Olly glared out the dusty window. The cracked glass was covered with scratches and dirt. She could see her own reflection in the glass, and beyond the expanse of the Australian outback loomed. She could feel how heavy the air was, with the particles of sand and warm eastern breeze sweeping across the plains. She walked out of the open door of the shack onto its front porch to see a figure in the distance of the blazing mid-afternoon heat.
The figure was too distant to make out just yet, but it seemed to be walking towards her. Most definitely a person of some shape, form, or description. The scorching Australian heat waves rose from the auburn dust of the plateau, and she turned to head back inside the shack. She slammed the flimsy wooden door shut, sliding a rusted lock into place to secure it. She hurried back over to the cracked, dusty window to glance back out at the figure again. She found that it was still moving towards her, slowly but surely. Olly grabbed both pieces of ragged, torn cloth that once used to be curtains and pulled them across the old window. She planted her back against the wooden walls of the shack and could feel her heart beginning to thump inside her chest cavity. She could feel her breath being stolen away from her as she began what seemed to be a panic.
She trampled across the wooden floorboards of the shack, causing them to creak and wain in complaint. She scrabbled at her various drawers that completed a storage stand. The stand itself was home to mould and ancient dust, that was thrown into the air by her commotion. She ripped the top drawer from the stand, throwing it onto the floor. The drawer splintered and broke, spilling its contents across the room. She let her eyes quickly scan over the items before her and in frustration kicked a fragment of wooden across the shack towards the front door. She turned back to the storage stand to rip another drawer from it. Before she could inspect the contents, she quickly scanned the final and bottom drawer of the stand. Whipping herself into a heightened state of panic, she spun round to examine the contents of the second drawer. With a sigh of exasperation, she clawed both hands through her hair. She held her head for a moment, scanning the shack to no avail. She clambered back across the shack to the window, edging the curtains apart to peek through them. The figure was a stone’s throw away now. It was a man.
She found herself panicked into a frenzy. She ducked to the side of the window out of sight and sat, hunched behind the door for a moment. She frantically swivelled her head from side to side, but she couldn’t find it. She quickly ran over to a partition inside the shack that separated the main living space from where she prepared her food. Olly peered inside her kitchen area to find nothing but rotten wooden counters and old, worn appliances. She stepped into her kitchen and flung open all the musky, stale cabinet doors. Their hinges creaked in complaint as she worked her way across the kitchen worktops. She came to the final cabinet, pulling the door only for it to fall off its hinges. She discarded the rotting cabinet door to one side to finally find what she had been looking for. As her fingers clasped around the plastic handle of the withering steel blade, she turned and made for the shack door.
Olly bolted out her kitchen area, diving around her rotting oak table to reach her window. She held her knife in hand as, again, she peeked out from behind the torn curtains of her window. She didn’t glance long enough to get any detail but she could see the figure of the man approaching the shack door. She quietly crept to the other side of the door and pulled the knife in close to her chest. She could hear the footsteps of the man crunch in the dirt as he approached. Olly couldn’t control her breathing. She was petrified. Her heart felt like it could burst at any given minute and the sweat began to roll off the tip of her nose. The footsteps crunched closer until she heard the heel of a boot against the wooden porch. This initial footstep, the crossing of boundaries, was followed by another agonizing footstep on the dusty porch. The man took a few more loud, torturing steps before stopping at the front door. Olly did not make a sound. Then, without warning, the letterbox was gently poked open.
Olly glanced down, her fear replaced with confusion. She let the knife drop down a little as she examined the man’s finger holding the letterbox open. Olly then saw the pristine white shade of an envelope grace the letterbox. The man gave the letter a light shove and it flopped to the ground. With this, the man retracted his finger and left the front porch. Olly was so focused on the letter, she didn’t see an elderly man emerge from the only other room in the shack.
“Olly?” Olly glanced up to see a man standing in the doorway to her bedroom. She glanced around to see the couch and laminated floor sprawled with the contents of a neat white storage stand, “Olly, are you okay?” Olly was frozen on the spot,
“Hey, it’s okay. It’s me. It’s Bill. Your husband.” Olly glanced down to see her wrinkled hand clasped round a kitchen knife. Bill walked over towards her slowly, gently taking the knife from her hand. “Come on darling, take a seat. I won’t hurt you.”
“Bill?” she heard her old, feeble voice blurt.
“Yes darling, it’s me,” Olly could see a strange expression on the man’s face. One of a deep pain she had never known but also one of love. “It was just the postman.”
“Oh…” Bill took her by the hand and sat her down on the couch.
“Just you wait there my love, i’ll call the Doctor.”
Information About The Mystery Flash Fiction Old Time Around
Stewart Storrar is a young Scottish writer that currently lives in Glasgow, Scotland with his Cat Houdini and his partner. He loves to read cosmic horror, science fiction, and poetry – his favourite author being the one and only Iain M. Banks. When he isn’t writing or reading, he’s out skateboarding, or finding new coffee spots with his other half.
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