Flash Frenzy Round 42

Posted: November 1, 2014 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , ,

Happy Halloween! Yes, yes. I realize Halloween was yesterday, but it is my favorite holiday, and as such, we will be celebrating it this weekend. Because Halloween is my favorite, I shall be judging this round of stories, and I’m issuing a special challenge. Today’s photo is provided by David Shakes. I love this photo. I’ve loved it since I first saw it. It is one of my favorites, and I’ve been waiting all year to post it. This image creeps me out every time I look at it (which is not infrequently); mark my words, one of these days you will be reading my own interpretation of this prompt. However, this weekend isn’t about me and my stories- it’s about you and your special challenge of trying to scare the pants off of me. This weekend, I want to see your best efforts at Halloween and horror flash!

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie, receive a winner’s page, and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

photo courtesy David Shakes

photo courtesy David Shakes

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Comments
  1. Standing stones
    @lizhedgecock
    360 words

    ‘Tombstone teeth!’ they’d shriek, pointing.

    I got a brace. Years of tiny, painful adjustments. The bottom row were OK, so I left them. Not tombstones, more like the standing stones on the moor. Gappy, but straight enough.

    In those days I didn’t need to smile much. But then I grew nine inches in two years, and became photogenic.

    ‘Lovely. Standout.’ Simon leered over my portfolio. ‘But sort the teeth. You won’t get the glossies with those monsters. Here -‘ he handed me a card. ‘They’re good, they’ll cut you a deal.’

    A sign in the window screamed: ‘Hallowe’en Specials – natural fillers and veneers!’ The dentist herself seemed nice, though. Professional under her skull deelyboppers.

    ‘Oh, veneers will give you the perfect smile.’ She named her price, which I could just afford. ‘Local OK?’

    ‘No, knock me out.’ I explained about the brace-tweaking hell, and she named a new price which nearly knocked me out then and there.

    I had an idea. ‘Could I pay some in kind?’ She frowned. ‘I model…with the veneers I could do some promotional shots?’

    ‘Hmm…If you wanted something else, fillers maybe, we could do you a discount.’

    ‘The last thing I want is filling out!’

    ‘Maybe we can strike a deal. Wait here.’ She came back with a new bill. ‘Read and sign, please.’

    I scrawled my name, and lay back.

    ***

    ‘Wakey wakey dear.’ I struggled to open my eyes. ‘I’m afraid you’re a little swollen.’

    She handed me a mirror, and my scream revealed two perfect rows of teeth. And a skull around them.

    ‘Here.’ The dentist offered ten pounds. ‘Your cheeks were so plump that we got a bit extra out.’

    ***

    I earn more now than before. I am ‘The Death’s Head’, and my peak time is Hallowe’en. Ironically I can’t smile on assignments; my beautiful teeth don’t match the rest of me. Every sinew, every bone in my face stands out.

    Apart from work, I only go out in the dark. I stand with the stones, dreaming of the day when I’ve saved enough to get my face back. I know exactly how much natural fillers cost.

    I’m still standing.

  2. Image Ronin says:

    Unheimlich

    Glass shatters, stone pounds steel, the monotonous clang echoing throughout the mansion. Permeating the panic room that I had installed when first taking ownership. I input codes. Cameras flicker into life. Watching his fists pummel at the shutter that barricades the window.

    Trust me, it’ll take more than he’s got to get in here.

    Yet my certainty is a gossamer thread. Trembling fingers reach for a cigarette as I watch my future thrash and wail at the shutter. No one else is here for I did the decent thing and sent the servants away. The last chap didn’t and the mess, the excrement and blood, teeth and shattered bones, took weeks to clear up.

    I pan the camera, irritated by my nemesis’ determination, lingering on the blood moon dominating the night sky. A luscious crimson orb whose beauty greeted my own birth. The wrench of screaming steel, stirs me back to life. By the time I pan the camera back all I see is a gaping chasm.

    He’s inside.

    In here.

    With me.

    Just a door between us.

    A steel door.

    The same metal as the shutter.

    I hit the button, the door slides open, nothing else to do but wait.

    I’ve had a great time, drinking and fucking away limitless wealth. Made more money than I could spend. Enough to keep the next lord of the manor in the life I’ve always been accustomed too.

    Immortality is a strange thing. People always say that they would hate watching their loved ones die. Never growing old. That’s all bollocks; the worst thing isn’t everyone else dying.

