Tag Archives: flashfiction

Ghosts in the Church Yard

“Hello.”

She paused and looked around.

“Hello” she called back hesitantly.

Cecilia glanced around the yard she was standing in. She had just stopped by the church on her lunch break to check in with the pastor quickly about a few things pertaining to the upcoming ladies auxiliary luncheon that she was chairing.

It was such a nice day; she thought she’d have her lunch outside in the well kept yard behind the church. She walked through the greenness and sat down on a stone bench. She had just been preparing to pull out the novel she was currently reading when she heard the voice.

The voice was distinctively male. She glanced around again in confusion. There was no one else here and she had watched Pastor Evans leave the church, heading home to have lunch with his wife.

Suddenly there was a shift in the atmosphere around her. There was a loud buzzing noise and the world in front of her slid away as a new one popped into place.

She was now sitting in a lush and massive rose garden. The neatly trimmed hedges and multicolored flowers that had surrounded her were gone, replaced with a sea of blood red, gorgeous rose bushes.

“Who’s there?” A woman’s voice inquired.

Before Cecilia could respond, a young man stepped out from behind a tree. He was tall with light brown hair, a smile lit up his face. He was holding a cap in his hands and Cecilia was sure that the clothing he was wearing was some sort of military uniform.

There was a gasp of joy from the other side of her and Cecilia watched as a young woman in a hoop skirt ran swiftly, closed the gap between her and the young man and threw herself into his arms. He picked her up and swung her around happily, then sat her firmly on the ground and kissed her.

Then, just like that, Cecilia was back in the church yard again, alone. She stood up quickly, her lunch tumbling to the ground. Looking around wildly now, she quickly explored the entire yard.

She cleaned up the debris of her lunch, tucked her book away in her purse and gathered up her things to leave. She knew she would be taking the rest of day off work and heading straight to the library to do some research on the history of the church property. She had to find out why this was happening to her….again. What did these ghosts want?

Rebels

She couldn’t see her hand in front of her face; she crouched low and moved carefully amongst the abandoned vehicles.

So this is what the end of the world looks like, she thought to herself. Well, it was about as horrific as she could have imagined. Bodies lay everywhere in the streets. Mercifully she couldn’t see them anymore, one of the up sides to the smoke. The smell though, and the noises, those she couldn’t block out.

She thought she was becoming numb to them though. Finally she found Finn and dropped down beside him, gun at the ready.

“Where are they?” she whispered.

He motioned toward one of the abandoned buildings across the street. Of course it was abandoned, they were all abandoned now. She remembered when this square had been full of people, the hustle and bustle of modern life and the happy sounds of shopping, talking, people having lunch together. She gave herself a fraction of a second to feel the loss then drew a deep breath and focused back on the present.

The building was barely visible through the smoke as it drifted lazily across the road. The haze was everywhere giving the whole area an otherworldly look. She heard the smattering of gun fire here and there but the battle was mostly over. Hell, the war was mostly over. Why was she even still here? Oh yeah, Finn. She wouldn’t leave him and he wouldn’t leave them.

Not that she blamed him. His younger siblings were among the nine children trapped in the crumbling building. She had been sent here with a detachment of American soldiers, a small, elite and unofficial squadron. She was the only one left. He was part of the resistance they were sent to support and arm. She knew what she was risking when she chose to stay. It’s not like the American government would help her anyway. Plausible deniability. She didn’t exist.

It was an insane rescue attempt, pure suicide and that’s what the government forces had counted on when they went after the rebels families and used those hostages to lure them here.

But really, what other choice was there? Let those nine children be slaughtered? She knew they would probably all be slaughtered anyway but she really didn’t want to live in a world where she didn’t try. With another deep breath she nodded at him and readied her weapon.

 

Dragon Flame

Alanya stood on the hillside watching the destruction in the valley below. She drew her red cloak close around her body and shivered in the damp twilight. She drew a deep breath and turned to face the dragon.

Imposing, large and red she sat on the hillside next to Alanya huffing warm tendrils of smoke into the cooling evening air.

“What can we do?” She asked her old friend.

Melancor huffed again, this time with the distinct tone of disdain.

“What can we do?” She responded, her deep voice rumbling over the hillside.

“We must find a way to put an end to this war!” Alanya responded, speaking in the ancient dragon tongue. “My people have lost their way. Dragons and humans no longer speak the same language, no longer share the same stories and legends, they no longer understand each other.”

