Photo credit : Phylor

Written as part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Details can be found at,

Johnny was a dark child.  His antics he was told would be his downfall.   Charm and good looks fade fast, mother reminded him over and over again.  He would dance at the edge of trouble.   Smiles for everyone.   If someone caught on to his game, sorry I didn’t realize what I have done worked like a charm.

One day, his path crossed old lady Murphy.  The wretch of a woman.  Her house sank of metal fumes.   Strange smoke would hang over her house.  She needed a boy for moving things.   Good pay and for two days anyone could handle her.

“Mrs Murphy? How could these are all kids?  These bronze pieces?”  Johnny chooses to inquire rather than move them.

“I can handle kid size.  If I could move ’em all.   I’d do it and not have to talk to you about it! When get them moved clean the plasticine out of that cement box.  I’ll get you lunch.”  Mrs Murphy disappears.

She comes back with soup and a ham sandwich.   He grabs in and sits in the cement box. Next to him a some pile of plasticine acts as a backrest.   He is asleep in minutes.

Mrs Murphy kicks him twice.   Then mixes the plasticine for the next bronze work.  She’ll call his mother and ask where he is.   Just like the others.

The next day she casts her bronze.  Johnny’s mom drops by to ask about her son.  A small creaking noise fills the room.

Mrs Murphy looks at her new bronze.  The arms fall away from body.

“That boy couldn’t even work as a statue!”

20 thoughts on “Johnny

  1. I had a grandmother like that — but she didn’t make statues. Wonderful, creepy story — I’m a big Twilight Zone (original), Outer Limits and Night Gallery fan.
    I like Joy’s prompts and it’s been very interesting reading this particular prompt as I provided the picture. Soon I shall reveal all, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. be wary of old ladies asking favours…i had shivers reading this…good story! when i was growing up there was an old woman that lived in an old hut and i used to think up all sorts about her, but making bronze statues, now that’s one i never thought of.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Horrifying take. Second one I’ve read on this statue. What a ghastly old woman, cruel, gruesome. Taking art much too far. So gross when his arms fell off. I hope she was prosecuted. Great writing Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every village on the edge of civilization has an old lady like this. Whether she bakes them in the oven, ties them up, or casts them in Bronze. It falls between “Don’t talk to Strangers” and “do what you are told”. Thank you darling! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. You are right. She is like the witch in Hansel and Grettle for one. A good warning tale to children as you say 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There are so many of these mysterious old women in horror stories. My favorite is the old witch in the movie “Pumpkinhead”. She is a shriveled up hag who can’t see with her eyes, but sees everything clearly. They are outwardly defenseless. But ruthless at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great piece, a little creepy with the old lady turning kids into statues. But,the last line is funny and it makes me wonder if Johnny was trying to get his mother attention and ask for help. And that’s why his arms fell off.

    Liked by 1 person

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