From here on in, I shall regularly post a piece of my own flash fiction (to be found under the category, ‘Tiny Tales’). Comments, criticism and advice are all welcome. If you’re feeling brave, then post a link to your own pieces of fiction and I will gladly return the favour!!
Through the thin gap in the doorway, the room shone.
Danny could feel the pull, the drag of his feet through the carpet towards it. He held on, the sound of his own reproach bouncing off thin, shadowy walls. After several seconds, he attempted to move away, but the smell had already caught him; it slid between the light-filled gap, clinging to luminous particles of air. It filled his head, smothering his brain, his vision, until all he could see was a hand in front of him, the touch of smooth wood beneath his fingertips. He pushed.
Inside, the full force of shop-bought newness hit him; it rose from the fine-fibred carpet, mingling with the soft scent of recently varnished pine. Paint fumes underpinned it, burning through his nostrils until a dull pain pulsated behind his eyes. The walls throbbed. As he stepped over the threshold, he became aware of the faint buzz of the light bulb above him, illuminating the room with its bare, unfiltered glow. It was unforgiving in its clarity, highlighting his clumsy brush-strokes as thick mounds of yellow paint butted up against sparse patches of barely-covered wall.
There was a foreign object in the room today; it caught Danny’s eye immediately. A tower; it leaned. Labels dangled from amid tight layers of white and yellow, peppered with dots of pink and blue. He reached out, he pulled, and the tower tumbled. Clothes fell like bricks, unravelling themselves as they rolled away from the rubble. Danny picked up a t-shirt, felt the delicate softness of cotton between his fingers. As his hands traced the miniature neckline and shrunken sleeves, the face of a rabbit smiled back at him. He folded it, carefully, reassembling the stack.
He watched; he waited.
When the familiar surge of panic came, it was small, innocuous; breaking against his resolve quickly and with little effort. It wasn’t until he began to move around the room, his hands drifting across the gentle contours of perfectly-placed furniture that the pain behind Danny’s eyes intensified, travelling southward on a wave of pulse-quickening terror. He bent double when he reached the window, crumpling down against the cold ribs of the radiator. In and out, he breathed.
It lasted for five minutes; when it was over, Danny tried to stand. He gripped the windowsill, tasting the acrid saliva that moistened his mouth. He was shaking. With small steps he moved to the door, flicking the light switch off with a sweaty palm. In the dark, a full moon shone ethereal light into the small room, throwing the furniture into shadow. Momentarily, Danny was caught in prison-like bars of light and shade. His eyes followed the outline to its source, to the thick wooden slats of the cot prominently erected in the middle of the room. How ironic, he thought.