I hope you are having a great Halloween season. Here is a little flash fiction I wrote. My first ever flash!
The Foulest Thing
By Madison Keller
Edmund’s hand trembled on the handset before he got up the courage to dial. His son answered on the fifth ring; he could hear music and laughter in the background.
“David, don’t hang up. I miss you.” He paused. “Please come over. I’d like to see – ”
“Look, old man. I don’t want your money. I don’t ever want to see you again. Stop calling me.”
Silence. The line went dead.
He ripped the jack from the wall and threw the phone across the room.
His steps echoed in the emptiness as he wandered through the mansion, he found himself in front of his parent’s old room. He hadn’t been in there since they’d died.
The hinges screeched open and he shuffled forward, fumbling for the switch. Dust puffed up from the carpet with each step. The light flickered then stayed on, illuminating the retro seventies orange shag carpet. Something sparkled, half hidden under a dusty floral print hat. He crossed the room and revealed a white horn, slightly curved with a corkscrew spiral edge.
The horn was warm under his fingers. He marveled at how clean it was.
In the brighter light of his study he set it on his desk, next to the framed photo of Maggie holding little David on her lap. After her death there had never been time enough for friends, work, or even his son. Their recent estrangement only exacerbated the hole she’d left in his life.
Sunlight sparkled about the horn, creating shifting rainbows on the walls. Maggie would have loved it.
It was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
The folks at the antique mall were just as impressed. “We’ll give you a thousand for it.”
The horn was too unique to sell and he had enough money; the curiosity consumed him. He asked around. He found no answers, but the horn gained many fans.
For the first time in his life he found himself invited to a party. “Bring that fabulous horn of course,” they gaily said in the invitation.
At the ball he showed off the horn; when he brought it out the room brightened and rainbows shone. The guests pressed forward, clamoring for more.
When he’d tired of holding and put it away the crowd returned to their hors d’oeuvres.
Edmund mingled, approaching a woman and her friend.
“Wonderful show. How much?”
“It’s not for sale.”
“Of course not, its the only thing you have going for you.” They tittered, heads together, as they walked off.
That was the best exchange he had that night.
Before he’d found the horn he’d been lonely, but not discontent, not empty and hollow as he was now.
The horn was the foulest thing he’d ever seen.
Edmund twisted his hands around it, the sharp edges of the conicals biting into the palms of his hands. “I wish my son knew how I felt, how it feels being all alone.”
It pulsed in his hands then crumbled away into ash. As the last of it dissolved he lost consciousness.
He awoke to his son’s boyfriend shaking him awake. “David, you’re having a nightmare. Wake up.”