A Hiding Place

Posted: September 22, 2011 in #fridayflash, Short stories

She hid in the bathroom, the only room in the house with a lock on the door. She could hear them.

It was dark and the thought of moving an inch made her joints cease and her breathing become shallower as she listened to the voices.  She didn’t want to reach for the light, not only because of the squeaky floorboards, but the glow of the light seeping under the door and surrendering her hiding place.

She could hear them downstairs, rummaging through cupboards and muffled voices. She could almost feel the tension from the room below, as the tones began to rise.  A door slammed from what sounded like the kitchen and footsteps sprinted up the stairs and then stopped.

The silence was deadening.

She could hear her heart beat in her ear drums, like a bass drum.

She closed her eyes tight, the darkness behind her eye-lids was no different from her current surroundings, but she was trying desperately to heighten her hearing by deadening other senses.  She held her breath and closed her mouth, pursing her lips slightly like a spoilt child who had been told ‘No’ after asking for their favourite sweet.

She heard her bedroom door opening in the room next door and footsteps walk around the bed and back out onto the landing.  The footsteps got closer.

As she sat on the edge of the bath, the small ridge pinching at her bum cheeks, she put her head in hands, covering her mouth and nose.  She could see his shadow lurking outside the bathroom door.  It moved into the bedroom opposite, switched on the light and mumbled something under his breath.  After further delving in drawers, cupboards and what sounded like piles of books or toy boxes, the footsteps began to move away and hover by the stairs again.

A small sigh left her nostrils, which took her by surprise.  She held her breath, her cheeks now puffed out and her eyes widened, as the footsteps began to make their way back down the landing towards her sanctuary.

“Charlie”, a voice screamed from downstairs.  “Is she up there?”

The door handle began to turn and the door rattled as he began pushing it from the other side frantically, only to find it locked.

An annoyed and incensed grunt echoed through the wall cavity.

Her whole body felt deflated.  Her time was up.

The voice bellowed through the hinged seam on the door frame, “Mum, why are you hiding in the bathroom? Me and Chloe have been looking for you.  We’re bored and the baby needs changing!”

She lifted her head up from its perch, defeated.  “I just want 5 minutes peace and quiet! Is that too much to ask for Charlie?”

  1. Sonia Lal says:

    Oh, wow. At first I thought she a was a ghost. Hmm. Maybe she is in a more metaphorical sense.

  2. Helen says:

    The ending did surprise me well done! All of us who have been mothers, know that feeling of wanting to hide for five minutes. ^__^

  3. John Wiswell says:

    I can see more neat details emerging per story in your work. It’s really fun to see someone’s style emerge. For me, even though it’s upfront, the subtle implications of the bathroom being the only door with a lock, and of her going for such a room, were a great opener.

  4. alisonwells says:

    Probably because I am a mum of four, I did anticipate the ending before it arrived! I enjoyed how earnest this attempt was to hide, she didn’t want a sound to escape her lips. Definitely true to life!

  5. Chuck Allen says:

    Ha ha! Nice job on the misdirection. A fun read.

  6. Good job of keeping us guessing what was going on, but it all made perfect sense. Well done.

  7. Angela Perry says:

    Ha! I loved the twist at the end. I also liked the little details you put in (the tub ridge pinching her butt cheek).

  8. Nice twist there which actually came as a bit of a relief!

    One minor pointer – you’ve used the word drum in close proximity. I would to maybe drop the first one.

    But yeah, good stuff – felt like I was there!

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