    It’s dying yourself.

    I walked here from the henge ten years ago. The front door lying welcomingly open, the servants patiently stood in a row in the hallway, craving release. I eventually found myself knelt in the study. He kissed my fingers as I wrapped them around his throat. Squeezing, his blood coursing in thick rivulets over my fingers, his death transforming me into flesh.

    Every decade.

    Under a blood moon.

    I just wanted a little more time.

    That’s all.

    In the hallway, a shadow moves.

    My reflection.

    I kneel.

    Kissing rough fingers.

    359 words
    @imageronin

  3. THE SINS OF THE FATHER

    Brian S Creek
    308 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    Hal was woken by the sound of keys rattling in a lock. It was hot and cramped where he was and clearly not the bed he’d fallen asleep in. He was pretty sure it was a car boot.

    Before he could try and manoeuvre to better search his limited surroundings, the lid of the boot flew open letting a wave of cold air rush in.

    “Where am I?” he called out.

    Instead of a reply Hal found himself grabbed by the scruff of the neck and pulled from the car. A hooded figure closed the boot as the car turned into smoke before Hal’s eyes. The figure then grabbed Hal’s arm and dragged him across the grass towards a clearing surrounded by three stone pillars.

    “Please, please let me go.” He struggled to contain his panic now. Was he being kidnapped for ransom? Was he to be the victim of a deranged serial killer? “Where are you taking me?”

    “Payment is due,” said the hooded figure. “I am here to collect.”

    Before Hal could protest he was thrown down in the centre of a small dirt circle. The figure moved to a gap between two of the pillars and turned to face Hal.

    “I don’t owe anyone anything,” yelled Hal.

    “Not you. Your father.”

    “My father?” said Hal confused and hoping this was all a bad dream. “What does my father owe?
    “Your father failed on his contract to my master. You are the price. You soul is forfeit.”

    “Wait, but I haven’t done anything!” He stood to protest more but the floor opened beneath him and he was swallowed in an instance. Even his screams were fleeting.

    The shadowy figure stood motionless in his spot slowly morphing, joining, stretching and twisting until he became the missing forth stone.

  4. Transition To Day

    I once had cause to fear the night. Or rather I feared the narrow, but all too long, hours in which I could not imagine any man awake. The fifty-nine minutes between 4:00 am and 5:00 am in which I believed that all in my immediate world slumbered. Any noise I heard belonged to something malicious, other-worldly and full of the specific intent to kill me slowly and savagely.
    During the day it was easy to forget these nightly fears, childish and small they seemed in the natural light. I placed too much power in the light.
    But there is more to the world than meets the eye.
    I often went for walks early in the morning, eager to greet the returning dawn, warmed by the sight of pink and orange backlit monoliths on a nearby hill. I was untouched by local folklore in the light of day and they were only a source of contrast against the rising colors.
    But one morning, I arrived at the bottom of the hill just before the sunrise had truly begun and watched as the last darkness of the night congealed and collected at the base of the stones, not banished by the light but rather receding together to create the shape of a man. I stood frozen and watched the shape flex human fingers and begin to walk on human legs and in a sudden moment I understood or believed that night is not diminished or departed as the day arrives but rather it gives night the means to walk amongst us.
    The form walked down the hill in my direction and while eager to flee I could not bare to take my eyes of it. Darkness walks among us. I can see it now. Sunrise continues to grow but I feel no safer. The form accelerates and passes me by, but not without brushing a single finger along my arm. I feel I have been marked.
    I find no solace in the day.
    I can not sleep in the night.
    I can not sleep at all.
    I wait for what comes next.
    I wait.

    357 words
    @CaseyCaseRose

  5. streetej says:

    Ownership Myth
    359 words
    @EmilyJuneStreet

    Jane wiped her brow, though sweat continued to bead and drop. Dr. Simmons measured the first monolith’s base. The four stones, carved with ancient petroglyphs, stood in a row. ProTro had unearthed them while clearing the surrounding rainforest. Though Ele’alua’s tribal king had sold the land to the corporation, this discovery had brought their development to a standstill.

    The islanders wanted the stones left undisturbed and the development company ousted. ProTro had sent in Simmons to document the find and Jane to assuage local rancor.

    “Burial monuments,” Simmons said.

