Panic! At the Driscoll’s: 150 Word Flash Fiction

The cabin door blew open sending a stack of papers flying along with a flurry of wet snowflakes. Jacob stood in snowshoes. “We need you now!”

“I’ll be right out.”

Phillip buttoned his gray wool overcoat, pulled on a red knit cap and calfskin mittens. He stooped and laced his leather ski boots. Then he snatched a jar, slipped it into his backpack and stepped out into the blizzard.

Strapping on his wooden skis, he gripped his poles, pushed off and slid past Jacob down the narrow mountain path. Nature had unleashed its fury and soon his cheeks felt raw from the icy cold. He sped through the forest and then descended onto the Sally Barber Mine trail, arriving at the quaint homestead.

He took off his skis, knocked and then entered.

“Dr. Collins, Thank you for coming. Lilly’s fever hasn’t broken.”

“Don’t worry Mrs. Driscoll, I brought the leeches.”


What do you think of using leeches for weight loss or therapy?

Would you ever use them?


Photo from the US Forest Service – Click on it for link

 For more flash fiction, check out Madison Wood’s blog

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About susielindau

I am a Boulder, Colorado writer and artist who loves adventure both real and imagined. Come with me. It's always a Wild Ride!
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89 Responses to Panic! At the Driscoll’s: 150 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Brock says:

    This is truly great. I confess I’ve never tried Flash Fiction, but this inspires me to give it a shot. The leeches WERE a nice touch.


  2. The Lime says:

    LEECHES!!! I agree with what other people have said. Just wanted to let you know I was here and enjoyed it :) (despite being ridiculously late).


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  4. jakesprinter says:

    I love it my friend


  5. I’m one of those that finds leeches wonderfully disgusting and horrifying, but would I use them in a medical emergency? Yes, in a heartbeat. I gather they’ve regained a huge following in the medical field since doctors rediscovered that they have such great uses in therapeutic settings without all of the expense and side effects of dangerous and unpredictable medications and invasive surgeries. Still, having grown up in banana slug country, I find them repellent in a major way, so I’d have to be in serious need. :)


  6. susielindau says:

    Thanks Jan. I had to come up with a twist. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some doctors still use them.


  7. Quill Shiv says:

    Leeches! I didn’t expect that at all! The entire scene was making me think of Anne of Green Gables until the very last line. What a twist!

    The links to my drabbles are:


  8. aFrankAngle says:

    Dang … I recall commenting here and I don’t see it … oh well, but be having technical issues. … and I do recall being surprised at the ending.


  9. ***The LensMaster says:

    Leeches are actually used by old folks in some places in our country to cure some ailments. But, I wonder, what would happen to leeches if they sucked a person’s blood with HIV. Hmmmm…


  10. Attitude is the attitude of human panic, everyone would have to panic when faced with an atmosphere that suddenly and unpleasant. It’s just as humans how we can treat the panic into a force to deal with the situation, so that we can survive in a world of storm waves.


  11. Leeches make me think of the Middle Ages. I picture a barber bleeding someone with the hope it will make a distinct improvement in their health.


  12. Bowrag says:

    Great imagination. Thanks for sharing. Glad I found your blog!


  13. Robin Hawke says:

    I didn’t realize how surely you were bringing me back in time until I reread. Lovely job with the details, Robin


  14. Mike says:

    A great story Susie.
    I loved the leeches twist at the end.


  15. Got me – the end – Leeches! Ace.


  16. John Hardy Bell says:

    You never disappoint, Susie! Your descriptions are wonderful. I felt like I was there, strapping on my snowshoes preparing to go down that mountain. The jar really got me, and my mind raced in a million different directions imagining what it could be. Leeches were certainly the last thing I expected, but that’s what always makes your stories so effective. I never know what to expect!

    GREAT work!


  17. aFrankAngle says:

    Writing fiction isn’t my thing, so well done … and thanks for the surprise ending.


  18. Lee and Rod says:

    Susie, I love your vivid imagery, and the smell of the winter cold. I was thinking of whiskey in the jar, not leeches though! :D


  19. Felt the cold. And you had me wondering about that jar. Great job.
    Here’s mine:


  20. Debra Kristi says:

    Ewwww. I love it! You totally grossed me out. Old school medicine right there. I didn’t see that coming.


  21. What a great spin with the leeches. I didn’t see that coming, but the imagery made me dream up my upcoming trip to Utah. I don’t think I would ever use leeches, I feel as though history has proven blood letting is not the way to go.


  22. mcolmo says:

    Leeches are better than being cut and bled, like they did in the 1500’s.


  23. funny funny play on words with the title, had me cracking up. as for the leeches… ehh. i’m not totally grossed out at the concept of other people using them, but i’m not sure if i could go there? maybe?

    i’m just thinking the whole scene “stand by me,” though. those leeches haunt me still!


