Mountaintop Gnome: Horror Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on October 28, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 200 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Hot Springs Switchback Road, Idaho


Jeremy relaxed in the natural hot spring at the top of the mountain. His shoulders rested against the stone wall at the back of the pool. The switchback road had been the scariest drive of his life, but now, all his cares evaporated like mist over a lake on a spring morning.

Through half closed eyes he scanned the natural bowl that teamed with greenery. Here and there, blackened skeletons of trees, reminders of a recent wildfire, poked through the new growth.

Warm water and cool air worked their magic. Burnt stumps became a roosting eagle, a wolf slinking through the undergrowth, and small man, possibly a troll or a gnome, wearing a mocking grin. Jeremy fought to stay awake, but reality faded like a dream.

Hot Springs, Idaho


He woke to the pungent smell of sulfur and climbed out of the pool. Why, with all this beauty and the soothing hot spring, was no one else here?

Jeremy’s wandering gaze stopped. What had earlier been a charred stump was now climbing over the trunk of a fallen tree. It reminded him of the picture of a gnome he'd seen in a book. The creature, no taller than a small child, wore bib overalls, and a green shirt. It waved at him. Jeremy retreated backward one step, but his foot found only air, and he fell into the pool.

He came up sputtering, wiping water from his eyes, but the little man was nowhere to be seen. Jeremy climbed onto the rock and scoured his surroundings.


“Looking for someone?” The voice squeaked like a rusty hinge from down at his feet. Jeremy stumbled backward, but not before the gnome clamped a ball and chain to his ankle.

“What are you doing?” Jeremy dropped to the ground and clawed at the lock.

“I believe you saw my friend, the wolf, earlier. I say friend, not pet. Although I do feed him now and then when a stranger wanders into our home.”

“Feed him?” Jeremy jerked the chain and kicked the ball. “Are you saying he’s going to kill me and then eat me?”

“Heavens no.” The gnome laughed and shook his head topped with a knitted red hat. “He’ll kill you as he eats you.

Jeremy scrambled to his feet and backed to the end of the chain. He reached out behind his back, but instead of the stone wall, his fingers grasped fur.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much for the link friend. Some writing you can read over and over again and depending on your mood the story is like new.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      That was an abrupt ending! I surmise the wolf disguised himself as a gnome to lure his prey into his lair?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice work, as always.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      jgshorebird, thank you for that enthusiastic support. :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Uh oh!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ruby, I'm glad the suspense came through. I do like that bit about grasping the fur. Still sends chills down my spine. Thanks for reading.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Wow! Nothing like a suspenseful story, then BAM our of the blue he feels fur instead of an stone wall behind him. Intriguing story...

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Manatita, I agree, unfinished leaves it to the mind of the reader and at times that is the best place for it to be finished. Thanks for the reference to publishing. Honestly, I have worked very hard for the last three years at raising the quality of my stories. I hope they are ready for wider distribution.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      Great! Unfinished is mostly the greater way. Superb!

      Read your comment to Eric. Wise plan.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Eric, I'm in the process of rewriting all my earlier hubs. Most have been moved to my blog, but I'm closing that down and bringing everything back here to HP and to one other site I am publishing on. The result of rewriting everything will hopefully be an ebook of short stories which will include flash fiction but I won't be using the name flash fiction. Everything will be marketed as short stories or short, short stories. So, yes, it is likely you have read a previous version of this story.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Scary to the max. It is very strange that when I go deep into the wilderness alone my mind often drifts into imaginable horrors. Really a strange phenomenon. Peaceful serene setting and then wham.

      (I do believe I have read a story of yours close to this)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)