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The Occult – Satan’s Trap by Lorraine Quirke

A dreary, gray sky, hung over New York City, the day Janet Adams moved into a one bedroom apartment in a newly renovated Brownstone. August was the worst month to move. She couldn’t expect an easy day, as sweat poured off her like a wet cloth being wrung out over her head. But, outside, the steady downpour, mixed with sheets of rain, made the move that much harder.

She glanced out the bay window, and, as usual, the sun decided to make an appearance, as the mover’s truck pulled away. Exhausted, she plopped herself on the beige, suede sofa, closed her eyes, and hoped the fear that had enveloped her would disappear, go away, and leave her alone. Maybe the unknown entity didn’t follow her. She rubbed the back of her neck. After all, it’s a new building, and a new life.

Tired or not, she wanted to arrange the furniture in the living room. Almost finished, she placed a large, ornate mirror, in the alcove. The mirror had been in her family for decades and, as she lovingly shined it, she glanced at herself—chalky looking skin, green eyes, appearing red and tired, and blotches on her neck and arms, stared back at her. She looked like the ragged edge of disaster.

Darkness approached, and she turned on every light in the apartment—even the bathroom. She examined the closets and looked under the bed. All right, no boogeyman. She searched the living room and glanced up at the high ceiling. What did she expect—a ghost up there? She couldn’t bring herself to laugh.

Janet double-locked the front door, and while closing the venetian blinds, she noticed light and warmth emanating from the kitchen. She gasped at the sight of the four lit burners and the oven door wide open. She didn’t use the stove, only the microwave. Did she turn on the oven?  She shivered, like a cat sensing a visit to the vet. It’s not over. Panic hit her in the stomach, and she put her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming.

Janet started wringing her hands.  I don’t know what to do. She couldn’t tell a pastor, or a doctor; they might send her to the funny farm. But she did call her best friend, Marie, and asked her to pray.

Janet prayed, help me to forget about the Ouija board, crystals, Tarot cards, or psychics, and don’t forget the dreaded automatic writing.

When the pen started moving, goose bumps tingled on her skin, and her heart did a break dance.  After a while, the writing became understandable and she wrote pure filth and obscenities. She tried to stop. Her hand became fatigued, but she couldn’t help herself; the pen kept moving with more terrible obscenities.

Finally, strength returned in her hand, and she lifted her arm and threw the pen across the room, and it landed in the fireplace.

She took a deep breath. The fear and the evil had disappeared. But, due to a former boyfriend; she decided to buy a learning machine; He thought some of the CD’s had hypnotic and mystical properties.

A few days later, Janet discovered one final CD in the pack. As she listened to the enchanting music she also heard whispers. Janet perked her ears trying to hear the faint voices. Disgusted, she turned the sound up. The voices became a little clearer. “Speak up, I can’t hear you.” They took her up on her invitation; hundreds of voices sprang into her brain. Nerves jangled and her stomach vibrated. Oh my God, the tirade of voices were demons—evil she’d unleashed on herself. They spoke filth and obscenities and made fun of her.

Janet paced back and forth, and with voices screaming, gnawing at her brain, she decided to take a bunch of pills and a jigger of brandy to help her sleep. It didn’t work. Nothing worked!

I just want to die. Let me die; but she worried about her soul if she committed suicide.

Janet fell to her knees, “I’m so alone,” she wailed. “I’m a loser—a failure. She allowed demons into her head. Many emotions stirred in her—fear, surprise, sadness, and disgust. Her life was destroyed.”

She signed herself into a mental clinic where she received help.

After three months she was finally free of them.


A few days after the doctors gave her a clean bill of health, the voices returned and she screamed and screamed and screamed.

Her eyes had a blank stare as she sat by a window in the hospital solarium.

Horror doesn’t necessarily need blood dripping down a face and plenty of gore. Janet faced a Bloodless Horror. The doctors say she may never be the same.


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One comment on “The Occult – Satan’s Trap by Lorraine Quirke

  1. Rachel Meenan
    October 20, 2012

    I feel like this story has a lot of potential, but I’m just not really feeling fear. There’s lots of telling instead of showing, and you have a few grammar issues as well, which takes away from the overall story. The ending hurts the overall story as well. It’s telling us what happened rather than showing us, and it takes us away from the character.

    This would probably work better if you showed us the start of the demon possession rather than the middle of it. I feel like it’d make everything that much more immediate.

    Regardless, good luck! =D

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2012 by in October Flash Fiction Contest, Scary Flash Fiction.

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