The Big Sleep – Friday Fictioneers, June 2019

Copyright Ted Strutz


The theatre is silent and in darkness, save for the Exit signs, gently pulsing a dim green glow across the big screen ahead.

She’s no idea how long she’s slept, but even as she searches for her handbag she knows everyone else is long gone.  The place will be locked until tomorrow’s matinée.

She finally locates her phone… no signal.  Damn!

A shuffling sound a few rows forward startles her.  Is that the profile of someone’s head in relief against the screen?

The shape slowly begins to turn.

“Ah,” a deep voice rumbles, “you’re awake at last.  It’s party time.”

Gulp!  This is why I’m not an avid cinema-goer.  I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, except in bed, at night.   Thanks to Rochelle for her continued leadership of Friday Fictioneers


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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66 Responses to The Big Sleep – Friday Fictioneers, June 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Why do I think she’s not going to thoroughly enjoy this party?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anita says:

    Hope she is safe and the exit door is open.
    Staff must ensure that dozing people are woken up and asked to leave after the show 🙂


  3. jillyfunnell says:

    I reckon an empty (or almost empty) theatre is the creepiest place ever. Lovely chills from your story and a cautionary tale to lay off the wine in the interval!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tannille says:

    Hope she knows self defense…


  5. Varad says:

    I’m with Neil. Don’t think its going to be a fun party at all.


  6. I shivered! You built the suspense and terror slowly to a nightmarish ending. Excellent!


  7. I’m to agree with others. I don’t think she’s going to like this party.


  8. Iain Kelly says:

    That green sign may be her only hope. Funnily enough I’m an avid cinema goer and I wish I could have the screen to myself instead of having to share it with others!


  9. Colline says:

    Oh my word! Sounds like the start of a good thriller.


  10. Dear Sandra,

    Something tells me his idea of a party isn’t pretty or fun. You leave us on the edge of our seats. I’m awake now. 😉
    I’ve also been known to fall asleep anywhere. I did sleep through a good portion of the battle scenes in The Hobbit…in 3D, no less.




    • Sandra says:

      I’m good in the car, but generally only when I’m the passenger. I have been known to have to pull up at a service area though… Thanks for reading Rochelle.


  11. A party she’d rather not be part of methinks!

    An audience with Rosey!


  12. It’s like a super-dark version of Wake Up Little Susie! Very creepy end.


  13. gahlearner says:

    Gulp indeed. This is so creepy… I hope she has pepper spray in her purse.


  14. Dale says:

    This does not bode well at all.
    Well done, as per!!


  15. pennygadd51 says:

    I like your description of the illumination provided by the exit signs. It is both literal, setting the scene in very dim light, and metaphorical, making any exit for the main character seem very tenuous. Lovely pace in your writing, as always.


  16. granonine says:

    Holy horror show! Run, girl, run–although I don’t think you’ll get too far!


  17. Just goes to show you shouldn’t fall asleep in movies. Especially if you go alone.


  18. Danny James says:

    I don’t have a good feeling about what happens next.


  19. draliman says:

    I dread to think what the staff will find when they open up tomorrow 😦


  20. This is definitely disturbing. Great job of creating atmosphere and foreboding.


  21. plaridel says:

    he’s giving me the bad vibes. it’s time for her to run.


  22. A creepy and well-written story, Sandra. It looks like the ushers slipped up and didn’t wake her. Run lady! —-Suzanne


  23. Ooo scary… I hope she manages to run away in time.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. msjadeli says:

    Creepy! I hope she knows self-defense.


  25. Abhijit Ray says:

    Was her sleep drug induced and her assailant waiting for her to get up?


  26. Margaret says:

    Definitely a bad situation. I’m shivering in my slippers just reading about her predicament. Such a tension filled scene.


  27. kzmcb says:

    I’m as affected as the rest, Sandra. If it was a short to a movie, it wouldn’t be one that I’d choose – I’m more easily scared than sent to sleep. Well written, to have scared us all.


  28. James McEwan says:

    l loved this. I was once caught sleeping in the cinema during the screening of the ‘Orient Express’. I think the snoring gave it away.


  29. Riveting tale. Shades of Hitchcock.


  30. This is why I don’t go to the cinema alone. In case I end up in an empty theatre. Yikes!


  31. Yikes!! That sounds like one scary party!!


  32. notestowomen says:

    Oh, dear. This doesn’t bode well for her. I hope she manages to escape.


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