Flash Fiction Friday – The Duvet, The Thread And The Wardrobe

June 27, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about swarms. What could swarm? How does the swarm impact the people or place in your story? Is there something unusual about the swarm? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.

The Duvet, The Thread And The Wardrobe – by Hugh W. Roberts

It was hardly a swarm, but they kept coming. A trickle at first, but the more Pauline pulled at the thread on the duvet cover she’d found in the attic, the more they swarmed.

Eventually, Pauline killed them with the hardcover book she grabbed from the bedside table before vacuuming them up with the battery-operated handheld hoover she’d found in the box hidden at the back of the old wardrobe the previous owner had left.

The following morning, there was no sign of Pauline or the swarm of whatever had eaten her. Not even the handheld hoover needed emptying.


Image of a swarm of insects over a field.
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘Glimpses.’



28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

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25 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday – The Duvet, The Thread And The Wardrobe

    1. I never go in the attic, Gary. Nor does my partner. We have this rule that we don’t put anything up there because it’ll never come out again.

      Glad you enjoyed my creepy tale.

  1. Brilliant story-telling. Seems like Pauline didn’t kill them all. Something was out hunting overnight and seems like the swarm eats anything and everything. Personally I am not a fan of bugs especially swarms of bugs at home. I really do like my place neat and tidy. Don’t like nasty surprises and creepy crawlies. Hope you are well and enjoying summer, Hugh 🙂

    1. Thank you, Mabel.

      I’m not a fan of bugs either, but after writing this flash piece, I try to show them the door rather than end their lives. And, of course, summer is the time for lots of bugs. One of the reasons why I’m not a big fan of summer. Give me spring or autumn, and I’m much less grumpy because of the heat and humidity.

  2. Ka-reepy, Hugh! Great take on the prompt…swarm just lends itself to bugs! Like you, I try to show certain insects to the door, but when it comes to ants and those little fruit flies, I kill ’em 🐜

      1. I won’t….do you remember an episode about cockroaches being swept down the kitchen sink drain in either a Twilight zone or Outer Limits TV show in the 80s? that really creeped me out…those cockroaches took their revenge much like your description. Eww.

        1. I remember a movie called Creepshow, with five scary stories, one featuring cockroaches, Terri. I haven’t seen them on the original Twilight Zone, so maybe the episode you’re referring to is from a later version of the show or The Outer Limits? I’ve yet to see The Outer Limits, but it sounds like a good show.

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