Melancor nodded her head in agreement. “But how Dragon Flame?” she addressed her by the name the elders had called her many years ago when she had been a child. When she had been valued for her ability to speak to dragons.

War had broken out months ago, human warriors hunting dragons to their lairs and killing them in their sleep, breaking unhatched eggs, murdering the young! Dragons making raids on villages full of innocent people, those having nothing to do with the warriors.  Both humans and dragons were dying at alarming rates. The dragon population was in danger of becoming extinct. Truth be told, so was the human population.

Alanya had grown up a privileged child, a princess as it were. Yet privilege was not what she was taught. She learned at her mother’s knee that a leader is not there to indulge their own whims and desires but to toil tirelessly to protect and improve the lives of the people they serve. The people were her responsibility. All of these deaths were on her head now. It was her job to put an end to this.

It didn’t help that she was the last human to speak to the ancient dragon tongue, just as Melancor was the last dragon to speak any human tongue. They both had tried to speak sense, tried to avert the war but to no avail. The young among both species had no memory of the shared past, no belief in the ancient tales of the past. The dragon population was already in decline, leading many humans to disbelieve in their very existence. Until they didn’t.

Once fear had taken root, the course was set. Now that there had been atrocities committed on both sides, each side felt justified in their rampages. Alanya feared that this was the end.

“Take the younglings,” she advised the old dragon, “take them and hide. Fly far away across the mountains and find a place where they can grow in secret.”

“They should not have to hide!” Malancor roared.

Alanya shuddered but stood firm. She knew that her old friend was right, but what other choice was there? The dragons, that had once been their friends, their allies, their companions, were now their enemies and she saw no way to repair that. All she could do now was find a way to minimize the damage.

“You know I’m right. Go and I’ll made it my life’s mission to convince humans that dragons never existed. In a generation they will be nothing more than myth.”

If she could get the dragons to retreat, she could save what was left of her people. If the dragons left, Melancor could save what was left of hers. If people stopped believing in the dragons again, then none would go looking for them. Both species could live in peace.

In the end, Melancor saw the sense of it, just as Alanya knew she would.

Alanya walked through the smoking desolates ruins of the last village of her people. There were a handful of people left. Wounded warriors, women, children, a few elders. She blinked back her tears as as her mind raced with plans for rebuilding. Rebuilding and rewriting human history.

In the distance she heard a great dragon roar. The last of the great ones. She lifted her head and watched as the last of the dragons flew out of sight.

The Vessel

She tilted her head to the left and contemplated the vessel in front of her. It’s sleek, smooth metal was cold to the touch. It had an otherworldly shimmer to it. The color was something she couldn’t quite place. Almost a cross between blue and red, yet not purple. She was mesmerized by it.

The vessel gave off a soft hum as it hovered in the air in front of her, quivering. There was energy in the air she could taste. It smelled like metallic snow. She took an involuntary step forward and reached a tentative hand out toward it. She placed a palm on the shimmering air in front of it and felt it shiver beneath her touch. Her hand stopped, pressed flat against a smooth, rolling surface. She gasped in surprise.

The physical touch triggered something and she felt the energy wash over and through her. A nonexistent breeze lifted her short blond hair and she issued a startled, but happy, squeal. It was as if her entire body was made of electricity and she could sense the vessel on the other side of the energy field. She heard no voice, but she knew that she was being issued an invitation.

She never uttered a word. Her decision was made and instantly the barrier dropped and a panel slid open in the side of the vessel. As she approached the ship, the autumn chill seemed to deepen around her and she pulled her jacket closer and hurried forward.

“Catherine! Wait!” a voice cried as she hurried up the steps toward the glowing warmth of the interior of the vessel.

She turned before entering the doorway and regarded the young man she had once loved. Frightened he had stopped on the other side of the energy field.

“What is this thing? What are doing? Don’t go!”

She hesitated only a moment. With a fond but regretful glance, she turned her back on him like he had turned his back on her. Following her up here tonight was too little, too late. Behind her was only heartache, ahead of her was an entire universe waiting just for her. She chose adventure, she chose herself.

The Vessel: Forward

The Vessel: Night

The Vessel: Food Edition

The Vessel: Return to Earth

The Vessel: Frank