Tag Archives: Eric Esteb

Despair

Oatmeal and cornflakes Christmas cookies

"So I make him cookies when my husband is gone..." Image via Wikipedia

Once again, Fantasyfic writer Eric Esteb has written a chilling flash fiction story that still gives me the shivers.  He has kindly offered to let me post it here for him as a guest writer.  Thanks, Eric.

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Despair

by Eric Esteb

Despair is a man who lives on my street.

I believe in being a good neighbor, and my husband is gone on business a lot, and toddlers aren’t the great company you might expect. He seems lonely, when I see him (which isn’t often to be honest) I feel his nature wash over me. It drives the others on the street away, even the local teens, bored and wasted on hormones leave him alone, but it just makes me want to talk to him.

Despair is middle-aged and lives alone. I’ve never seen a woman coming or going, early in the morning when the sprinklers run, and when it’s day time he only ever wears the same ratty looking robe and unkempt, spotty beard. At night he wears an old black suit but the beard stays.

He’s the kind of person you might worry about… you know when you read in the paper about a neighbor noticing a funny smell coming from someone’s garage. Sometimes I worry I’m going to be that person, telling the paper, “I’m as shocked as anybody! I thought he was just quiet, if I had known he was in such a bad way I would have helped!”

So I make him cookies when my husband is gone and leave them on his door step with his paper (which I pull out of his unwatered rose-bush) on the weekends.

Only recently has he started taking them. He leaves the platter on my doorstep when he leaves his house late at night. I seem to be getting through to him, and im happy but there is something else. Something in the pit of my stomach twists, when I drop my son off at day care, or make love to husband or have tea with my girlfriends it’s like a part of me isn’t there any longer.

I don’t know if I’m going to keep making the cookies to leave the man named Despair just a few doors down from mine.

People say cookies are made with love. I know this is going to sound crazy but it’s almost like he’s taking that little bit of myself that gets baked into those little cookies and taking it for himself. What would the reporter from the paper say when someone complains of a bad smell and they get around to asking me why I quit. “It was your cookies keeping him going Debra.”

“It’s what he lived for.”

So I guess I can spare a little more of myself. I want to be a good neighbor.

428 words
Copyright (c) 2011 by Eric Esteb
All rights reserved.
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Dark

The Cave

Image via Wikipedia

We have a guest blogger today who has become fascinated with flash fiction.  His name is Eric Esteb, and he is a screenwriter by profession.  He is also a member of the writers at my FantasyFic forum.  Two of his wonderful stories were accepted as part of the anthology, Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories, edited by me and published by FantasyFic Publishing.
This is Eric’s first foray into our blogosphere, so please make him welcome.
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Dark
by Eric Esteb
“There are spiders in there.””So? Are you scared?” Erin asked mockingly.

“No, I’m not scared,” Arnie swallowed hard and looked into the darkness of the hole under the old dead tree. He was smart enough to know that Erin and her friends had brought him here to torment him, but he’d come because he had always fancied her, throw in the fact that she had developed earlier than all the other girls in his class and…

His current predicament was a foregone conclusion. He turned and looked at Erin; she nodded for him to go.

“If you’re just gonna chicken out Arnie, tell us now so we can get out of the sun.”

“I just need to bring out a rock?”

The girl smiled. “Yep! To prove you went all the way in.”

It was dark in the cave, too dark to see after Arnie had gone around a bend in the path. The air was humid and heavy, somewhere, deeper within the cave it sounded like the earth was breathing.

Hands slick with mud Arnie groped his way along the sweating walls of the narrow cavern. After a few minutes the ground evened out and the path widened. Suddenly Arnie’s hand fell upon a sturdy wooden fence. The wood felt old but strong.

He felt his way along the fence until he came to a gate barred from his side. Arnie hesitated a moment at the gate but thoughts of Erin’s T-shirt cascaded into his head. Arnie hefted the heavy plank barring the gate, let it fall to the muddy ground and opened the gate with a creak. He winced, but after nothing bad happened he continued on through.

The breathing stopped but he felt less alone than he did a moment ago. He continued on into the absolute blackness until he found the far wall. He still needed a rock, though now it felt like something was watching him.

He blundered along until his feet fell on stone. He stepped up onto an altar and felt around in the darkness for something to take up to the girls.

“Ouch!” His voice sounded far away in that dank cavern. His hand fell onto something sharp. Something metal. Arnie touched it more carefully and realized it was a sword buried in the ground. He wrapped his hand around the grip and the blade began to glow blue.

He looked about, sensing something had been living there and, with horror, that it was no longer in its prison.

Outside, far away Arnie heard the girls scream.

Something deep down within him told him what to do. Part of him, the reader, the geek, the outcast always knew.

Arnie pulled the sword from the bed rock and rushed through the darkness to the light.

465 words
Copyright (c) 2011 Eric Esteb.  All rights reserved.