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Flash Fiction, Writing

Trifextra Week 56: Terror of Thompson Farm

The purpose of most Saturday evenings since my childhood involves finding a scary movie. As a young person I spent many an hour clutching furtively to a pillow while watching Double Chiller movies on a favorite VHF channel; this was of course back in the day before cable, when we had to actually walk over to the giant box on the floor and turn knobs to find the channels at 12 or below (UHF) and click over to another for the upper (VHF) ones. But I digress. Sort of. I decided to write a tale that would fit into a typical Saturday evening in our household for this week’s Trifextra: go to the site for the specifics of the rules. I call this “Terror of Thompson Farm:”

Joe was a thin man, tall and hollow-boned; the slightest breeze seemed as though it would whisk him off to parts unknown, which in fact would have most likely brought no small measure of relief to the townsfolk. He lived on the edge of their civilization, hidden away most times in that ghastly piece of a farmhouse. His few visits into the square caused panic for most peculiar reasons; it didn’t help that  Joe was still and always would be a loner. He spent most of his days wandering the valley with a rifle on his shoulder, searching for deer and wild turkeys in due season. Rumor suggested that he’d never known a woman, either as friend or more familiarly. Many years prior when the other young men his age had gone off to volunteer in the service or had gotten jobs far away in the city, Joe had returned to his plot of land, the head of an empty household. The town fathers and mothers remember him in his younger years and when speaking in the daylight would say that he was a gentle boy with whom the other children hardly ever played; rarely was there a mention of him during the evening hours, for thoughts of him then pricked the mind with fear. It was further rumored that he’d done something terrible to his parents: after one bleak and brutal winter when Gertrude and Bert hadn’t been seen for some time, old Doc Harper had taken a car out to the farm, which at the time seemed abandoned. As he told the story later, there was an eeriness out at the Thompson place; there was no noise, such as what is usually found in that part of the country. Doc would go on to say that he’d shouted but after a while began to realize that everyone was gone. Or so he had thought until he searched further. Getrude and Bert had suffered a terrible fate; remnants of their entrails had been piled in the barn haphazardly under a pile of hay needles. Doc shared that he’d never seen such a mess, as though something or someone had wanted to devour the bodies completely. He went back in what was left of that farmhouse, which had been ravaged by a fire about 10 years prior; Bert had tried to rebuild it on his own instead of tearing it down and starting over. The whole little clan had always been odd. Doc usually finished his story by sharing that he’d found Joe in a back bedroom, hidden under a blanket, ripping bits of paper to shreds for comfort it seemed. The boy had jumped at old Doc’s touch but allowed himself to be collected and carried out to the car and away from the place. The town fathers and mothers still shivered as they remembered Doc’s descriptions, particularly of the blankness in the boy’s eyes as he and Doc had pulled away from the farm.


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  2. Cobbie's World February 24, 2013 3:37 am

    Ok……….first of all, helluva story! I loved the suspense of it all. Extremely well written, as we have all come to expect. Secondly, I see how you pulled the 33 words out but, my understanding is that the weekend challenges have to be 33 words in length….total! Not 33 words fitted into a longer story. Please re-check the rules about this and, if I am wrong, keep what it an excellent story. If I am right then, back to the drawing board. Please feel free to delete my comment if you end up making changes.

    • AR Neal February 24, 2013 3:50 am

      Thank you so much 🙂 You know, you do have a point; I went back into the comments and saw that we are to do a 33-word post. However, I will let my bet stand on this thrown hand, since we have pulled 33 words from p. 33… In the end for me, it’s not about winning, but writing…

      • Cobbie's World February 24, 2013 6:04 pm

        Good work IS good work, no doubt about that. I like what you wrote. Glad you do, too. Cheers! 🙂

        • AR Neal February 24, 2013 6:42 pm

          Thank you! 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

  3. tedstrutz February 25, 2013 6:15 pm

    Sounds like something you would find on VHF!!! Boy, that brought back memories.

    • tedstrutz February 25, 2013 6:15 pm

      p.s. clever…

      • AR Neal February 25, 2013 6:22 pm

        😉 Thank you Ted! I miss those old channels and we try to watch the old flicks as often as we can. For us, it was typically the Late Late Show on channel 10 on Friday nights and Saturdays were sometimes a toss between 17, 29, and 48. That was part of our lineup from Philadelphia stations…

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