I am not the Slender Man.
Or the Pale Man,
Or the Tall Man
I am not a Wendigo
Or the Chupacabra.
I am the one you ignore on the streets.
The one you will never see coming.
The crooked old woman trudging behind you down a narrow alley.
The smudged girl playing hopscotch on a darkened sidewalk.
The watcher in your backyard, peeping through a window.
A champion for those you damaged.
The Sleek Shadow you should fear.
My reach is far, my fingers long.
I am coming for you.
Look behind you.
Or over your shoulder.
Or in your backyard.
And be afraid.
Lisa H. Owens
Picture of Lisa in her backyard at night
Upon passing, Grandmother left everything to Gemma except the only thing of real value. Hanna, Gemma's younger identical twin, made it clear in her smug attitude that she was the indisputable winner. Grandmother's favorite.
Hanna flaunted the family heirloom—an emerald encrusted platinum choker—its brilliance displayed upon her slender neck, vowing to never remove the prize.
Gemma complimented Hanna on the contrast of the deep green against her flawless skin, careful to avoid staring at the pulsing rope of her jugular enhanced by the center stone. It would be easy to slip the choker off a neck slickened by arterial blood.
Lisa H. Owens
Created for June, 2022 Black Ink Fiction's 100-Word Horror Drabble Challenge
(Published Week-22 / June, 2022)
The Choker on Black Ink Fiction Drabbles
The Gremlin's Bones
He was a nostalgic man. Each weekend, he caressed his faded Kappa Sigma Rock the World Party tee while viewing party-pics taken the night he'd met his soulmate.
He promised he'd rocked her world. So he did, near a lonely exit off I-20, immortalizing her while showering her with love in Gremlin's backseat. Afterwards, though she couldn't speak, he read it in her eyes. She loved him too.
(Published Week-18 / May, 2022)
He drove Prius out to his storage unit–an annual reunion off I-20. Throwing back a dry-rotted tarp, he climbed into Gremlin's back seat. Twinsies, still rocking t-shirts, her's hanging loosely on bones.
When a Hypnotist's Show Goes Quackers
The Traveling Psychotherapist dangled his great grandfather's pocket watch, swinging it in a wide arc before the volunteer's eyes.
"You are getting very sleepy," he crooned, his velvet words lulling her into a deeper state of consciousness, the sweet spot where inhibitions magically disappeared.
The audience laughed when upon his command she began barking like a dog, but then screamed when hell broke loose. He handed her a loaded rifle, "suggesting" she was at the State Fair where she would win the giant stuffed panda—for little Timmy—if she shot all the moving targets at the Duck ‘Em Up Shooting Gallery.
(Published Week-19 / May, 2022)
A Fabled Transaction
A gargantuan stranger entered the Starbucks on the corner of 5th and Main. It became obvious that he was foreign when he set a handful of so-called magic beans on the counter before ordering their most potent brew.
The cashier nodded approval at the payment method. The beans resembled mescal, which had strong hallucinogenic properties. He'd get a pretty penny selling them on the streets.
The man was flummoxed upon receiving a cardboard cup of black liquid with GIANT penned on its side.
Fee-fi-fo-fum! What the devil is this scum?" He roared at being swindled, then daintily sipped, nodding approval.
(Published Week-20 / May, 2022)
When You're Forced to Become the Evil Twin
Here lie the bones
of old man Jones.
Quite the evil crone, you know.
He was cantankerous
and was hit-by-a-bus
stirring up quite a fuss.
Who'd inherit his money?
By executing his amended will,
his twin brother Bill
and younger sister Jill,
would get the whole enchilada.
the terms were ridiculous
they'd have to drive-the-bus
that squished him into dust
straight into a crowd.
Bill and Jill were flabbergasted.
Killing people? What a bastard.
Just like Jones to make demands
to leave his kin with dirty hands.
Rock-paper-scissors and it was up to Bill to do the dirty work.
Lisa H. Owens
Created for May, 2022 Black Ink Fiction's 100-Word Horror Drabble Challenge
Stories Published: Gremlin's Bones, When a Hypnotist's Show Goes Quackers, A Fabled Transaction
That First Cuppa Joe
She awoke early, tossing her light quilt aside before slipping on a wadded Nirvana t-shirt. She twirled and hummed her way to the kitchen, flinging back the curtains, remembering to brew the coffee. After the frigid darkness of winter, spring was regenerating.
