A friend on facebook posted a link to a flash fiction contest that intrigued me. (For a quick look at what flash fiction is click here)
I have been lacking motivation lately when it comes to writing; I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so busy planning the move back to the Lower 48 for the summer, spring fever, pregnancy hormones, or whatever. Regardless, I figured this would be a good way for me to get back at it, so I’ve thrown my hat into the ring.
The guidelines were as follows:
-Write a flash fiction piece in the horror genre between 200-700 words based on the picture prompt below.
…oh and it’s due by 11:59 Central time…today. So I’m cutting it close, but I’ve made it. I can write something in a couple hours right? Right!
I’ve never written horror before, but I had fun playing with imagery and working on something new. Without any further ado, here is my entry:
Icy wind tore at her face like shards of glass flying high speed through the air, cutting her skin. Raven hair streamed behind her, cracking and slapping against her back as she ran. Weird skinny trees flashed by; their branchless trunks reaching up to the sky, dotting the landscape in manicured rows. The girl flowed down the row of trees straining towards the mountain thrusting out of the earth in front of her. But it seemed forever in the distance, regardless of how hard she ran.
The earth groaned behind her and she whipped around. Her feet tangled around each other, thrown off by the sudden movement, and she tumbled down. Her arms flailed out, slicing through the air in vain. Pain seared across her back as it slammed against one of the trees. Instead of breaking her fall the tree was as unforgiving as a steel rod, sunk deep into concrete. A rotten smell wafted over her in a wave as she crumpled to the ground. Rain began to pelt her face. Large drops splattered her ragged green dress, staining the fabric with each drop. Her breath caught as she tried to rise. The mountain loomed in the distance, an unreachable goal. As unreachable as the sun, now hidden behind a thick and oppressive shadow.
A gasp escaped her throat as she looked down at the ground. The source of the rank air became apparent as a rotting hand, caked in grime, clawed through the mud and emerged from a crack in the ground. It reached to the sky, and stretched its emaciated digits as they soaked in the rain. Screams pierced the air as the bony hand was followed by another, and another. The skeletal limbs multiplied and shot up, breaking the ground, widening the crack towards their intended victim. One of the hands shot out and found purchase on the girl’s ankle, and she realized that the screams were her own.
But it wasn’t the hands that scared her. They were just instruments to bind her, as the real nightmare drew closer. An impenetrable shadow rumbled in the distance as it drew closer, swallowing more and more of the earth, destroying everything in its path. A path that lead to only one end.
A dark feeling had haunted her all her life, lingering in the shadows or on the edges of her vision. Always watching. Waiting for the right time. Threatening to consume her. Its time had finally come. Her heart drummed in her ribcage, threatening to break free from her chest, her sweat mixing with the rain that continued to pour down her face. She thrashed her limbs battering at the hands crawling all over her. Shrill notes pierced the air. A particularly bloody hand clamped suddenly over her mouth, stifling her cries.
The cloud of darkness was bearing down upon her, having crossed an unimaginable distance in the blink of an eye. The last thing she saw as it swallowed her was the sun breaking through the clouds over the mountain, forever unattainable.
Thanks for reading!