Feb 14 2017


#WEPFF February Badge Flash Ficton


by J Lenni Dorner

I realize now that I made a terrible mistake.


Emily, with her strawberry curls that smell like candy and sunshine, bounces into my room. “Hayden,” she says, “you’re gonna improve my life today.”

She doesn’t ask for favors.

Fallux House, which now belongs to Emily, fell into a combination of hoarding and antiquing under the last owner (Emily’s crazy aunt). Room by room, inch by dusty inch, Emily and her appraiser tag everything with sticky notes.

Yellow tags indicate it’s worth money. Pink is for sentimental value. Blue gets donated. The rest will fill the rented dumpster. A second box of black trash bags cracks open an hour before lunch.

Emily asks me to pack a bedside table with a yellow sticky note attached. The bubble wrap on the antique legs is easy to secure. I only sneeze twice while doing it.

“Ems? You up here?” I lean back, using a full-length mirror to peer down the hall. Nada.

“Hey Ems, you want the drawer in or out?” She bubble wrapped the other large dresser drawers separately. I think it was so I could make more trips hauling junk out to my truck. Good thing I love her.

She’s my friend. I love her as a friend. Good buddies. Old pals.

I repeat the mantra, keeping myself in check, as I pull the drawer out to wrap it. A tiny cube waits at the back of the drawer. In a house this full of junk, I’m not surprised. The cube looks like the keychain version of a Rubik’s cube, except the colors are shades of black and the lines between the squares are sparkling silver. I grab it for Emily to sticky note later.

The tiny cube will not move.

I try again. The world goes dark.

Rubbing my eyes, my vision finally returns. A giant me grins the grin of a cat who caught a mouse. Two massive fingers surround the square, silvery cell encasing me.

I scream, kick, and hit, but the walls don’t budge. Giant me shrugs, sarcasm dripping from the gesture. Lime green packing peanuts, each the size of an airplane, crash all around me. Only cracks of light remain. I tumble over and over, suffocating in the stiffening hot air, as giant me bubble wraps the drawer.

In the distance, like the thunder in the cave behind Niagara Falls, Emily calls out to me. I shout for help, but she can’t hear me. I glimpse one bouncing, strawberry curl. Giant me answers her.

“We could earn this mattress a sentimental pink sticky note.”

No! She’s my friend. Why would giant me drop a sexual innuendo?

Why isn’t Emily saying no?

I made a terrible mistake.


WEPFF critique badge
Word Count: 450 FCA


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  1. Wow! A portakey to a parallel world. That kind of turned my head inside out in the pleasantest way possible. In a real tiny word count too. Kudos. Thanks for a great read.

  2. Hello,
    A very engaging story! I kept thinking about Jack in the Bean Stalk and Gulliver’s Travels. I love the way you build up the tension. Excellent job.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G
    Pat Garcia has this post to share IWSG Day, February 1, 2017, Short & SweetMy Profile
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    • Pat Hatt on February 15, 2017 at 8:12 AM

    That was a great twist what could be if thoughts are acted upon. Very engaging indeed.

  3. An interesting take on a complete change of life … what next one wonders … yet she’s very loyal … a thoughtful read … cheers Hilary

  4. The shift to horror was so deliciously subtle it gave me shivers. Very well done! It makes me wonder, though, if Emily knew the cube was in the drawer and that’s why she asked Hayden to pack it for her. So many thoughts swirling in my head right now!

    Great entry!

  5. Pulled me in, turned me around, and really threw me for a loop. Great job!

  6. So sweet, love the ending! Antiques and junk, got to be careful which one you choose!

    Thank you so much for participating in the WEP challenges. Love your entries, always so entertaining, and you never know what you’ll find! Lovely!
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  7. Fascinating story told in so few words! One does wonder if Emily knew about the cube. 🙂
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  8. Oh wow, fantastic use of the prompt. Wasn’t expecting the cube to do that!
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  9. Hi J Lenni! Great to meet up at WEP again. Love the seemingly innocent story that shifted into horror in such a subtle way creating shivers up my spine. Well done! Did Emily know the cube was in the drawer? Did she set him up? Little minx. You’ve given us so many possibilities in so few words.

    Thank you for posting to WEP.

    Denise 🙂
    Denise Covey has this post to share Write…Edit…Publish February challenge — Back of the Drawer. My #flashfiction, The AvalancheMy Profile
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  10. That was pretty cool; didn’t see it coming. Wonder if Emily knew about the cube? Wonder if there’s a way for him to get to his regular self?
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  11. Thanks for the comments, dear readers.
    Allow me to play with your heads just a bit more…
    Unisex name
    As of Feb 2017:
    boys ranking 142
    girls ranking 199”

    1. Hahaha! You got me. I thought Hayden was male. 🙂 Well played!
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    2. Hahaha! You got me. 🙂 I thought Hayden was a man. Well played!
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  12. This time, I’ll write a long comment. I wrote short the first time – 3 words – and your site ate my comment like that giant from the black and silver box ate your protagonist. Your evil site wants loooonger. So here it is:
    True horror. Yikes!

  13. Well that was interesting. Some days, I really wish I could cage my common sense and just enjoy the moments too. Well done.

  14. Giant me isn’t nice. A nightmare if I ever read one. Well done.

  15. An interesting change midway through the story. Not sure I like the evil ending. And giant MC reminds me of Alice in Wonderland who also touched things that she shouldn’t. If it looks ominous it probably isn’t going to be much fun. . .
    DG Hudson has this post to share WEP Back of the Drawer – Automatic SlimMy Profile

  16. Wow, that was a mind bender of a story in just a few words!

    Loved the sudden shift, though I wonder what’s going on with Giant Hayden. Evil spirit? Clone? Evil twin from a parallel universe? So many questions.

    I was a bit thrown by the end, just because the sexual innuendo seemed to come out of nowhere. If a good friend suddenly suggests having sex, that would be more awkward than anything I think. Unless there’s more to the relationship than we’ve been shown, but that requires some extrapolation. For what it’s worth, I read Hayden as a girl (pretty cool picking a name that fits either gender), so it seemed like a sudden case of ‘hey, klet’s be lesbians!’

    But I’m rambling. Short and sweet horror piece. I’d love to know more about that cube and how it got there!
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  17. Oh my! What a twist. Did not see that coming. Very cool concept.
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