Neon Tetras Flash By

Five years old, innocent eyes attempting slumber. Distracted by rhythmic pumping from the bedroom closet. Focused on the neon tetras, stripes of cobalt and blood-red flash behind waxy, plastic ferns. Bubbles churn the sound of water in her ears.

Sour coffee breath exhales on her skin. Fixated on the macramé basket, knotted hemp, walnut beads. Grime clings at the rope; a luminous, dusty halo.

Thirty years old, buying dog food at the pet store. Neon tetras flash by, the familiar gurgle sends shivers reverberating down her spine. Memory of the childhood monster in the closet still threatens her sanity.


 

This blog post is part of Charli Mill’s Flash Fiction Challenge issued by Carrot Ranch Communications. March 9, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a monster story. You can pick any perspective, even that of the monster. It can be literal or symbolic; it can be heroic or realistic. Think about the shifting roles of what is a monster and who is a monster-slayer. Consider how easily we give the label to others or to fears we can’t name.

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