• Newton Webb

Let Me Tell You What I Did // Flash Fiction // Completed

Updated: Mar 13

"Let me tell you what I did." He whispered. Jake looked up from his trolley. A small child, dressed as a Victorian urchin, was looking at him with wide innocent eyes. He looked around the M&S aisles for a parent, he had only popped in for driving snacks, this was an unexpected and unwanted hassle.

He pulled a face upon finding no-one. "Sorry mate, I'm on a timetable, go find your parents." He looked again at the Dickensian outfit. "Or climb a chimney, I don't know." He turned to leave.

"My parents are dead." He said. Jake stopped in his tracks.

"Look kid, is this a bleeding wind-up? Not looking for money are you? I don't have any." Jake said.

The child shook his head. "Do you need money? He pulled out a golden coin from a bulging leather purse on his belt. He held it out for Jake.

Jake looked at it. It must have been fake; it certainly wasn't UK currency. He made a choice. "Right mate, let's take you to security, they'll find your parents."

He reached out for the child's shoulder. As he touched the child, his form seemed to flicker, and he recoiled. In front of him was a rotting skeleton with a rope around his neck. Insects and soil we're embedded in the corpse, the flesh almost rotten away except for a large black tongue which flopped lifelessly almost down to its collarbone. The sockets glowed a dull crimson red. Stumbling back, he saw a couple looking at him in bemusement. Another couple pulled their children away from him muttering.

He looked back, the child looked normal now, just as before and was looking up at him earnestly. He swore loudly, abandoned his handbasket and stormed off. Getting into his car, he drove off. He was heading down the M4 when he heard--

"Let me tell you what I did," and nearly crashed the car into a passing lorry. His heartbeat was rapid as he looked in the rearview mirror and saw the child. He still seemed sweet and innocent. A mocking parody of the hellish corpse he'd seen earlier. He breathed deeply and pulled over onto the hard shoulder. He took a deep blink, accepting the story. He opened his eyes and saw the child had somehow got into the front passenger seat and was looking at him with those same damned eyes.

Shaking, he asked what the child had done.

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