Flash fiction: Red

Written for Microcosms, my prompt was the line “I woke up dead, the colour removed from the world”.


I woke up dead, the colour removed from the world.

Not again.

I willed my body to stay still, but the fear overwhelmed whatever courage I still had left to keep playing dead. Beside me, I heard the high-pitched scream of electricity waiting to be set loose.

I rolled my head to the left. He always stood to my left.

“I thought you’d left this time.” He was sobbing. He clicked the machine off and the electric scream stopped.

“I got you your favourite cake.” He made me sat up, put flowers in my hair like when we were young. They, too, were grey. I looked down at my grey dress. Once it had been blue and red, I remember. Yes. I wore it on my…

“Happy birthday, darling.”

I didn’t turn my head fast enough and his cold lips met mine. I pulled away.

“You remember? Birthdays? You used to love them.”

I shook my head.

He grabbed my arm, yanked me to my feet and dragged me up the narrow staircase that led from the cellar.

I sat down at the kitchen table. Chocolate cake. I’ve always hated chocolate cake.

We ate and he spoke and I nodded and the shadows in the room slowly lengthened and he switched on the light and started making dinner.

“Bathroom,” he said. “You stay here.”

I got up the moment he left the room, opened the drawer where he kept the gun. It was empty. I heard his laugh, picked up the kitchen knife and slashed down my arms, spilling grey blood.


I woke up dead, the colour removed from the world and sighed.


“Bathroom,” he said. “Stay.”

I took the knife, waited until he came back. And lunged at him.

Red blood stained my dress.

By Carin Marais

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


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