So there is a group of us, from Forward Motion who are part of a Flash Fiction Friday thingy over here. It’s challenging, and a way to work on tightening up writing and having fun. So today I put Bastard Prince aside and played with this…thing.
Flash Fiction #1
A steady drip, the smell of gasoline. I woke slowly, though I didn’t remember going to sleep. I became aware of other sounds, crinkling sounds, the falling of glass. Something pressed over my eyes and forehead, blocking my vision. Airbag, maybe? I tried to move. Pain exploded through me, yet some of it was suspiciously numb. I was pinned, my arms trapped against my body.
Around the curves, a bit faster than I should have, but this car was made for speed. Something in the road. Something that shouldn’t be there. A jerk of the steering wheel, then…nothing.
I tried to move my head, pain shot from shoulders to fingertips, throbbing down my back. I tried blinking, but whatever was covering my face wouldn’t move. The smell of gasoline was so strong! I swallowed, afraid. I smelled smoke. Trapped, I couldn’t get out. No one knew I took dad’s car, that I was going for a drive. My cell phone was sitting on my bed. Gravel crunched, footfalls neared. Fear battled desperation. Red eyes. The thing in the road had red eyes. What if it was out there?
“Help me!” My voice was little more than a whisper. I felt tears on my cheeks. Dear god, I was going to die. Glass broke, and I felt heat. The car was on fire and something was crunching over glass and gravel.
Metal groaned and whatever covered my face was pulled aside. I saw a blur of motion, felt something grip my arms. I was being dragged from the car. I passed out before I was completely freed.
When I opened my eyes, I could see a figure crouched beside the burning wreck. I couldn’t move, I could barely breathe. I heard a scraping sound and turned my head.
Red eyes, glowing in the dark, were creeping towards me. I tried to scream, but my voice was gone. The car exploded. Light illuminated the creature towering over me. Pale dead skin with stringy hair. Glowing eyes and fangs. Long, piercing fangs. Its hands reached out, claw-like brown-stained nails at the end of boney fingers, twitched, grasping. I knew it was going to eat me.
It rushed towards me, mouth agape, and there was a confusing blur of growls and snarls. Something jumped between it and me, and the two things crashed together. I saw fur, and blood, lots of blood. The red-eyed monster fled with a howl and my savior, twice over, knelt beside me. I tried to scoot backwards, but my arms wouldn’t obey.
An elongated, misshapen jaw with outjutting canines and lower tusks, was the prominent features on this part man, part beast. He wore only pants, ripped and torn. His feet also misshapen and had long claws. His body was covered in a dark fur, his chest marred by eight long scratches that seeped blood. He studied me, dark eyes set deep beneath heavy brows. He reached a clawed hand towards me, I tried to pull away. He smiled at me, his jaw not made for it, the soft fur on his hand brushing my cheek; wiping away my tears.
“It won’t come back.” His voice was deep, the words mushed from the misshapen face. “An ambulance is on its way.”
“Don’t leave yet.” The words were hollow to my ears.
“I’ll stay.” His body began to shift, contort. I heard the crackling of bones, the slithering sound of skin and tissue adjusting to a new form. The large, dark, wolf lay beside me, in the flickering light of the burning car. He licked my face as we waited.
The sirens, and flashing lights woke me. The EMTs questions confused me and I reached for the wolf and almost cried. He was gone. They lifted me onto a stretcher, reassuring me, talking to me. I looked towards the trees and saw him, just sitting, watching. Then I was in the ambulance and we were whizzing to the hospital in the nearest town. I tried to answer the EMT who kept asking questions, but found myself drifting back to sleep. In the moment between awake and unconsciousness, I felt his fur brushing my cheek.
The sky was a perfect shade of blue. The forest a rich green. Yet at this same spot, just a few months before, I almost died. I leaned on the crutches, staring at the tree-line, the darkened gravel. I almost died here. The words ran in circles through my head. The doctor said an anonymous caller phoned in the wreak. Dispatch walked him through some basic first aid to stop the bleeding. I couldn’t remember it. When the EMTs got there I had rough bandages on me, and the caller was gone.
No one saw a wolf that night, except for me. I stared towards the trees. He was right there, watching them load me up. I slowly made my way towards the trees, hating the crutches and the casts. I stopped, near where I thought I last saw him. The forest smells wafted my way, rich soil, moist air, and the sound of birds. But no large dark canine with laughing eyes. No red-eyed creature either.
Why was I here? Did I expect him to be there? He was probably long gone, if he was even real. “Thank you.” I whispered the words, hoping that he might be there, hiding in the underbrush, listening.
“Rebecca! Come on!” My sister, Susan, who had brought me out here, leaned against her car, watching me with worried eyes.
“I’m coming!” I made my way back, slow, halting. Crutches in gravel, tended to slip. I was almost to the car door when I heard a whisper behind me.
By the time I got turned around, I thought I saw in the shadow of the forest, the shape of a large wolf, sitting, watching. I smiled, turned, and made my way back to the car, crunching over glass and gravel.
word count, according to Word, is 996