Flash Jab Fiction is written by fans of pulp and speculative fiction. It is a no pay, no fee, writing-for-the-sake-of-writing type of gig. The stories are usually tough and raw and come from some of the bloodiest knuckles of the hardest punching crime fiction writers around today.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Flash Jab Challenge #9: Graham Smith

Blood on the Door

Flash Jab Challenge #9 Topic

This month Graham Smith accpeted the challenge and has flashed us a great one.

Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. For the last eleven years he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland. An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well respected review site Crimesquad.com for over two years.As well as reviewing for Crimesquad.com Graham has also interviewed such stellar names as David Baldacci, Jeffrey Deaver, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Matt Hilton, current CWA Chair Peter James, Mark Billingham and many others. When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

And now, the story!

HOMECOMING by Graham Smith

I had returned to my grandmother’s home after her death. It was the first time I’d been back since I’d ran away aged sixteen with a head full of ambitions and dreams. Nearly twenty years had passed since I last crossed this threshold. Time had healed the wounds but the scars remained. Our truce had been tentatively agreed last year and we’d always met on neutral ground. Now she was gone, I could admit to myself she was right.

A knock at the door startled me as I paced around the empty house. When I opened the door a handyman was standing there with a vacant expression. I’d seen him attending to next door’s garden. Expecting him to tout for business I was surprised when he pushed his way into the house.

He was a big bugger, I’ll give him that. He towered over me by at least five inches, his black locks and jagged teeth giving him a wolf like appearance. He outweighed me by about seventy pounds.

There was no waiting for my mind to decide on a course of action as instinct kicked in and my body screamed flight not fight. By the time my brain had sent the message to move it was too late, my legs had already mutinied and I was halfway down the corridor.

Old habits caused me to seek safety in the most familiar place. My former bedroom was at the end of the passage and I flew in and slammed the door behind me.

Shooting the tiny bathroom bolt across I almost laughed at the idiocy of the action. I could probably kick the door in without even breaking the heel on my Manolo’s. A brute the size of the handyman could break the bolt’s fastenings by simply leaning on the door.

Frantically I looked for some other way of securing the door. The keyhole at eye level fronted a lock that hadn’t worked twenty years ago and wasn’t likely to work now, even if I had a key.
I grabbed a dresser and jammed it under the golden handle in an attempt to jam the door. I could hear heavy footsteps clumping down the corridor as he lumbered after me.

A quick jerk at the window confirmed it was painted shut just as it had been all those years ago. A glance round the room for a weapon I could use to smash the glass yielded only a lamp which was hardwired into the wall. Yanking it free caused a shower of sparks. Ignoring the flashes of death I wound the end of the flex around my hand and swung the lamp like a mace into the centre of the window.

Disaster struck three times as the lamp smashed into two pieces, the window smashed into no pieces and the door crashed open.

He just stood beside the door with a leer on his lips and lust in his eyes. I felt a jagging pain as the half of the lamp still attached to its flex cut my leg.

With no other course of action available to me I went on the offensive and swung the remains of the lamp once round my head before stepping forward and aiming for his face.

Instead of raising his arms to defend himself he just leaned back and tilted his head backwards. He obviously thought that he was out of range, as he started to smile milliseconds before the shattered porcelain gouged his exposed throat sending a spurt of bright red arterial blood onto the door. As he fell to his knees clutching at his throat the severed jugular vein pressured from within by his still beating heart, pumped more gouts of blood between his fingers.

I sank to a sitting position on the bed and noticed for the first time that the room looked exactly like it did the last time I was in there.

© Graham Smith 2012

Where to find Graham:

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Graham-Smith/e/B006FTIBBU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Harry Charters Chronicles http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Charters-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B006OG2IR2/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_2

11 The Hard Way http://www.amazon.co.uk/11-The-Hard-Way-ebook/dp/B0066CQOG0/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1


  1. Oh my....what's been going on here then? Sparks and blood and jagged edges....

    Well paced story, fab!

  2. I was reading so fast my eyeballs smoked. Fast as a 9mm through a bedsheet, Graham. Tight as a vestal virgin before the ceremony. I swear that arterial spray almost hit my face. Good, good, freakin' good job, mate. Enjoyed every syllable. Cool.

  3. Thanks very much guys.
    AJ I absolutely love your similies. Wish I could think of them.