    • susielindau says:

      I am glad you got the pun. I was going to title it, “Panic! At the ….” and then see if anyone would get the connection between Disco and Driscoll’s, but I thought too many would scratch their heads!

      Definitely! oooooooh….
      Thanks for reading!


  24. I do like your little twists at the end. I’d love to know what inspires your ideas. Have a great weekend Susie!


  25. I immediately squirmed. Leeches? eeeww


  26. Jake Kale says:

    I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand, Alien left quite an impression on me. On the other, if you’ve already got a huge open wound what harm can a leech, or even several leeches, do?

    Oh, right – they can make it bigger.

    Here’s my entry. Relax, no leeches here. Next time though…


  27. magsx2 says:

    Great story, and I loved the throw in line about the leeches, well done. :)


  28. eliserae says:

    Depends. Are the leeches going to buy me dinner afterword? Up votes for the Panic song! ;)

    It’s a good story, lots of urgency. Reminded me of the Iditarod.


  29. char says:

    Fun piece! The leeches were great at the end! Wasn’t expecting them.


  30. Joe Lerner says:

    Lots of great detail. Especially liked the following:
    “Phillip buttoned his gray wool overcoat, pulled on a red knit cap and calfskin mittens. He stooped and laced his leather ski boots. Then he snatched a jar, slipped it into his backpack and stepped out into the blizzard.”

    If ever a 150-word piece begs to become something longer, this sure screams it. Is that your intent? If not, can I persuade you to change your mind? I so much would love to revel more in this world/word picture you’re building!

    My 100-word Friday Fictioneer story can be found here:


  31. Madison Woods says:

    Eew leeches! I didn’t see that coming. I thought he might have grabbed shine or an herbal remedy but never thought of leeches, lol.


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  33. madtante says:

    I like the wooden skis part. It reminded me of last summer:


  34. Coleen Patrick says:

    Leeches definitely have a creep factor in my mind, but if that’s the only option out there in the cabin? Well, never say never! :)


  35. nelle says:

    I love love love this one!


  36. Yatin says:

    Apart from IRS … I don’t think consciously I’d let that happen to me, unless I am stuck in wilderness & leech is the only option. There are better alternatives. (Not rich enough for Cayman Island so IRS is the only exception I make)


  37. The Hook says:

    Is that clear?
    Great work, Susie!


  38. dmmacilroy says:

    Deaer Susie,

    I just got in from the snow and cold and dark of night. happy to be warm and reading your fine and (eeewwwww!) squirm inducing story. All our leeches nowadays live in Washington D.C. Big Winter coming.




  39. sonsothunder says:

    Oh, nice story…The beginning seemed cozy, from seeing the cabin…You took us through several states of awareness in such a short yarn.The coziness was short lived, as Phillip stepped out into the blizzard and a wintery wind chill ran through my bones…Then, back to comfort and warmth as he took off his skis to enter a ( quaint homestead )…and then…Brrrrr..Blood letting, Cold Creachstures…Brrr ~~~…lol Great story…
    Bless You


  40. Great flowing descriptive passage and the jar kept us hanging until the end, when the shocking answer leeched out. Could say you drew blood with this one. You wild, wicked imagination at work again!
    Here’s mine:


  41. Ugh, leeches! I do think leeches have a use in reducing swelling in contusions–for example for a black eye. But I will never forget Laura Ingalls Wilder describing pulling leeches off of her sister’s legs in one of the Little House books. Made a lasting impression on me! :)


  42. Ew, leeches! The word alone triggers panic for me. ;) Fun story, Susie!


  43. kbnelson says:

    I love the photo prompt you used! This felt like an excerpt from a bigger story. What a nice young man to take his pets out for a little winter walk! hahaha Actually, that’s gross, but you made us love it anyway!


  44. susie.. leeches?? I never thought about that as I was reading. Clever girl..


  45. Judee says:

    I could feel the icy cold of it. Really nice descriptive piece, with a surprise at the end – and yet not a surprise, because even in describing the clothes, one had a sense of time.


  46. loustar02 says:

    Very seasonal. Loved the build up in this and, like many others, didn’t like the leeches. The real things, not the imagery!


  47. emmaburcart says:

    It makes me glad that I’m not somewhere with snow! The only Blizzard I want is from Dairy Queen. I would like to say I’d be ok with leeches if it was medically necesarry, but when it came down to it, I’d probably freak out. They look too much like worms to be anywhere near my body! Fun story, though.


  48. Loved the story..But Leeches oh man i can feel them crawling on my skin…
    There are people in India who cure BP problems using leeches..but not me never..
    I didnt know leeches are used for weight loss too!


  49. Nice story. Felt the urgency.
    Uh, leeches actually do have a place in medicine today…odd but true.


  50. Angelia Sims says:

    Ohhhhh no way! That would give me the heebie jeebies.


  51. janmorrill says:

    Beautiful imagery and I felt the sense of urgency. Then . . . ew! Love the last line with the leeches!


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