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Gnome's Game: Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on December 19, 2016
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 100 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 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. The drive up the switchback road had been the scariest drive of his life, but now, all his cares evaporated as the warmth of the pool sank in and relaxed his muscles and mind.

Through half closed eyes he scanned the natural bowl that was teaming with greenery. Here and there he could see blackened remains of trees, reminders of a wildfire in the garden’s recent history.

In his drowsy state, some of the burnt stumps took the forms of creatures such as an eagle, a wolf, even a very small man, possibly a troll or a gnome. Jeremy’s eyes fluttered and he fought to stay awake, but it was a battle he lost.

Hot Springs, Idaho


Some time later he woke up to the pungent smell of sulphur and climbed out of the water. He perused his surroundings again and wondered why, with all this beauty and the hot spring, no one else was here to enjoy it.

Jeremy’s browsing stopped when he saw that what had earlier been a charred tree stump, was now moving around. The small creature, a gnome, appeared to be wearing bib overalls and a green shirt, and It was waving at him. Jeremy retreated backward one step, but his foot found air rather than solid rock, and he fell back into the pool.

He came up sputtering and wiping water from his eyes as quickly as he could. The gnome was gone. He looked left and right, but the little man was nowhere to be seen.


“Looking for someone?” The voice had the quality of a rusty hinge and came from down at his feet. Jeremy stumbled backward, but not in time to avoid having a ball and chain clamped to his ankle.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Jeremy dropped to the ground. He clawed at the lock and jerked the chain.

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

“Feed him?” said Jeremy. “Are you saying he’s going to kill me and then eat me?”

“Heavens no,” said the gnome. “He’ll kill you as he eats you.

Jeremy backed to the end of the chain. His hands reached out to find the stone wall behind him.

Instead, his fingers grasped fur.



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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 14 months 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 15 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice work, as always.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 15 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      jgshorebird, thank you for that enthusiastic support. :)

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 15 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Uh oh!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 15 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      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 Fuller 15 months 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 image

      Chris Mills 15 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      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

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Great! Unfinished is mostly the greater way. Superb!

      Read your comment to Eric. Wise plan.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 15 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      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 15 months 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)