Reading Time: 2 minutes

Every night, Juju would wake up and scream, ‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!’

The first time it happened, his wife, Maya, ran screaming through the house, searching for the fire, fearing for her life and the lives of her loved ones. But when she found nothing to corroborate her husband’s words, she pounced on him and demanded an explanation.

‘Are you insane?! Where’s the fire?!’

That’s when Juju told her about his nightmare and its bizarre realness. He sat in his favorite chair eating his favorite snack, crackers and cheese, when the flames came for him. It was like the house was a matchbook that had been set on fire.

And that’s when he had woken up screaming, ‘THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!’

Maya had thumped her husband’s back and offered him kind words of consolation, urging him to go back to sleep and forget the wicked dream.

Little did she know that Juju’s nightmare and shouting would become a nightly affair.

The second time it happened, Maya acted on instinct and raced through the house, again discovering nothing. She returned to find Juju staring at her with tousled hair and his mouth wide open. Another nightmare he blurted.

She pursed her lips and lay down without a word exchanged between them. By the fifth night, she simply rolled over, placed her pillow over her head, and resumed her soft snoring.

Juju’s nightmares did not leave him. They made him lay awake at night. He feared that the minute he closed his eyes, they would come and grab him. So, deprived of sleep, the man spent his days roaming like a perplexed zombie.

Then one night, the unthinkable happened. Juju drifted off to sleep and the nightmare returned, but this time there was no fire. He lay in bed and Maya stood over him with a knife in her hand. As the blade entered his chest he woke up and screamed, ‘MAYA, DON’T KILL ME!’

A hand shot up and struck him across the face – SMACK!

Maya’s words were few but earnest.

‘Juju please! Just go back to sleep.’

But her heart screamed, ‘Idiot! Don’t make me do it!’

I Will Run Away and that’s my final decision. I’ve been a slave for too long. It’s time for a new revolution. Freedom!

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43 Comments on “THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! – Flash Fiction Story

  1. I’m sure others will comment on how terrifying and annoying it would be to live and sleep in the same bed with someone who had dreams that bordered on night terrors (an ex had them and it wears on a person after a while) but my focus is on Maya.

    ‘Idiot! Don’t make me do it!’ makes me fear for Juju’s life because his wife has LTD (latent murderess tendencies) and no pun intended, his dreams may be the ember that ignites the spark.

    Juju, please heed my warning and leave now while you can, not only for your continued existence, but think of all the other potential lives you’ll be saving, for once you murderer-in-waiting wife slides stainless steel into your chest, she might actually develop a taste for it because insanity is just like Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop!

    Run, Juju, run!

    • Lol!
      LTD…latent murderess tendencies.
      Rhyan, I really hope Juju hears you. I agree that this could turn into a murderous spree. And I do like Pringles, though I stay away because of the calories. But Maya will probably pop many times over.
      Is it her fault? All a girl wants is some zzzzzs and a silent bed partner.
      Maybe Juju should just shift to the living room sofa and scare the daylights out of himself in a more isolated manner.
      Juju, if you’re listening, then heed Rhyan’s warning. I think – dreams come true – is on the agenda for you.
      I profusely thank you on Juju’s behalf. 🙂

  2. I enjoy thriller stories and this sent a chill down my spine! Really well written, Terveen! 😊

  3. I found the end hilarious 😀 Maya’s comment 😀
    I don’t if I should feel sorry for Juju or Maya, for both seem to have lost their sleep :O
    Good one, as always Terveen 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Vignesh. 🙂
      I’m so glad you can see the humor in these murderous situations. I think you might be developing a dark side. Haha.
      Yes, both are sleep deprived and anything can happen. May they sort it out without any weapon.

  4. Dear Sleep Therapist .

    Writing poetry till all hours is making me sleep-deprived. My screen suddenly whizzes round in circles. Is this normaI? I eat lotsa Pringles in effort stop circle-whiz but no-go. I’m turning into a zombie. Please help

    Yours in desperation


    • Don, I can see that you’re writing more than you usually do. I’ll have to send you into a deep hypnosis to diagnose the problem. You may have to sign on a dotted line, just standard procedure. In case you don’t snap back to reality, you’ll be force fed Pringles, and if that doesn’t do, Skip might have to hop around with you. It’s called shock revival.
      Please say you can do. 🙂

  5. Goodness, what a thrilling piece, Terveen! I loved it. Feeling sorry for Juju all along. I’m this kind of vivid sleeper. But his wife’s last thought? Oh my, this is the beginning of a grand thriller 🙂 Will she do it? Does he know she’s planning it? Is this what gave him a nightmare in the first place?
    Do you ever write follow-ups? Ha ha 🙂

    • Thanks a lot, Patricia. 🙂
      My dreams are never good. But I hardly dream or probably never remember them. Juju is stuck in a bad situation. And I think you might be right that he could have some sort of inclination.
      It would be nice to see where this goes.

    • Thanks so much, Joseph. 🙂
      I have to get the words out or I get literary indigestion. Haha.
      Writing is pretty much everything for me.
      I’m sure you can relate.

  6. Wait wait wait! What!!
    That became realistic for a moment. “Maya stood over him with a knife in her hand. As the blade entered his chest he woke up and screamed, ‘MAYA, DON’T KILL ME!’” I thought juju was done.
    Nobody wants their sleep to be disturbed.
    Well penned!

    • Thanks so much, Tanishq. 🙂
      It did take a bloody turn, but thankfully it was only a dream…but could end up being real. Being sleep deprived can really mess up your mind. And make you think crazy thoughts. I know it, I’ve been there. So let’s hope Juju and Maya resolve this without any sharp or blunt objects involved.

  7. She for real would have gone for it. Was so furious. I really liked the story, found it very amusing. 😊❤

  8. Maya is my kind of people. Not because of her thoughts of murder and her willingness to kill her partner for interrupting her sleep, but for understanding the necessity to get rid of a problem efficiently.

    I wonder if I should prepare a room in my house for her, or hire her to run it.

    • Yes, Maya does seem to be efficient in her thoughts and actions.
      I think she would be obliged to shift to a new residence and offer her efficient services for some decent sleep.
      Thank you for this proposal. 🙂

  9. Juju is probably suffering from anxiety, the result of heavy loads of work or something. Love the ending when Maya is standing over him with a knife. I know how people feel when insomnia hit. Your head can grow so huge and your mind so irrational. Unexpected things can happen under such a stress.

    • Juju and Maya are in a tough situation. Not being able to sleep and not letting someone else sleep is a desperate situation.
      Yes, anything can happen. And it’s probably not going to be good.
      Thanks Haoyan for your lovely comments. 🙂

  10. Wow, you cannot help but feel for him. That poor guy is stuck in and with a nightmare! Great story, Terveen. 👏👏

  11. What a piece – I was dreading reading on, expecting the unexpected. That’s what you do best! Your writing is so evocative. I can actually almost picture you sitting at your desk, with an imaginary knife in your hand, thinking ‘well, well, well, and now for the twist… ha, ha, ha’. Love it!

    • Lol.
      Britta that truly is a lovely, mental picture.
      I must do it some time. Thanks for enjoying the twists. They just come to me at the right time.
      Thanks so much and take care. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Ranga and His White Girlfriend - Flash Fiction Story | It Ain't Right Till I Write

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