Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Mel: A Short Horror Piece.

This is my first attempt at writing something in the horror genre, and at writing a short piece of flash fiction. Please feel free to leave any comments below, I’d love to know what you think. I hope it makes your toes curl.


Mel had been restrained for… was it hours?… days? Smothered and unable to remove the bag that entombed her, she could only wait, and listen. She dreaded, and yet was perversely desperate for, something to happen, just so the interminable waiting and silence would end.

Fear gripped her when she first heard the rattle of keys in the lock, the sound of metal skittering around the hole in the centre before there was a ‘thunk’ as the key was finally rammed home. Muffled sounds of swearing came through the door, which swung in with a crash as it struck what sounded like a metal trash can. It was followed by a kaleidoscope of susurrations as innumerable small objects slid across the floor.  Under the more distinct ‘plap, plap’ of balled paper as it rolled over the… tiles(?) Mel could discern more liquid sounds, oozing and flowing. The associations made her shudder.  More swearing, a harsh male voice, slurring his words. Mel hated the language he used; she hadn’t been brought up that way.

She listened, every sound made preternaturally sharp by the tension that gnawed its way through her like a worm through an apple. The susurrations were there again, but each ended with the soft reverberation of flesh contacting metal. She guessed he was wiping up the mess and attempting to get it back into the trash. Offal into a corpse. It seemed to take an eternity.

Then the squeak of trainers, staggering and shuffling over the floor. Definitely tiles. She felt powerful clumsy hands upon her bonds and her world exploded into dazzling white as the bag was torn from her. Totally frightened she found she could not resist as a hairy backed palm the size of a ham closed upon her and dragged her across onto the board where he pinned her. He wasn’t gentle. She felt his fingers dig into her skin, trying to reassure themselves of their purchase by virtue of sheer force. The stink of the refuse still clung under his nails.

His face was only inches from her. She could see the thick hairs up the nostrils of his red protruding nose. His grizzly-bear beard was bedecked with a scattering of breadcrumbs and encrusted meat: his breath fetid with its smell and the cloying hoppy-ness of the beer he had been drinking. His eyes were of such a soft brown they may have seemed gentle; if it wasn’t for the dark glowering brows that framed them and the inflamed blood vessels Mel was sure she could have counted. She could see nothing else, only white tiled walls closing in in every direction. That, and the knife rack screwed into the cracked ceramic.

His other meaty hand reached over, sausage fingers closing around a particularly shiny looking knife. Every horrendous inch of it fascinated her. It was about 12 inches long, 3 inches wide at the handle, and its edge caught the clinic-neon glow from the strip lights above, glittering as it moved. It looked alive. God, oh God, please no… this is going to hurt.

Mel screamed, but she was so frightened no sound came, as the keen edge slid through her skin. But he got the angle wrong, and instead of the intended deep cut the knife slid off sideways, skinning part of her side. Some of her flesh went with it. The blade was so sharp that where it cut, the gaping absence of herself just seeped a little, juices running down her side and onto the board below her. He swore again, but Mel hardly heard. She willed herself into unconsciousness, begging for oblivion and an end to the pain, but some stupid part of her fought it, and her senses swirled and coalesced back to full awareness.

Although she tried she could not struggle, her paltry strength nothing against the iron grip that held her. The second cut went much deeper, and Mel felt the blade sliding deep into her insides. She felt as if she had been cut in two, her inner-self displayed to the outside world like meat in a butcher’s window. With a ‘clack’ like a gunshot he put the knife down somewhere she couldn’t see, and a grime coated spoon came into view. He can’t, he won’t… The spoon pressed through her flesh, violating her, and she felt it move against her there. There, where her unborn children were lying, asleep and waiting for new lives of their own. Still silently screaming she felt the spoon begin to push underneath, slide, and then lift. She felt the tearing, the horrible empty space left behind. It wasn’t the physical damage. Now she would never be a mother, never know those joys and sorrows. She knew before he did it that he wasn’t going to leave anything behind. The second scoop, the pain, and his work was done. Her hopes dug from her; she could feel only anguish.

Nausea and despair were her allies now, dragging her away, down from the reality she could not, did not, want to face. She was dimly aware of another ‘clack’, before the knife came once more into view… her entrails smeared and glistening down its sides. It was hungry, and she wondered if she saw it smile as it closed in, almost lovingly, to take a last, final bite.

There was no post-mortem, but if there had been, the coroner would have recorded: a fructicide; death by preparation.


A melondrama: flash fiction by T. James, August 2011.

