Things – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s photo is by Sandra Crook, perhaps the most talented writer here on FF, and a lovely lady, generous with her time and expertise.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

© Sandra Crook

© Sandra Crook

Click here to hear me read this 1-minute story:
Things

I hear them every night.
They scratch and scrape with vicious-sounding claws.
And they gnaw, with what are probably great hooked incisors.
They breathe in eager gasps, as though on the verge of success.
I get the feeling that they are not very large, but there are hordes of them, working in shifts.
Trying to break through to where I lie, awake, terrified, waiting.
I imagine being swamped by them, their ferocious jaws, ruthless talons, tearing at my flesh.
The noise changes.
Their panting is louder, more excited.
I can barely turn my head.
Something is crawling through the floor.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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78 Responses to Things – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Michael Wynn says:

    100 words of pure, unidentified terror. Not knowing what’s there but that it is relentless makes it so much scarier

    Like

  2. Dahlia says:

    The terror was done horrifyingly well. Err…umm…stirrings of a guilty conscience perhaps? Just askin…

    Like

  3. You bring those night terrors to life wonderfully well! What are the creatures gnawing away, trying to break through? They are different for everyone, we all have our own late-night fears.

    Like

  4. rgayer55 says:

    So many great lines in this, and all moving toward the terrifying conclusion. Masterfully written. My hat’s off to you Mr. Ayr.

    Like

  5. You capture the fear beautifully. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like frogs. As long as it isn’t frogs I’d be ok! 🙂

    Like

  6. Oh lawd…i am petrified of mice!
    Sheesh I hope this doesn’t give me nightmares.
    Why couldn’t you have just killed some old lady or something…oh wait…. :/

    Like

  7. Oh dear. My sister is having trouble with mice in her apartment in Zaandam. She awoke to one on her chest the other night!

    Like

  8. rogershipp says:

    I hate those creepy-crawly things! Yikes! Enjoyed.

    Like

  9. I think I hear scratching!

    Like

  10. I grew up on a farm in Austria (Italy) I know this noise so well. Sometimes we could hear the mice in the attic, then we knew it was time to put the cat up there.

    Like

  11. jellico84 says:

    The sounds of a grist mill come alive! Love it! We had an old grist mill near us and I’ve spent many an hour feeding it grain, watching and listening as it ground it into fine meal, then taking the meal to the stones and then waiting for the flour to filter out. The process always fascinated me. I grind my own meal and sift to regrind to flour at home with small hand grinding stones. Nothing but the best for my family’s ceremonial bread! 🙂

    Like

  12. Wonder if they are aliens! Rats or mice, I shudder.
    Very terrifying. You surely raise the hair on our hands!

    Like

  13. liz young says:

    Terrifying. I hope you don’t really dream like this!

    Like

  14. mandibelle16 says:

    So gory and disgusting. I don’t want to know what these creeping creatures are. I picture these giant awful rats. But I have not much to comment on, other than that your narrator needs an exterminator, a very good one. Or he needs to cut his losses and leave, no need to stay and be eaten. Hugs CE. i’ll try to get to some of your other pieces, I’m behind with the holidays 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I read this with the audio. Your slow lowered voice raised the scare quotient several notches over. Excellent story written with your regular panache. Scare us more, Ceayr.

    Like

  16. paulmclem says:

    A nice drop of psychological terror to start a new FF year. Happy New Year, and all the best for 2017.

    Like

  17. Rowena says:

    Your story would go down really well on one of my kids’ Scout camps. I could see them all huddled in their tents and the story being told in your voice scaring the beegeebies out of them.
    Actually, speaking of camping, we’re heading off to Tasmania for a few weeks and will be doing some camping. I might be scaring myself instead. I might be getting ear plugs!
    xx Rowena

    Like

  18. michael1148humphris says:

    Thanks for the memory jog🙂 This story has reminded me of being on night duty many years back. I had reason to visit the cellar of a venerable [old] hospital, the floor was totally moving.🤢

    Liked by 1 person

  19. CE, I so enjoy your stories, varied and wonderful each week. But, oh how I love listening to you read them! This one brought prickles to my neck!

    Like

  20. ‘Things’ are always scarier when you don’t know what they are. Great tale C.E.

    Like

  21. jwdwrites says:

    Don’t look! Wish I hadn’t read this at night!

    Like

  22. I will soon go off to bed… your story will most likely make me sleepless listening for “things”.. those claws are disturbing even for a sound mind… but for me 🙂

    Like

  23. Somehow I imagine rats – big ones! Thanks for that. Very well done – on the creepy side.

    Like

  24. elmowrites says:

    No, I don’t like this at all. Far too vivid and real and well-written!

    Like

  25. Graham Lawrence says:

    Scary and wonderfully descriptive. Tense writing.

    Like

  26. Lynn Love says:

    That’s terrifying! Your descriptions are so vivid, I can hear the claws scratching, hear them crawling closer. Really strong atmosphere and images C

    Like

  27. Joe Owens says:

    The creepy crawlies are always louder in the depth of the dark. So glad this is being consumed in the light of day. You did a great job setting everyone’s fears on edge.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thanks, Joe, I just write words, the reader’s imagination does most of the work

      Like

      • Joe Owens says:

        I consider that the best kind of writing. That is the beauty of books compared to movies and television, you get to paint the picture the words trigger in your mind. I learned that concept while reading the Hound of the Baskervilles in high school for English class.

        Like

  28. Dale says:

    I was finding myself getting more and more tense with each word… you do scare us so well, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Sandra says:

    I found myself hardly daring to reach the end of this; I was cringing in my chair. And now I’ve read it, I’ll be cringing in my bed as well. Good job there, and thanks for the lovely comments. 🙂

    Like

  30. wmqcolby says:

    I would be reading this after I heard a bunch of mice scampering in my ceiling! Oh well … you’re not responsible for that. The audio is great for this, though! Love listening to you read as I read along. So fun! Rochelle’s right, you DID up the bar on things that go bump in the night.

    Five out of five “Man who wasn’t there”s.

    Like

  31. Where’s there’s a mill there’s a fat rat or two. Nicely told.

    Like

  32. Dear CE,

    You’ve just raised the bar on ‘things that go bump in the night.’ I’m pulling the covers over my head and staying there until daylight. Well done. All it needs is illustrations.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  33. neilmacdon says:

    Mice will do that to you at night. Well written as always

    Like

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