Please welcome debutant T. S. Mallow with her creepy flash...
The Danforth, Greektown. Opa! She had moved there because it sounded exotic and God knows she needed some exotic in her sad, isolated life. Muriel had built her nest in the small flat over top of a dusty men's clothing shop. It wasn't really what you'd call exotic but the bustle of living on the busy street distracted her from the suffocating weight of loneliness. At least for a while.
And then he moved in next door.
It was as if the Gods of Historical Romances, to which she prayed each night alone in her bed, had answered her prayers. They'd sent her a prince. She first saw him through the tiny window in her kitchenette. It faced his building next door - literally an arm's length away - overlooking an alley so narrow raccoons would feel claustrophobic. An alley with a picket fence. A picket fence for God's sake. Four pickets. Why bother?
She'd always wondered about that window. Why it existed. Now she knew. Destiny. Those crazy Gods of Fabio and his ilk, the same ones that had brought the prince, had put in that window. Others would wonder why one would care for a view of a brick wall, but Muriel knew otherwise. It wasn't a view of a wall; it was a view of a window. His window. A view into his life.
He'd smiled at her the first time. A funny smile, uncomfortable (maybe he was shy) but there was no denying their connection.
As with all fairy tales there was a monster, in this case an evil witch. The witch mocked Muriel, growling and snapping every time she passed by the window, abusing Muriel's beloved prince, squeezing and biting him.
For hours, Muriel worked diligently on the window frame with a big ol' knife. It hadn't opened in years, painted over and over again. The knife's tip dug in to the layers, white and yellow and powder blue flakes chipped off, falling to the floor, catching in her hair. She held firmly, the handle gripped two-fisted, little beads of sweat on her brow and upper lip until finally it loosened, the glass panes rattling as she worked it open. She reached across the chasm, the long drop to the dirty alleyway below.
Almost there my love...
“Good God. She's doing it again,” Sarah said to her husband. “She's going to fall out.”
He chuckled. “She's harmless.”
“It's creepy. And there are fingerprints all over the outside of the window, how are we supposed to clean it?”
“Maybe we should move.”
“We just got here.”
“I'm buying blinds tomorrow. Heavy ones.”
“Then you won't have to worry about fingerprints.” He leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek and she rose up on her tiptoes to wrap her arms around his neck.
Today would be the day.
Muriel twisted the cold metal between her fingers. Today she would save her prince and they would be together. Squatting between the two buildings, she leaned up against the grey, weathered pickets, facing the street, hidden from the front doors. Waiting. The wicked sharp blade drew blood as she ran it over her palm again. She'd be brave for him. After all, he'd do the same for her; he loved her.
The witch would be along soon.
T. S. Mallow is currently ensconced in the snowy Canadian countryside, waiting for spring's thaw and the opportunity to remove the frozen shrinkwrap shrouding her beloved sailboat. She spends her days, creatively exploring her dark side (writing, honest, just writing) and fervently hoping to find an agent for her newly completed thriller, Butterflies in a Hurricane.