From the Writer’s Digest Weekly Writing Prompt “I Can’t Believe I Didn’t See That Coming.” 483 words altogether; 17 under the 500 word or under goal. Enjoy!
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“You’ll never get me to tell you where the jewels are!” I exclaimed as I brandished my pistol.
I fired two shots into the woods in front of me.
Where once there was a masked, hooded man, now there was only darkness. I wheeled around, expecting him to be standing immediately behind me.
I looked back and forth, the last vestiges of twilight making it almost impossible to discern details in the thick vegetation of the forest. Even in that wane light, though, I could see I was alone.
Where did he go? I wondered.
I stood there a moment and waited. I expected him to leap from the blackness of the deep forest to attack me, but as the minutes stretched on no attack came.
I gave one more cursory glance around, and then sprinted away from there, towards the rocks where I knew I would be safe. As I leapt over dead fall and was tripped up by unseen roots in my path my heart raced faster, and a looming dread fell over me: my pursuer would catch me.
But, I knew that while my unidentified attacker may have had the drop on me in the forest, I would have the upper hand in the rocky caverns and foothills I called home for the last decade.
What seemed like a small eternity passed before I exploded from the thick, intertwined branches of the forest and into the boulder strewn hills to the North. My heart fluttered, and the impending doom that had enveloped me evaporated like dew under the hot Summer sun. Not far now, and I would be safe.
It was only when I reached the entrance to my hideout that something felt wrong – out of place.
Suddenly, the searing hot pain of a knife sliding into me flared in my lower back. I cried out as the blade was retracted and pierced me once more, then collapsed in pain.
I rolled over and was greeted by the emotionless, dead stare of my masked, hooded nemesis.
“What are you waiting for?” I exclaimed in rage and pain.
Then the man spoke, and it was as if ice rushed through my veins.
“I am enjoying the look on your face, Eduardo,” said the voice of my dead brother.
I couldn’t believe it. “Alejandro? But you’re dead!”
Alejandro removed his mask, and I was so shocked by the mass of mangled flesh and scar tissue that I almost forgot my own wounds.
“But how are you alive?” I asked through my own burning pain.
“I survived the fire,” Alejandro said, pointing his blade at my throat. “I could have escaped and come back, but I allowed everyone to think I was dead so I could seek my revenge. Now, your bounty of jewels will help me.”
I shook my head in disbelief. “I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming. . .”
This week Mr. Chuck Wendig over at TERRIBLEMINDS challenged his readers to write a horror story IN THREE SENTENCES.
Sounded fun, so I provided my sacrificial offering, seen here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/10/12/flash-fiction-challenge-scary-story-in-three-sentences/comment-page-1/#comment-232508
Go and read the other entries, many are quite good. 🙂 Mine is under “Christopher Meyer”.
But I will also post it here:
John collapsed as the hand crushed his neck, the nails cutting deep into the skin, crimson droplets of blood trickling donward. He tried to scream, tried to call for help, but all the energy left his body at that moment as his soul was torn from his mortal form.
Releasing John’s empty corpse, the red-haired man that had attacked John smiled, relishing the rush of energy, a fresh freckle burned onto his pale face.
I don’t normally stray from my science fiction bubble when reading fiction. When I do it’s rare, and I only stray if something really catches my eye.
So when I came across WHITE HORSE by Alex Adams I was intrigued by the post-apocolyptic world she had crafted.
“The world has ended, but her journey has just begun.
Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the president of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are defined not by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.”
Our story begins with our heroine, Zoe, trekking through Italy, on her way to Greece. The majority of the world’s population has been killed by the mysterious “White Horse.” Those humans still alive live in squalor. Those affected by White Horse and still living are changed. Zoe has to fight her way through this world to reach her final destination: Greece.
Why Greece? Read the book, I’m not going to spoil that for you.
WHITE HORSE is an excellent read that draws you in further to this destroyed future. Each chapter is split between NOW – the post-apocolyptic world and Zoe’s quest to Greece – and THEN – before everything went to hell and during White Horse’s rampage across the world. As White Horse drowns the world in blood and sorrow you are witness to the very best and the very, very worst of humanity.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. So much, in fact, that my boss told me to put down my Kindle. I was drawn in by the struggles of Zoe and the friends she makes along the way as they try to stay alive and stay human throughout the whole book. Sometimes it’s hard. More than once Zoe is forced to make a choice between holding to her pre-apocolypse morals, or forget them and fall to the level of others.
It even has sci-fi in it! So that was some icing on the cake. 🙂 Alex Adams weaves the science fiction part very well into the story – just enough so it’s almost believeable that it could maybe happen.
The end is amazing. Quite a few well placed, Earth-shattering twists. The whole book Alex Adams builds the tension of Zoe getting to Greece. That’s another reason I had to keep reading. Throughout the book Zoe desperately needs to get to Greece. By the end of the book you’re rooting for her and hoping she will get to her destination and find whatever or whomever it is that she is looking for, and find out why. I got a little choked up at the end.
Just sayin’ . . . but don’t tell anyone that. Men don’t cry. Manly men. PROTEIN! and TESTOSTERONE!
I highly recommend WHITE HORSE. Get your copy today, here: http://www.amazon.com/White-Horse-ebook/dp/B005JSV1F6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1346349469&sr=1-1