Flash Fiction: The Centre of the Universe

I found the centre of the universe.

It was in a dark void adrift with dead moons. There was nowhere for my spaceship to dock. The moons looked hostile, and I didn’t want to anchor myself to something that didn’t know where it was going. So I simply drifted alongside them.

It had been a few hours when it suddenly became very cold. Despite my ship’s heating mechanisms, I shivered. A great evil lurked here. I could feel it.

It called to me. It pulled me away from my body, into a sea of darkness. I was everywhere, and nowhere.  I called for help but no help came.

Fear.

Helplessness.

Anger.

Resentment.

I feel my humanity slipping away. It is replaced with an icy breeze that fills me with malevolence.

I am not alone.

There are others trapped here.

We wait for you.

Your planet is young, but you will find us when you do. Look for a dark miasma that calls to you. Do not dock on any of the moons – they are hostile, and you do not know where you will end up.

Do not be afraid.

Come and find us.

We are waiting.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt:Center

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Vignette: Dark Intentions

The keys jiggled in his pocket. He only had to open one door to end this.

He wondered if her mouth would open in a silent scream. He’d read about that happening in books. Or maybe she’d look him in the eyes and whisper “why, Jake?”

Would the blood pool around her ankles?

What would she look like dead?

The keys in his pocket jiggled.

He smiled.

He’d have the answers to his questions very soon.

 

 

Daily Prompt:Jiggle

Flash Fiction: The Djinni

No green thing grew there. Not a drop of water could be found for miles.

But those scorched sands, they hid secrets.

That’s how I met the djinni.

Buried in the sand for a thousand years, that’s what the scriptures said. I braced myself as his vapour poured from the crack in the bottle. I was prepared to slay whatever creature arose from the vapour. But when the djinni appeared, there was such sadness in its eyes.

“What is your wish, mortal?” it rumbled.

There was an eternity of tiredness in its voice. Had it given up hope of escaping from the bottle? Was it tired of tricking mortals for so many centuries? Did it still delight in their misery?

There was such sadness in its eyes.

So I wished for something that made it freeze with surprise. I made a wish it would finally have no desire to thwart.

I smiled. “I wish for you to be happy,” I said.

 

 

Daily Prompt:Arid

Under the Bridge #writephoto

beneath-the-bridge

It was under the bridge that I found it again.

I’d left it there so long ago. I thought time would bury it, or destroy it. But there it was, undamaged – the ancient scroll I’d wished never to see again.

I was a young archaeologist eager to discover the secrets of the world. I discovered this one in the ruins of an old cemetery. The scroll was yellow, the ink smudged, but I could still read it.

It told the story of a young maiden whose heart burned with love for a demon. But she was mortal, and her love for him would die with her. The demon eventually killed the maiden and devoured her heart so her love could be with him forever.

I took the scroll home to study.

It was the worst decision I’d ever made.

Its pages haunted me. Every dream turned into a nightmare. The maiden’s howls tore through my very bones: Was it love or betrayal? Love or betrayal?

I could no longer sleep.

I tried to burn the scroll, but it wouldn’t burn. I tried tearing it into pieces. The pieces always became one again. So I sealed it in a small chest, inscribed a warning above the lock, and buried it next to an old bridge that no one used anymore.

The years passed. Now I, an old man, kneel under that bridge again. I hold that same scroll between my weathered fingers. I hear the maiden’s whisper rise from its yellowed pages:

Was it love or betrayal?

Love or betrayal?

 

 

(Image courtesy of Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)

Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto challenge: Bridge

 

 

 

Who made the stars dance?

There was magic in the stars that night.

The last time I saw them they were dead, just cold lights in the sky.

Now they danced without movement. They danced to a rhythm that was their own, following an ancient tune only they could hear.

But who made the stars dance?

Was it her, with her wisp of a smile? Was it him with the light gone from his eyes?

Or was it me with my pattering heart, filled to the brim with bubbling starlight?

That night I fell asleep to the rhythm of the stars.

 

 

Daily Prompt:Rhythmic

Flash Fiction: The Strange Child

Her name was Ivy, or so they said, and no one knew quite what she was.

I’d grown up with stories about the mad girl who lived in the jungle. She’d been here since my great-grandfather’s time, but she never aged. She watched us often but never spoke.

Was she a witch? A spirit? An immortal faerie?

And what did she want from us?

I saw her only once. I was picking plums on the outskirts of the village. The only sound was the steady plonk…plonk… of plums dropping into my apron. As I worked I became aware of someone watching me. I looked up to the canopy and there she was, a waif of a child, looking down at me with sad curiosity.

I should have fled. Who knows what strange magic she had. But for some reason I didn’t.

I still don’t know why I did it.

I held a plum out to her. “They’re sweet,” I said.

She stared at me, confused.

“I…I can’t eat all of them, so you ought to take one.”

She didn’t move. But as I walked away I looked back and saw something that made me smile. Ivy had come down from the tree and was clasping the plum with both hands, an expression of wonder on her face.

*

After that Ivy disappeared.

The days turned to years, the years to decades, but no one saw hide nor hair of the strange girl who had once watched us.

After all those years why had she chosen that moment to leave us?

My grandchildren think I’m telling tales, but that day as I walked away from the jungle Ivy glanced up from her uneaten plum to look at me one last time, and there was a change in her eyes. Around that same time I felt a change in the trees around us. The whole jungle shifted.

When the young ones have left and I’m alone in my hut, I ponder that thought. That somehow, in that strangest of meetings, Ivy had finally found what she was looking for.

   

Note: This is the follow-up to the vignette of the same name.

Daily Prompt:Hideout

 

For more of my fantasy flash:

Immortal

Glass Prison