Writing fiction is funny. It can be both draining and energizing, often at the same time.

It’s been a long week, and though part of me wants to give you another episode of The Dark Calling, I have this nagging feeling I just don’t have it in me today. I don’t want the story to suffer because I’m distracted, so I’m opting for some short flash fiction today with the plan of returning to the (nearly complete) series next week.

The prompt comes from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘asylum’, ‘limit’ and ‘pride’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

Though the story doesn’t call it out, the unnamed character is actually from a book I’m working on. His name is Charles. He’s a piece of work, and this scene captures his essence, even though he’s considerably less verbose than usual.

I hope you enjoy it.


“Markus, this isn’t an asylum. You can leave any time you wish.”

My name isn’t Markus. It’s Mark. The bastard knows it, too.

He traces a finger along my jaw–an intimate move, meant to test my limit. I feel his breath on my neck.

“Pride goeth before destruction,” he quotes.

He would know. Except for the destruction part. He’s lived a charmed life.

He circles me, finishing mere inches from my face.

I’d run if I could. But I’m bewitched. Enspelled. Transfixed.

He licks his lips and flashes a predator’s smile, fangs and all. I simply can’t look away.