Halloween Friday Flash #2: The Haunting of Nona

What if you don’t stop? What if you just keep going? Crash right in the back of that unsuspecting car?

This was the first incident, the first time Nona realized something else occupied her head.  She broke free from the Voice at the last minute and slammed on the brakes, sending out a loud screech and cloud of road dust. Wide eyed fear greeted her from the rear view mirror of her intended victim.  Her body trembled. The Voice chuckled softly.

Nona went home and stared at herself in the mirror. Tiny flecks of gold muddled the grey. She pressed in closer to the mirror. The flecks turned red and sparked. Nona jumped back and ran out of the bathroom.

The second time happened in her best friend’s kitchen. Nona stood, pouring olive oil over steaming noodles in the sink. Linda was stirring her famous sauce.

Nona suddenly wheeled around and said, “What do you mean?”

“Didn’t say anything,” Linda answered, her lips just leaving a wooden spoon full of sauce.

Nona stared into that steaming bowl, briefly unhinged, watching a smile materialize in the steam as it rose, the moist warmth touching her face.  The large butcher knife on Linda’s cutting board suddenly took on an otherworldly glow, shimmering like moonlight reflected on a lake. Nona blinked, reached out and rested a finger on the blade. Wrapped a palm around the handle.

The Voice whispered one word, ‘flesh’, and in that instant she needed to know what it would feel like to sink the blade deep into flesh. Nona glanced at Linda’s back, partially exposed by her tank top and the hunger grew. If only Linda knew the battle, the violent war Nona raged with the Voice in those moments, Linda would’ve known real fear. Nona won by rushing out of the house, carrying the Voice far from her.

She went home, threw all her kitchen knifes in a shoebox and duct taped it shut.

The Voice began to taunt her with a sweet little sing-song of, “Where ever you go, there I am”.  She tried meditation to calm her nerves. She was greeted there, in the solitude, by a humming darkness. It had no form, but it had a presence that was separate from her own mind.

Am I possessed?

You are shared.

What are you?

Sometimes paths cross accidently. Things get stuck.

Nona came out of meditation two hours later holding a paring knife and bleeding from a dozen wounds on her left arm. Meditation was out.

I’ve gone mad, Nona thought, like the dad in The Shining.

Halloween evening, dusk fell and the doorbell started ringing. She could see the little ones peeking in the window as she cowered in the dark, afraid of herself, afraid of what the Voice would try to make her do.

She couldn’t take it, finally screaming, “Why don’t you just get out of my head!”

And It obliged.

A soft swooshing noise tickled her right ear, then all hell broke loose in her house. Plants flew against the wall, the impact spraying dirt everywhere, kitchen chairs fell over, drawers spit out their contents, drapes ripped from the windows. She screamed and screamed until someone began pounding on the door. Shaking, she managed to stumble and get it opened.

“Are you alright, Ma’am?” The father of a tiny witch asked, trying to see behind Nona into the house. “We heard you screaming.”

“Oh, thank heavens,” As she was trying to figure out what kind of help to ask for… the police? An exorcist?  The voice whispered in her ear. She could feel heat radiating behind her but didn’t dare turn around.

“Pretty little thing,” It said. Nona looked down at the blue-eyed, blond haired toddler with green face paint and a sagging black hat. “Mmm…bite sized human.”

Nona knew at that moment, the Voice was hers to bear. She couldn’t let it out in the world. She was its prisoner, but she was also its jailer.

“I’m sorry. I must have had my Halloween CD up too loud.” Nona said, her heart sinking. “Here you go. Happy Halloween.” She reached over and grabbed a handful of candy from the full bowl, putting on her best non-crazy woman smile.

“You stay safe tonight.”


  1. #1 by David G Shrock on October 15, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    A nice treat. Very thoughtful of her to accept the voice even if it means becoming the neighborhood crazy woman.

  2. #2 by Pamila Payne on October 15, 2010 - 4:01 pm

    What a tense, dark tale. She has a hard task ahead of her, I’m afraid. No, really… I’m afraid…

  3. #3 by Deanna Schrayer on October 15, 2010 - 5:13 pm

    This is deliciously chilling Shannon. Having someone else inside you, someone evil, wanting out is much scarier than any monster chasing you down the street. An edge-of-your-seat’r here.

