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:  The window seat


“Travel makes you a better person,” she would say.  Well, it was one of those things, how she was raised, she was an advocate for travel the way some people are advocates for homeopathy or wearable magnets.  Travel was improving; certainly it had improved her.  She was mad for it.  She loved the locals, she loved picking up culture, she loved being able to walk away from the insanity of the Western world and bury herself in Thailand or Japan or Nepal, she got her best work done when she was a stranger, when she lived out of a suitcase, when the monsoons cut her off from everything around her, even the sky.

She moved about once every two years, then every year.  Sometimes the restlessness struck her like a sacrament after only a day or two.  Humanity slipped around her, something glimpsed as she looked out the window seat, flickering past.  She held her seat-mate’s chicken; she comforted a small child as its mother went to the bathroom on a trans-Atlantic jet.  She went “home” to visit, but inevitably left again:  too expensive, too many friends, too many interruptions!

She had always been safe wherever she went; she liked to think of it as being due to her friendly nature and generosity.  And so it came as a shock when half a dozen wide-eyed men took her, blindfolded her, and tortured her in a house made of corrugated steel, mud, and blue plastic tarp with pieces of wire that weren’t strong enough not to bend as they jabbed them under her fingernails, into her ears.  Who are you?  Are you a demon?  Tell us the truth! Is it true that you’re making everyone sick?  They had been warned about her, it was all superstition, certainly she wasn’t a threat, and there was no mysterious wave of illness following her around the globe, the way they insisted upon accusing her.

But it turned out to be fine.  She just transferred her airline points onto their cell phones, and then they let her go.  They had a good laugh about it over bottles of kombucha, at McDonald’s.

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