Shimmying back to the bedroom, she gasped at the sight of Joe, last night's bartender, shriveled with glazed eyes, his mouth agape in horror. Another blackout. She never remembered draining her victims.
She shrugged, returning to fill her BLOSSOM coffee mug, leaving room for a splash of blood from the fresh vial in the refrigerator. Joe was tasty.
(Published Week-14 / April, 2022)
Week-two: Jump Ropes
Spring Special: Lamb Chops
The CrossFit coach was a ballbuster. Jane hung upside-down, her knees clamped tightly to the bar, as she rapid-fired sit-ups to Hungry Like a Wolf.
Dick fiendishly twirled the rope, his jumps timed with the coach's staccato shouts, "MOVE (jump) YOUR (jump) ARSE (jump)!"
Sally cowered in the corner of the makeshift butcher-shop gym. She was no match for the butcher's extreme workout. She knew the consequences of quitting.
The butcher abruptly cut the music. "WORKOUT'S OVER! YOU TWO," pointing at the duo, "LEAVE!" he roared. "Come, little lamb. Let's get you prepared," he whispered.
See Dick and Jane run.
When an Urban Legend is Real
Jules directed the two-man delivery team to an empty corner of her bedroom. They huffed and puffed, situating the saguaro cactus just so on the patchy spot of sunlight streaming through sheer curtains.
Jules named him Spider, providing him with the utmost care, never over or under watering his sandy soil as she waited for his transformation.
Spider thrived. His arms thickened until they began to pulsate and writhe, finally cracking open. Hundreds of desert tarantulas escaped from the confines of the saguaro. Jules doctored Spider’s crevices after boxing up the scattering critters, a surprise gift for her arachnophobe ex-monster-in-law.
How to Handle a Scary Fish
Floating in Lake Macon,
in the sun I’m baking.
Water starts a-quaking;
scared, I start a-shaking.
The wind picks up.
Out of the depths, arose a leviathan.
Swiveling his head, he spied my pool-raft and then,
licked scaly lips, his face broke into a grin,
“I THINK I’LL EAT YOU!”
“Why eat me, sir, when I’m scrawny as a shrimp?
Nothing tastes worse than a terrified cringing wimp.”
I swung a mighty rock, smashing him in his sneering lip.
He bellowed, “OUCH!’ then disappeared.
Morals of the story:
Don’t let a big bully intimidate you and always carry a rock.
Lisa H. Owens
Created for April, 2022 Black Ink Fiction's 100-Word Horror Drabble Challenge
Story Published: That First Cuppa Joe
Created for The First Line Spring Submission: (Write a flash fiction using the first line prompt.)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath. She tossed the wad of towelettes, covered in blackest-black Long Lash Mascara and deepest beige CoverGirl liquid foundation and bronzing powder, into the Hello Kitty trash can alongside the scuffed table that doubled as desk and vanity. She stared with great disdain at the face in the beveled glass mirror. Without the skillful application of foundation and bronzer, her naked face appeared hideously bloated. Father said she was fat; therefore, her face lacked structure. It lacked the stately definition of her mother's strong proud nose and contours of her sharp cheekbones. A face that defined their heritage. Their people.
Father’s surgical tools, tools she’d taken out of his medical kit while he and Mother slept peacefully in the oversized master suite downstairs, were arranged neatly on a stainless-steel tray in descending order, based on the size of each blade. Using the largest scalpel, she cried out, biting down on her bottom lip as she quickly made the first cuts, then turned her head—first left, then right—gauging the depth of the slices to her cheeks. Rayna turned her face forward, frowning with the critical eye of an artist as she judged the scope of the work that would be required. Though she wasn’t a doctor or even Catholic, she crossed herself and prayed for guidance from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of surgeons before proceeding.
She placed the used blade in the sterilization pan then pulled a handful of fluffy cotton balls from the glass canister situated to the right of the pan, plunging them in a vial of alcohol to soak. She would need them later; she couldn’t risk getting an infection.
She had a vision of the girl she would become. A girl with a new face embodying her people, a girl her father would love.
