Tied In The Dark is the title of the first micro flash fiction contest by Mystery Tribune which encourages mystery, noir, or other literary writers to submit short fiction inspired by an image provided by the magazine.
The Hand Print By J.B. Stevens
Hamburg’s port had thousands of shipping containers. Finding a peaceful spot was easy. The space was dark. Sound echoed.
Sam ignored the piss. The feces was harder, but Sam was a professional. He checked the zip-ties, still good. He got the smelling salts and gave Hans a whiff.
Blue eyes opened.
“We aren’t done.”
Sam grabbed blonde hair. He scalped the kid and dropped the mess in Hans’s naked lap. Hans screamed.
“Now it won’t block your view.”
Hans cried for a long time. He started puking again. Sam hooked up the seventh IV bag.
“I don’t know the room in the photo,” Hans said. His English was good, only a slight accent. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Your text messages disagree,” Sam said.
“Stop the denials. Look at the picture. The room. The handprint.”
Sam got out the bolt cutter and cut off the third toe on Han’s right foot.
Hans wept, then talked.
“We did it. I remember the little windows. I was high, an accident. I’m sorry.”
“Clarity makes my boss happy. Thank you.”
Sam had giving the kid a lot of meth. The drugs put off an ammonia smell.
Sam removed all ten fingers and the remaining toes. He hooked up a fresh IV bag in each arm.
“You should bleed out, but I gave you so many bags… you could last a long time, but that’s a lot of trauma. I don’t know. Whatever, you shouldn’t have raped my boss’s daughter.”
As ordered, Sam stuffed the fingers and toes into the kid’s mouth and tapped it shut. He left the container, locked it, and went to the airport.
Sam was back in Phoenix by morning. His wife made eggs. His son ate with him. It was nice.
911 By Nidheesh Samant
I was surprised when I received the information from the dispatcher.
It was the address of an abandoned warehouse, unused for as long as I could remember. A 911 call had been made, the caller claiming that he was trapped inside the warehouse. I knew it was probably a prank. However, my duty dictated that I investigate. So, here I was staring at the padlocked front door of the warehouse. I knocked on the door and called out “Anyone inside?”
There was no response. After banging on the door furiously for a few seconds and screaming my lungs out, I drew my pistol. I aimed it at the padlock and fired, taking the lock clean off. I pushed the door and it opened, creaking all the way. A sickening odour invaded my nose. I switched on my flashlight and called out once again.
This is the police. Anyone here?
Other than the echo of my own voice, there was no other sound. I began walking towards the inside. The entire warehouse, was dark and dusty. It looked exactly as I had thought it would. I flashed my light around, hoping to see something of interest. I light illuminated what looked like a handprint on the door. I began walking towards it when my foot struck something, almost making me trip. I swung my torch towards the ground and almost jumped in surprise. It was a foot. No, not just a foot. An entire body. This explained the stench. The torch illuminated the face, and the cellphone that was being held up against the ear. The face had a menacing smile on it. I realized the reason behind it a little too late. I was already trapped inside the pitch black warehouse by then.
A 911 call was my last hope…
Tied In The Dark By Todd Davis
Underneath the City stretched a lurid underground which catered to the degenerated desires of those no longer able to get gratification from Pornhub. Robert Gaines was one such man whose tastes gradually devolved into more and more lurid pornography until he could only find sexual release by witnessing extreme BDSM. When he became even numb to that he began resorting to more severe measures. Robert had a trust fund bequeathed to him by a wealthy uncle which had allowed him to live a life of privilege and excess for as long as he could remember. That money was used to purchase things; bribes to law enforcement, payoffs to shady Armenian traffickers and women abducted, broken and bought for his pleasure. He liked them white and plain, from small towns in Nebraska or Kansas with flaxen hair and freckles.
Tonight he followed a Greek who had extensive contacts in the City, down into this dirty poorly lit warehouse basement. The writing on the door was German, he knew that from one semester at university, he didn’t much care what it said, he was already getting aroused by the thought of what lay within. Inside the room he was startled to find it empty, though vaguely familiar as if he were experiencing deja vu.
“What’s going on here? Where is the girl?” He asked the Greek. Robert tried to turn around but the man grabbed him, put him in a half nelson and slide a wicked knife into his groin cutting upward spilling guts and offal onto the floor. The pain was excruciating and more horrifying, all too familiar.
Robert walked down the street, underneath the City stretched a lurid underground which catered to the degenerated desires of those no longer able to get gratification from Pornhub.
To participate, please read the process guidelines below:
Review the featured image (above), and write a micro flash fiction piece inspired by this image.
Submit your story as a comment in this entry. Make sure your entry has a maximum of 300 words. Please include your full name along with your entry.
Mystery Tribune will select some of the submitted stories every few days and will add them to the body of this post.
The winner of the flash fiction contest will be announced on March 15, 2019 and will receive $25. The winning entry will also be included in our next print issue.
For submitting longer-form fiction to be published in Mystery Tribune print edition or flash fiction in our website and apps, please follow our general submission guidelines here.