Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!
A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!
With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off an occurrence. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!
(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)
My fingers trailed along the spines of books lining the shelves. The old, weathered wood sagging under their weight. I breathed in deep the musky smell of second hand books. Cracked spines, yellowed pages, earmarked chapters, worn covers. This was my heaven, my sanctuary.
I could lose myself for hours upon hours inside Treasured Pasts, just roaming the laden shelves. I could pick out book after book, flipping through the delicate pages to fall into the embrace of adventure and fantastical realms.
My heart always seemed drawn to the section of books labeled by a wooden sign hanging from the ceiling, the word FANTASY painted delicately across its dark surface. I would find a stack of five books or so that caught my interest and curl up on the old reclining chair to pass the hours of day by reading. The shopkeeper knew me by now and had no qualms about me spending my hours reading by dull overhead lights, dust mites floating in the rays of sun that streamed through the paned glass front window shop.
Today though, my hands and feet were pulling me to a different section of the books. The mystery and adventure sections, looking for a thrill of excitement in my reading for the day. Once more my hands trailed over the worn spines until I felt the pull to a certain volume.
I stopped at the prickle of finding the right book and pulled out the dark green hardback book, glancing to the cover to see what it was called. However, my attention was quickly diverted back to the book shelf as I saw something else stuffed behind the volume I had selected.
Curious, I tilted my head a little and set the book down on a stool, pulling out the volume next to what I had taken and placing it down as well to see what had been hidden behind. Reaching into the dark crevice, my fingers brushed against worn leather and I pulled out a black leather bound book, the edges decorated with sewn cord in a spiral pattern. It looked less like a book and more like a journal as I turned it over in my hands, being gentle with the aged pages and cover.
Forgetting about the original volume I had pulled out, I walked to the cushioned chair and sat down, dust fluffing up around me as it wasn’t my normal seat. Opening the journal, I found that it wasn’t blank. The pages were written on, the handwriting neat and poised as it scrawled across the aged pages fluently. The pages didn’t have any lines on them, but whoever wrote in the journal kept the lines of words neat and straight, as if they had had tons of practice. Something I myself was never good at. My writing looked like waves if I didn’t have lines to follow.
I thumped through the yellowed pages carefully, my eyes scanning the entries, each one dated a time before I was even born. Let alone thought and planned out. Once I reached the final entry, I paused as a certain line caught my interest and then began to read the whole entry.
Everything is dying. Crops are failing, the hillsides are browning. Rivers run dry, the earth cracked in their beds. The animals are eating decayed grass, and our food supplies are running low now too. Everyone is losing weight. If we do not get a break from this blistering weather, if rain does not fall soon, we will be nothing but shriveled, burnt corpses upon the earth.
Legend tells of a hidden cave somewhere in the mountains. A cave that supposedly belongs to a Goddess, a woman of grave beauty that was banished away for the storms she would create when she became angry at the men flaunting around her. It is said that if one can find her, and if one can offer her what she wishes, then she will grant a single wish for their good fortune in season.
I fear this legend is but our only hope of survival in this dire drought. It has been bone dry for too many moons now. Though I have only a clue of what it is this Goddess may want, it is the only choice presenting itself to us. For desperately praying for rain has not yet given us a measly tear from the sky.
We must do more before it means our slow deaths.
I must do more.
I fear this journey may not see my return to home, so I ask whoever finds this journal to simply not follow. This is my bargain to take, my willing sacrifice for our land, our town, our families, children, and animals.
I set out tomorrow at dawn, and should I not return, I bid you all farewell.’
My brain whirled a little as I set the journal down in my lap. I couldn’t help but wonder what year this had been, years had never been listed. Not to mention who it even belonged to. There had been no names listed though, no page for a dedication of ‘property of so and so’. It was a complete mystery, an intriguing one at that.
I flipped through the journal once more and this time as I ran my hand over the leather cover, I found a lump. Carefully flipping to the front of the journal, I ran my fingers over the material until I found a small slit in it. Being gentle so as not to destroy the journal in its delicate state, I fingered the opening and pulled out an old, small brass key with an inscription on it.
I held it up to the light, turning it around and looking at it curiously. It seemed I had found more adventure and mystery than I had set out for at the beginning of the day.
Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!