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Flash fiction is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words)

He watched her as she moved around the well-lit kitchen making dinner. He himself stayed well-hidden in the darkness outside. The lone tree in the vacant plot beyond her backyard was the perfect place to watch and monitor her every movement. It had been over a week now and he was familiar with her routine. And best of all, he knew that she stayed alone.

The sounds of cooking reached his ears, the clank of a spoon against vessel, the water running from the faucet, the hiss of food sizzling in hot oil.  The late evening breeze carried the smell of fried fish to him and he felt dizzy. He hadn’t tasted fish since a long time. What’s more, he hadn’t eaten a morsel since that morning and then it had been stale bread his mother had scrounged from somewhere or other for the younger ones. He had shamelessly snatched a piece for himself, pretending not to have noticed their displeasure.

She was done with cooking. She would now carry her dinner to the couch in front of the TV and eat by herself.  He waited patiently for her to finish and watched her tidying up the kitchen afterwards. She was humming as she checked the backdoor to make sure it was locked. It didn’t worry him. He knew all about bypassing locked doors.

She was now switching off the lights downstairs. A little while later, the light in upstairs bedroom would come on and then she would draw the curtains close. Next she would change into something comfortable. Sure enough he saw her silhouetted against the drawn curtains, one hand raised, then the other, followed by both together pulling her night-suit down. His eyes glinted in the dark. Soon now, very soon.

He knew he had to wait some more time for her to fall asleep. People were more disoriented when woken up from sleep. That gave him a chance to escape in case things went wrong. The lights in the neighboring houses had also been extinguished by now. Good. That meant the neighborhood was asleep too. He was beginning to get restless when he saw the light in her room finally go off. Everything was darkness and silence now. Now! Now was the time to move. With a swish of his bushy tail, he jumped off the tree and silently sprinted towards the house.

©Shail Mohan 2017