This piece, at almost 500 words doesn’t classify as a 300 word ‘flash’ fiction but I don’t want to cut 40% so I’m calling it a short, short story.

The front door bell rang when Silvia was in the bathroom. She ignored it. She was alone while her husband was out buying groceries, and they were not expecting visitors. She rationalized that it was probably a delivery which she could retrieve on her own time. When the bell rang a second time accompanied by knocking Silvia was annoyed. She told herself that there was no way that she was going to answer the summons for she now deduced that the person or persons on her porch were sales-people or worse Jehovah Witnesses. The radio in the den was playing Mozart. She listened to the music and hummed along with the Clarinet Concerto letting the familiarity of the music help to soothe her annoyance. How she loved the Clarinet! She smiled as she thought of her husband’s reference to his high-school band playing days when the brass derogatorily referred to the clarinet as a “liquorish stick”. She moussed her hair and began to blow it dry

She was about to go into the den when she thought that she heard hushed voices inside the house, Mozart was still playing so she knew that it wasn’t a radio announcer. She shivered. Hadn’t she just read the neighborhood newsletter in which they reported a spate of daylight robberies with instructions to residents to call 911 to report any suspicious activities. The article had gone on to warn residents not to approach the thieves who were described as “armed and dangerous”. Silvia’s earlier annoyance morphed into fear.

She thought that she might be able to hide in the closet to mask her voice so that she could make a 911 call, or better silently text her alarm, but then she realized that her mobile phone was in the den. She strained and heard the voices coming closer. In no time they would be in her bedroom and she had nowhere to hide.

On the spur of the moment Silvia decided that the only weapon she had was an element of surprise. She walked slowly to her bedroom door, took a deep breath, and opened it. She saw her two uninvited intruders standing in front of the television. They both carried bags. The morning sun streamed in through the den windows casting bright patches of light across the room. Silvia stood with the sun behind her. She hoped that the shadow would disguise the fear on her face. She waved her arms dismissively,

“Gentlemen,” she said, “you found the key, that’s good; but we weren’t expecting you today. You’ve got the wrong day! We agreed on Wednesday, that’s tomorrow. You have to leave now, and come back tomorrow!”

Tin Whistle – a poem

A toy tin whistle there,
Useless, lies untouched,
Six holes in a metal tube,
Until, a magician came.
Strong arms, bearded face,
Dancing eyes, bewitching hands,
Jumping to those hands the whistle lives,
Singing, moaning, making music,
Grabbing beauty from the air.

Awakened, the house responds,
Commanding notes seeking everywhere.
We approach, as to the Pied Piper,
Mesmerized by the mournful sound,
Sitting spellbound as the whistle sings.
A group of people, suddenly as one,
Held by elfin whistle in musician’s hand,
To listen, and to hear that pipe,
Speak as two remaining one.

Then, putting down the pipe, he goes,
Leaving a hint of mystic in his wake,
A discarded pipe, trying hard to sing,
Weakly reforming notes into a theme,
But, bereft of power reverting to silence,
Music lingering on bewitches the building,
Scrapes captured notes from our minds,
To burst in the hall, vaporize and die
Leaving us a toy tin whistle and a memory.