Prodigal Son

This is a flash fiction piece that I submitted to #microfictionchallenge at

The elements I was given are:

Horror genre

Action of hiding a handwritten letter

the word "join"


Prodigal Son

by Drake Scott

Mary rubbed her wrinkled face with her hands, then picked up the worn letter again, reading the last few sentences – the last words she heard from her son.

“You were wrong, mother. The Peacemongers are not a cult. They’re much worse. I can only write a few words at a time. They are watching me so close. Will mail tonight. Try to escape next Sunday.”

She had received the letter, but that Sunday and several more came and went.

Tormented over the image of her gentle son being watched, terrified, Mary wondered how much of this was her fault. If she raised him to be meaner, stronger, maybe this wouldn’t have happened.

A knock at the door jerked her out of her thoughts and she instinctively hid the letter, then laughed at her empathetic reaction.

Answering the door, she stood breathless for a moment, in shock.

“Jim!” she screamed as she crashed into her son, hugging him tightly. Now weeping with emotion, she pulled back to see his face and her relief turned to concern. He had no expression. “Jim, what did they do to you?”

No reply.

Her hand slid down his arm to lightly cradle his elbow. “Come in. Sit down. Oh, Jim, you made it out!”

He finally spoke. “Made it out?”

“Escaped! Like you said in the letter!”

He did not come in. Instead, he grabbed her elbow hard. Very hard.

“You don’t understand, mother. I’ve come to get you – to join the Peacemongers.”