Friday, December 13, 2013

Flash Fiction Challenge

Welcome to part four of Chuck Wendig's five part flash fiction challenge. In this challenge we're supposed to add two hundred words to a story started by someone else until we reach a thousand word story. Here's my contribution for the week.

                                                                            (Paul  J.Willet)

The first time I saw it snowing in Los Angeles it was the sixth day of a three-day juice cleanse. Snow was definitely not something one normally saw down in the basin, at least, not then.

Because of my need to purify my body and aura, the news and media, filled with nothing but anger and pain, had been cast away along with the other toxins. My base aural color had always been a lavender or sky blue. Recently though, it had started to get muddied and dark. I would have thought my third eye would have seen the unusual weather coming, but it didn’t, so I was caught off guard.

When I first saw the falling flakes I thought I might have overdone the cleanse. Last time I had seen Elvis riding an ostrich on the seventh day. My transmundane counselor had resolved the issue with some orange juice, chocolate, and a sandwich, but that solution didn’t work on the weather. It was still snowing on the pier.

In Santa Monica we only got three inches, but of course it was more than enough to spread gridlock all the way to Riverside. Then, of course, things got much worse.

                                                                         (Michael D. Woods)

Wolves sprinted northward along the shoulder of the Interstate. Spectral at first, their forms quickly firmed from fog to massive, grey-white beasts, all fur and fang. Screaming people climbed from cars and ran eastward, away from the pack. The pack, on the other hand, paid little mind to the panicked masses.

I finished my sandwich, tipped back the last of my orange juice, and glanced over longingly at the waiting chocolate. Damn it. Opening the car door, I stepped out and manifested my Third Eye. My gaze followed the wolves, past the traffic, beyond the mundane. And there, further north, a silver radiance fluoresced from sky to soil, the obvious beacon guiding the will of these dire wolves.

Gridlock held my Taurus in its palsied grip so I opted for a more direct mode of travel. Delicately, I pulled along the seam of my own aura. With practiced ease, I unthreaded the edge and stepped beyond it into–

My third eye slammed shut, transcendental tears splashing my cheeks. Before me, what had once been a paradise of color and fragrance was now a blighted wasteland of ash. And in the distance a brilliant wound ripped the world from Heaven to Hell.

                                                                                         (Liz Neering)

The wolves were moving towards the rift. With my newly clear vision I saw the beasts for what they were: I saw them in all their terrible glory, fearsome and monstrous and beyond mortal comprehension. Their spirits resonated with my own, their primal power dragging me, and the aura around me, back into darkness. I gasped for breath, but nothing came; it caught in my throat, hard as a stone.

I walked on.

With each step my legs felt weaker. I looked back, only to see my footprints were unsteady, of varying depths and direction. I looked back to the rift, attempting to regain my bearings. But the rift had shifted, now, its silvery light coming from somewhere else altogether. I stopped, then turned to each point of the compass, making my signs of respect and power each time. At first the familiarity of ritual calmed me. But my troubled aura confirmed what I already knew.

I was lost.

I heard the howling of the wolves around me, harsh and cold and wind. Snow flurries kicked up at the sound of their voices. Winter closed around me, and true darkness followed close behind.

                                                                                  (my contribution)

With my mundane senses in a whirl, I had no choice but to force my third eye to reopen.  A sharp lance of red-tinted pain shot through my head, but gradually the world around me came into focus.  Once it did, I almost wished to close my eye again and reside in darkness once more. Better that than to continue staring into the grinning visage of a wolf which was not a wolf at all.

Oh, it still looked like a wolf, for the most part, only it kept shimmering to show me glimpses of something otherworldly beneath the guise. Something ghastly. But though I was desperate to look away, I dare not.  I had the feeling if I showed the least hint of weakness the grinning monstrosity before me would gladly rip my head off.

I mentally chanted a mantra for peace and serenity, drew my aura more tightly around myself, and stood to face the beast. If I was going to die in that place then at least I could do so on my own two feet and with some dignity.

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