I wrote this as part of a Flashwords Contest for Crimebake 2010. It was my first and only attempt at Flash fiction. I didn’t win, place, or show in the contest. But I had a blast writing this!
We had to write a compelling crime story in 150 words or less, using at least ten of twenty title words from Charlaine Harris’s books: Bedroom, Bone, Club, Corpse, Counselor, Dark, Dead, Family, Fool, Grave, Heels, Ice, Landlord, Living, Pick, Scene, Secret, Surprise, Trollop, Worse.
By Kourtney Heintz
My wife hated dead things. Corpses and graves brought on panic attacks. I spent twenty years living with her fear, navigating our family around it. Every Halloween, things got worse.
This year, she decided to face her fear.
It was no surprise that I ended up sitting beside her in a cemetery after dark. Her teeth chattered, but she refused to leave.
I stood up. “Don’t be foolish. You’re freezing.”
A secret swam in her moss green eyes. “I was six when I found my first dead body.”
Her voice turned to ice. “It was my mother.”
I dropped back down on the cold ground.
“Daddy bashed her head in with an iron skillet.”
She’d said she was an orphan. “Where’s he?”
She smiled. “I caught up with him one Halloween.”
Dear God. She couldn’t.
She shivered. “I never realized how hard it was to get rid of bones.”