    Jane shivered, recalling her Ele’aluan liaison’s frenzied pidgin when she mentioned visiting the site: Not go! Make angry, disturb Ancestors. Their place. They own. Wake not Hoa Hakananai’a. The dead protect, the dead provide.

    “Have you seen such markings before?” She indicated the petroglyphs.

    “Only on a Rapa Nui moai, the odd one they call Hoa Hakananai’a,” Simmons replied.

    Jane froze. “That word. What does it mean?”

    “Hoa Hakananai’a? Ha! Depends. Some say the master wave-breaker. Some say the hidden friend or secret avenger.”

    A breeze shuddered over the island. Jane admired the Pacific vista. Wind chanted in almost human syllables, guttural and deep: Hakananai’a, Hoa Hakananai’a.

    “It’s so peaceful,” she murmured. “No wonder they don’t want ProTro’s resort.”

    A spitting gurgle followed by a dull thud turned her from the view. “Simmons?”

    The professor had disappeared.

    He was not the only missing thing; where before there had been four stones now stood only three. A monolith had vanished!

    Jane spotted a human-length shadow down the hill. Even in the afternoon dusk, she recognized the crumpled form as she approached.

    She screamed.

    Blood aproned Simmons’s neck, bubbling from a ragged hole in his throat. His glassy gaze skittered in terror. Jane whirled, searching for the silent attacker.

    Sweat beaded and dropped from her nose.

    The monoliths loomed. Between the first and third, in the gap left by the missing stone, a giant figure stood in a feathered cape, limned in light. It lifted a bloody wooden spear covered in the tattoo markings of the petroglyphs.

    “Hoa Hakananai’a,” the wind—or the figure?—whispered.

    The dead protect. The dead provide.

  6. Sal Page says:

    The In-charger

    My metamorphosis is first this time. How shocking to go, in a millisecond, from standing and watching for so long to being a boy again.

    No. Wait. Correction. A man. I can feel the weight of the sword at my side. Ice-cold metal. Decades since I’ve felt temperature. Something else? Yes. Hunger snatches at, and rolls around, my insides. Wherever I’m going there’d better be food. What to do? Wait? Or go to the bottom of the hill alone? I glance down at my feet. They’re still stone. The columns each side of me show no signs of life. Who next? Mother, grandfather or cousin?

    The In-charger will arrive soon. I cough loudly, cold air biting at my newly-brought-to-life ears. I know its futile but think maybe the noise will wake them. We have to be ready for the In-charger to give us our instructions, a map and whatever else. Huge clanking open-every-door keys? The midnight cloak? A water-to-wine goblet or the sapphire-encrusted invisibility cloud?

    A woman appears in front of me. Not here one second and very much present the next. I blink in disbelief. Long raven-black hair and a scarlet dress and hooded robe. So beautiful. The ravenous feeling in my stomach is rapidly replaced by a different kind of hunger. As I step towards her, one arm outstretched, I realise my stone feet have gone. I’m now all flesh. With flashing eyes, the woman throws back her head in mocking laughter. She can see what I’m thinking.

    I blush and look down at my feet. I feel my grandfather’s hand on my arm and hear my mother’s voice the other side. The In-charger smiles. She’s always taken the form of animals over the past millennia: a shiny black stallion, a crow, an angry goat, a cute monkey, an owl and a blood-red lizard with a spiked crest at its neck. Was this her true form? I hope so but doubt it. I stand, gazing at her, as my cousin shudders awake next to me.

    The In-charger points a finger at me and beckons. I’m about to find out my quest. Then we can be on our way.

    @SalnPage

    360 words

  7. voimaoy says:

    Autumn Fields
    @voimaoy
    315 words

    A buzz, a hum, the portal opening. She stands amid the stones, her breath a fog in the cold air. The wind whispering among dry leaves. Along the line of the horizon, the faint glow of the setting sun. She surveys the barren landscape, the leafless trees. Above, the sky turns indigo blue.

    Her name is Midori. She is a botanist, and this is one of several places she will visit for this purpose. It is an experiment, field work, but once again she wonders why she has chosen these inhospitable locations, such unpromising ground. Nothing can grow here, others maintain. Her name has become a joke.

    Here, names are only sounds in air, scattered in the wind, like seeds. If there are other eyes to see her, they are hidden, watching, waiting. Here, there are no mirrors, only a sliver of moon.

