Flash Fiction: Passing the Time

candle with flame header

This was written for last week’s Cracked Flash Fiction competition, where you get the first sentence and then have 300 words in which to complete your story.

Passing the Time

“I think I preferred your old hobby,” Gerhardt called over his shoulder as he signed for yet another package addressed to Mrs Hilda Faustus.

He tried to read the label as he turned and closed the front door with his foot. But Hilda was already rushing towards him, clapping her hands with glee at the newest addition to her collection.

“What is it this time?”


“More candles?” He looked around the crowded living room. Pillar candles of all sizes stood on every flat surface not covered by trinkets bought off late night shopping shows.

Hilda tore into the black cardboard box like it was a Christmas present and showed him a grimy black candle.

“See? Pre-dribbled, even,” she grinned. “Doesn’t it look just beautiful?”

“Very,” Gerhardt sighed. “I still prefer the scrapbooking.”

“You always went on about the glitter that got everywhere.”

“I prefer glitter to random summoned demons.”

“It just takes practice to get the spells right.”

“The neighbours are talking. Jeff found me in the front yard the other day and -”

“O! Look at that! They now have monthly surprise boxes! O darling, can I sign up for those?”

Gerhardt shrugged. He should have known this would happen. It always did in his family. One moment everyone is happy to scrapbook,crochet, or even make a bit of liquor in the backyard. The next moment they find a grimoire and it’s all blood and souls and getting dragged off to hell.

“Of course darling,” he sighed. “Just read the fine print first, alright?”

She bustled off to her workroom and he stared at the pile of scrapbooking supplies forgotten in the corner of the room.

“Whatever makes you happy, darling,” he whispered.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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