Red herrings: listen within

Ahoy me mateys, the herrings are all ready to be uncanned, to run loose and twist tales and complicate things. Listen to what they say but don’t actually follow through, you’ll be showing your true colours if you do. Sit back, relax and enjoy the herrings – red and otherwise – in the short story (also known as #Fridayflash fiction) below:

Listen within

What was that noise? It had started off softly but was getting ever louder and more annoying. It seemed to be a scratching of sorts, as though someone who had dry skin to begin with had gone and sat too close to a gas heater for most of winter and was now slowly and methodically scraping white lines into their arms and legs. Chloë looked around the room to see if anyone had snuck in but no, it was still empty. Not another body. Not another soul. Not a wisp of air. But there was something there, for sure. Scared and fearing the worst, she stood up and picked up the EMF detector, pressed the red button and immediately heard the telltale zinging and pinging begin. Aha. We have ghosts on the loose, Patrice. She clicked her fingers systematically, ending with a palm fart, and felt something whoosh past her ear – yip, Patrice had overstepped her arrival for sure. Again. When she appeared it looked as though she was doing the Running Man, treadmilling on the spot. Out of breath, she waited for the colour to adjust on her top before speaking. She’d had a bad experience before, with words rewinding before they caught up with the colour stream. And now, red fish-shapes appeared on her blue jersey. Could have been herrings. Classic 3D imagery! Chloë hauled out her 3D frames and waited for the image to form. Words now popped up from the pictures. “STOP SNIFFING,” she read. Really? She took off her glasses. She closed her eyes. She focused on herself. Listened to her breathing. Ah yes. Now she felt silly. The scratching, sniffing noise had come from within.

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