One Rainy Afternoon. Flash Fiction.

Cindy stared out at the rain, the gentle pitter patter of it against the window was surprisingly relaxing. The day itself was dragging along, normally people would be coming in every few minutes but with the rain it seemed like everyone had decided to just stay home for the day. She stretched and yawned, tomorrow she’d be snowed under and wishing for a break, might as well try and enjoy it for now. A couple walked past, huddled under an umbrella, Cindy was not looking forward to going home in this weather, usually she drove but Michael needed the car today so she had the pleasure of taking the bus. She didn’t mind it most days, but the bus stop had no shelter and she knew that she’d be getting soaked despite the umbrella she had brought with her.

“Hey Cindy, why don’t you head off for the day? There’s only an hour left and I don’t think things will pick up before then.”
“Are you sure? I don’t mind hanging on the extra hour.”
“Nah, you might as well go and beat the traffic!”
“Thanks. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“See ya then.” Doug ducked back into his office, Cindy smiled and started gathering her things.

She stood at the glass doors for a moment, steeling herself for the wind and the rain, she pulled open the door and stepped outside, opening her umbrella as she did so. The rain and wind lashed against her, she struggled against the wind for a second then started walking. The traffic seemed light enough though she knew it would get worse in the next half hour, she walked quickly with her head down.

She arrived at the bus stop just as her bus was pulling up, with a quick jog Cindy managed to catch it. The day was turning out way better than it started. After paying her fare, she quickly found a seat and settled in for the half hour trip.

Cindy stepped off the bus, shivering slightly as the cold wind hit her, the raining had become a mere drizzle now, she put up her umbrella and started walking. It was only a short walk but it always seemed to take forever on days like this. Already she decided she would have a nice hot shower when she got home, she’d change into some pyjamas then get dinner started. She turned onto her road and stopped, there was a large puddle stretched across the street going up onto the footpath on both sides. The shores must be blocked again, Cindy groaned, there was no other way around, she’d just have to go through. She moved closer to the puddle, it didn’t seem that deep, but she knew there was a curve in the street, she’d had to walk through puddles like this on more than one occasion. After a second of indecision she slipped off her shoes and picked them up, she was going to hop into the shower right away anyway, no point in ruining them. She took a step forward, the water was warmer than she expected but still cool, she started taking slow steps but after the first couple she sped up a little. She jumped slightly as something brushed against the side of her food, she didn’t look down, she didn’t want to see what it was, because she was certain it would end up being something gross. It’s just a leaf, that’s all. It happened again, Cindy looked down just as the hand reached from the water and gripped her ankle, Cindy gasped in shock and pain as the hand tightened its grip, it pulled once and Cindy was falling, she stretched out her arms to break her fall, her hands hit the water but they didn’t hit the ground, she was still falling, her face hit the water and still she went deeper and deeper. Cindy struggled against the hand, bubbles streamed from her mouth, up above she could see the light of the puddle fading, she looked down into the growing darkness. She screamed as she saw the decaying corpse that was gripping her ankle, it leered up her through rotted lips. She struggled against him, growing weaker with each passing second, her lungs ached for oxygen, there was a sudden flare of pain in her ankle, Cindy inhaled, the water filled her lungs as she began to choke. Darkness crowded her vision, she could still see the dying light from the puddle, it seemed so tantalisingly close, her vision went black and her body lay still as the corpse dragged her deeper.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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