Flash Fiction: Sweet Sixteen

Every week-end there’s a writing prompt called “Week-end write in” on WriteOn. This week-end it was “imagine a dinner-party where a secret is revealed”. The challenge is to do this in 500 words. So here’s my entry for this week-end.

It’s Cathy’s birthday and there is a surprise waiting for her.

Sweet Sixteen

It was Cathy’s 16th birthday party. Not much of a party really, just her and her parents, and a nice dinner her mother had cooked. Her favorite: fish and chips.

“Let’s eat while it’s still hot, happy birthday my dear.”

“Thanks, mom. You’re the best.”

Her mother smiled indulgently.

“Happy birthday from both of us, Cathy.” With those words her father had put a small package on the table, that he’d magicked up from somewhere. It was wrapped in pink paper with a huge bow on top. “Unwrapping is after dinner, though,” he warned with a smug grin on his face.

Cathy stuck her tongue out at him. “Well, then let’s eat!”

The fish was moist and perfect inside the fried dough. The chips were crisp on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside.

“This is wonderful. I wish you could make this when my friends come over on Saturday,” Cathy said, her mouth half-full.

“I’ll see what I can do. Though it might be a little hard to make enough for five hungry girls. I had some other plans. Let me surprise you.”

“Oh, I love surprises.” Cathy smiled, and looked at the small package, wondering what was inside. She had no idea what her parents had gotten her. They had been making a huge secret out of it for weeks now.

Then they were finished with the food. Her father brought the dishes into the kitchen and her mother put the finishing touches on the dessert. Cathy remained seated at the table, staring at her present.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang.

In the kitchen her mother yelped, and dropped something that hit the counter with a wet smack. Her father swore. Then everything was quiet.

“Mom, dad?”

“I’ll get it,” said her mother, and Cathy heard her move towards the front door.

Her father came back into the living room, his face serious.

“What’s wrong, dad?”

Wordlessly, he sat down next to her, and put an arm around her shoulder.

“This is creepy, what…?” The horrified expression on her father’s face stopped her.

The front-door opened and she heard her mother say, “We never thought you would come.”

A high, melodious voice she had never heard before answered: “It is her sixteenth birthday today. Of course, we came!”

“But…” her mother stammered. Cathy sat transfixed at the table, her pulse racing.

“Have you prepared her?” said a deeper, resonant voice.

“No, it was such a long time ago,” her mother’s voice shook, and her father was trembling beside her.

“Bring us to her!” commanded the woman.

Her mother entered the living room first, her face a mask of shock. Behind her came two strangers, they were tall and thin. Their skin had an unhealthy white pallor. But the most fascinating thing was their eyes, they were of a deep dark blue, swirling like the sea. It was the woman who spoke: “As set forth in the pact, we have come to reclaim you, our daughter.”

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories