Tag Archives: flash fiction

9 The Woods – Kevin Escapes the Tree (1985) by LV Gaudet

1The Woods:

1 – The Woods – The Dare (1985)

2 – Thirty Years Later – The Old Bennet House is for Sale (2015)

3 – The Woods – Jesse Hears a Noise (1985)

4 – The House – First Entry in 30 Years (2015)

5 – The Woods – Return to the House (1985)

6 – The Woods – Inspecting The House (2015)

7 – The Woods – Return to the House (1985)

8 – The Woods – Inspecting the Bedrooms (2015)





Kevin wriggles in the dirt and leaves, squirming and struggling to pull free of the fallen tree imprisoning him, feeling like it is trying to press down, to push him down and bury him in the dirt beneath it.

Sobbing openly despite the possible repercussions it would normally lead to, the incessant torment and teasing from his brother, Jesse keeps frantically pawing and scratching at the frozen soil.

It’s softer here because the rotting deadfall has been a successful catch for falling leaves, the loose detritus wasting in a soggy mush. The warming early spring days have softened up the melting ice, loosening the rotting leaves once he manages to break the thinning ice.

He stops and grabs Kevin, pulling on him. He repositions, bracing his feet against the tree to pull harder. His feet feel like they will sink in, the wood softened with rot and giving somewhat in to the pressure.

Kevin inches out, and again with Jesse’s next tug.

They look at each other. They have hope. They renew their efforts, Kevin squirming and wriggling and Jesse pulling with all his might, inch by inch until Kevin is finally free.

Exhausted, they both fall on each other, laughing out the fear and stress and relief.

They hug each other as brothers will after a moment of extreme stress.

“I thought I lost you there,” Jesse says.


Kevin struggles to get up and Jesse helps him. It feels strange to him, the younger brother helping his older brother up when not so many years ago it would be the other way around.

They fight a lot, as siblings will. But Kevin is generally there for him, looking after him.

Kevin looks at Jesse.

“Are you ready to try it again?”

Jesse pauses. Every time they try to leave the yard, they are back here in the woods.

He nods. Even as his head makes that bobbing movement he feels as if his body is swimming; swimming through mush, reeling, floating.  Rushing at breakneck speed through time and space, all at once.

“Okay, let’s do this.”

Kevin climbs over the tree, stepping high yet again over the snow and naked brambles and twigs of the woods, heading for their back yard. Jesse follows.

They reach the yard. The snow is littered with their broken footsteps from their earlier time spent playing in the yard. The half-buried bike poking up from the snow like a skeletal corpse. Conspicuously absent are their earlier footsteps from their previous trips back to the house or their attempts to leave the woods.

It is just as they expected it.

“This way.” Kevin leads the way, this time following the edge of the backyard to the neighbour’s yard.

They make it to the back edge of the house.

Kevin looks back, nodding. So far, so good.

Jesse speeds up to move closer to Kevin.

They pass the back corner of the house, heading up the side yard.

They pass the first bedroom window.

Kevin feels the urge to break into a run. He holds back.

Jesse reaches for his hand and Kevin takes it.

They keep going.

The second and last window on that side.

“Yeah! We’re doing it! We’re doing this!” Kevin cries out happily.

“Yeah!” Jessie copies.

They look at each other and laugh, full of relief, and start sprinting for their goal, the house next door and freedom.




Follow The Woods installments


L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm
where the bodies are


What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions? Find out in Where the Bodies Are.


The McAllister Farm-cover 1

Take a step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are:  The McAllister Farm reveals the secrets behind the man who created the killer.


