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 Shard based off a photo 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.)
Between Silence and Hoofbeats
Katrina exclaimed as she tripped, again, over her skirts. She tried to hitch them up high while Crane waited for her, refusing to let go of her hand. If they let go of each other, she was sure they would be separated in the murky darkness of the night. After some frustration, Katrina kicked off her heels, knowing they were slowing her down as well. Then she looked over her shoulders at the shrill noise that echoed through the bare woods behind them.
Crane looked past them as well, feverishly searching the trees for any sign of him. “We have to go, Katrina. We have to run.” He looked back to her, desperation haunting those grey eyes. “Can you keep up?”
She nodded quickly, taking another handful of her skirts as best she could. She threw one last wary look over her shoulder before Crane was tugging her alongside him again. They ran through the bramble and brush as quick as they could, getting snagged on trees reaching their slender fingers down, tripping over roots and stones. It was hard going in the darkness.
Their breaths came in ragged gasps, puffs of white leaving their lips like swirling smoke in the cold temperatures. They were both exhausted and out of breath, but they couldn’t stop. If they stopped he would catch up to him. He would find them and that would be the last of them. They just had to find their way to the bridge. If they could get to the bridge and cross it they would be safe.
Another shrill scream pierced the silence, making both of them jump and look behind them. Crane tripped first and with a cry Katrina toppled with him, landing with her hands on his chest. She scrambled to gather herself and get up when Crane grabbed her hand, pointing to a mess of tangled vines and bramble directly to their left.
“Look. Katrina, we can hide there.”
“Are you sure?” she puffed. “Won’t he still find us?”
The sound of pounding hooves in the distance was growing louder all of a sudden.
He was coming.
“We don’t have time to run, we won’t make it. His ungodly horse will outrun us. We have to try to hide and wait him out until sunrise, or wait until he is farther away again to make another break for it.” He put his hands on the sides of her face, making Katrina look into his eyes. “Do you trust me, love?”
“Yes…” she whispered.
“Then trust me now.” He pulled himself to his feet, taking her hand again. He moved as many of the branches aside as he could for her to enter the hollow inside. “Quickly now.”
She wiggled her way inside the hollow and turned around to find Crane following right behind her. He tried to shove the brambles into some sort of coverage before squatting beside her and pulling her into his arms, one hand resting on the back of her head as he buried her face against his chest in protection. The sounds of the hooves and the horse’s heavy breathing were growing in volume steadily until they could feel the ground shake beneath them from the massive beast. Then it suddenly came to a sliding halt, and they felt the dirt go flying as it hit them through the bramble.
Katrina gasped lightly, her body shivering in fear and Crane held her tighter, quietly kissing the top of her head as he watched the branches around them, trying to judge where the horse and rider were.
He was there. Right outside. They could still hear the horse breathing in great puffs, the creaking of leather as he shifted in the saddle.
A shrill cry of the horse made them both cringe, the shadows from the moonlight flitting across the bramble as the great steed reared and struck the air with hooves of steel. The ground shook when he landed heavily and once more they heard leather creak followed by a stomp on the ground. The seconds ticked by into minutes while the horse shifted around and nickered evilly while his rider searched the area.
Did he know they were hiding there?
Then suddenly they heard the horse spin and hoofbeats pound across the ground again as it took off running into the night once more. They didn’t dare breathe as they waited, straining their ears to listen. Katrina picked her head up, glancing around just as Crane was. Finally, when they could no longer hear the pounding of hooves along the hard-packed ground, she looked to her fiancé.
“Is he gone?” she whispered.
Crane’s shoulders relaxed slightly. “I think so. You stay here and let me look out first.” He started to stand and Katrina made a grab for his arm, fear in those bright eyes.
He stopped and looked back. “Shhh… It will be alright. I am only going to peek out.” He cupped her face and kissed her forehead lightly. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she whispered.
Crane smiled lightly and moved back, shifting through the brambles to look out. She waited tensely for him to give the all clear, heart hammering out of her chest yet.
“I think we’re in the cl–” His words cut off as the sickening sound of metal met flesh and bone. Blood splattered the brambles and her. Crane’s body went limp and fell forward, but not before his severed head rolled back to rest at Katrina’s feet.
She screamed in utter horror and terror and tried to scramble backwards as the weapon hacked through the branches to get to her. She looked up at the figure of legends and went white as a ghost. Her eyes trailed over the Horsemen’s headless body and then along his arm to the ax raised in his hand, the razor sharp edge glowing red.
Another scream ripped from her throat before it was cut off with one clean swing to the neck.
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!
And I know, I know, I missed posting last week. It was a crazy couple of days and I apologize. If you’re looking for one last taste of Halloween before all we hear is peppermint flavored everything and Christmas carols, you can find Samhain Night on Wattpad.