Flash fiction project: one dark story per day, all the way through October, each one based on one normal thing gone wrong. More of this year’s stories here.  You can find last year’s stories here, or at Amazon as October Nights.

Normal thing:  Plane tickets

L’APPEL DU VIDE

If you had two free one-way plane tickets to take you out of the country, where would you go? You can almost see them in your hand, two of them, on cardboard stock with a shiny foil strip.  You can just about make out your name on the first one, and you know that when you see the second one, it will have the name you have chosen on it.  And that person, well, they will somehow find it in their hearts—not recommended, picking someone dead, by the way—to go with you, to wherever you pick.

Will you go to Paris?  To Tokyo? To Wellington, New Zealand?  I’m telling you, you can pick anywhere, although if you’re the kind of smartass who says things like “Atlantis” it will be at your own risk.  Your plane will be the one that drops into the ocean and is never found again—and I can guarantee that there aren’t any mermaids down there, waiting to prettily rescue you.  If they are there, and I’m not saying they are, they’re more the kind of mermaid with black slime running over their sides and teeth like a viperfish. The song of the mermaid is what you hear when you’re driving along the coast and you look out across the cliffs to the waves and go, “One jerk of the steering wheel, and all of this could be over.” Although I could see the temptation, if you hated more than you loved, to go simply for the pleasure of dragging someone down with you.  To possess two plane tickets toward both the revelation of mystery, and an inevitable death.

You must be one of the people who goes.  That ticket is already drawn out.

Travel back in time! Travel to the stars! Travel to somewhere that does not exist! These things, also, are not recommended.  In fact it would be better to hand the tickets back, quickly, and forget you ever saw them.

But take the tickets, take them.  Your name and one other.

Anywhere you want to go: and all your troubles will be over.

Anywhere.

Dark, strange, twisted, and wonderful – #paranormal #horror and #mystery stories from Wonderland Press.