Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dangerous Premonitions

by Laura Eno

The first snowfall of the season dusted the ground in light powder, revealing small footprints that led to the cellar door. Jack shook his head in disbelief. What child would be wandering out here barefoot in the cold?

He scouted the area, not finding any other evidence before reluctantly coming back to the cellar, a place he’d avoided since moving in last month. One look into its dark, dank hold had been enough to dissuade him from further exploration. Who knows what lurked down there? Jack hadn’t been keen to find out.

Returning from the house with a flashlight, Jack swung the wooden door open and peered inside. The musty smell of damp earth assaulted him, whatever traces of potatoes or onions it might have once held no longer discernable. He shuddered at the thought of black widow spiders hunkered down to spend the winter in cozy comfort.

The light played across the small space, showing a fresh mound of disturbed earth in the center of the floor. Thoughts of spiders faded as a small hand pushed up through the dirt, tiny fingers curling once before hanging limp.

Jack bounded down the rickety stairs, tripping and landing in a heap in his rush. He dug furiously, having only his hands for tools. His skin cracked and bled from the effort. Within minutes, he’d unearthed a small girl, no more than three or four years old. Her blue eyes stared forever fixed at a point beyond his understanding. Her mouth had been filled with dirt as if buried alive. All she wore was a tiny pink nightgown.

Gagging, Jack retreated back up the stairs and into the house. He called the police to report his findings. When they arrived, they found nothing amiss: no body, no small footprints, no soft dirt. Although naturally suspicious of Jack’s story, there were no reports of a missing child. They labeled him a crank and warned him about making false calls.

Did he hallucinate the whole ordeal? Only his bloody hands told him no. When the footprints appeared again two day later with the next snowfall, Jack moved out, deciding the place was haunted.

One month later, three-year-old Abbie Tinsdale was reported missing by her mother, taken from the house sometime during the night. She mentioned the girl was wearing a pink nightgown. The police remembered Jack’s report and checked the root cellar of the house where he used to live. They found the girl too late. She’d been buried alive.

The police arrested Jack based on his detailed description of the crime scene, even though he’d reported it a month before it happened, and the DNA evidence. His blood was mixed in the soil where the girl was found. They were convinced that only the killer would know such details, even accused Jack of setting up an elaborate alibi for himself with his story. The small town jury placed their trust in the hands of the law, sentencing him to life for a murder he didn’t commit—but had the misfortune to predict.


__________



Laura Eno (http://lauraeno.blogspot.com) has written two YA fantasy novels and a paranormal romance. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Twisted Dreams, The Monsters Next Door, Flashes in the Dark, 10Flash, House of Horror, The New Flesh, Everyday Weirdness and MicroHorror.

26 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

chilling!

Laura Eno said...

Thank you!

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Whoa, that was spooky. I was totally in suspense the entire time, couldn't stop reading.

My goodness, that is a weird series of events. I have never read a story like this. So many questions to answer - only one set of footprints? That really has my imagination going wild.

Well done!

Cynthia Schuerr said...

Moral of the story.........think twice before calling the police. :-)

Creepy and chilling, Laura. Loved the series of events unfolding.

Michael Solender said...

very creepy and hauntingly cool laura, nicely done.

Julie (Okami) said...

Just reinforces my belief that cellars and basements are evil places to be avoided.

Glad we don't have them in Florida.

Eric J. Krause said...

Very cool! Guess it doesn't always pay to be psychic. Great story!

Laura Eno said...

Thank you all for commenting! I really appreciate it.

Marisa Birns said...

Yes, this is why it's important to keep one's roots veggies in a bin in the kitchen upstairs.

Last sentence is chilling.

Nicely done with this supernatural tale!

Karen from Mentor said...

Holy Gawd Laura.
This is by far your best work to date.
Absolutely love it.
Not a word extra, and man how you stacked the words.

mariblaser said...

Creepy indeed! Great story and awesome writing! :D

Alan W. Davidson said...

Nobody trusts a guy with a premonition. Nicely spun tale. Laura.

ganymeder said...

This just goes to prove that predictions always get you in trouble. Just look at what happened to Cassandra of Troy!

Creepy!

Mark Kerstetter said...

That little girl in the pink dress is an image only you could come up with. To me the most horrifying part is the logic of the authorities.

Cate Gardner said...

Both ghastly and chilling. Well done, Laura.

Laura Eno said...

Thank you for the wonderful comments! You guys rawk!

Paul D. Brazill said...

Splendid chiller!

Carrie said...

Very good story Laura!

KjM said...

Chilling indeed, Laura. I loved the pacing on this one. Not a single word out of place.

Excellent.

ERIN COLE said...

Jack's only hope is that maybe he had a premonition about a serial killer. Everyone thinks premonitions would be so cool to have - thanks for grounding us back in reality~
Congrats on a wicked tale!

J. M. Strother said...

Very good story, Laura.
~jon

Barry J. Northern said...

This is very good, and a great idea for a longer story. I can imagine this as the start, then in prison he has another premonition and gradually he works his way out of jail as a police aide or something.

Helen Ginger said...

Eerie. I'm very glad I don't have premonitions!

Helen
Straight From Hel

Laura Eno said...

Thank you all for such wonderful comments!

Carol Kilgore said...

This is the kind of story that really makes me think. Good job.

Deanneja said...

Great story Laura, next time I hallucinate a small child in my cellar, I'm not telling anyone!