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 a three word combination prompt. 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.)
Smoke wafted across the twilight sky behind her, distorting clouds and deepening the already blood red sky. The sound of her mount’s hooves pounding the ground echoed through the still silence that had followed the sounds of chaos.
They were burned into her mind. The images. The sounds. Each one was grating upon her nerves and her fears. Rising, suffocating, overpowering.
Much like the frantic chestnut mare she clung to, her chest was heaving as she tried to breathe and calm herself. It was to no avail though. No matter how far away she got from the wreckage, it would never quell the horror and terror inside her.
Streets caked with blood, running in small rivers. Dead bodies, young and old, male and female, littered the ground like garbage. Buildings and structures on fire. Others collapsed or being ransacked. Battle cries, sounds of terror, wails, screams, crying. Marching feet and the sound of metal clashing together. A busted down door, splintered wood. A pool of blood with a lifeless hand. The smell of thickening smoke…
She tried to shove the images and memories out of mind but it was no use, they were burned and etched into her mind’s eye.
Why had she gone back in search of her family despite the carnage and danger?
Simply because she had to. They were family, she could not leave them behind. But it was all too late. Her home had been behind the lines of advancing troops, her street ransacked and deserted. Neighbors and friends had been slain in cold blooded orders. Pets and livestock had fled. She had been lucky enough to find a horse in which to steal and run away on after.
When she had stepped into the foyer of her home though…
Bile rose in her throat, her vision swimming with dancing black spots. Blood roared in her ears and darkness threatened to consume her for at least the third time in a matter of minutes since she had fled for safety.
The glint of her mother’s ring upon her lifeless hand had tore through her soul. A promise of forever, of love and peace and friendship. It had been her mother’s symbol to live by, her mother’s totem. Her caring, gentle, and kind mother who always knew how to help and who always had the best advice for anyone in town had been cut down like a sheep for slaughter. All because of what? Because they had been living peacefully in their home? Because they were innocents in a town in the middle of a war?
It sickened her. It crushed her heart.
Air whooshed from her lungs as she lost her grip on the horse and fell off, hitting the ground hard on her side. She hardly winced, curling up and sobbing quietly. Hot, silent tears rolled down her cheeks in a fresh wave of agony and she struggled to breathe for a long time even as the sounds of her mount faded away into nothingness.
She knew not how long she laid there, a small corner of a box digging painfully into her side. Somehow the pain was comforting. Eventually she forced herself to sit and pulled it out, making sure it hadn’t broken in her fall. Her hands shook as she turned the small parcel over, finding the lock had broken in her desperate escape, but the rest of it was still intact.
Carefully, she opened the lid and looked inside at the contents of her mother’s memory box. A lock of her hair and her sister’s. Her father’s wedding band. A chip of a broken tea cup. Scraps of notes with sentimental value. A piece of ribbon and a scrap of dress.
Her fingers stopped sorting through the objects when she came upon a crumbled bit of paper, tea stained with age. She knew what it was instantly as she unfolded it, gazing upon her deceased grandmother’s elegant handwriting. It was the note she had given her mother before she died of a bandit attack on her cottage home.
If you cannot forgive the faults of others from holding you back, then how can you ever grant others the mercy you were not given? Mercy will stop ignorance from circling like vultures.
She read over it once, twice, three times before she could no longer see the lines through blurry eyes. A lump caught in her throat, remembering her mother telling her the story of how her grandmother had passed before she was even born, of how it inspired her to live thereafter.
She could almost hear her mother whispering her name along the breeze in the darkness. Mercy will stop ignorance from circling like vultures. She was Mercy, and she would stop the growing vultures.
She had to go back.
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!
I know, I know, I missed last week because of circumstances. You can find Crimson Spoiled on Wattpad now to see what I came up with for last week’s prompt!