“Panic” Flash Horror by Joseph Schiller

Photo of actor in fictional crime scene by Colton Cotton. Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License 3.0 Unported
Photo of actor in fictional crime scene by Colton Cotton. Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License 3.0 Unported

A twitch. Just a quick twitch. The slightest, imperceptible jerk of the right index finger. Unnoticeable. Subtle. A bit of movement from the left middle toe. Quick spams. Followed by the right eyebrow. Random. The body slowly, gradually, stirs one small muscle and involuntary shudder at a time. Sensations flutter, struggling to return. Awakening. Consciousness is blurred and inconsistent. Sporadic. Foggy. Weak.

Wuhh…? Uhh…? Confusion.

Breathing gradually strengthens, though retarded. Heavy and inconsistent. The pace quickens slowly. Fitfully. Incrementally. Deep, intermittent gasps for breath. Inhaling stale, earthy air. A stagnant quality. Occasionally choking and coughing with every attempted gulp. Trying to fill the lungs, but never quite enough. Urgency. Growing increasingly desperate. Strained.

The right hand begins to move with every ounce of strength available. Inching. Sensing. Inching gingerly centimeter by centimeter across the front of a pair of jeans, feeling the denim fabric. Something coarse. Gritty. Rough to the touch. Shivers. Shivering. The air is cold and musty. Dank. Malodorous.

Wha…? Whe…? Confusion.

Hard. Rigid. Uncomfortable. Sharply aware now of a stiff, unforgiving surface below. Left hand immobile. Stuck. Lying pinned underneath. Useless.

Hurting. Pain. A severe migraine. Becoming increasingly conscious of a dull, throbbing ache in several places. Discomfort. Bruising.

Uuuuuugh! Confusion.

Trying, with a marginal increase of strength, to bend the left knee upward ever so slightly, propping it up with the foot.  Tortuous. Scooting it back along the surface below, making a scratching, dull scraping sound. Then…thump. Thump.

Heart rate increasing. Intensifying. Fluttering. Beginning to race. Breathing becomes rushed, quick, and convulsive.

Where am I? What is this? Panic.


Slowly opening the eyes, blinking rapidly. Adjusting. Dark. Pitch dark. Nothing. Void.

Something grainy occasionally sprinkles down on the face. Unable to wipe it away. Helpless. Immobile. Confined.

Hey?!!!!! Hey?!!!!! Panic.

Tormented. Impossibly difficult to twist, to turn, to shift about. Failing to move much at all.  Claustrophobic.

Fear. Terror. Intense horror. Imagining the worst. Visualizing the absolute worst. Jerking. Twisting. Muffled screaming, swallowed by the void. Choking. Throbbing. 

Heeeeey…?!!! Hey?!!! Panic.

Fighting. Struggling to move. Very little strength. Banging a knee. Crying. Banging. Crying. Thud. Thud. Thud. Sand continues to sprinkle down as in an hourglass—heart rate pounding. Anguish. Misery.

Exhausted. Dizzy. Faint. Breathing slacks. Gasping. Weakening.

Help!!!!!!! What the fuuuu…heeeeeeeeelp!!!!!!! Anger.

Sobbing. Tears continue dribbling down. Sadness. Instense malaise. Questioning. Frightened.

Choking. Wheezing. Shortness of breath.

Stop. Stop. Slow it down. Figure this out.  Think. Think. Denial.

Slowing. Breathing slacking. Declining. Eyes close. Meditative. Processing. Picturing the situation. Reasoning out potential options. Contemplative.

Nothing. No. No. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Trivial. Renewed streams of tears run down. Failure. Defeat. Depression sets in.

Ok. Ok. It’s ok. It’ll be ok. Acceptance.

More sand falls. Migraine sharpens. Breathing grows inconsistent. A burning sensation grows in the lungs. Unbearable.

Shame. Heartbreak. Regret. Profound regret. A meaningless life. Worthless. Valueless. Forgotten.

Not right. Not fair. Just not righ… 

Seizing. Gasping. Convulsing. Gasping. Gasping. Gasping.

Blacking out. Out. Loss of consciousness.

Kaaak. Kak. Ka…..k…..

Joseph A. Schiller is a high school social studies in Houston, TX USA, where he lives with his wife. He has previously published a fantasy novel in addition to several poems and short stories. Joseph is currently working on a non-fiction historical investigation, a graphic novel, and sci-fi novel.

If you would like to be part of The Chamber Magazine family, follow this link to the submissions guidelines. If you like more mainstream fiction and poetry with a rural setting and addressing rural themes, you may also want to check out Rural Fiction Magazine

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