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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House Picture Prompt 7.

Submitted: May 13, 2017

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Submitted: May 13, 2017





It looks just like a giant bath plug, if you ask me!”


Maisy Edwards leaned forward for another look. She poked at the round object on the ground. About the size of a normal man-hole cover, what made this one unusual was the way it protruded above the ground. Cautiously she tapped at it with the toe of her shoe.


Did you see anyone though? Any vans? ‘Cause I didn’t, Maisy.”


Shaking her head, Maisy said, “I was out yesterday. Don’t you remember me telling you I had to go and visit Brenda. She’s not been too well.”


Now you mention it, yes I do! And I had to go to the clinic. Always behind with the times, I must have been gone for most of the afternoon.” Frank Evans felt a bit happier now that his neighbour had pointed out how they both could have missed seeing the van. “So what do you reckon it is, then? Doesn’t look like any of the others round here.”


Peering at it again, Maisy shrugged her shoulders. “There’s no writing, nothing to say what it is. Could be anything really.....Council, electric, water. But I’d bet it’s something to do with those internet things.”


Frank frowned.


You know, Frank. Those new ones they’re always advertising on the TV. They go underground, don’t they?”


I wouldn’t have a clue, Maisy. But if it is I don’t see why it has to be outside my door. I don’t even have a computer!”


You’d best phone the council on Monday then, Frank. See what they have to say about it. You’ll not get any answers on a Saturday.”


By the evening Frank had almost forgotten about the giant plug that had appeared on the pavement outside his garden. It was only the passers-by, cursing as they tripped against it, that reminded him of it’s presence.


I’ll phone on Monday, first thing,” he said to Nexie when he went up to bed. Nexie didn’t even woof, but just snuggled down in her basket and went to sleep.


Outside, on the street, after all the lights had gone out, the plug began to lift. It popped out of the hole and a long slim ladder appeared out of the top. Everything was quiet. Nothing stirred.


One figure appeared, almost invisible in the darkness, followed by another. They looked human in shape but much smaller and they did not appear to be solid. They climbed up the ladder, jumped on to Frank’s path, and made their way towards his front door.


The bushes he had bordering his path gave them a way to climb upwards and make their way towards his letterbox. Without actually lifting the flap they seemed to slip through it to get inside.


Nexie stirred, grumbled. She looked and listened, all her sense alert, but there were no strange smells, no unusual noises. She rested her chin back down on her paws and soon her eyes closed.


One of the little creatures silently entered the kitchen, while the other made it’s way up the stairs to Frank’s bedroom. Whatever they were doing they did not take long about it but soon made their way back outside. If anyone had seen them, before and after, they would have seen that they were now almost double their original size.


The following day was wet, and being Sunday too, Frank did not even bother to open his front door. Nexie was content with the back garden when she really had to go outside. She’d never been a dog that liked getting wet.


It was always a quiet day, Sunday. There were very few people walking past Frank’s house and those that did had no problem with the plug. Nobody tripped or cursed and the whole thing slipped from Frank’s mind.


Monday morning he met Maisy in the post office. “Frank, I don’t know how you did it, but next time there’s any sort of problem I’ll know who to get to report it! And at the weekend too!”


What do you mean, Maisy? Oh.....I forgot! I’ll phone the council as soon as I get home.”


But you already did, Frank.” At the quizzical look the man gave her, Maisy added, “Didn’t you?”


Frank shook his head. “I meant to but you know what my mind’s getting like.”


Not to worry then, Frank. Whatever it was, it’s not there now. And they did a good job. There’s no sign that anything has been there at all.”


Strange. But then so many things are these days.”


It was only when Frank walked off with Nexie that Maisy noticed what had been bothering her. She knew there was something odd but had not been able to put her finger on what it was. As man and dog walked away down the street they both did so without casting any shadow at all. Their shadows had simply.......gone!


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