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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2231435
Jimmy's shocking discovery.
Jimmy’s Last Dance

One of the really scary things about electricity is that you can’t see it. Even if you know that the wires are live and you’re being really careful, it can still leap out at you and throw you across the room. Or worse, force you to close your grip on an open lead while it cooks your brain. There’s nothing quite like that jolt that knocks you from complacency to the hospital.

Or is there?

Jimmy Raglan had worked with electrical stuff all his adult life and there wasn’t much he didn’t know about it. All gained through hard experience and any amount of the usual body-jerking shocks. He was pretty sure he knew all the tricks of the invisible juice and wouldn’t get bitten again.

Or would he?

Pride comes before a fall, they say, and Jimmy was getting a bit over confident as old age drew near. A simple job, like finding the cause of the sudden silence of Bill Hindermann’s old radio, seemed almost beneath Jimmy. But he took it on, knowing that Bill was unlikely to find anyone else with the ability to fix such outdated technology. He put the radio under the counter, figuring that he’d find the short circuit in five minutes or so after he’d closed the shop.

Five minutes? If only.

When the light was dimming in the evening outside, Jimmy locked the shop and was on his way upstairs when he remembered the radio. It was such an easy job - and Bill was depending on him. He turned and went to the counter.

The radio was a heavy old thing, one of those from the days when any radio could pick up stations from half a world away. Jimmy fully understood why Bill refused to retire it. He took the back off and began to test the circuits inside. None of those new-fangled printed circuit boards in this one.

It proved awkward getting at the innards and it was half an hour before Jimmy was certain that there was nothing wrong with the circuitry. That meant he would have to remove the whole casing to get a proper look inside. Time ticked on unnoticed.

Two hours later, he was certain there was nothing wrong with the radio. He leant on the counter and stared at the machine, wondering what he’d missed. And that was when he saw it.

A small, black creature, spiderlike but with fewer legs, emerged from a knot of wires and looked up at him with hard, glittering eyes. Its mouth grinned, showing an array of sharp teeth. Before Jimmy could move, it leapt at him and sunk its teeth into his neck. Jerked into paroxysms by the shocks that swept through his body, Jimmy flew backwards, fell and twitched intermittently on the floor.

The creature let go its hold, loosing a few blue sparks into the air, and crawled back to the counter. It disappeared into the radio.

Jimmy had met his match.

Word Count: 496
For SCREAMS!!!, Sept. 06 2020
Prompt: A short circuit., 500 word flash fiction.

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