A really bad flash fiction piece inspired by this creepy abandoned building.

Sofia, Bulgaria © Google Maps

“Petey? Pete.” Laura touched a hand to her brow to block the sun. Her new running companion had slipped his collar and bolted down an unfamiliar trail.

She paused at the gate of an abandoned compound. Obviously they’d wandered off park property and onto the ruins of…something. She noticed a gap in the gate. Too small for her, but probably big enough for an undersized shelter mutt to slip through.

A man in coveralls stepped out from behind the wall, startling her.

She cleared her throat. “Have you seen a dog?”

He smiled, revealing a jagged row of teeth, as uneven as the picket fence. “Skinny little retriever?” he asked.

She swallowed. “Yeah.”

He opened the gate. “Come inside. You can take a look.”

Six hours later, in front of a roaring fire, the man tossed the dog another rib bone. “That’s enough for now. Tomorrow you go out again.”

150 words

Wow, I don’t know what is wrong with me this week, but every single story I started wound up with ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves or murderers. Every place I landed was stranger than the last, like check out this tree-circle in the woods. Anyway, this was not necessarily the story I wanted to write, but when I wound up with 150 words I decided to call it good. And maybe I need to steer clear of Bulgaria, especially this close to Halloween.

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

20 Comments

  1. You are in an odd mood, aren’t you, Karen?! It’s good though, your story that is. I knew it wasn’t going to end well, every fibre was screaming at her, ‘Don’t go down there!’ But she did, you did, you wrote the story you could not not write. And I am grateful you did. but yes, steering clear of Bulgaria during All Hallows Eve might be a good idea. 😎

    1. Yeah that is one road to avoid, by the looks of it. Thanks for reading. It’s great to see you, Kelvin!

  2. This is fantastically funny, though the title gives away the twist before you read it.

    1. I thought this story was so awful, the bad title was meant as a warning as to the quality of the piece. I can change it. But it’s not going to help.

  3. Grim subject, but actually rather a good piece of flash fiction! I particularly liked the description of the man’s teeth. It’s well paced, too.

    1. You are very kind, thanks Penny!

  4. Wow. I was expecting a completely different story. Well done.

  5. Dear Karen,

    I think you might be cheating with a title that’s nearly as long as the story. 😉 Not really. You had me going. I thought for sure he was roasting the dog over the open the open fire. I certainly called that one wrong. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cringe. I think I’ll do both. 😀 Good job.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. Ha ha, you and Josh both thought the dog was a goner. You have to watch those retrievers 😉 Thanks for reading!

  6. well I see the phrase “gotta do what you gotta do” applies to writers too – of course it does – and it seems like this piece needed to be written and hey – tis the Halloween season – so maybe that was it… also – there were a lot of abandoned buildings in my Googlemap search – I was surprised by that – hm

    1. Hehe there are some seriously creepy things on Google maps for sure. And yes, it is the season! Thanks for reading.

  7. Lavanya

    The really bad flash fiction piece…….. was actually pretty good. Authentic goose bumps while reading. Nicely done.

    1. Super! Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked it!

  8. Way too hard on yourself there, Karen – I thought you did a good, sinister job here – though I do get when you’re frustrated with your own writing for whatever reason. Hard to write a creepy tale without falling into cliche, but I too thought the dog was a goner! Maybe you should do a Halloween special next weekened and just let that dark side of yours rip.

    1. Lynn, you made me grin. Thanks for your kind words. I love a good scary story and next week is definitely the week for it!

      1. I shall look forward to reading and writing some scary stuff! 🙂

  9. Urk, I didn’t see that end coming! Nice one 🙂

  10. Heh heh, was not expecting that. Nice.

    1. It kind of surprised me too! Thanks for reading and so happy to see your story on Pegman!

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