Aphelion Issue 296, Volume 28
July 2024 --
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Flash Fiction
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That Thing Lurking Over There

by Alexander D Jones

He walked through the door, a single strip-light flickered overhead. There seemed to be no other light source in the vast room. He knelt and took off his rucksack. He then pulled out his torch and flicked it on. He surveyed the immediate area. Nothing. He zipped up his rucksack and slung it back over his shoulder. He cautiously made his way forward, stepping in-between the various objects of all different shapes and sizes that were strewn over the floor. He had been brought in to do this, and he assured himself that he was going to.

He crept forward looking all around, then he heard something. He swung his torch up to the ceiling, but by the time the beam focused onto the spot, whatever 'it' had been had gone. He was alone, no weapons, no backup, only his torch and a helmet with a built-in torch. He took it out of his rucksack and put it on, then he put his normal torch into his pocket. He carried on forwards.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a baseball bat, he looked to the ceiling and mouthed a "Thank you." He wandered over to it and picked it up. Weighing it in his hands he felt that little bit safer.

He walked on, stepping over discarded toys, kitchen utensils and bottles. At one point he knocked a coke can that made him dive behind a nearby unit. He stayed in this relative safety for some time until he was sure he was out of any immediate danger.

He walked on, swinging the baseball bat at anything that made a sound. He had just finished mauling a plastic chair when it occurred to him that maybe his mind was just playing tricks on him. He smiled. What was he thinking? There is nothing here!

“I'm completely alone.” He shouted into the nothingness.

He walked on, assured by his new-found sense of security. He was walking more casually now, but, maybe, a little too casually. He trod on a squeaky dog toy. It startled him so much that he swung the baseball bat with all his force, which took him off balance. He stepped back onto a skateboard, sprawling backwards into an open fridge which had decided to present itself. He fell in and it fell over. The doors of the fridge shut, but he didn’t notice because he was already unconscious.

He awoke to the sound of people calling his name.

"In here!" he shouted "In here"

The doors opened, and brilliant white light burst in, momentarily blinding him. He blinked a few times to adjust from darkness to light as he was helped out by a tall, grey-haired man in glasses and holding a clip board, his examiner, Professor Francis Butters. The professor was shaking his head and mulling over his notes.

"I'm sorry," said the professor "But you failed the test."


2018 Alexander D Jones

Alex Jones is an aspiring author who hopes to go Pro one day. He enjoys putting characters in situations in which he would never find himself. He is based in England.

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