    The scanner indicates oxygen/ nitrogen levels are acceptable. She takes off the helmet, shakes out her hair. Her green eyes dilate in the gathering darkness of this place.

    She carries her bag filled with the little round pebbles. This is her work, years of research contained in each one. They are seeds of ancient Earth encased in a nutrient medium. She speaks their forgotten names–chickory, milkweed, asters and sunflowers, long-stemmed prairie grasses. She scatters the seeds like rain, a shower of shining drops. They fall, burrowing into the waiting ground.

    The moon will grow fat and thin and fat again. The planet will turn to the light of a distant sun. There will be a summer, here. In summer, there will be a sea shimmering. A sea of grass and waves. Between the green, the color of light on water.

    Midori watches as the ground begins to glow. There is a slight drizzle as she turns back toward the stones.

    A buzz, a hum, the portal opening. The sound of autumn rain.

  8. C Connolly says:

    The Silent Sentinels

    Screw your eyes up – just so – as twilight descends and there is a shadow framed by light to be seen on top of the hills, shifting this way and that at speed between the statuesque megaliths. So they say and all have heard tell, though none who have seen it have been the ones to recount the tale directly. The words have been whispered, their bearers hidden in the passing from ear to eager ear.

    Venture closer still and they say there is a buzz beneath the ground bearing their weight – barely discernible, unless you are close enough to reach your fingertips to touch their cold stone surfaces. None know who has, though the knowledge has reached the community at large, omniscient. Such is the way with village folk.

    They say they live – those standing flagstones, equilateral and triangular – that their positioning has specific purpose. They say they shift when all our sleeping, though none know how one is supposed to tell, given their similarity or why they may display their restlessness so. Curious children venture near on missions of discovery – in daylight only – looking for disturbed ground at their feet amongst the grass, before being snatched away lest they get too close. There has been at least one child missed roaming the hills already when a watchful eye was turned away. Some say the stones ate her, seeing the chance for a small snack. Some say no one will ever know, nor will she ever be found. Some simply look for the bones when they walk the heights, without admitting aloud to doing so to those they are with. None venture alone; not now; not anymore. Not even when the light is brightest above them. They fancy they have learned their lesson.

    They say the day may be coming now when their silent sentinels may abandon their stations on the highest ground, no longer surveying their numbers. That is when it will happen. That is when they will find out what has been held captive amidst their tall grouping. That is when the black shade will descend. Somehow, they find they have precious little to say about that.

    (360 words)

    @FallIntoFiction
    #FlashDog

  9. @stellakateT
    360words

    Wisdom of Women

    I’ve always fancied David Taylor especially when he dressed up in his cavalier costume. Each Sunday I’d trip down to the circle of stones and watch the Roundheads and Cavaliers battle it out. They never stayed strictly to the historical facts as one week the Cavaliers won and Oliver Cromwell’s men were supposed to win. Mr Grundy who ran the battle re-enactment society nearly had an apoplexy fit. I didn’t help by laughing like a braying donkey until my friend Sal had to slap my face to make me stop.

    The week David asked me out was a bit fraught. It was the week before Halloween and I had so much to do. My mother was always admonishing me for leaving everything to the last moment. I promised her everything would be organised strictly to the plan no surprises for her.

    He stood proud, so handsome like King Charles, silhouetted between the upright stones. David’s shadow was cast like a long thin finger coming to a stop inches before the stone I lay upon. My bare flesh glistened in the moonlight and I could hear his laboured breathing. I must have looked like a celestial virgin giving herself up to her conquering hero. I muffled a giggle didn’t want Sal slapping me again.

    Beckoning him with my arms wide open I could hear the chants of my mother and fellow sisters in the distance. I pulled him to my bosom so he could hear my pounding heart. Tonight I would be crowned Queen of the Coven I would be granted the wisdom of all women once I’d drunk blood.

    I felt David’s fear as he tried to pull away, my mother and sisters chanting in a circle around us, blood spilling over our faces, rivulets running down between my breasts, it tasted warm and metallic. I heard him groan before he collapsed, his weight pinning me down. It felt good to know the weakness of men.

    David had some explaining to do the next morning. Covered in chicken blood, half dressed, sprawled on the centre stone. Me you could hear braying like a donkey and this time Sal joined in.

