Home » Fiction » Those First Nights (from The Journals of Sylvia Hollinger) #fridayflash #fiction

Those First Nights (from The Journals of Sylvia Hollinger) #fridayflash #fiction


frdayflashbadge02  Hello everyone, and welcome to The Tale Well: Stories by Roslyn Fain. Some of you know me as Deanna Schrayer, a short fiction and creative nonfiction writer. Writing as Roslyn, my stories, and my voice, are no different; it just came time to employ a pen name. For those of you who have just arrived, welcome! And for those of you who know my work, thanks for coming back!

Click here for more information about Roslyn. My first #fridayflash as Roslyn is a snippet from a short, (that is wanting to be a novella), I’m working on. I appreciate all kind and constructive critique. Be sure to visit the Friday Flash Community for more great flash fiction by outstanding authors!

Just like Deanna, I have a ratings system for my stories. Those First Nights: from The Journals of Sylvia Hollinger, is rated PG-13, according to my standards.  


image by Roslyn Fain

image by Roslyn Fain

Those First Nights: from The Journals of Sylvia Hollinger, by Roslyn Fain

The first couple of nights I credited the usual unease of sleeping in a new place; after all I had lived smack-dab in the middle of the city before and normally fell asleep to the sounds of music pumping from the jazz club downtown, growing louder and louder as the night darkened and the wee morning hours crept up like a jack-in-the-box. Often I heard the train whistle scream in the middle of the night, even kids slamming their skateboards on the sidewalk and yelling at each other like there was some evil creature sneaking up behind them and they needed to hurry away. So of course, here at the farm house, those first nights when I’d suddenly jerk awake to some hideous racket and then hear nothing at all, only the complete stillness of the dark, it was pretty much impossible to sink back into oblivion.

By the third night I realized how simple the solution was and I chastised myself for not thinking of it sooner. All I needed to do was turn the radio on, make the environment more like what I was used to and, surely, I’d get some sleep. Little did I know how violently this house hates noise.


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  1. richardbon says:

    hmmm … this reads like an intro to a longer tale….

  2. elizabeth says:

    Nicely done Deanna. Loved how you left us gasping at the end. 🙂

  3. Steve Green says:

    An interesting start Deanna. A person’s mind can ignore background noises that they are used to, but will pick up on anything unusual as a possible sign of danger. By the sound of it, this house definitely has hidden dangers too.

    Say Hi to Roslyn for me. 🙂

  4. Larry Kollar says:

    That last line was killer!

  5. Oh intriguing, now I want to know why the house dislikes noise……..

  6. Miss Alister says:

    Oh you lovely, sneaky thing, you, Deanna! You kept my jitters at bay, even appeased me some with how simple the solution was, and POW! Killer last line 😀

  7. A.M. Harte says:

    That last line made this snippet for me – although since I hate horror/anything scary, I shudder to think what the house will do to her!

  8. love the payoff line – sets up for the rest of the novella perfectly

    • So you believe I should go ahead and let it take off and go where it will, huh? Well, since I rarely have any control over “my” stories I dare say that’s what’ll happen. Thanks Marc!

  9. Agree with the others, that last line is killer. Nice intro, and interested in reading more.

  10. I dislike noise too so I think I’d get on well with this house!

  11. I think me and that house would never get along. I like to have music going pretty much all the time.

  12. This definitely leaves me wanting to read more! Houses definitely do have their preferences…

  13. Stephen Book says:

    On some level, I can sympathize with the house. I hate the noise, too. Still, with that opening, it’s clear the house does a little more than just voice displeasure. I nice hook here, Deanna. It definitely begs the reader to turn the page.

I love hearing from my readers so please do open your mind, open your heart and open your mouth!

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