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:  Free Samples


Death was at the mall passing out free samples of makeup, she said.  Was the makeup poisoned, I asked, did it contain lead? No and no, said Death, it was just different shades of foundation in paper cups, very hypoallergenic.  All right, sorry for the interruption.  But why were you at the mall anyway?  I was bored so I took a part-time job.  Don’t all the souls keep you busy?  Not really, you only get a certain territory to collect in, and if you’re new it isn’t much.  The big profits aren’t even when you collect souls but when you recruit someone else to be a Death, put on the robes.  You aren’t interested, are you?  Maybe after the kids are out of the house, I said, you know how it is, the empty nester syndrome.  Are there Death parties? I asked. Excuse me? said Death.  Like Tupperware parties, or Amway or LuLaRoe? Avon, I said.  Ever heard of Avon?  Oh, like Avon, Death said.  I think I remember that.  My life is kind of hazy.  Didn’t they have those weird perfume bottles?  Classic cars, I think I had a mermaid, I definitely had one of those white cats where the head comes off and there’s the perfume squirter underneath.  I know, I know! I said, I had one of those, too.  Did your mom sell Avon? No, she was one of those suckers who couldn’t say no, though, not even lingerie parties and she thought those were a sin. Those were fun, said Death. Anyway I was passing out free samples of makeup and someone scared the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me.  Oh, wait, I said, I’ve heard this story, the person saw Death and ran off, only you had an appointment with them somewhere else.  Haha, said Death, that would have been ironic, but no, it was me, I saw myself, I was shopping at the mall.  Wow, I said, just wow.  What happened? I’m not sure.  I knew Death had come for me, but which one of me I wasn’t sure.  One of us fell and one of us hit their head and there was blood and can you see my hands shaking?  Oh I feel sick. One of us got up and one of us was lying on the ground, and we were wearing identical outfits and my purse was spilled out on the ground and the sample tray was just everywhere, trails of blood and foundation all over the place from people walking through the mess.  And my question is, how do I know which one I am? Or even if there’s a difference?

Check your wrist, I said. There would have been a dab of makeup there, from you showing people how to match their shade and test to see if they were sensitive.

Just like with perfume.

So this one was inspired by W. Somerset Maugham’s one-paragraph summary, “The Appointment in Samarra.”  And yeah, I know you’re supposed to test foundation on your jawline.

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