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Adriana on the Slide: A Horror Short Story

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Adriana squeezed toothpaste onto her toothbrush and began brushing. Every move she made these days was tentative, measured and usually uninterrupted. But it would only take one tug on her t-shirt, one jab in her ribs and she’d be packing and running again, looking for the next cheap hotel where she might go unmolested for a few days. But the thing wouldn’t leave her alone for long. It wasn’t as though she lived in a haunted house and could run out the door and be safe. This thing followed her wherever she went.

It had begun when she and some girlfriends had gone to a house of horrors on Halloween. They were feeling their way along a corridor where the gloom overwhelmed them like a rising tide of black water. Adriana heard what sounded like someone slurping or sucking very close to her ear. It was both disgusting and frightening at the same time. Who’s there? she had cried. Get away from me you pervert! She had thought it was another visitor to the place or maybe someone working there. But the thing hadn’t gone away since that day.


She was on the move so much, jobs were hard to hang onto. She had enjoyed the diner job, but after a string of dropped trays and spilled coffee climaxing in The Fall, she had been fired on the spot, even though the owner and his wife liked her. The Fall. It was the worst thing it had done up to that point.

A party of six sat at a round table in the back of the dining area. She was carrying a tray of plates above her shoulder on one hand when she heard the frightening and familiar intake of breath through moist teeth. It had been right next to her face, like some sick, sex crazed idiot, leaning in, ready to stick his tongue in her ear.

But there was no one there to see. She already knew that. Then she had been struck in the middle of her back with such force that it drove her between two women at the table who only wanted their salisbury steak and mashed potatoes but got Adriana on the slide instead. She landed in the middle of the table. Plates, entree’s and sides came raining down on everyone.

Of course no one was going to buy her story about an evil specter following her around, terrifying and physically assaulting her at random moments, so she didn’t offer to tell them. She just collected her tips and walked out the door with gravy dripping from the end of her nose.


She finished brushing and wiped her face. It was hot and in Georgia during mid summer that meant it was humid as well. Adriana pulled her thigh length t-shirt over her head and tossed it aside. She tugged on the chain hanging from the ceiling fan and lay down on the bed. The breeze cooled her skin and felt like a stream of cool water running along her body.

She had been sleeping for a couple of hours. What woke her was a tingling on her thigh, like finger tips lightly brushing across her skin. The sensation traveled slowly toward her navel, circled and traversed the valley between her breasts. She kicked the air and threw herself off the bed. “No, stop it, stop it!” she shouted.

But the thing wanted more this time and drove into her abdomen like a lineman on a football team. She landed on her back, the carpet grinding and burning her skin. The thing was on top of her. The sucking sound was next to her ear, and she felt teeth biting her neck. She clawed the air where there should have been a face, but her fingernails found no skin to shred.

Adriana kicked and fought until she was able to scramble to her feet. She grabbed her purse and a robe and bolted out the door. She put the robe on, jumped into her car and left a rooster tail of gravel behind when she exited the parking lot. Hopefully she had left that horrible thing behind as well.

She was on a four lane thoroughfare headed east, trying to obey the speed limit. Her heart had stopped racing and she tried to think about what to do next. Getting another room would be useless. She wouldn’t sleep and that thing would probably show up anyway. She decided she would go home to her apartment. Running wasn’t any safer than home, so she watched for the next off ramp. The traffic was normal, which meant there were a lot of cars on the road.

Adriana felt pressure on her right elbow. The pressure increased, and It grew harder to keep the steering wheel straight. She was drifting toward the center line dividing her lane from traffic going the opposite direction. The pressure exploded into a solid shove, and she was in the wrong lane with an eighteen wheeler bearing down on her. Adriana screamed and threw all her weight downward onto the right side of the steering wheel. The car veered back to her side of the road, and she recovered control.

She drove for a couple more miles. The lights of a police car were not a total surprise after what just happened. She could imagine the 911 operator trying to handle dozens of incoming calls about a lunatic driver on the expressway.


