Submitted for the Short Story and Flash Fiction Society – Flash Fiction #8

Requirement – Write a flash fiction story between 200 -700 words that is a horror story using the serene photo prompt below.


The Familiar

Charlotte stood at the window and looked out at the path. No matter what her husband Mike tried, that path, the symbol of their family tragedy would never fade away. Charlotte felt that there would never be any growth in the foliage and she would have to see that path as long as they lived in the house. The path mocked her daily.  It had been a spring day just like today.  Mickey, Charlotte and Mike’s four year old son was playing in the yard one minute and the next he was gone.  It had been his birthday that day. They hadn’t known it would be his last. Left behind was that path. The police tried to help but soon the case was as cold as winter.  Every few weeks, Charlotte would check in; however there was never any leads.  When Mickey first disappeared, they had thought maybe an animal dragged him off into the hills; but Charlotte stopped believing that two years ago.

Two years ago another child on the other side of the county had disappeared. The case was very similar to Mickey’s disappearance.  That child, a little girl named Alicia, had been four years old as well.  Mickey would be seven today.  The events of three years ago caused Charlotte to be extremely careful with her daughter.  Carrie, now four years old, was never permitted out of the house without her but of course like most children, she like to test the boundaries.

Charlotte was brought out of her memories by the slamming of the back door. Soon her daughter came into view and Charlotte saw her racing towards that path.  By the time she ran downstairs and reached the backyard, Carrie was gone.  She entered the path, a place Charlotte usually avoided, and an all too familiar feeling of dread came over her. Soon she heard her daughter laughing and talking to someone.  After running a few yards, Charlotte came upon Carrie sitting on the ground. She was gesturing and laughing.

“Mommy you finally get to meet my friend.  We’ve been best friends forever.”

Charlotte saw no one and this scared her more than she could imagine.  “I don’t see anyone Carrie. Let’s go back to the house now.”

“He’s right there, ” said Carrie pointing ahead of them. “Can’t you see his funny pointed tail?”

Charlotte lifted Carrie into her arms and began to run back down the path.

When they were back inside, Charlotte scolded Carrie. “I told you to never leave the house. I don’t want you talking to your new friend.”

“He said you may not be able to see him.  Mommy what is a familiar?”


“My friend said that I am his familiar.”

Twitter Handle: @ma_holloway


4 responses

  1. Birgit says:

    Oooh boy, that is eerie-great story


  2. I love this story! I want to know more about these creatures that have children for their familiars…