  10. Marie McKay says:

    Buried
    (330 words)

    ‘I can’t let you in. You’ve been out there for too long.’
    ‘I know. Just came to say goodbye.’
    ‘How did you survive three weeks?’
    ‘Economical, I guess.’
    ‘What’s it like out there?’
    ‘It’s actually kind of beautiful, in a fucked up kind of way.’
    ‘You know deep breaths are the fastest way out of this. Don’t you?’
    ‘Yip. Helmet off, deep breaths. You want this over with quickly… somewhere to go?’
    ‘ ‘Course not. I just meant -‘
    ‘I know. I know… Sorry I ran out on you. Sorry about the suit. Just thought I’d try… for all of our sakes. We needed to know.’
    ‘Did you find anything?’
    ‘You don’t wanna hear.’
    ‘I do.’
    ‘It’s the worst possible… It’s just more and more of the same.’
    ‘Shit.’
    ‘No point in coming out. No point. Stay and make the most of what you have.’
    ‘I don’t know that I want to anymore.’
    ‘Now, come on. Don’t talk like that. You guys. You can survive a while longer in there.’
    ‘There’s no point.’
    ‘There is. You hang in there. Don’t make my mistake.’
    ‘I’m so sorry. Maybe I could talk to the others.’
    ‘No! It’s better this way. But I’m going out of your line of vision, now. You stay put, you and the others. The shelter has supplies that will last three people a year, maybe, more. You’re better off where you are. You don’t know what might happen in that time. Promise me you’ll stay. See it out.’
    ‘Promise.’

    He descended the hill right out of her line of vision, and turned off the walkie talkie. He kept his breaths shallow. By his reckoning, it must be half a day away. He’d told the new camp he was the sole survivor of a group that had been buried alive. He’d tell the rescuers that, too.
    He’d reduced the competition by ten, now. He thought he must have had a good shot at getting on that rescue ship.

  11. Amy Wood says:

    @jujitsuelf
    #flashdog

    314 words

    The Dark Ones

    Humans so often wonder how ancient man built the giant standing stones and henges which populate the earth. The answer is simple. They didn’t.

    Such wonders were crafted by Fey hands.

    The Fey folk are not the cute, kindly critters literature suggests. They’re old. So very old. They were here before humans stood up on two feet and walked. They were here when the universe was dark and boiled with tumultuous possibility. Look into a Fey’s eyes and eternity will stare back.

    Humans have lived parallel to the Fey since the veil shifted and cut the world into two, unwitting and blissful in their ignorance. Sometimes something moves in the ether and our existences overlap. Avalon, Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor. Mankind lost the ability to comprehend these gateways and so turned them into myth and legend. Stories to lull children into uneasy sleep.

    Over time the Fey became the faerie folk and thus – fairies. Fairies at the bottom of the garden beside a babbling brook. How quaint. How utterly untrue.

    The Fey are not sweet or kind or welcoming. They are ancient and powerful and hungry. Their world can only contain them for so long. Sooner or later the gateways will widen and Fey will pass freely into the human realm once more. Mankind will do well to survive their return.

    One should never willingly step into a stone circle. Fey-wrought they are and Fey magic lingers. Falling into their world is a slow and tortuous death. Legends tell of cursed faerie hills and enchanted caves wherein people vanish without trace. Of course there’d be no trace, the Fey aren’t wasteful. Human bones make delicious appetisers.

    How do I know all this? Excellent question. But I think perhaps, you already know the answer. Worry more about how I come to be here to tell you.

    If you live near a henge, humans, take care.

  12. Rock Bleeds

    We still can’t agree on how they got here, but there’s one thing we all agree on: rock preceded man.

    At first they stood together, a ring of man and rock casting long shadows on the earth. But when the rain came, the first man awoke and said:

    “Why should I get wet?”

    He took up his axe and chopped down a tree to make a shelter. Rock shrugged.

    When the snow came, the second man awoke and said:

    “Why should I be cold?”

    He took up his pick and dug until he found coal which he burned for warmth. Rock coughed and then shrugged.

    When the wind came, the third man awoke and said:

    “Why should my fellows have all the comfort?”

    He took up his drill and pierced rock. Rock bled; rich, black blood that quenched man’s need for comfort.

    Now that man had shelter and warmth and comfort, more men came to join him. They pierced the earth deeper and drank of its black blood. But comfort was no longer enough; they wanted beauty. They split rock and extracted its glittering heart and strung it around their necks and drove it through their ears.

