Part Four of my September Flash Fiction! The prompts can be found here. Please note that these are posted daily on my Tumblr, if you’d like to catch up with them there. Let me know what you think or if you are also following the prompts!
Day 22: Crunch
It was the crunch that made her shudder, the crunch that made her stomach somersault, the crunch that made her double-check her grip on her knife. There may have been safety in numbers during the end of the world, but her priority was herself whenever they came face-to-face with the distorted zombies. She felt awful that she could do nothing for him, that she could only crawl away with her own safety in mind as the zombies crunched down on flesh, but if the situation were reversed, she wouldn’t want him to pull any white knight heroics for her sake.
Day 23: Forage
They could forage for as long as they wanted during the day, but it was apparent every night that they could never find enough. “We need to leave,” was the general consensus. “There’s not enough food here any longer.” Still, the decision was made slowly, with backpacks and the few personal items they managed to save being meticulously packed away for days until there was no reason to stall any longer. As they looked back at the graves of perished friends while they shouldered their packs, they rationalized that their friends would have wanted them to move on and live.
Day 24: Crisp
The lines of Lee’s uniform were clean and crisp, as immaculate as he always needed to be. He took a deep breath as he stared at the mirror, praying that his eyes weren’t red-rimmed from grief. Despite the funeral, it wouldn’t do for the captain to be anything but stoic. He needed to be focused on his duty and keep his soldiers in line for the crowning ceremony. The country grieved for the fallen Crown Prince even as they scrutinized his brother, the next king. Lee may have failed the Crown Prince, but he would not with his brother.
Day 25: Gray
If there was one thing Carl never thought he would do in his life, it was following a wolf. The wolf was a young female, most likely trying to strike out on her own or was tossed out of her own pack for one reason or another. Upon finding him, she latched on, bonding to another outcast on the edges of the territory. Amid the tree line, the skyline was gray with the coming dawn, just like his mood. Nevertheless, he turned to follow the wolf when she barked for his attention to continue leading them through the trees.
Day 26: Maple
She understood why seasonal drinks were a thing, especially in the corporate world, but they were always a pain to create. A shot of this flavor here, sprinkles on this one, whipped cream at the bottom of the cup for that one… She was using precious brain space to memorize custom drink recipes rather than her spells. On the other hand, busying herself with creating complex drinks gave her a chance to test out spells. She smiled at the customer as she handed him his maple pecan latte, hoping that her confidence spell would mix well with the flavors.
Day 27: Blanket
“It’s the only one I have,” she said, shaking it. “Go ahead and take it.” The blanket, worn and thin, some of the corners fraying with use and time, was tossed to him. He murmured his thanks as he wrapped it around his shoulders. She went back to tending the campfire, the scent of roasting fish making his stomach nauseous. The fish was small, probably only enough for each of them to have a couple of bites, but he was willing to share his food if she was willing to share warmth. Sometimes war meant finding your own allies.
Day 28: Spice
The spice scent was so thick, he choked on the air as he entered the bazaar. Vendors hawked their wares, each competing for the attention of strangers wandering about. At the very least, his quarry was intelligent. It was difficult to distinguish his scent amid the bazaar’s chaos. Still, there was more than one way a werewolf could hunt down his prey. With a snarl to a vendor who had gotten a little too close, he stalked through the stalls, looking for anything out of place or any nooks that his prey could hide. He wouldn’t get away this time.
Part Two of my September Flash Fiction! The prompts can be found here. Please note that these are posted daily on my Tumblr, if you’d like to catch up with them there. Let me know what you think or if you are also following the prompts!
Day 8: Harvest
Looking almost yellow, the harvest moon hung low in the sky and he paused a moment to gaze and appreciate the beauty of the night. At this time of the year when he was younger, he used to help out on his grandparents’ farm. Perhaps he’d be picking ears of corn before the first frost of the year came or being sure all of the chickens were gathered in the coop for the night. A crisp wind reminded him of where he was. He sighed as he began to dig up the grave again, harvesting a different crop that night.
Day 9: Pine Cones
There was a pile of pine cones at the side of their house, right in front of the stacked firewood. She wasn’t quite sure where they all came from, but there was enough there now that they were noticeable. A handful of pine cones dropped by a squirrel made sense. But a dozen pine cones gathered together? She was tempted to scatter them, hoping a rodent wasn’t trying to make a nest. Before she could, a cat popped out from beneath the firewood, followed by three kittens who immediately practiced their pouncing on the pine cones. The pine cones stayed.
Day 10: Quilt
The quilt was tightly crocheted, a perfect square with frilled edges. Woven with golden yellows and a touch of red, it was one of the favorite family blankets for cool autumn and winter nights. The colors have since faded with the years and she couldn’t remember how bright the quilt used to be, but she was sure she believed it had shone with the power of the sun when she was a girl. As she wrapped her newborn in the quilt, she hoped she would be able to instill that same secure feeling into her baby as she always had.
Day 11: Orange
He couldn’t have been less inconspicuous if he tried. The neon orange hat could be spotted miles away, even if she didn’t have a pair of binoculars trained on him. For a guy who had important government secrets and documents in his briefcase, he wasn’t trying to hide. It made her job easier. It was simple to catch up to him. She planned to grab the case when the next train dropped off its riders. Yet, when she rounded the corner of the station, there he was, grinning. He held up the briefcase and said, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Day 12: Rain
Her roommate was enthralled with the rain. She sighed while staring out the window like one who was awaiting her lover. When asked about it, all that she said was, “You can’t sense it? The magic in the air that the rain brings?” Her roommate chalked it up to it just her enjoying nature, returning to her coffee. Yet, it was only a few minutes before her roommate gasped and tugged her outside with glee. In the seconds it took to become soaked, she was yanked into a puddle with her roommate that was much too deep for the sidewalk.
Day 13: Scarecrow
A trail of straw emerged from the corn stalks through the backyard, took a detour to the barn, then into the house’s back door. She grabbed the axe next to the firewood, entering her home. The trail continued through the kitchen, seemed to grow into a suspicious pile by the bathroom mirror, before going into the living room. She gaped and nearly dropped the axe at seeing her scarecrow — previously inanimate — sitting on her sofa with her cat playing with the straw from his arms. He stared at her with his button eyes and said, “I don’t know what happened.”
Day 14: Cobweb
As intricate as a snowflake, the spider’s cobweb was a mesmerizing display of soft gauze weaved into a maze-like pattern. Dewdrops from the morning clung to the thin threads, twinkling in the sun like stars. The spider itself wasn’t seen, most likely tired from all the hard work it took to create such a detailed web with only instincts and the light of the moon to guide it. But it was also placed right outside of her back door. With a quiet apology, she took the vacuum to the web, destroying the spider’s night work in a matter of seconds.