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:  Binge-watching Netflix


It was one of those nights where watching television had become like watching a fishing show, the kind where the angler hisses his line into the water, standing in thigh-high wading boots and wearing a vest with pockets, waits for some undefinable moment, then jerks and starts reeling in a fish that never seems satisfactory for some reason, he just throws it back into the water after a close-up shot of removing the hook from that gasping, air-drowning mouth.

A knock at the door; she hadn’t ordered delivery.

“Who is it?”

“Package.”  She heard footsteps.

Tiptoeing soundlessly to the door, she looked out the peephole and caught the edge of a cardboard box in the hallway, and the last retreating edge of a brown hiking boot.  She took a moment to listen for heavy breathing, then unchained and unbolted the door.  Nobody coming.  The enormous box on the floor was heavy, and she shoved it across the threshold and into her apartment with her feet rather than picking it up.

The box was addressed to her but when she opened it with a flimsy steak knife from the kitchen area, inside were things she hadn’t ordered, would never have ordered.  She checked her bank account and didn’t see any sign that she’d been hacked, so…what? She looked at the packing slip again. The return address was for some marketing company.

Geeky refrigerator magnets (pack of six), a disassembled music box kit, a “critter catcher” for spiders, gummy penises, a Bob Ross mug, oh God, action figures from half a dozen anime shows, a fuzzy blanket with snaps, two inflatable sex dolls that weren’t even, um, human, a bicycle pump (!), an enormous bag full of tiny, multicolored rubber bands, a knife sharpener, a suction-based blackhead remover, a blood pressure monitor, a package of twelve different holiday ribbons, a package of generic “thank you” cards that she actually liked, a sonic toothbrush, a microwave crisper, a poo emoji toilet plunger, homeopathic painkiller oil, a pancake flipper, a reflexology mat, a dash cam, a dead mouse, a furniture fixer for sagging couches and chairs, contouring underwear, teeth whiteners, stamp-on eyebrows, more.

She laughed at them as she took them out of the box—at first.  Later, she forgot how odd it would look during a hookup with her two inflatable, non-human sex dolls on either side of her on the couch, wrapped up in her blanket, sharpening her knives, saying, “I know just what we should watch, this new show about remodeling houses where something goes wrong, like bees in the wall, or black mold, or—” She would bat her eyes seductively and pat the place beside her created when Mario Ponetti had reluctantly scooted over for the evening— “human bones.”

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