The Emptied House – Sudden Fiction by James Maloney

Fiction, Flash Fiction

                When the old crow arrived, it was as if the whole world fell silent and stopped rotating. The stone statues that littered the front yard of this old Victorian kept their steely gaze on the withered woman as she made her way to the door. Opening her purse she reluctantly reached in and withdrew the key. It had been many years since she had last stepped foot in the old house. So many memories, many of which she tried to forget. A sense of fear and hatred rushed to her as she jammed the old key into the rusted lock. She turned the key and pushed it open with little effort, as if the door wanted to open. It wanted her to come in.

                She entered reluctantly, and as she did a blinding light shot out of the foray and created a flash so bright she thought life as she knew was over. As soon as she gathered her senses she looked about the empty hall. Dust covered everything, cobwebs hung like tinsel on Christmas. The world she once knew was now barely recognizable.  The ghosts of her past were fluttering in her mind. The torment she went through with the parents who would scold her for doing the best job out of her class. This was her haunted house now. So many times she’s wanted to tear this beast down, and so many times she’s failed to do so.

                 She’s sent crews and building inspectors out before to do the job of demolishing the house’s past crimes only to hear that the crews were either to frightened by the house and the so called spirits that haunted it or simply disappeared from the world. The fact is the house still stood, and it seemed would stand for the rest of eternity. This was unacceptable, she has had everything go her way thus far but when it came to this house there was nothing more to than to just wait until the stupid thing collapses or an act of God takes it down in fell swoop.

                She walked to where the living room stood, its four walls and boarded windows once resembling the elegance of such a magnificent house now represented the prison it has become.  She turned toward the light switch that rested in the wall, next to the foray and was about to turn it on when she realized that the electricity wasn’t on in this decrepit building and she would have to use the candles that were in the china cabinet’s drawer. As she opened the draw and withdrew one of the old candles her mother stored there she thought she heard a voice in the distance. She ignored it and started to light the candle when the voice, this time more prominent shot through her like a bolt of lightning.

                “Elizabeth, Whhhyyy…” The woman whirled around and stared into the pale face of the love she once knew. “Whyyy where you gone sooo long?”

                “You aren’t real! You’re dead!! You’re nothing more than a figment of my imagination!” She screamed as she curled up on the floor frightened out of here mind.

                “I am the one who loved you more, the others were nothing to you. I love you Elizabeth!” And with that, the ghost was gone. She was alone once again in the house of horror she once knew.

Written by : James Maloney

NOTE: (This piece was written during HCC’s Sudden-Fiction contest last fall. You can see the original Contest prompt here: Our next contest is next Wednesday, February 24th – 11am in KC-512. You’ll have 30 minutes to write a piece of fiction on-the-spot, based on prompts we give you. You’ll write on the computers in 512. No need to sign up in advance – just show up and you’re in.)


One thought on “The Emptied House – Sudden Fiction by James Maloney

  1. The title of this piece drew me in. So many possibilities when empty becomes emptied.

    I like the sound of the contest. If you are interested in additional opportunities, please consider entering Writer Advice’s Fifth Annual Flash Prose Contest. Details, deadline, guidelines, and mailing address are at

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