    Soon man found a way to warp rock’s black blood to his own design. But the products of rock’s blood soon proved dull for man, and he cast them into the sea and pushed them back into rock.
    Now rock cries acid tears, washes away man’s shelter with torrents of water, and scorches man’s crops with its heat. And man shrugs and drinks deeper of the black blood.

    Rock preceded man. Rock is stronger than man. Rock will outlive man.

    @MicroBookends
    277 words

  13. Child Of Stone

    They came with the dawn, storming the campsite, tearing canvas and crushing bone. Molly was up before I could stop her, jabbing at her phone. I tried to drag her back, but she was torn away. As an afterthought, the raider swung his sword, rending the flimsy material and exposing me to the full horror of their assault.

    The dead lay everywhere. The living were shellshocked and weeping. The raiders circled the camp, herding us into the shadow of the stones. I stumbled along, looking for Molly, spotting her with the other children, bound and caged. I called out, but a raider stepped between us, snarling into my face. I saw the crimson birthmark spreading its tentacles across his cheek, and it broke me, seeing that familiar stain on his ancient skin. I realized then that they all bore the mark, and I wondered if Molly had seen it too.

    On the hillside, the great sleeping stones began to writhe and moan, raising their hooded heads to the sky.

    “Tharanak gof’nn ya stell’bsna. K’yarnak ygrah’n! Ygrah’n!”

    I caught Molly’s eye, and I knew that she understood.

    “Bring forth the children. Bring forth my lost one. My lava.”

    “Gnaiih!”

    I had fought this moment for so long, told lie after lie about her mother, but when Molly asked for a camping holiday for her thirteenth birthday and chose this very spot, I knew that it was coming. But that word, from her, still hit like a blow.

    Father.

    The Old Ones turned to her, bade the raiders release her, and she ran to them. I rose but was floored by another brute. He raised his sword and I prayed that it would be quick, but Molly appeared between us, hands out. He stepped back, handed her his sword and waited. She slew him in silence, and in silence he died.

    The stones began to cry once more, too fast for my understanding, but Molly laughed and ran to rejoin them. Only once, standing against the rising sun, did she look back.

    She raised a hand, hail and farewell, then turned and lead her people down the hillside and on into legend.

    360 words
    @Karl_A_Russell
    #FlashDog

  14. necwrites says:

    Gentlefolk

    The contrails of our exodus lace the maroon evening in pink, while the current crinkles against the hull of my skiff. I exhale into my flute a song I’ve forgotten the words for.

    “Uncle, aren’t you coming?” my nephew asked my last time ashore.

    “He’s staying with his sister,” his mother said, steering him back to evacuation preparations. I wonder what story she used to explain the rest of it.

    Her name was Nisi, four years my junior. We were children the last time a summer drought peeled away enough water to expose the cluster of four stone pillars the cartographers called the Gentlefolk.

    The abnormally low tide also exposed new algae sites. Pools teeming with the only native crop we could stomach, we were ecstatic. Nisi and I worked with Grandpa, holding open sacks for him to slop in armloads of slime and ferrying them over to Grandma at the drying lattices.

    Under a sky salted with carnelian stars, Nisi and I tumbled down the slippery dunes. Our giggles meshed with the hiss of surf.

    An inhuman shriek blasted the night. Nisi and I flattened ourselves on the slope. The horizon simmered salmon pink silhouetting four stones—no, three, and a hunched figure. The glimpse I caught of his face turned my blood to silt.

    “He’s sick,” Nisi declared, crawling forward.

    “Nisi, no!” I cried, but she had her canteen out, holding it before her in solemn offering.

    The figure reached out, then lunged at her, his bulk swallowing her in shadow. Her voice cut out mid-scream.

    Sand dragged at my legs. I lurched toward the ridge. I clawed at the stony arms entrapping her, even wrested her free. It wasn’t enough.

    Nor were the picks and hammers.

    When the tide turned, it swallowed five monoliths.

    ——

    The current blanches into eddies over the submerged stone columns. But I’m not waiting for the tide to expose her, hoping she’ll come back and still be my sister.

    Nope. I saw his face coming out and hers going in. The nauseatingly unfathomable shift of it.

    Fluted notes sink into the sea, offering what little comfort I can during her fifty-year-long scream.

    359 words
    @rowdy_phantom
    #flashdog

  15. […] Based on the image found here: Angry Hourglass […]

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