N.B: Regarding the sensory apparatus and perceptual abilities of plant fruiting bodies of all types. If it’s good enough for the Muppet Show, and the Annoying Orange, it’s good enough for me (and I found these after I wrote the piece).


  1. Colin F. Barnes

    Interesting first effort mate. You got the gross factor in well enough.

    • T. James

      Thanks Colin. Coming from someone with your experience of the genre, that’s a real compliment.

  2. Krista Walsh

    That was…wow.
    I was horrified, disgusting, couldn’t tear my eyes away…and then suddenly laughing at the brilliance of the twist.

    Love your use of words as well – great imagery!

    • T. James

      Thanks Krista. I’m glad you liked it. I really didn’t know if this was going to work when I posted it… but at least I can say that one other person ‘got it’. ;)

  3. T. Crosby

    Gah what is it with the motheresque style drama of you and Colin? Now I’m going to have to try and rinse the image off the inside of my eyelids. Twist not brilliant! Came too late for brilliant, now i’m still stuck inside the image of a childless womb. *mini throw up* In other words, WELL DONE! ;oP

    • T. James

      Thanks Tammy, although I do apologise for you losing some of your breakfast…

  4. Angela Addams

    So gross and too funny…I had to read the last bit again cause I was so horrified by the idea of a woman losing her ovaries that it didn’t click you were talking about a freakin’ fruit…you naughty man…you had me…Well done!

    • T. James

      Thanks Angie, glad it worked for you. I do confess to being occasionally badly behaved. ;)

  5. Anne Michaud

    This doesn’t feel like a first effort at all, Terrible James – you read like a pro at fright!! Well done:)

    • T. James

      Thanks a lot Anne… I’m going to stand quietly in a corner and blush.

  6. Magda M. Olchawska

    I don’t like horror stories or movies never watch or read them. This one is very vivid and scary. God, I didn’t see that until the end. I was full of scary pictures, imagining this poor woman. That was clever.

    • T. James

      Thanks Magda for braving the story through until the end when horror isn’t your thing. I guess it did what was intended, although I apologise if it grossed you out too much, and I hope you are feeling better now… :)

  7. Chuck Allen

    You really grossed me out with this one. The light ending was great, though, and forced me to read it through again with the new understanding. Well done!

    • T. James

      Thanks Chuck. I guess the second read-through probably wasn’t as graphic as the first…

  8. Chrissey Harrison

    I’m not sure whether that deserves an applause or a facepalm.

    Fantastic sensory description that made my skin crawl. Well done.

    • T. James

      It was written with an optional face-palm in mind at the end, just don’t knock yourself out.

  9. j d waye

    Gah! The ovaries!
    Love the twist at the end. Now I’m in the mood for a fruit smoothie.

    • T. James

      That wasn’t exactly the aim of the piece, but I hope you enjoyed your snack :)

  10. Gareth

    Hey James,
    I loved the twist, clever, witty and wonderfully deceptive. Thanks for this.

    • T. James

      Thanks for the encouragement Gareth. A great motivator to keep pushing on and trying new things…

  11. heidi/Akeyla

    I will never be able to cut into a Mel-on the same way again. I’ll just be thinking of all those little babies I’m scooping out and throwing away… Great story, I love it when endings suprise me, especially when they make me laugh too.

    • T. James

      I’m glad it made you laugh, and I apologise if I have put you off your fruit. ;)

  12. SLWestendorf

    LOL bloody brilliant! You had me guessing up to the very last sentence.

    • T. James

      BOO! Sorry Sandy, I couldn’t resist. ;) I’m glad you liked it …

  13. Rich Weatherly

    TJ, you had me going there. You’re imagery in this short is terrifying.

    Your pacing, and escalation of tension was agonizing. You had me going right up to the piece de resistance at the end: fructicide. It was spellbinding personification.

    Well done!

    • T. James

      Thanks Rich. As a sentient grapefruit that has secretly been living amongst humans for over twenty years, I thought it was about time that somefruit stood up for our rights, and brought the plight of fruit and vegetables like myself to the attention of the general public. The atrocities cannot continue!

      Please remember people, unless you are eating cereals or meat, you cannot be sure you are not devouring one of my brothers and sisters… Think on this when you contemplate eating a fruit salad- would you take out your knife and fork at the site of a multiple pile up, and think about having a cold meat buffet? Exactly.

      Thank you for your time,

      A. Grapefruit.
      President of the Fruit and Vegetable League for Freedom from Persecution by Vegetarians and Vegans.

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