Adriana pulled to the side of the road, as far away from the speeding traffic as she could. Two officers approached her vehicle. One came to her side, and the other walked around shining a light through her windows.

“Ma’am,” said the first officer in a voice raised so he could be heard above the noise of the traffic. “Could you show me your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, please.”

Adriana’s heart was still racing, her hands shook with adrenalin. Sweat rolled down her face and dripped off her chin and nose. “Yes, officer. Just…a minute while I try to find it.” She was digging, looking for the envelope that held the documents. She felt the pressure point return again, this time on her upper back. She took the steering wheel in the chest. Cartilage cracked with loud pops, and ribs dislocated. She couldn’t take a full breath to scream.

The officer was stunned. “Ma’am?” He reached for the door handle but instead of stepping toward the car, he was thrust backward into the oncoming traffic. The sound of impact was almost imperceptible due to the speed of the automobile that took him out.

The other officer was standing clear of the door, firearm drawn, shouting at Adriana to step out of the car. He kept glancing toward the traffic, hoping against hope for his partner. “Get out of the car, ma’am, get out now!”

“Officer, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do anything,” she screamed back.

The officer’s arm raised slowly and Adriana took a shallow breath of relief. But the arm was bending at the elbow until the barrel was pointed at the officer’s face. Then it discharged.

Traffic had come to a stop on both sides of the expressway and an eerie silence fell over the scene. Adriana sat in her car, barely able to breathe. She heard the crunching sound of boots on gravel and waited for another officer to step up or maybe an ambulance driver. Had she heard an ambulance yet? Surely they would come. The crunching stopped. She looked out the window, but there was no one looking back. No one she could see, at least.

“Leave me alone,” she said. The demand came out as a whimper. Then, for the first time, it spoke.

“Hmmm, broken. I need a new toy.” The crunching sound resumed and faded into the night.

© 2016 Chris Mills


Ann Carr from SW England on September 28, 2016:

Thanks for making me feel so much better, Chris! There are always unfamiliar noises in the night on a campsite and this is an area full of legend. At least we can lock the cabin!

Looking forward to reading the next one.


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on September 24, 2016:

Ahhhh, yes. campsites in France. Sounds like a very good location for a good horror story. Keep your ears and eyes open for anything odd or different. It could be just a bump in the night or a movement in the shadows. I'm sure nothing like that goes on but you never can be for sure.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 24, 2016:

Thanks for the warning! Yes, we're still travelling, in France, but going home on Thursday. Having a relaxing time on our friends' campsite, but in a mobile home instead of a caravan - we've gone up in the world!

I'll be more active on HP when I get home.


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on September 24, 2016:

Ann, I'm glad to send a horror story your way today. Are you still traveling? I think I saw that you are on a trip now. Be careful of hotel rooms and cars. You never know where this beast is likely to turn up.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 24, 2016:

This is a great story well told, Chris. I was drawn in immediately and the spookiness snowballed all the way to the 'crunch' at the end. What poor soul would be next...?

I don't like horror rides at the fair, in fact I don't like any rides really. I certainly won't be doing any after this! Real life is always the best trigger for stories which ring true.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 04, 2016:

Who knew years down the pike that incident would become inspiration for a scary (and well-written) story!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 04, 2016:

Shauna, This story is actually based on a kernel of truth. This is when my sons were young and my wife was still alive. We visited a place north of us in Michigan called Mackinac Island. It's an old fort used by various sides of various wars down through the years. Today it is a wonderful place for families to visit. One touristy type attraction is the Haunted Theater. It sits on one of the main streets where bicycles and horses are the only forms of transportation beyond foot traffic. We went into the Haunted Theater and were exploring the dark passages when someone began sneaking up to us and making this disgusting/disturbing slurping sound. I believe he had access to passages in the wall because I seriously tried to hit the sucker. There you have it. The seed to this story.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 04, 2016:

Lawrence, I am going to begin inserting a parenthetical statement halfway through my stories. It will say, "Lawrence, get off the bus." I'm very glad my stories keep you entertained during your commute. Thanks for reading.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 04, 2016:

Very creepy, Chris! I've never been able to go into those haunted house attractions that pop up during Halloween because they terrify me. I physically freeze and can't move. After reading about Adriana's encounter, I'll be sure to never try to overcome my fear of haunted houses!

