon and fired. “I had to save them.”

The janitor walked in pushing a mop bucket shaking his head and muttering. He glanced at the standing man and handed him the mop. The flashing warning lights aggravated his migraine, so the janitor reached down and pulled the plug by the computer system.

A computerized voice said, “Emergency detonation in 3… 2… 1…”

I See You

Jack peered through his viewfinder and grinned. It cost him a second mortgage on his condo, but once he sold the photos to the highest bidder, he’d be on easy street. He watched the starlet giggle as she removed her bikini top. Click after click, Jack captured the honeymoon couple enjoying their private island getaway. Nothing’s private with this baby, he thought, stroking his camera. He unzipped his pants and was enjoying the show when the unmistakable click of a camera shutter interrupted him. His heart stopped as he realized someone had been watching him watch the couple. As he packed up his gear, all he could think about was how much it was going to cost him when the photographer contacted him. After all, that was the name of the game, right?

Three hours later, Jack lay on sidewalk below his condo balcony. The only clue to the crime was a photograph pinned to his shirt.

Featured image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

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Featured image by grebmot from Pixabay

Empty Nest

Jack laughed whenever someone mentioned empty nest syndrome after Amy left for college. There was no way that would ever happen to him. Never. He had made plans for that since Amy was born.

Wendy would turn Amy’s bedroom into her sewing room, which would free up the room for his new man-cave. A new tv, mini-fridge, and pool table waited in a storage room.

Friday afternoon, Jack and Wendy waved as Amy drove away for college. The house did seem quieter without her running up and down the stairs or yelling because the wifi didn’t quite reach her room.

Wendy wandered around the house then went into her sewing room for the rest of the night. Jack was often found peering into Amy’s room and glancing at the clock.

Saturday morning, Jack woke with a start. Scraping noises and banging from Amy’s room made his heart race. Had she come home already?

“What are you doing?” he asked.

Wendy looked at him in confusion as she sat the empty cardboard box on the floor. “Cleaning out the room like we planned. Come to give me a hand?” She picked up two of Amy’s trophies and set them in the box.

“Stop! Those are hers! Put everything back right now!”

Wendy’s friends had liked to tease her about empty nest syndrome when Amy left the house. “Nah, never. Been planning this since Amy was born.”

Featured image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Sunday Service

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Miss Wonderly murmured, “Thank you,” softly as before and sat down on the edge of the chair’s wooden seat. The preacher paused and glanced at her before continuing his sermon. As she tried to settle in and listen, the coolness of the room stung. Are you a new preacher, she wondered.

The longer she sat, the more uncomfortable she became. Something’s not right, she thought. Her heart pounded in her chest as the hair stood on the back of her neck. Someone was staring, she felt it in her bones. She shifted again in her seat, trying to be nonchalant as she glanced behind her. Her high-pitched scream silenced the preacher.

“Is there something wrong, Miss Wonderly?”

She looked at the faces around her and clutched her chest. “This cannot be… you’re… you’re… “

“And so are you, granddaughter.”

Sirens wailed as they raced down the street toward the rollover accident.


This 150-word story was written for 50-Word-Thursday #32

Stay Off The Old Road

Sarah and Michael, like all other children in town, grew up hearing stories of the old road that once brought grown men to their knees with fear. The road, they say, is the Devil’s road. One that will tempt, terrify, destroy. Sarah and Michael, like most children laughed at the old stories and taunted the myths every day on the way to and from school.

“Fogs rolling in,” Michael said, “maybe we should take the main road.”

“You’re not turning yellow, are ya?”

“Course not. It’s just… “

Sarah laughed and punched his arm as she ran past him and disappeared into the fog bank.

The two walked and joked as they did every morning but the hair on the back of their necks began to twitch as earthen landmarks failed to appear.

“Shouldn’t we be at Mrs. Foxwood’s back orchard by now?” Sarah asked, squinting at the thickening fog.

“Now who’s scared?”

“Shut up. Seriously though, shouldn’t we?”

Michael’s grin disappeared when he nodded.

“Let’s go back.” Sarah turned but could not see anything behind her. The fog encased the two friends in a wall of thick grey mist. The only way to go was forward.

Michael’s trembling hand reached for hers as the wall closed in and he could no longer see anything but the fog. He felt something cold and sweaty. “You’re as scared as I am, you can’t deny it. I feel it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your hand. It’s cold.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yes, it is. It’s like ice.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Sarah, I’m holding it right now. You can’t lie.”

A long silence greeted him in response.

“Michael?”

“Yeah?”

“Is that you?”

“Is who me?”

“The hand on my shoulder?”

“I’m holding your hand, stupid.”

“No, you’re not.” Her voice trembled. “Stop playing around. Stop pushing down so hard.”

“I’m not. Watch. Feel this?” He squeezed his hand as hard as he could. “That was me.”

“Michael… that’s not my hand,”

“I’m going to enjoy this,” a snarly voice whispered in Michael’s ear.