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Rated: E · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2249418
Flash Fiction, 301 words. A young girl goes missing during a family firework display.
In pitch darkness, all three of us had stepped outside to watch fireworks. I'd organized an extravagant display, no expense spared. Rosie loved watching the pretty colors shroud the night sky. If she could gaze at these explosions on a daily basis, her life would be even more magical, complimenting an already vivid imagination.

I struggled lighting one fuse, my wife had walked over to offer a hand. Between the pair of us, we only stopped checking Rosie for a few seconds, and she was out of sight. Initially, it didn't seem worrisome, our backyard was humongous, with enough ornaments and toys to easily rapt the attention of any five-year-old.

Calling out her name was met with no response. We checked the house, all the rooms were empty. She'd vanished without a trace. Two options remained, call the police and broaden the search further away from our home. My wife swiped the telephone, her face pale from the waves of nausea. I stood rubber-necked, paralyzed with fear, trying to stop my heart from jumping in my throat.

Just as my wife dialed the last number, a strong force passed over the house, shaking its foundations. We stared at one another in disbelief, then tiny footsteps on the porch made their way to the door. It slowly creaked open, and there Rosie stood, still safe and bundled in her pink scarf and jacket.

Relief blew out of our lungs, Rosie raced over and swung both arms around her mother’s neck

“Don’t ever wander away like that again, mummy and daddy were scared to death,” my wife sobbed.

“I’m sorry mummy...”

As I watched their warm embrace, I noticed a tentacle slither out of my daughter’s coat. That was the last thing I expected.
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