Here is my fifth short story, it was really hard trying to write in a twist within the space of 1000 words. So here is a physiological thriller with a Shyamalan twist, as suggested by Candy Keen over at Geek mamas. Sorry it has taken a while. Hope you enjoy! i’m shocked i’m still managing these and Nanowrimo!
Chloe was playing in the lounge, chatting away to herself happily. She was still too young to be at school; having a child wanting you every minute of the day was difficult and tiring. It made me feel guilty to think like this, but sometimes I wished she was gone, just for a day so I could have some time to myself. She’s only three, she can’t help needing me at the moment. I was tired, she was playing alone so I could cook, but for most of the day I had been chasing her around. Just as I was almost finished with dinner, she came running in at a hundred miles an hour nearly knocking me over. “Chloe!” I shouted at her, I spun round to face her. “I’ve been playing with you all day, let me make dinner!” Chloe sulked back into the lounge and I felt the ambivalence of guilt and annoyance.
I heard the door go,
“Hello,” I raised my voice suspiciously, I knew who it was but at the back of my mind sometimes I wondered what if, what if it was a stranger. The thought soon left my head; I got a hearty happy reply.
“Hey!” He shouted walking through the house, “Hello, Chloe!” I heard him laugh. “What have you been doing today?” He loved coming straight in from work to sit on the floor and play with her; and although sometimes I feel I would like my space, my little family is what I live for.
“I’ve been building!” I heard her exclaim to her dad. “Mummy was helping but she had to go make dinner.” Her sad little voice made me feel guilty again.
“OK, well I think you’ve made an amazing tower by yourself!” My husband backed me up, slowly I could hear him standing up, his footsteps getting closer to the kitchen.
His grinning face appeared from the door way of the kitchen as he swooped down to hold me. “I’ve missed you today” He smile lovingly into my eyes. “Are you ready to go away tomorrow?” He asked me, his eyes looking over my shoulder to see what I had been cooking.
“Yes all packed and ready, do you think we will eventually move all the way out there?” I asked not holding back my excitement; I held my arms and hands over my mouth at the idea of a new adventure. My little anxiety’s surfaced briefly about the potential move to Australia. It was scary, the old annoyance of anxiety was there, but wonder and exhilaration took over and made my worries feel small.
“Well, we will see, hopefully if everything goes well!” He replied excitement shone in his eyes; he looked as thrilled as I felt.
I found myself in the bedroom, the next day, my perfume wafted through the air, I could see small dust particles floating in the light stream. The strong evening sun shone through the window; again, waiting for him to come home, packing the last few bits. I stopped briefly I could still hear Chloe playing. I continued to pack. I’m sure I locked the door, I thought to myself, Chloe is fine. It was five o’ clock he should be home any second. It got to quarter past five and the door still hadn’t opened. He was late. I could still hear Chloe. My anxiety started to rise, we had to be going soon, and we were going to be late to the airport!
I thought I heard the door go, again my anxiety appeared, ‘is it a stranger this time?’
“Hello?” I shouted, my voice sounded croaky and apprehensive. There was no reply, I could feel my heart bounding, and I could hear the depth of my breathing; I started to get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t hear Chloe playing any more.
I’m sure the door opened, I made my way down stairs; my hearing seemed muffled, ‘maybe I just didn’t hear him,’ I kept telling myself, but I felt the fear so strong it took my breath away. I kept shouting, ‘hello’, as I made my way down the stairs, my legs ached; I found it hard to get all the way to the bottom, I felt so tired and frightened, I was so scared of what I would find in the lounge. I couldn’t hear anyone, not Chloe and not my husband. I walked into my lounge, Chloe wasn’t there.
“Chloe!” I shouted trying not to sound too panicked, no answer, I looked everywhere, all over the house, she was gone. I went out onto the street to look but she wasn’t there. I felt tears streaming down my face and I started to scream her name. A neighbor I barely recognized, came over to me, she looked worried but not as worried as I was.
“Are you ok Mrs Harris?” She asked concern flooding through her face.
“No, No, No” I cried I couldn’t get my words out. “Chloe, I can’t find her” I managed to utter. .
“Oh dear” Her voice sounded sad, and full of care, but not worry. “Don’t worry Mrs Harris, I’ll help you find her, let’s go back to your house and sort this out.” The lady walked me back to the door and helped me in. I was getting more and more anxious, she said she had called the police and Chloe would be back soon, but I didn’t believe her.
“Did you take her?” I asked, tentatively.
“No, I didn’t, she will be here soon, don’t you worry!” She replied cheerily.
“Where’s my husband he should have been home a long time ago” I paused feeling like I had forgotten something. I looked down at my hands, but they weren’t mine, they were old. I gasped and tried to stand up but my legs wouldn’t let me.
“Oh, I’m sorry Mrs Harris, your husband passed away a few years ago now.” What she was saying didn’t make any sense to me, but somewhere I remembered it happening. My eyes stung from crying. Sob’s caught in my throat.
“What has happened to me?” I asked; my voice sounded so old. I looked up at the lady, she looked so very sad. The door open again, another lady walked into the lounge.
“Who are you? where’s Chloe?” I asked sounding desperate.
The new lady was crying too, she was very upset,
“Oh mum,” She said “I am Chloe.”
Again thank you for reading, If you enjoyed this feel free to follow me (the follow button is at the bottom of the page) or share or follow me on Facebook.I am trying to be more productive and will eventually get there! All images are by Victoria Langford (please check her out!) x