Flash Fiction and Book Tour Stop with Timothy Patrick Means #Horror

Dear Someone - Flash Fiction by Timothy Patrick Means

Lillian put away the paperwork. It was Friday afternoon; she was anxious to get home. She had a blind date arranged by her friend Amy.

Hurrying to her car, she noticed something unusual sitting under the windshield wiper: a small, gold-colored envelope. Removing it she saw that it was addressed to “Dear Someone.” Thinking this odd, perhaps a practical joke, she turned around to see if anyone was watching her. No one.

Holding the small envelope in her hand, she quickly tore it open; inside was a black card with something strange written in gold letters.

Dear Someone. I realized that you don't know me. You probably think this strange. Regardless of your opinions, the outcome will be the same. These violent delights have violent ends.



Lillian looked around her, expecting someone to jump out to grab hold of her. Her heart raced as if blood was escaping her body. Slipping the card inside her purse, she got into her car and drove home, traveling down the crowded Seattle City Broadway to her apartment. She hurried into the big apartment complex and rode the elevator to the seventh floor. Walking down the hallway to her apartment, she unlocked the deadbolt and pushed the heavy door open. Inside, she was greeted by her house cat, Rebel, who appeared at her feet, purring eagerly, wanting to be fed.

Still spooked, she glanced down the hall. Seeing nothing unusual, Lillianclosed her door, locked the deadbolt and placed the security chain in its place on the door jam.

Amy had insisted that this friend of hers was the perfect match, maybe even “the one.” Now, a nagging nervousness now plagued her.

Reaching inside the cupboard for Rebel’s favorite cat food, she pulled hard on the aluminum tab, plopped the smelly fish mush into the small dish, and set it on the floor. She jumped in the shower, then rummaged through her closet for the black dress that always seemed to work in a pinch. Quickly she applied her makeup and slipped on her high heels. After brushing her blonde hair she sprayed on a touch of the expensive cologne she had gotten for Christmas. Looking over at Rebel, she made a pose and asked, “Tell me, what do you think?”

Rebel, too busy eating, ignored her.  Grabbing her purse and coat from the closet, she left her apartment and locked it behind her.


Driving back into the city to the restaurant where she was to meet this mystery man, she hoped he wouldn’t think she was late on purpose. She wasn’t the type to make a grand entrance. She hoped he would understand…that there would be a spark between them… that he would be the one. She hoped so many things for this evening.

Suddenly the car in front of her slammed on its brakes, causing hers to lock up, skidding slightly as she ended up in the other lane to avoid a collision.

Damn it, that was close, she thought,I don’t want to get killed before I even meet this potential Mr. Right.

Finally, she reached the restaurant, only ten minutes late, parked her car, and walked in trying to look casual. A hand waved from a booth near the back. As she approached the stranger, she was impressed. He was tall with blonde hair and a muscular build. He stood as she approached.

“You must be Lillian.”

"Yes! Hello, how are you, Andrew?” she replied with a pleasant smile.

“Amy has told me so much about you; I couldn't wait to meet you. I hope you don't mind, but I already had a drink while I was waiting for you to show up. These blind dates are so awkward, you never know what kind of person will turn up. But I must say I like what I see!

"Thank you for the compliment," Lillian replied cautiously. It was an awkward comment but then she felt uncomfortable, too. Maybe he just wasn’t good with words.

Unfortunately, as the evening progressed, it turned out Andrew wasn’t just awkward, he was…well…a pig. He referred to women as ‘chicks,” tried to order her meal for her, and then, to top it all off asked her what color panties she was wearing.

Shortly after that Lillian excused herself, saying she needed to use the restroom. “Yeah,” Andrew replied. “I know how women are. Always have to pee.”

Lilliam grimaced and headed to discreetly find her waitress.

“Can I help you?” the young woman asked.

“You sure can; this blind date is not at all what I expected, and could you please cancel my order? And is there a back way out of this restaurant?”

“Sure, I completely understand. No prince charming, huh?” the young waitress answered.

“Oh, my no, not even a frog prince; just a mistake from a soon to be an x girlfriend!

“You can go through the kitchen. Follow me, I’ll show you the way out.”

After walking through the dark alley, she arrived back at her car, grateful to have made a clean exit. Passing the restaurant she noticed Andrew arguing with the waitress and manager.

