Happy Friday. Time for another flash fiction.
Today’s piece is very short. I am currently on vacation but still wanted to share my weekly writing.
Picture prompt comes from writing_is_my_anchor Instagram page. Need inspiration? Check out her page and take your pick!
Please remember, these flash fictions serve as personal inspiration and not perfectly edited (finished this one in the car on the way to our hotel). But any and all critique is welcome.
Thanks for reading!
It was hard to believe that a world existed before dust clouds blotted out the sun before humanity was on the verge of extinction when light chased away the darkness, and we were free to love and live how we saw fit.
Those were just stories to counter the truth. Quietness prolongs our life. That any form of light, even the gleam of our eyes, serves as a beacon to the Trackers, and love does not conquer all.
My outpost worked day and night to keep the village safe from the Trackers, the creatures that stalked the perpetual darkness. My small faction was trained in sword and bow, to move through the woods as quiet as the stillness around us, and to use every sense other than our sight. Our eyes played tricks in the eternal night. It is why we sowed them shut. I was a soldier born and raised to ensure the survival of the village, an Outy they called me.
I was not afraid of the Trackers. They were predictable, working on instinct. People were the opposite. They were impulsive and selfish. A truth I learned the day our chief stole my only comfort in this losing fight against the dark.
Courtney, the village medic, was my friend. Then, she became more.
She cut away the scar tissue fusing my eyelids shut, and in the moments that shards of sun cast the world in a twilight, I saw the beauty in her face. The smile that promised more than base survival. I found a life worth living, a life with her hand in mine.
But Chief feared our connection, feared it was a dangerous distraction to the protection of the village. I was an Outy and my devotion was to the outpost. You are not made for such attractions, he said. He stole my Courtney away from me. He left her in the woods to fend for herself and realign my devotion to the outpost.
Destroying her, he shredded the belief that my village was worthy of saving.
I stood alone amongst the trees and the filtered light of the moon, listening with my trained ears for the rustle of distant leaves. I wore the brightest clothes I could find. When the sound of shuffling feet and the snap of a twig reached my ears, I lit the torch in my hand. I drew them near, and when a predatory stench wafted through the air followed by the howling screech of a Tracker, I turned and ran, guiding the creatures to a buffet of fragile existence.
Tonight, my village would glow orange, and I would watch it be devoured by both flames and teeth.