Lawrence Hebb on August 03, 2016:


I'm sat here totally engrossed in this story and as usual with one of your stories I've missed my departure time (again)

Good job there's no one on the bus!

Great story


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 31, 2016:

Deb, I'm trying to learn how to do psychological horror stories, but to do that I need to scare my readers without anyone actually getting physically hurt. Not so easy to do. Thanks for reading. Glad it got you worked up.

Deb Hirt on July 30, 2016:

Wow, that got the adrenalin pumping. Great work.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 14, 2016:

tlcs, That's right. Only in the light of day, with people around. I'm glad I achieved the goal of scary.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 14, 2016:

Yes it was a very satisfying read.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 14, 2016:

Shyron, Thanks for reading this story. When I was writing, I wanted to begin dark and stay there. Even the ending, while providing resolution, was dark. I hope it was a satisfying read.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 13, 2016:

Oh wow Chris, I did not expect such an ending. I am thinking I will not be visiting any haunted houses, I don't like Halloween anyway. I agree with John, this is probably your best even though it gave me goose bumps.

Blessings my friend

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 13, 2016:

Faith, Obsession Possession.....Now there's a good title. Titles are one of my weak points. :) Thanks for reading this dark tale. Hopefully for Adriana, brighter days are ahead.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 13, 2016:

Cam, the relentless demon pursuit of Adriana left me breathless and so relieved went it went on ... but to some other poor "toy". Those of that unseen realm sometimes do leave their visible scars.

I really enjoyed this obsession possession!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 13, 2016:

Larry, thank you for that enthusiastic response.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 13, 2016:

Wonderful, suspenseful, thrilling.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 13, 2016:

Ruby, Success, I scared someone. lMy goal in this story was to make it scary to everyone by making the entity slightly familiar to everyone. The slurping, sucking, wet sound this creep made is something everyone can cringe about. The fact that he can physically harm a person is

alarming. And to have this guy following you constantly would put me over the edge. Thanks again, Ruby.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 13, 2016:

John, Thank you. We Write in order to touch emotions. Exploring our fears can be entertaining as well as rewarding. I am thinking about how this could be carried forward into another story. Finding the source of this monster might be interesting. Thanks again, John.

tlcs on July 12, 2016:

Read this a bit to early in the morning. Scary!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 12, 2016:

This was not something to read just before bedtime! Scary doesn't touch the emotions I'm feeling. Poor Adriana, her body may heal but will her mind? Your imagination took flight with this one. Bravo!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 12, 2016:

Chris, I know this is saying a lot, but I think this is your best yet. Very very eerie. I would like to read a continuation of this with the evil entity movie on to other hosts. A great read.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 12, 2016:

Phyllis, nice to see you here today. That's right where I want the reader to be, on the edge. I have a fairly long short story in the works and am a bit worried about it. The vicious creatures in the story are visible. It does lose some of its edginess when a writer takes that route.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 12, 2016:

Epitome of horror! When a demon, especially a violent one, cannot be seen it is more frightening and destructive, leaving a mind in shambles and a broken body. Well done, Chris. Kept me on the edge.

manatita44 from london on July 12, 2016:

Yes Bro. A chilling one this. Awesome and very creative.

Surabhi Kaura on July 12, 2016:

Hey Chris, the emotions are so alive. Well done buddy!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 12, 2016:

Cam this was simply amazing.. it was in my opinion an astonishing piece of fiction I have read to date .. your flash is just a thought away from brilliant...Love it

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 12, 2016:

Becky, I was going for totally something...eerie is a good start. Thanks for reading. Good to see you.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on July 11, 2016:

Totally eerie.

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