Bless You; A Paranormal Flash Fiction Story.
May 11, 2012 Leave a comment
I don’t do flash very often. I find it hard to create, but I did this over a year ago, and had it published in 6Tales online magazine. When they archived it, I decided to pull it. Now it’s here for your enjoyment.
Written by: Darke Conteur
© 2012 Dark Conteur Collection of Works
Michael’s hands trembled as he measured out a dose of cold medicine into a spoon. The bitter tincture sent shivers through his body as it slid down his throat. He hated the taste, but he hated the thought of what would happen to him if he became sicker. There was a good reason people said ’God bless you’ when you sneezed.
James shook his head, looking down at the numerous medicine bottles on the coffee table. “You’re paranoid,” he said. “Nothing’s going to happen to you if you sneeze.”
Michael shot his friend a warning look. “You weren’t there. You didn’t see it.” He poured another dose onto the spoon before glancing at his friend. “I could see those eyes glaring at me through the mirror at my Grandmother‘s place. I couldn’t get a good look, but I know what it was.”
“What was it?”
James snorted. “You’ve watched too many horror movies. There’s no such thing as demons.”
“Oh they’re real.” Michael’s face twisted with disgust as he swallowed the second dose. “But it’s not like the movies where they stay in the body forever. Real demons take over, make the person do something horrible, and then they pop out.
James frowned. “It’s all a bunch of nonsense. If people were being possessed, don’t you think we’d hear more about it on the news?”
“We hear about it all the time,” Michael argued, reaching for a box of tissues. “All those stories about people going out and doing horrible things, like killing other people for no reason. Why do you think that happens?”
James sighed. “Michael, people do horrible things to each other, but it doesn’t mean their bodies are temporarily possessed by demons.” He picked up one of the bottles off the table. “Besides, why take over a sick body? Why not a healthy one?”
Michael shrugged. “Maybe because the closest we come to death is when we sneeze. Your heart stops. Did you know that?”
“Your heart stops when you hiccup too, but you don’t hear people blessing you for that.”
Michael frowned. “No, I think hiccups just throw the rhythm off. Besides, hiccups are too fast.” He pulled his blankets tighter around his body, keeping a weary eye on the room. “Demons don’t have enough time to take over your body when you hiccup.”
“And they do when you sneeze?”
“Yeah, because you don’t see them coming. Have you ever tried to sneeze with your eyes open?”
“No. Not really.”
“Well, you can’t.”
Movement in the window from a room across the hall caught Michael’s attention. The glass twisted and warped into an outline of a grotesque face. A sudden tickle in his nostril caused him to inhale quickly, triggering a sneeze.
Michael’s body lurched forward in a violent convulsion. A spray of saliva and mucus radiated outward before he had a chance to cover his mouth with a wad of tissue. He opened his eyes and found James wiping spittle off his lap.
“Thanks,” James said, swiping at his clothing. “Could have warned me.”
Michael’s vision blurred as the world around him slowed down. The outline within the mirror pushed outward, and he could see the red eyes and malicious grin bearing down on them.
“Say it,” Michael said, his speech slurred in a drunken manner. “Please, say it.”
James frowned. “Say what?”
Michael gaze darted back and forth between his friend and the invisible spectre, as the distortions became over-powering, and his eyes lids grew heavy with fatigue. He could barely open his mouth to speak. “What the hell do you think?”
“God bless you?”
The outline froze just a few feet behind James, then slowly faded into the background. Michael smiled as his vision returned to normal, relieved that at least for now, he was safe.
James stood. “I have to go. I’ll stop by later to check on you. You want me to bring you anything? Tissue? More medicine?” A smirk crossed his lips. “A bible?”
“Very funny.” Michael rested against the back of the couch. “No, you’ve done enough for me already, thanks. I appreciate it.”
James smiled. “No problem.”
Michael took a quick look at the window in the other room. Nothing moved. It was gone. As much as James scoffed at his belief, Michael knew what he’d seen wasn’t his imagination.
Michael picked up one of the bottles of medicine from the coffee table. “Here,” he said, holding out to his friend. “I sneezed on you. You may need this.”
James smiled and shook his head. “No thanks. I’ve got a pretty strong immune system. I’ll be fine.”
The florescent lights in the stairwell outside Michael’s apartment flickered and hummed as James proceeded down the stairs. His sinuses began to tickle and he rubbed his nose with one finger, trying to alleviate the irritation. At the landing he was suddenly gripped by a violent convulsion and sprayed a fine mist of saliva into the air. He wiped any excess drips with the sleeve of his coat and continued toward the lobby. The wall next to him twisted and warped as the invisible entity smiled and quickly followed.