You’ve Chosen Certain Death – BWAHAHAHA!

Posted Oct 27 2016, 11:45 am

Ever hear of Flash Fiction? It is the telling of a whole story in a very short number of words. Some flash fiction sites ask for as little as 53 words. Others as many as 2000. I wrote this little flash story for a 500 word maximum. Enjoy!

Happy Halloween! Heather


Worked to Death

Max Caufield sat at his grand mahogany desk as twilight filtered through the arched windows of his home office. Still in his suit, he tapped at the keyboard. He’d sent his wife and son on ahead to the restaurant.

Beep. His phone.

“Damn,” he breathed and punched “Accept.” “What?” he snapped.

“Get out of the house,” a familiar voice ordered on the other end of the line.

“What? I don’t have time—”

“You’re right, you don’t. At 6:42 today, you are going to switch on your desk lamp and trigger an explosion from a gas leak.”

Max glanced at his watch. 6:39. Damn, Jillian would make him go back to counseling if he didn’t show up for dinner.

“Jerry, is that you?” Max asked as he cradled the cell phone into his shoulder, tapping a few more numbers into the spread sheet. His brother had the same deep voice he had. Even their mother couldn’t tell them apart. “Look, I have to get a report into my boss—”

“Shut up!” yelled the voice. “Just get the hell out of the house! It’s going to explode, you ass.”

“How do you know that?”

A prickle spider-walked between Max’s shoulder blades under his Paul Fredrick dress shirt. For a brief second his gaze left the computer screen to focus on the dark wood paneling in the dimming room.

“Because I’m you. It happened, it will happen! I listened when the call came. If you don’t get out this time, I won’t exist to go back and warn you.”

Max glanced around his office. Was he being pranked? Filmed right now? Maybe Jillian was taping it all to replay at his 50th birthday party that he knew she was secretly plotting. “Shit, Jerry, I really don’t need this right now,” he said and refocused on the screen. Let Jillian film him not being fooled.

“Please Max, just go outside. Grab a cigar from your hidden stash under the gnome in the garden and go light up by the pool. Just go!”

Max frowned. How did Jerry know about his cigars? Shit, had he told Jillian? “Damn it, Jerry,” he said, his anger ratchetting up.

“Fine,” the voice said, his words coming quicker. “I’m Jerry and I’m outside and I need you to come out right now.”

That was more like it. Good old Jerry, trying to prank him again, but this time was different. This time Max had won. He grinned and stood, phone to his ear. “Yeah, okay—”

Bing. An e-mail came in. From his boss. Max sat back down as he read.

He turned his head to look at the phone he was holding. Weird. Why was he holding it? “Hello?” he said, but the phone was silent. Nobody was on the line.

He shrugged and set the phone down. “Now what was I doing?” he mumbled and blinked. Ugh, it was getting late. He reached for the lamp and switched it on. 



9 responses to “You’ve Chosen Certain Death – BWAHAHAHA!”

  1. Lara Archer says:

    Fun story!! I love it!

  2. ELF says:

    Oops. TSTL. Thanks for the story.

  3. Julie hammond says:

    So if this ever happens I know to run outside! Ps- you and my younger sister share the same name !!

    • Really! Cool! Is she Heather McCollum? I know there’s a couple of us running around : ) And yes, please run outside if you ever get a call like that! Thanks for trick-or-treating with us! Heather

  4. donnas says:

    Great story!

  5. Anissa M Chitwood says:

    creepy…but what happened!!

  6. Love this, Heather! SO creative. 😀

    • Thanks, Anne Marie! And I love your Baby Ruth write up on your stop on the Halloween Hop. It was so interesting (and kind of creepy with him marrying a woman he practically raised). Thanks for all the info. I love history.

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