False Alarm? – 100 Word Flash Fiction


Jake yawned purposely, eyes closing tightly enough to aggravate his migraine. Freezing air filled his lungs. He didn’t want to be here. Crouched beside him, the engineer was finishing up. Jake wondered how easy it would be to make him just disappear.

“I can’t find any sign of a leak,” the engineer said. A false alarm, apparently. Jake was certain he’d smelled gas in his kitchen, but it was 3 AM, he was tired and eager to leave the dingy apartment building basement. He apologised to the engineer and showed him out hurriedly. As he did so, he made sure to avoid glancing at the darkened alcove near the entrance, where he could’ve sworn he’d seen a figure watching them.

This Friday Fictioneers entry was brought to you by Kia-Ora and their vaguely racist ad campaign. “I’ll be your dawg!”

Hey look, I’m back again! A little late, but I got here in the end. Don’t get used to it, though, I’ll probably disappear again before next week. Things are still unsettled on the home front.

This one is drawn from a personal experience, which took place earlier this year. It’s not 100% accurate – I didn’t see anything, but I was sure I’d heard someone, or possibly something, moving about in that little offshoot. I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I made sure the engineer was stood between me and the alcove. I was probably imagining it, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

Creative Commons Licence
False Alarm? by Jake Kale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


30 thoughts on “False Alarm? – 100 Word Flash Fiction

    • The worst thing is, I was sitting here in the dark when I wrote this and managed to freak myself out all over again! I suppose that means I did a good job, and that I should put a light on.

      Thanks for the comment!

  1. You turned spooky piece funny 🙂 I won’t be surprised if Engineer saw/heard the same & in a rush to get out of there puled the false alarm. 😉
    Nice to see you back.

    • Thanks, nice to be back! I hope your wrong though, since I’m still living at the same place! Mmm, leaking gas and possible ghosts and/or psychos. When we move, I should probably keep those to myself, whaddaya think?

  2. It’s sad how much I can relate to your character. I’m paranoid about things that go bump in the night, even if they’re just in my own head. Great job!

    • Hey, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. Not that I’m suggesting that they, whoever they are, are. All I’m saying is, have you ever considered investing in a panic room? Just a suggestion.

    • I can… go back down to the basement again if you want, soon as I find an offensive weapon. I think my potato masher might pack a punch. But if I end up on some kind of primitive barbecue formed from discarded dust bin lids and electrical cables, I’m blaming you!

  3. Hi Jake,
    I know that feeling, and you do capture it in the last part of the piece, but I would have loved a bit more physical description of how the possible entity in that alcove made you feel and what/who you thought it was. Nice creepy feeling!
    Laura Hoopes

    • That’s a fair point, I could’ve been more descriptive. I did think that as I was writing it, but I was panicking about sticking to 100 words. Then I went over 100 anyway! Forgive me, it’s been a few weeks since I last took part, I’m a little rusty. The choice not to elaborate on what Jake thought the entity might’ve been, or even if there was an entity at all, was deliberate. I like to leave things open-ended. It’s the one sure way I’ve found of frustrating both supernatural believers and sceptics!

  4. A nice haunt is always interesting! You left my mind conjuring up all the things he could have seen, which is great!

    Regarding the video, I’d venture to say it’s racist, or at the least, in extremely poor taste. The little boy is a sambo/golliwog/pickaninny character and the other characters are equally as offensive.

    • I loved that advert (and the original song Fedora, which we had an LP of – man, the 80’s rocked!) when I was a kid. Back then it never even occurred to me that it would be offensive, but watching it now I’m amazed it got on the air. That’s the fun thing about watching TV shows, movies and cartoons from the last century. You can be having an awesome time, then suddenly there’s some casual racism, sexism or homophobia flaunting itself at you like a slutty gay non-caucasian. In some cases you expect it. My niece picked up a DVD of Love Thy Neighbour a few years back, and given the reputation of that show I knew what to expect. But re-watching Fawlty Towers and hearing the lovable old Major go off about wogs and niggers caught me completely off-guard. Times sure have changed. I suppose the silver lining is the fact that they’re shocking now shows things have improved considerably. TV wise, at least.

  5. Okay, a bit too creaky for my tastes. I’ll take a romantic tale anyday. Thanks for freaking me out. Lol

    • And how do you know the briefly glimpsed phantom wasn’t a shy, gentle, friendly soul, aching for corporeal company? You humans are so judgmental!

    • I haven’t made anyone disappear! I mean, Jake, who’s a completely different Jake, hasn’t made anyone disappear. At least I don’t think he has. But even if he has, I want to stress that he really is a completely different Jake!

      Panicked yet utterly truthful for reals denials aside, that’s an interesting spin on the tale. One could even posit that the figure is someone else Jake (who is seriously a different Jake) made disappear. That was not my intention why I first cobbled this together, but I’ll go to my grave now claiming that it was. And hoping that no-one reads the preceding sentence.

    • Sometimes I think its nice to have some intangible fear to take your mind off the very tangible one. Which is why, after a gas leak scare a couple of years back, I watched The Exorcist!

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