Fear Itself

A flash piece I wrote several years ago and expanded a little bit recently. It’s not any of my A material  but I’ve used the basic idea behind it to write a few stories since. Have a look.


“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” –Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The car was still smoking on the hillside as I walked up along the path from the old farm house. It was a classic, some old rag top muscle car that would have moistened the panties of many a prom date back in the day. Now it was a charred out husk with flames shooting up from the engine block and cab. Branches and leaves in the already emberous autumn tree were flickering as the fire climbed up the steadily darkening bark. I wasn’t particularly interested in it or the bodies crisping as they lay across the smashed hood. My concern was with the pale man standing beside the wreckage with a smug sense of satisfaction in the way he held himself.

It was bipedal, almost human in its overall design but that was the end of any similarity to mankind. It had three fingers on each thumbless hand that stretched from its palms in slick, silver tips. It had no face, no organs or any sort of apertures or openings that would have distinguished a front or a back. It absorbed energy, mostly the energy that came from a sudden and terrible fear. Something like an impending car crash or being unable to escape the flames licking up around around them had probably made for a hell of a meal. It also liked bravado and, as I slid my hand to the holster on my right hip, it turned towards dessert.

Vaulting fluidly over the raging fire and down the slope of the hill its limbs stretched in a windblown rubber flapping. There wasn’t a name for whatever this thing was, just a certain rarity that gave me a sense of fulfillment every time I encountered one. I fired two rounds into its chest and a third in its head as it rolled down the hill in a rag doll cartwheel. I almost felt bad as it skidded to a stop at my feet. They weren’t the most maleficent or evil of creatures, especially considering some of the things I’d seen. Mostly just a cryptic nuisance. It was light as I dragged it with my free hand up the hill and pushed it into the charnel pit that was the wreckage. I lit a cigarette off the flames licking up from the fresh fuel I’d added and holstered my pistol.

Just another day in paradise.


About Danno

Dan Lee is a freelance writer, critic, independent author and publisher, as well as a horror culture correspondent. His articles, interviews, editorials, and fictional works continue to run on several sites and publications. He is also one of the resurrectionists behind the return of the Nashville Zombie Walk (2017).
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