  4. #4 by Emma Newman on October 15, 2010 - 5:20 pm

    Oooh, goose bumps! Yes, liked this very much, and the conclusion she had to come to – tragic and chilling :o)

  5. #5 by soesposito on October 15, 2010 - 6:26 pm

    Thanks, guys. People’s innner demons do scare me more than their outer ones 🙂

  6. #6 by Gloria Oliver on October 15, 2010 - 6:41 pm

    Yay! I’m finally able to go out and read a few of these. Life’s been crazy for months.
    Good job! Enjoyed this!

  7. #7 by John Wiswell on October 15, 2010 - 7:26 pm

    I’ve been there before. A voice in the head is such a bother. Hope yours let you rest, Shannon.

    • #8 by soesposito on October 15, 2010 - 8:15 pm

      Well, they let me nap once in a while. Guess that’ll do.

  8. #9 by marc nash on October 15, 2010 - 8:16 pm

    is this what’s it’s like to have schizophrenic voices talking to you? Scary as hell. But fantastically well drawn.

  9. #10 by Alex F. Fayle on October 15, 2010 - 8:47 pm

    Ooh, creepy! But the real creepy part is that as writers we hear that voice all the time. We know what it would feel like to pull up that knife and stab someone because we’ve done in our writing.

    Nicely done!

  10. #11 by KjM on October 16, 2010 - 12:52 am

    Oh, that’s not going to be easy – prisoner and jailer. They are bound together.

    A wonderfully dark tale, well told. And perfect for the time of year. 🙂

    Nicely done.

  11. #12 by ~Tim on October 16, 2010 - 5:03 am

    All the voices in my head agree that this is a wonderful dark tale.

  12. #13 by Steve Green on October 16, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    Lovely chilling tale. A writer when asked why they wrote, said “It quietens the voices” As someone already stated, writers get their stories from their inner voices.

    PS. I love Tim’s comment. 🙂

  13. #14 by Gracie on October 16, 2010 - 6:10 pm

    Utterly horrifying, tense, and a perfect Halloween story. Yikes! *shudder*

    Poor Nona. Those darned voices…

    Excellent story.

  14. #15 by Marisa Birns on October 16, 2010 - 6:25 pm

    So much better to deal with the devil you know… at least as a jailer.

    Perfectly, wonderfully scary story.

  15. #16 by Kari Fay on October 16, 2010 - 6:42 pm

    Keep the evil Voice where you know where it is! Just hope that Nona’s strong enough.

  16. #17 by RBlackbirdsong on October 17, 2010 - 7:29 am

    Haunted from within..yup that would be so much worse than just being in a haunted place. Truly chilling tale.

  17. #18 by mazzz in Leeds on October 17, 2010 - 9:20 am

    “You are shared” – that single line was ultra creepy!
    I hope she’s a strong jailer!

  18. #19 by Mark Kerstetter on October 17, 2010 - 9:23 pm

    I agree with Mazzz, and “Things Get Stuck” would make a great title.

    Was going to make a joke about voices in my head but folks cleverer than me beat me to it.

  19. #20 by A. S. Boudreau on October 17, 2010 - 9:52 pm

    I agree with mazzz that line “you are shared” really creeped me out…
    wow. Excellent story… though creepy and scary.

    Makes you wonder…

  20. #21 by Cathy Olliffe on October 17, 2010 - 10:01 pm

    Shannon, Shannon, Shannon! Wowsers, lady, you sure know how to scare the crapola out of a person!
    Like everyone else, “you are shared” was my fave line but I must say you picked the perfect name for your main character. The Haunting of Nona is a blow-me-down title.

    • #22 by soesposito on October 19, 2010 - 1:17 pm

      Thanks, Cathy. Actually, I had this written in first person but then she told me her name so I had to rewrite it. Sheesh, characters, eh?

  21. #23 by Laurita on October 21, 2010 - 12:27 pm

    “You are shared” – *Shiver*
    This was so good, so tragic. Poor Nona.

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