Category Archives: Short Stories

Flash Fiction Short – Inside Out

If you didn’t know already, I write fiction as a hobby, not to mention a release. There’s a link to my author website in the right margin. Nothing’s published yet, maybe some day.

Over the summer, I entered a few flash fiction contests. Haven’t won anything and probably won’t, but writing short stories turned out to be great fun.

For a mid-week treat, I’m posting one of my stories. Some of you will like it. A lot of you won’t. I’m okay with that. 😀reptile girl close up

It’s not techie, but there’s definitely a Sci-Fi slant.


Inside Out

Fear raged red inside her brain threatening to overtake her logic. Her head pounded, the pressure making it impossible to think. Blinking against the sweat stinging her eyes, she tried to hold onto her humanity. Was she going to explode at any moment or could she tamp down the internal, and infernal, creature for another day?
Crouched against the wall for support, her chest heaved as she struggled for breath. Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes, trying to deal with the terror inside. The terror she’d kept hidden… until tonight.
“Deena? Mom said—,” Devin Skinner rounded the corner and skidded to a halt. His thoughts blanked at seeing his twin sister. “Holy crap.”
Deena Skinner’s eyes flew open, her beautiful blue irises now yellow with black elongated pupils. Around a mouth full of pointed teeth, her deepening voice warned him, “Stay away from me, Devin.”
Oh, no. He should’ve told her. She was his twin. Did he think she’d be spared the agony of the curse he assumed was his alone to bear? By neglecting to confide in her, he’d wronged her grievously. Now he needed to make this right. He only hoped he could.
“Deena. Can you hear me?” Devin waited for a response. None came. “Do you see me?”
Tears streamed down her tormented face as she shook her head at her brother. “Dev. Run. Please. For the love of God… run!”
“I’m not leaving you like this.”
Screaming, Deena threw back her head. The drywall behind her crumbled. Bones cracked and fingernails grew as her hands morphed into claws.
Hearing the noises, their mother called up the stairs, “Are you two all right?”
Devin glanced down the hallway praying she didn’t come up to investigate. She didn’t.
“We’re fine, Mom. I just scared Deena.“ But not half as much as she’s scaring me right now.
“Shh. Deena, listen to me. Concentrate on the sound of my voice.” Devin quietly closed and locked the door. “You can fight this. You’re strong. Channel your human self.”
Between clenched teeth, Deena ground out, “It’s. Gone.”
“No, you’re still human. It’s there… inside. Find it.” Devin watched her panting frame. Her breaths came in short, fast bursts.
He had to do something, but he couldn’t chance leaving her to seek help from those who’d saved him. The others lived across town. Left unattended, Deena could wreak havoc in no time. Not to mention Mom was home.
Their parents had adopted the twins when they were under a year old. That was almost eighteen years ago. Both he and Deena loved them with all their hearts. How were they to know the seemingly normal babies they’d nurtured would grow into this?
“Deena. Mom’s downstairs. I can’t let you hurt her.”
“I don’t want to hurt her.” Her red-rimmed reptilian eyes pleaded with him. Her weak and defeated voice begged him, “Kill me. Devin. Help me and kill me now.”
Devin released a barking laugh. “Ha! As if. Now work with me here, Godzilla. You can harness this.”
Deena’s shoulders began shaking as great sobs racked her aching body. She wasn’t strong, she couldn’t control this. “I can’t.”
If she turned any further, she’d be lost to him. Devin had to make her understand. “See. Your voice was normal that time. You’re learning to deal with your inner beast.”
A fierce snarl escaped her. Yellow eyes flashed at him. In a throaty growl an octave deeper than her usual voice, she answered him, “I’m not. Now. Kill. Me!”
“I’d rather let you kill me. Do you want to kill me, Deena?”
“No,” she whispered. Bowing her head into her clawed hands, she wept.
“If you were truly possessed, you wouldn’t care. Now help me out.” Devin stopped, waiting for Deena to look at him. She nodded. “Take a deep breath.” She inhaled.
“Good.” Devin pushed open the bedroom window, letting in light and life from outside.
“Think about the sunny day. Listen to the birds chirping, the neighbor’s dogs barking, the children laughing and playing in the schoolyard down the street. Concentrate on the world. Smell the clean, crisp air. Think about walking — upright, not ambling like a Neanderthal — down the street, petting the dogs, waving at the neighbors and their kids. Remember how wonderful it feels to be human.”
She could do this. He was her tall, dark and handsome older brother — five minutes older, but still older. She’d try … for him.
 Deena closed her eyes. She focused on the sounds drifting into her room. Drawing a slow breath, she listened with a human heart.
The burning haze in her brain lessened, the throbbing quieted. Exhaling long and deliberate, Deena yearned to be herself again.
Thoughts of life’s pains and pleasures wound their way through her clearing brain. Living hurt, but the tradeoff was the happiness that weaved its way through every human soul a few minutes each day. No other species could boast the wonders of being human. Deena wanted that more than anything.
Opening her eyes — her human eyes — she was greeted by her brother’s heartwarming smile.
“I knew you could do it, tiger.”
Devin backed up to the wall and slid down it, ending on the floor beside his sister. He wrapped an arm around her and hugged her sweat-soaked body to him. Kissing her on the forehead, he confessed, “Boy, do I have a lot of freaky things to tell you.” Glancing behind them, he added, “Man, Mom is going to kill us for denting her wall.”
Exhausted but comforted, Deena closed her eyes and laid her head on her big brother’s broad shoulder. “I’m so blaming you for this, Dev.”

© 2014 Patricia S Gunther. All rights reserved. This document and the information contained herein is the sole property of Patricia S. Gunther.  Any reproduction, including copying and/or publishing, in part or as a whole, is strictly prohibited without written permission from the author.