Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction postings at:
For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, but you mustn’t shut your eyes.
Here’s my contribution:
Don’t Even Blink
The word nightmare is not entirely accurate, not for everybody. Sure, most people experienced episodes during their sleeping hours and just occasionally, when the waves of stress and hormone fluctuations comingled with exhaustion, when your ambient subconscious defenses were fatigued, so said the professional literature.
But for Britney the situation was different. Her episodes, quite frankly, were less dependent upon the parameters suggested by research and science. All Britney need do was shut her eyes and they came, a rising wave enveloping you and lifting you off your toes then sucking you under, a wave which couldn’t be out run.
As an aside, I envisioned this child trying to keep her eyes open, the lubrication of her cornea thickening to a cataract, then her lid scraping and drooping toward closure, and dark things begin to leap at her from the shadows, not just from the corners of the room or from the closet or from beneath her bed but from the shadows of her very eyelashes, things she can just momentarily see as her lids drift lower, then there is a rapidly rising shriek, a sound probably only audible to her own ears. She jerks her head up and snaps it back and her eyes pop open. The dark things abate. The terrible sounds of the coming recede to a white hum like that which resides inside a conch shell. She sticks her fingers into the raw flesh of her eyes, she rubs.
Then it presses in again.