Outside – 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.
This week’s photo prompt,
utterly incomprehensible to me, comes courtesy of Jean L. Hays.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Jean L. Hays

Click here to hear the writer read his words:


Not a sound.
Not a movement.
I stare out the window, hammer gripped tightly.
But I have no other weapon.
If they come – when they come – it will be hopeless.
But there is no escape.
Nowhere to run to.
I think of what is out there, and I tremble.
I think of my family upstairs, asleep.
I have done all I can to spare them from the horror.
I brush the tears from my cheeks.
I hear the slow drip onto the floor at my feet.
I look at the bloody hammer.
I had no choice, did I?

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52 Responses to Outside – Friday Fictioneers

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Ughh, better to be beaten and hammered to death brutaly than what other fate? Hugs


  2. He’s baaaaaack.


  3. What’s that sharp pain in my neck? It’s whiplash from that unexpected twist! A perfectly executed 180 sir, and a beautifully dark tale

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynn Love says:

    Wow, C! There was me thinking he’d defend his family to the death but has he already done the family to death, sent them into a long ‘sleep’ they’ll never wake from? Love the unnamed threat outside too – I suspect it might be a bit scarier than quail too! Great story

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So, I’m thinking I’m going to avoid that kitchen/living room. Whatever. The thought of dripping blood surely leaves a scene of horror in one’s mind! Dang it! And I’ve just begun my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James McEwan says:

    Like most horror stories, the fear is from the unknown and an idea left percolating in the corner of your mind – what horror?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Woah! That was chilling stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rowena says:

    You never let us down, CE. Another well crafted bit of suspense. You really made me shudder.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Corine Gouy says:

    C’est bien de mettre sa famille en sécurité .
    Ce n’est pas bien de le faire à coups de marteau !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mike says:

    At first I was expecting something in the vein of Daphne Du Mauriers ‘The Birds’. But now I fear that something worse has occurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lisarey1990 says:

    Leaves you guessing. Great piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just hope that his family is really asleep upstairs… when you reached the stage of hearing voices you should be far from any hammers.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I could truly feel the terror

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 4963andypop says:

    Am i the only one who assumed he killed the quail? It felt like scene from Birds by Hitchcock!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Crazy!
    That is all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pennygadd51 says:

    Great misdirection with the dripping. First thought – tears, and then – blood…


  17. Susan says:

    I have to wonder what horror, real or imaginary, he felt he needed to spare his family from. Terrifying story C.E.


  18. granonine says:

    The quintessential horror story, leaving so many important questions unanswered. Good writing.


  19. jillyfunnell says:

    Very dark story. Well written.


  20. Anita says:

    Gripping one.
    Hope there are no more of them.
    One enemy is killed and his family is safe.
    Stranger Outside?- Anita


  21. Now that was chilling and grisly in equal measure. I shudder to think where the blood came from!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  22. Sandra says:

    Superb reveal at the end. Well done. And I like the mods you’ve made to the web site.


  23. Iain Kelly says:

    Incomprehensible to me this week as well. Enjoyed the grisly path it led you on.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. emmylgant says:

    I don’t think it is possible to craft a better story of the lethal,and violently destructive effects of desperate fear and dread. Warranted or mad paranoia doesn’t matter, it’s all real in the mind.
    Hate the plot but applaud the writer.
    Now, I’ll go outside and breathe in the blue sky!!


  25. Dear CE,

    Whether or not he had a choice begs further investigation. It leaves a grisly image in my head and a cold shiver down my spine. Bang bang Maxwell….




  26. neilmacdon says:

    Quirky and atmospheric as always. I’m not entirely clear who or what is dead on the floor. I thought at first it was his family, but they’re asleep upstairs


  27. Reena Saxena says:

    It leaves a lot of questions 🙂


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