In The Heat of The Night by Manatita, to my Friend, Frank Atanacio

Updated on June 4, 2018
manatita44 profile image

Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.


Ramona quickened her footsteps. The sound behind her was alarmingly close and she was afraid, very afraid. Her mind drifted to the many times she had told herself not to use this dark alleyway, but alas, it was too late now. Or was it?

Funny how our thoughts run wild when we are in danger. Ramona remembered her letter to the City Council … about the lights … about how dangerous this place felt when unlit … of how slim and petite she was and didn’t think she stood a chance with the sound of this heavyset footsteps now following her. She hurried even more!

Why was he following her, she enquired? Was it her vulnerability on this harsh cold winter’s night? Could he see through the dark that she was small, fragile, frightened, yet well-dressed and conservative? Was it the money he was after, or the thrills? By God, how she hoped it was not the latter.

She still wanted to hug and be hugged by her daughter – that sweet, charming, nine-month old child. She longed to shower her with kisses, until their souls met and blended as one. Such joy! Such innocence and soulful love she’d felt from her baby!

Now all this was threatened as the pounding footsteps got closer, heavier … she heard his cold and callous voice, as bitter as the fierceness of the night. She smelt his stench, as an eerie chill ran up and down her spine. She imagined his sinister grin ... his ugly, horrid face. Her heart was pulsing, body pouring with sweat and shaking with anxiety.

She felt numb and brain-dead, but instinct told her that she had to survive … to move… and fast! Clutching at her shawl on this chilliest of nights, she dropped her bag in the path of the would-be-attacker, and made a run for it … a race for her life!


********************************************************************************************** The noise of Ramona’s ‘Nooh!!’ was more than enough to awaken the surrounding neighbourhood and to startle her child. She awoke to the sound of crying; to the feel of a soft warm body close to her. It was her child and Ramona was glad to be alive. Heart still pounding, chest heaving and with buckets of sweat pouring down her face, she began to ease into the comfort of her own bedroom. At least she was alive.

Ramona would pick up the phone that morning and give the City Hall Secretary, a piece of her mind. She would call the Newspaper Editors and complain about how dangerous this alleyway was to women and hoped they would be of assistance, in getting the City Hall Counselor to do something about it.

For now she embraced her daughter closely; gave thanks that they were both still alive. She had never felt more vulnerable and insecure, as she slowly drifted into the twilight hours of the morn.

Manatita, 4th June 2018


Flash Fiction

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© 2018 manatita44


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  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    You show a great appreciation for creative writing, Endy. You understand. Awesome!

  • Endy Noble profile image

    Ajodo Endurance Uneojo 

    2 years ago from Lokoja, Nigeria.


    "She felt numb and brain-dead, but instinct told her that she had to survive...move on...and fast."

    A great way to describe extreme fear and helplessness, but yet with determination to survive.

    Beautiful piece.

    Fear well described. Hope well sustained. All in a trilling manner.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Yes Shauna.

    I resisted giving it a typical ending. The tough side can be difficult for my delicate Spirit. Peggy inspired this piece really. So I kept it simple. Much Love to you and yours.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    2 years ago from Central Florida

    I was glad it turned out to be a dream. I can only imagine the horrific fear that startled her out of her disruptive sleep!

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Yes Linda. Lol. After this experience, she was not going to procrastinate anymore. Good on her. Thank you so much!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I enjoyed reading this story. The walk in the alleyway was ominous. I loved the fact that although the experience was a dream, it encouraged Ramona to help others.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Hello Chris.

    The other expert. I'm blessed by you guys visiting my Flash.

    Yes, would have been something to end on. But we saved her life, Bro. Soft Manatita. Lol.

    Glad to see you spotted my hand in this.

    Showed her feminine side and balanced the dark. Will see you later. Gratitude ... much!

  • cam8510 profile image

    Chris Mills 

    2 years ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

    It's good to see a flash fiction from you. The alley scene is graphic and relates the fear of the woman effectively. I felt relief when I realized it was a dream, but it might have been interesting to see it through as a real event. This is a piece that does justice to our friend Frank and his excellent work. And you fit your own style in very well with this: "She longed to shower her with kisses, until their souls met and blended as one. Such joy! Such innocence and soulful love she’d felt from her baby!" Very well done.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Thanks Brother.

    Another awesome contribution! I'm one of the those who looks for videos and pictures after I write.

    Still, I know of the movie and it was good to find it and to remember Sydney Poitier.

    So happy that you recognise my creative talent. That is how I started here and I do have a couple of books.

    Poetry helps me to follow the ways of the Lord. Thank you so much!

  • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

    Tim Truzy 

    2 years ago from U.S.A.