 By the time she arrived home, there were twelve messages from Andrew on her cell phone. In her apartment, she locked the door, slipped out of her dress, and got comfortable in a pair of old sweats. She had a light meal and snuggled up on her couch with Rebel to read. Suddenly she remembered the card on her windshield. She got it out of her purse and looked at it again. Who on earth could have left this?

She shrugged her shoulders, dropped it on her dresser, and went back to her book. A few minutes later there was a pounding on her door and she heard Andrew’s now-familiar voice calling her.

With a long sigh, she walked over to the closed door and shouted loud enough so that he couldn’t mistake her wishes. “Andrew, please leave. I don’t want to engage in conversation at this hour. It's late. I want you to go.”

“I’m not leaving until you agree to have dinner with me,” Andrew shouted through the door.

“That’s not a good idea,” Lillian replied, “Please listen, I want you to leave, I don’t wish to be rude, or else you will force me to call the police!

            Andrew continued to shout until suddenly, another knock sounded and a different voice announced the police.

Looking through the peephole, she saw the shining badges and blue uniforms.

“Hello ma`am, my name is Officer Hargrove. The neighbors reported a disturbance.”

“I asked him to leave but he wouldn’t,” Lillian replied.

“Lillian, it’s me,” Andrew shouted again. She peeked out the door. He was struggling in the officer’s grip.

“this man has had too much to drink; we’ll take him downtown, and arresting him for public intoxication,” Hargrove announced.

“Hey, what do we have here,” the other officer announced, holding a large pocket knife he had removed from Andrew`s coat.

“Hey, I can carry that, it’s perfectly legal,” Andrew argued.

“Sure it is,” officer Hargrove replied, wearing a smile, “But tonight it isn`t, you’re going downtown with us!”

A few minutes later the officers left, Andrew in handcuffs between them. Lillian watched, relieved, as they escorted him out. She closed her door, clicked the locks shut, and felt safe again back in her private world.

Exhausted, she turned to the TV to switch on her favorite romance channel.

She gasped in fright. Reflected in her television screen was a figure dressed in black.

 It couldn’t be Andrew. He’d just been arrested!.


“Well, from what I can see the murderer came through the open kitchen window, what is uncertain is how someone could crawl up seven stories on the side of an apartment building and not be seen?” Detective Mulholland announced to his partner Ben Holder.

“She has a cat, maybe she kept the window open so it could come and go freely,” his partner remarked.

Taking his pen, Mulholland moved Lillian’s hair from her face. Staring at him, her expression was one of sadness. “She was stabbed,” he said.

“So, after examining the body, what do you think, she`s been dead for what? Forty-four hours, at least?”Mulholland asked.

“That would be my estimation.”

“She was reported missing by a co-worker, Amy. Earlier we were called to this scene for a disturbance involving a drunk boyfriend named Andrew,”

“Well, then it’s an open and closed case—he must be our killer.”

“No, not quite, he was arrested that night and has spent the last two days locked behind bars, waiting to be bailed out.”

“What`s this?” Mulholland asked, as his partner handed him a gold envelope. 

“I’m not sure but I found it on top of the victim's dresser, read it, I believe that you’ll find it quite interesting,”  


Demon Shadow
The Bishops’ Sacrifice 
Book One
Timothy Patrick Means

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Mad Dog Press
Date of Publication: 10/01/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7376017-0-8
Number of pages: 179
Word Count: 47831
Cover Artist: Eric Labacz

Book Description: 

The 16-year-old girl disappeared after school on an October afternoon. The police have exhausted all leads. It’s been weeks, but her mother, Barbara, will not stop searching for Melissa.

Her husband, Mark, has given up…and started drinking. Her younger daughter Rachel feels neglected. The police think she is a nuisance. Her job is in jeopardy.
But even more mysterious things begin happening around Barbara. The shadows that have no source…a dark form glimpsed beneath Melissa’s bed…the ravens that have congregated on the lawn.

Desperate, Barbara turns to the mysterious Sterling, a man the police scorn as a psychic, a fraud, and maybe worse.

Can Sterling help Barbara find her daughter before it is too late? And what is the mysterious Bishops’ Curse that has haunted Barbara’s family for centuries?

