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What a Hyde! a Flash Fiction Story

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically he just loves to write.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from

Ruby's Request

In a comment on my latest Poems From the Porch article, Ruby Jean Richert (AlwaysExploring) asked the following:

"Can I ask you to write a short fiction story that is really scary? ... Thanks in advance."

Normally, I use the requests in comments as prompts to write future poems for the Poems From the Porch, but as Ruby requested a short fiction story it didn't really fit. However, as Halloween is approaching I decided to try writing a story in time for that and publishing it as a separate hub. This is the result. Ruby, thank you for the request, and I hope you enjoy "What a Hyde!"

Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Full waiting room

Full waiting room

What a Hyde!

The clinic's waiting room was full to overflowing. There was either an awful lot of sickness around at the moment or this doctor was very popular. Being a new patient here, I hoped it was the latter.

My appointment time was ten minutes ago but considering how many others were ahead of me I sat back with an outdated magazine and braced myself for quite a wait. Luckily I had no other appointments or commitments today.

In time, the waiting room began to thin out as a new patient was called into the surgery every 20 minutes or so. I had been dozing a little, but looking at my watch I saw I had been waiting over an hour. It was almost my turn when, suddenly, a weird thought struck me. I hadn't seen anyone come out of the surgery.

"I hadn't seen anyone come out of the surgery." Image by Gerd Altmann from

"I hadn't seen anyone come out of the surgery." Image by Gerd Altmann from

Normally, you see the last patient approach the counter and then leave as the next name is being called. But, I was sure no one had left! I admit I was tired, so maybe I'd slept more than I thought and missed some leaving. But, surely not all.

When I had phoned the clinic to make an appointment I hadn't asked the doctor's name. I had just been happy to get an appointment with anyone at short notice. I was still feeling uneasy when, just then, I heard my name being called, "Mr Hansen? Doctor Jekyll will see you now."

I stood up, and gazing at the nurse I noticed her name badge, "Louise Stevenson," but instead of following her into the doctor's surgery, I turned my back on her and ran out the front door.

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

By Unknown, published by the National Printing & Engraving Company, ChicagoModifications by Papa Lima Whiskey  Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10048960

By Unknown, published by the National Printing & Engraving Company, ChicagoModifications by Papa Lima Whiskey Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10048960

Comments

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on October 26, 2019:

Whoa! I would have run as well! So well done, John. Many thanks to Ruby for her request. And I loved the Stevenson quotes.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 20, 2019:

Hi Sean. Yes, Ruby deserves credit for this story because without her request I wouldn’t have written it. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes beware the doctors.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on October 20, 2019:

Excellent work, my brother! Clever, flashing and thrilling! And you can use it as a dark joke too! Lol! Thank you and Ruby for this!

Beware of the doctors!

Sean

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 20, 2019:

Thanks for reading this JC. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Cheers.

JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on October 20, 2019:

Very good John. I enjoyed it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 19, 2019:

Yes, sometimes running is the wisest thing to do. Thank you for reading my bit of scary fun, Ann.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 19, 2019:

Short, simple and scary! The tension builds and then... he runs!

Great.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 19, 2019:

Thank you very much Alyssa. You have a great weekend too.

Alyssa from Ohio on October 19, 2019:

This was delightful! Have a wonderful weekend!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 18, 2019:

Bill, it is always an honour to get a positive comment from such a master storyteller as yourself. Cheers my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 18, 2019:

Hi Lora, I am pleased you enjoyed this bit of Halloween fun.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 18, 2019:

Thank you so much Tiyasha. Glad you enjoyed this.

Tiyasha Maitra from Gurgaon on October 18, 2019:

Haha. I love it. It has humour as well as a tinge of suspense. Good one.

Lora Hollings on October 18, 2019:

A very funny and witty flash fiction story, John, that is so appropriate for Halloween! I'd be out of there too, in an instant. Great job at meeting this challenge.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on October 18, 2019:

Crafting a complete and effective tale in about 200 words is quite difficult. You managed it in your customary excellent style John. Nice set-up and a great knockout punch.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Haha Mary, that would be the wisest thing to do.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Hi Linda. Thanks for reading. Actually, I am not a great story teller unless I have written it down first.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Thank you for reading this story Tia. I am glad you enjoyed it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Lori, it is fortunate your cataract surgery is over with so you don’t have to worry about it. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Liz, I am so pleased this had you hooked. Oh, yes, make sure you check those other patients come out first.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Yes, Shauna, just in time. Thanks my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Thanks so much for reading Lorna.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 17, 2019:

That would scare me and I would be out of there in a hurry as well.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 17, 2019:

Oh, short and to the point and sure glad you got the heck out of there. You're quite the storyteller (I'll bet you're great at a campfire).

Tia Miller from Arkansas on October 17, 2019:

This was great. I really enjoyed this story! You told it very well.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on October 17, 2019:

Oh my. I just got done with two cataract surgeries over the summer. Thank goodness I didn't get Dr. Jekyll and Louise Stevenson. Creepy indeed.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 17, 2019:

This kept me hooked completely. I appreciare the way you take a very familiar setting and work your tale through it. I shall be checking patients come out of the doctor's surgery next time I am waiting for an appointment!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 17, 2019:

Wow, good thing you came to your senses, John or you may not have been here to tell this spooky story!

Lorna Lamon on October 17, 2019:

A nice twist to this tale John and I was left wanting more. It definitely had a creepy feel, just perfect for Halloween. Great read.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Thank oh so much, Cheryl. I will try my best.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Thanks for reading this Eric. Haha you would hug her I know you.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on October 17, 2019:

Your talent always shines through. Continue giving us great reading material.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 17, 2019:

I have got to get a life. I would have hugged her. Oh well I just got over my fear of the dark 10 years ago. I think I went too far.

I love this twist.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Hey, Ruby, glad you enjoyed this short story. Yes, Louise May may have told jokes will the patients died. I’d cancel any doctors’ appointment too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Haha Bill. You are a a funny man.Thanks for reading.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 17, 2019:

Talk about scary, you hit the nail squarely on the head. I wonder if Louise told jokes while they slaughtered the patients? Thanks for the great Halloween story. I think I will cancel my appointment with my Doc.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 17, 2019:

If I had a nurse with that name, I would run too....just sayin'

Well done, buddy!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Hi Pamela. I really dint need to make any l

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 17, 2019:

This is a good, short but scary story. I would have run out of the waiting room also, although I did laugh as I finished reading. The names were a true wake-up call!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 17, 2019:

Ouch! that sounded scary, Flourish. I am hoping you found out about the complaints in time.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 17, 2019:

Sounds like a podiatrist who wanted to cut on my foot. Turns out he had a bunch of complaints against him filed with the medical board.