Rayna continued the process, moaning as she sheared away mounds of flesh, one thin layer at a time. She was an artistic genius with the scalpel, shaving and sculpting while whispering through clenched teeth, “No pain; no gain.” Cutting then dabbing with the saturated cotton balls, she scaled down to increasingly smaller blades as the work became more intricate until there was nothing left to carve away.
She laid the final scalpel, a tiny #15 blade, in the pan and used a handful of dry cotton balls to absorb the puddle of blood on the table. She stared at her new face. Father would be so happy. The high prominent cheekbones—a desirable genetic trait of her ancestors and proof of her proud heritage—were finally visible.
She wept at the beauty of the thing she’d become. Rayna’s transformation was complete. She was a masterpiece of destruction. A living sculpture only a father could love. A gloriously structured monster.
Lisa H. Owens
The First Line: Create a story using the first line provided. (below)
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondered who she would discover underneath.
Due date: February 1, 2022
The Longest Night - published
“I’m hungry,” she licked parched lips.
“Order something, imbecile.”
She nodded toward her swollen hands.
He lifted the knife, swinging to cut them loose.
“Bloody Hell!” He slipped the phone from his pocket, slamming it on her thigh.
She lifted then dropped it—twice. Unbound ischemic hands felt like a thousand wasp stings.
“I’m watching,” he rifled through her lingerie—again—turned and faked a jab, guffawing when she cowered.
He paced, inspecting and sniffing trinkets on her vanity. Manic, while she dialed, feeling sweat collect on her forehead.
The line clicked, “Nine-one-one. What’s your emergency?”
“Please, I’d like a pizza.”
(Published Week-9 / March, 2022)
She Loved Sin
She named him Sin. He’d been a naughty kitten. He disappointed her at first, adopting an orphaned mouse—purring as he hugged the creature to his bosom. He gave Mousey tongue-baths and shared nuggets of dry kibble with him, afterwards, urging him to drink water from a pickle jar lid.
Mousey’s adjustment took a while, him no longer violently attempting to escape the clutches of Sin. Sin yawned with boredom, and in one moment of irritability, chewed Mousey’s head off, proudly dropping the clumpy gore with its severed neck dripping entrails, at Samantha’s feet.
“Good boy,” she said, scratching his ears.
Flowers From the Old Country - published
Esmarelda prepared to deadhead rows of wilting narcissi, golden flowers originating from centuries-old bulbs once smuggled across a raging sea.
"Hey Granny, want some of this?" Riotous laughter along with clouds of skunky smoke erupted from open car windows.
She ignored the boys, continuing to pinch off the moaning heads of last year's menacing boys, placing them in a willow basket. She removed the glove from one hand and twisted off an ear-shaped petal, draping it across her deformed knuckles. The shapely hand of her youth appeared. A good batch.
She shuffled indoors, her basket full, to draw a bath.
(Published Week-11 / March, 2022)
The Chef’s lab was hidden in the basement of an abandoned building outside city limits. He was stealthy, stealing the equipment and dropping it in the basement before going home. One week a defunct fryer, the next, a slicer with serrated blades, and lastly, five-gallons of canola oil. The oil was tricky.
It was trial and error to mimic the perfect crinkle-cut fry. He’d gone through dozens of fingers to get the ridges just so. He ignored the screams as he went to work, first amputating fingers, then the fingernails. He took out the slicer. This might be the batch.
The Lesson - published
“We fly today,” Jay cheeped, grouping his fledglings on the broad oak limb, a short hop from the nest. They lined up as he spread his magnificent blue plumage and puffed out his chest.
Jay missed his alone time with his bride. It was time to dispose of this brood. He cheeped Introduction to Aerodynamics and Safety, keeping an eye on the backdoor to the human nest. The little buggers grew restless, flapping sparsely feathered wings.
“Glide to the ground when I say so,” Jay coached. The backdoor opened and four cats beelined to the tree.
“NOW! Glide,” Jay shouted.
(Published Week-13 / March, 2022)
Lisa H. Owens
Created for March, 2022 Black Ink Fiction's themed monthly 100-word drabbles
Stories Published: The Longest Night, Flowers From the Old Country, The Lesson
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