The Demon Shadow is the first in a series of haunting thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


She hurried down the hallway with the crystal in her hand. As she passed Melissa’s bedroom, the crystal began to glow brighter and brighter. Pausing just outside the door, she stopped and didn’t move. The crystal burned with such intensity that she could hardly look at it.

She held her palm flat, the object resting in the center. She was compelled to walk into Melissa’s bedroom. As she took a step inside, the crystal’s light became blindingly bright, reaching into the darkest corners of the room, filling every murky space with beams of shimmering light. She realized with a shock that she hadn’t turned on any lights; the object glowed more brightly with each step she took.

As she stood silently, watching the effects of the light against the blackest of the shadows. Something moved! Frightened, she wanted to run away but instead stood transfixed as a pair of long, bony arms reached out from under Melissa’s bed.

Somehow, she knew that the dark, shadowy figure was trying to crawl from some other place into this world. As she watched in silent horror, it slowly pulled its body upward from under the bed. A dark and menacing fog swirled and grew until it assumed the shape of a tiny human skull with two bulging eyes embedded in deep sockets, eagerly watching Barbara with keen interest.

Frozen in fear and unable to move or retreat, she stood perfectly still. The dark body changed, blending within the blackness in front of her—this thing was death itself.

Slowly, it rose from the floor and became erect— alive. The air in Melissa’s bedroom was becoming frigid, and Barbara shivered in the sudden cold. All she could do was to stand immobile and watch intently as the apparition came to life.

The body of the ghastly image was almost transparent, with dark, oily skin. Now that it was upright, Barbara could see that it stood close to six feet tall with a body as black as a moonless night.

The creature unfolded two broad, enormous wings; they stretched halfway across the room. To her horror, it opened its mouth wide and let out an ear-piercing scream as if it had just been wounded. Flinching, she clamped her hands over her ears.

Questions flooded her mind. Why is this creature here in Melissa’s bedroom? What can this all possibly mean? Only one thing mattered: How could she defeat this creature that threatening her life?

The answer to that question, she realized, was in the palm of her hand. As the dark demon fully materialized, the small object she held burned ever more brightly. As the entity grew in strength and magnification, the burning brightness in the room increased as well. Somehow, she understood that this object was inflicting the pain the creature felt. Was kind of weapon was it?

More importantly, if this small object caused this beast such enormous pain, how could she use it to defeat the monster?

The light restrained the creature, but it fought against it. In one final attempt to get at her, the creature stuck out its long, skeletal fingers; its razor-sharp nails tried to stop the incandescent light from penetrating its hazy body. Still, every time it drew closer to harm her, the shining brilliance from the crystal object became even brighter and held the creature back.

Inside herself, something suddenly changed; she would not surrender to her fears. She would show this creature no mercy or weakness. She stepped toward the being, holding the light before her. As she did, the creature’s menacing shape began to change. It was no longer the threatening being it once had been, and it began to draw inward. Its once proudly displayed wings collapsed into its body. Its form seemed to lower in submission; the strange creature looked as though it bowed before her.

The incandescent light from the small crystal penetrated deep into its dark body as it began to creep backward under Melissa’s bed, retreating into the world in which it lived. As it withdrew, it took on a much smaller form than before.

Her courage renewed; Barbara took another step closer. As she looked upon the inky body, it shrank to nothingness and disappeared from her sight.

She took a deep breath. It was gone. But she knew it had only been subdued for now. It had had no choice but to retreat to the abyss of its home, in that other world where darkness lived.

But it would be back?

About the Author:
Timothy was raised on the sunny beaches of Southern California. As a young boy, he spent many summers swimming and playing in the ocean without care. Later as the man, he was fortunate enough to land a job in Aerospace, working for McDonnell Douglas. There he worked on military aircraft and, most exciting of all, rockets! All types of space hardware, including the space station, space shuttle, and the Delta rocket.

His life has always been interesting—a father to four children and two stepchildren, Grandfather to 14. He’s given away his heart to all. In his life, he’s always loved writing. His first experience at being creative was describing his feelings through poetry that seemed to get mixed emotions. But it wasn’t until he put pencil to the paper that his imagination soared, and he was set free to explore all the possibilities of creating an exciting story.

Here and now is the result of his work. A new world created from his imagination, where everything was possible, including the dangers and pitfalls.

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