Link to purchase these books by L.V. Gaudet



Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

Follow L. V. Gaudet:

Facebook author page






LV Gaudet, author


Filed under L.V. Gaudet, writing

A Dog’s Wisdom

This month I thought I’d share with you a short story I wrote about 18 months ago. It subsequently appeared in Quill and Parchment, an online e-zine. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Joe is sad today. He sits and taps with his fingers. He stops tapping for a moment and says something aloud, which I don’t comprehend—I understand maybe 200 words, mostly commands, and sentences are outside my understanding. The concept of “opposable thumbs,” which he once told a friend is what leaves Man inferior to the lower life forms, is beyond me. When he asks me if I want to go for a walk, it’s “walk” I respond to. I look up from where I’m laying, at Joe’s feet, to see light flicker across his face as he goes back to tapping.

Earlier, while it was still dark outside and before he started tapping, he stared into the light and said, “Another rejection letter. I’m a slave to the whims of others.” I don’t pretend to know what that means, but it made Joe sad. He sighed and put fire to one of those sticks he sucks on without ever eating. I don’t like those sticks; they make me sneeze. He sipped from the cup on his desk—I can smell its bitter scent—sighed again, and began tapping. I find the sound pleasing because it brings Joe contentment.

I can sense Joe’s moods as easily as I can detect my favorite smells—grass, bacon (another word I know) and Joe’s scent. The woman who used to come around no longer does, and I sense from Joe sadness in her absence, but also ease. They often raised their voices at one another, which left all three of us unhappy.

Joe finds the smelly sticks soothing, and the steaming liquid in the cup, which he pours from a larger container in the kitchen, leaves him feeling more alert. He calls them his muses. Still, there is an underlying sorrow to his mood this morning, despite the tapping, which usually leaves him feeling good. He stops tapping to sip from the cup, and he puts the stick between his lips; I watch its end glow and smoke rises lazily from its end. Joe leans over to scratch me between my ears and then goes back to tapping. A moment later he stops and, looking into the light, eyes moving from side to side, says something I don’t understand. Then he sighs and says, “Shit,” which is one of the commands I know. I’m confused because I’ve already been outside.

Joe gets up and takes his cup with him to the kitchen. I follow him and as he pours more liquid into his cup, I sit salivating, and stare at the door behind which he keeps my treats. A moment later the door swings open and Joe reaches in to get me a Milk-Bone—another word I understand. “Good girl,” he tells me, “you’re so easy to please.” Then he scratches me between my ears before leaving for the den and more tapping.

I don’t know why Joe is so sad. I wish he could be more like me. I’m happy with my morning shit, a walk, a tummy scratch, fresh water in my bowl twice a day and food in my dish, along with the occasional Milk-Bone and table scrap. I’m happiest when Joe takes me to the park and lets me run free among all the wonderful smells. I wonder if Joe would be happier if he had four legs and could run free with me.


Filed under writing

The Art of Fluff

Words, words, words. How much filler does it take to write a novel?


The number one obstacle I have to overcome every time I work on my books is adding content to reach my own preset goal.


Word count holds me in its grip. I am like an athlete, word count is my coach, and he is screaming, “More! Give Me More!” (Okay, I stole that line from Police Academy)


I condense by nature. For a number of years, I have often thought my true calling as a writer was as an editor in the condensed books section of Reader’s Digest.


Is it necessary to describe, in minute detail, the number of leaves on the tree? Is it relevant to the story? Is there a story behind each fallen leaf?


What if my writing is just Fitzgerald filler? Do I need to write fluff just to fill a page with words that have no significance to the story?


Surprisingly, I have mixed feelings about the answer. My strong suit in writing is flash fiction. However, since I began writing full-length novels, I can see first-hand why there is a need for a bit of pouf.


It is probably a good thing I was not around when our long-winded forefathers wrote the Declaration of Independence. I would have condensed it to something like: We will drive your despotic ass out of our country if you try to take our freedom away and we have the Divine One riding shotgun. Pffft.


I continue to evolve as a novelist and, instead of trimming the fat, I am realizing that a little fat is a good thing. I am learning to embrace a bit of fluff.


J J Dare is the author of “False Positive” and “False World,”

the first two novels in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy



Filed under books, fiction, writing