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Flash Fiction, Short Story, writing prompt

The Shut Window [Flash Fiction]

The product of a 10 minute, impromptu, Twitter writing prompt… “She heard a scream and opened/closed the window“.

Window silhouette

The Shut Window


She shut the window upon hearing the scream. She knew what it was, who it was. There was nothing she could do. There was never anything she could do, not against him. But it was her sister. How could she just shut her out?

She’d tried to intervene once but she’d woken up with her sister kneeling above, comforting her. Her head ached and she found a piece of tooth under her tongue. The cut on her sister’s brow and swollen eye underneath showed she didn’t fair much better.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” her sister, Simone, had said stroking her hair. “He’s even more angry now.”

“But he stopped, didn’t he?” she said pushing herself off the floor noticing the dented wall where her head must have landed. She remembered his raised fist before waking on the floor.

“Elise, you shouldn’t be here when he comes back.”

“You shouldn’t be here either.”

Simone only nodded but helped her back to her feet and ushered her out, through the old home’s narrow hallway and back into her own room. She pushed open the window thinking the cool air would calm her sister.

But now that window was shut, and Simone and Roland were outside, on the front drive of the isolated home in the woods. She saw Roland’s hand raise and rip the air as it dropped shuddering her sister’s features as she fell to the ground. He fell upon her even as she curled into herself on the leaf strewn ground.

Elise left the window, turned the old glass doorknob. It clicked out of place as the door opened. She walked barefoot across the wooden floor, back to their bedroom. She opened Roland’s nightstand drawer and looked at it lying on top of a magazine she wished she hadn’t noticed. She picked it up, heavy metal in her small hand but she held the fitted handle firm in her grip. With her her left hand she found the toggle flush with pistol’s flat side. She slid it down revealing the red dot underneath. She turned, walked out the door, along the hall and down the staircase.

From beyond the closed window, a man’s harsh curses were cut short with a flash and a thunderous report that rattled the glass ever so slightly. A ringing remained, echoing among the walls, sensed more than heard. The screams had stopped, prevailed upon by only a weighted silence left to lingered on.


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