    Dear brother,

    I read this and thought about how darkness surrounds us in many alleyways - of the soul, heart, mind. This was a wonderful story.

    The beautiful and subtle irony I picked up from this tale is your mention of that classic movie, "In the Heat of the Night." In America, a series ran for nearly a decade on TV with the same title based on the movie. The sheriff in the show was the actor who played Archie Bunker, the eventual personification of what we have in our White House today. (Carrol OConor, a brilliant Canadian, who happened to be married to a Black lady.)

    Maybe the hallways of our White House are a bit darker these days, but we can brighten things up with a vote.

    You are a brilliant poet and now, I see your talents of story telling are phenomenal as well.



  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    I did not know, my brother Ioannis. But it does Frank justice. He is a great and good soul. Yes, I'm muti-talented. But I generally listen to the soul these days. It wants me to manifest God's Light in a different way. Higher blessings

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Thanks Dee.

    I did not want her to die and I did not wish to give you sadness. So I saved her. Ha ha. Thank you!


    That's very sweet of you. I write in a way that will be remembered 40 years from now. Mine is ' soul talk.' Thank you so much!

    Yes, Audrey. Great title!

    Good to see you always. Much Love.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Thanks Ann, thanks Peggy. You all seem to like Flash. No. Not new to me. I'm a creative writer. Just that my soul is pushing me towards the Light ...a different kind of Light. Lol. Gratitude to you both.


    A nice idea. I'll be more inclined to use the short stories with messages and my answers to questions. As well as the poetry, of course.

    They all have great endings but they do not have to be abrupt. Read my The Deady Mamba or the Tragedy of the Telephone Call.

    Much gratitude.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    2 years ago from The Caribbean

    Good job, Manatita. That feeling of helplessness when it is too late is very real. Thank God she had a chance to remedy the situation.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    The title awakened my curiosity. Enjoyed the story and tribute to Frank.

    Thank you, Manatita.

  • shanmarie profile image

    Shannon Henry 

    2 years ago from Texas

    Wow! Something different from you. And very entertaining. You had me from word one here. Have you thought about doing full-length novels or short stories? Or have you already and I'm just not aware? I'm generally not a fan of flash fiction, though, because I always feel let down by the abrupt endings. LOL. I rarely write flash fiction for the same reason.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

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

    Sorry Manatita I could not vote.

    My vote would be anything that you or our dear friend Frank writes. Such treasures you are.

  • Sean Dragon profile image

    Ioannis Arvanitis 

    2 years ago from Greece, Almyros

    Did you know that the word "Atanacio" comes from the Greek word "athanasia" (we have the common name Athanasios in Grece) that means "immortality"?

    Well, as I admire Frank's work and I know for sure that your talent is multilevelled; I am doubly glad for your work because now others know, too!

    Great tribute! Dark and bright at the same time, as Frank's work is.


  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    You are good at this flash fiction! It is a perfect nod to Frank Atanacio and his writings.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    2 years ago from SW England

    Great tribute to Frank who is an amazing writer of this genre. You did well with it, out of your comfort zone.


  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london

    Poor Frank!

    Now we are all accustomed to him being in the dark. Lol. His is a sweet kind of darkness ... one that brings joy. Don't know, Dear. Is there such a thing? Lol.

    Linda thanks a lot! Peace.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 years ago from Washington State, USA

    Wow Manatita, this is certainly a different style of writing for you. Perhaps out of your comfort zone, but you handled it brilliantly. I great offering to our HP friend in the shadows.

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london


    Funny one. Frank will chuckle for sure! He likes the dark all right. Just as well he is comfortable there.


    I suppose you are right. Some of my Flash are with hidden meanings. In this one, I just wanted a break from the poetry and I don't always like them dying. So we saved her life. Ha ha.

    Thank you so much!!

  • The0NatureBoy profile image

    Elijah A Alexander Jr 

    2 years ago from Washington DC

    The surest way to survive is to her your own inner voice, even the there are other voices to be heard instructing you, for from it are instructions to aid in fulfilling our destinies. Thank you for sharing how the way to spiritual understanding and guidance is to hear that voice that is always there but all to often we ignore.


  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Great title for a story written for Frank...Frank is not a daylight kind of guy...Frank is in the shadows, down and it!

  • manatita44 profile imageAUTHOR


    2 years ago from london


    Thanks Mary.

    Big one fear. You are so right! Appreciated.

    Hi Frank.

    Yes! The nightmare is a catalyst. Now perhaps she,ll do something about it. A sweet taster for you and friends.

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 

    2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Fear can really paral.yze us and make our imagination intense. It is still so real to us and you have described it so well here.

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    2 years ago from Shelton

    So she was dreaming.. or having a night terror... maybe this would push her to make the call and get the alley lights repaired.. good little friend


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