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Nightmare Man – A Flash Fiction

silhouette photography of person in front of window

Dan had always considered himself a cat person, and cats seemed to like him well enough. Some were more easily frightened than others, excusing them hissing at him whenever he startled them, but it was unusual for all cats to hiss and scratch in his general direction. He never even approached them, but so many ran to him just to let him know they did not like him.

Dan wished it was just the cats, but even dogs pulled to the ends of their leashes to get to him. One large dog tried to destroy its owner’s door. A small one growled and thrashed in a woman’s arms.

It was the children, too. None of them bore the hostility the animals did, but they stopped playing to stare at him, mouths agape. Parents ran out of their homes to snatch their children and take them inside.

Dan had to admit his head felt fuzzy. He had just been on a bounty to capture a sorceress who was all too happy slinging dangerous spells around innocent civilians. A good lightning spell had left his eyes oddly sharp and his brain foggy.

It was a relief when he returned home. Dan had no pets of his own, so he had nothing to attack him.

Or so he had thought.

Dan jumped into a fighting stance as he noticed a humanoid shape in the corner of his eyes. He turned, and he jumped as he noticed two red eyes staring at him. The creature was more like a shadow, its features barely noticeable beyond the black color. Its outline was amorphous, wavering like gelatin in shaky hands.

It took him a few blinks, but he realized it was his own reflection. That lightning spell must not have been a lightning spell but a curse to turn him into a shadow man.

Everything made sense to him now.

Stephanie Rita Clark is an aspiring author from a small town in the Midwest of the U.S.A. She loves anime and video games, and she spends a little too much time on YouTube. Receive a free dark fantasy short story by signing up to her newsletter (here), and you can also stay up to date on all of her works (including upcoming urban fantasy, dark fantasy, and the occasional horror).

This post was simultaneously posted on my Medium blog.

fantasy, flash fiction, short story