Year of the dog

As you may know, I co-run Horror Scribes – a  horror flash fiction site.  We recently ran a Monday’s Child themed competition and I took it upon myself to choose a day, and write 300 words or less with the theme in mind.

So here is what I came up with for Thursday’s child who has far to go…


It started with the delivery of a black box on my door step.  I looked around me, cautious of what may be lying within.

What does this mean?

Nervous panic engulfed me, my stomach filled with apprehension. I could taste bile in my throat.  Swallowing hard, I unfolded the note sitting atop, which read:  Look after me

With sweaty palms I shook the box lightly, gingerly holding my ear to it.  A tiny bark and my nerves instantly settled, relief washing over me.

We became best friends.  Of course we did.  I even named him Matt, because that’s what I’d found him on, one month ago.

I only have myself to blame, naivety allowed me to get attached.  Did I really think the dog was just a gift?

Now I’m looking at another, larger, yet somehow more ominous looking box.  Something tells me it’s not another puppy.

The message, written on the back of a Chinese takeaway menu, simply reads: Use me

Is this stage two of my initiation?

I shake the box but this time my nerves are not alleviated.  My mind tries to envisage what object could make that kind of heavy, metallic, clunking sound.  But there’s also another sound.  One I cannot place.

Removing the lid, I become unsettled by the cast iron pot and a salt shaker before my eyes.

I look at the note once more, my eyes now landing on a highlighted item on the menu.

In the kitchen, Matt watches me as I boil the water, wondering what’s on the menu tonight.

Best I don’t tell him.


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