Friday Flash- A Basement Story


Romeo’s days tilt toward dusk. A sort of reverse Alzheimer’s is gripping his mind and he is remembering. His house is gray, its frame decrepit from neglect and solitude.  Winged things stir hot dust in the attic and frighten him, so by virtue of drifting in and out of consciousness, he stumbles into the cellar. It is like choking on crumbled mummies. Where did all this dust come from?

He pulls a tiny chain in the dark, a string of silver balls chopped off at such a height as to require effort on his part to reach it. The tips of his fingers ignite as they finally grasp the chain and dingy yellow light pushes against the darkness. He is suddenly not alone and the feeling is terrifying.

” Hello?” He coughs and wonders whose ashes are stuck in his throat. Slumping down onto the dirt floor, he stares at the long rows of canning jars. They hold pickled parts of people.

“Pickled parts of people,” he giggles. He lifts one and raises it gently to the swaying light. A bloated clump of flesh bobs up and down. It reminds him of his first lava lamp and the seductive drops of blood floating and morphing in the oil. What was this? A spleen maybe? Huh. A loud crash startles him. It came from an unlit corner.

“Who’s there?” He places the jar gingerly back in place and rises slowly. He sees her eyes first as he swings the light in the manner of a trapeze artist. They absorb the yellow light and burn brighter. He steps over a row of jars and leans his head into the shadows, straining to remember now. Which one? Ah yes, the first.

“Hello, Mother.”

22 thoughts on “Friday Flash- A Basement Story

  1. 2mara

    I too laughed at “pickled parts of people”. I love Love LOVED this.

    It’s creepy, and I like creepy. The last line really sets it off for me too.

    I can’t wait to read you again. See you…Friday?

  2. J. M. Strother

    So, what, this is the basement of the Bates Motel? Nice creepy tale here. Can’t wait to see what you cook up for Halloween.

    Welcome to #fridayflash. I look forward to reading more stories from you.

  3. Anasazi Stories by Jeff Posey

    Now that’s a way to tell a story in flash. Nice and lean (and, yes, pickled). Very nicely done. Welcome to #FridayFlash!

    –Jeff Posey

  4. trev

    Loved the ‘pickled parts of people.’ Suggests a tongue twister along the lines of: “If a pervert pickled people parts, how many people could a pervert pickle?”

  5. soesposito Post author

    Wow, what a welcome, seriously…thanks for commenting, everyone! And Trev…LOL…and I thought the original nursery rhymes were twisted! Hmmm…

  6. KjM

    I don’t even WANT to consider what the ashes represent!

    I love the images – particularly “…dingy yellow light pushes against the darkness”. A lot packed into that short description.

    And everything begins with Mother…

    Thanks for such a good flash

  7. judy b.

    The first paragraph is lovely in language and in foreshadowing. I liked the pacing and the suspense and the surprise at the end – alluded to by the “mummies” of the first graf.


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