Two nights ago, I was on twitter with nothing to do. Still no ms to revise/edit and not really in the mood to work on my WIP. As I sat there scrolling through tweets, I landed on one of my favorite authors Leah Clifford's tweets. She was doing a 1000 words or less writing prompt flash fiction. I saw the picture she posted and immediately got an idea. Below you will find that picture and said idea and I hope you enjoy it!
After doing the first one, I decided to try another after staring at the writing prompt for a while. Suddenly, like a rose blooming in the moonlight, an idea came to mind. In a few days I might post that one too. Either way, I found something out about myself by doing these...I'm a dark YA author. Not like super dark. But I'm not the warm, fluffy, hug your kitty, life's a rainbow kinda girl. I've come to terms with this and my teen readers seem to root this on. So, I think I'm golden! LOL!
Any way, here's my flash fiction. I had a title, but I don't think it's that great so it's gone. I hope you enjoy! Happy writing everybody!!
Leslie Higgins loved running through the freshly fallen leaves just to hear their crunch under her feet as the cool autumn air danced through her strawberry hair. Her laugh was melodic and became louder with every step she took. When she was a child, it was her favorite thing to do. Now that she was sixteen, it had become something that kept her alive.
“Leslie! Don't run so fast!” Her mother's raspy voice echoed in her mind and rang in ears as her sneakers crunched through another pile of golden foliage. Tears stung her eyes, beckoning to fall. Leslie refused to set them free. If she wanted to survive, she had to stay strong. After all, wasn't that what Karl had taught her?
Faster and faster she ran. The leaves' crunching sound became music to her ears as her laughter gave out to puffing as she tried to pull in enough air to keep breathing. A right at the old oak tree meant she was almost back to the compound and Karl's next round of training. Another step and Leslie found herself flying through the air. She landed with a thud on a patch of leaf free dirt. Rising up and dusting herself off, she looked to see what she had tripped on so she could curse it for being there.
Her steel gray eyes widened as she slowly got back to her feet. They never left the pale flesh that was sticking out from the forest’s autumn quilt. She fought the scream that was fighting its way from her throat. Karl had taught her long ago that kind of emotion would only make her the next target.
She crept closer while keeping herself aware of everything around her. A snapping twig made her flinch just as she was about to reach the lifeless body.
“I'd say she's been here for at least three days,” Karl's said as his booming voice echoed in the morning silence.
Dusting off her hunter green tee, Leslie turned her focus on him. “Where did you come from?” She hated how Karl was always able to appear out of nowhere and she could do nothing to stop him. She followed his gaze back to the dead girl's lifeless legs that arched out of the leafy blanket. “So, what do we do?”
Grabbing her by the arm, he said, “Run.”
Pacing around Karl's office inside the compound, Leslie asked, “What the hell was that about, Karl?”
“I brought you here to keep you alive. Finding that girl means he's close.” Karl was only nineteen, but his years inside the compound made him look like he was thirty. He walked over and took her face in his hands. “Les,” he sighed, “I don't want—you to worry about that. I'll take care of it.” He let her go and started to walk away.
Leslie caught him by his arm and with a roll of her shoulders, sent him sprawling on to his back. She sat on his chest with a smile planted on her face. “Whoever this guy is, Karl—I think I can handle him.”
She jumped off him and began to walk out when she found herself locked in Karl's strong embrace. Her eyes fluttered shut as his lips came close to hers. When they never met, she opened them to find herself alone. “Damn him.”
A few days passed and Leslie found herself the object of frightened stares. No one came near her. Not even the small children that usually loved her company. Karl had said that her finding the body freaked them out, but they'd get over it. As she watched them shuffle away from her, she wasn't so sure.
As she went on her morning run, Leslie found she wasn't alone. Darting her gray eyes around, she knew it was time. He's here. She quickened her pace while keeping herself guarded. Karl had prepared her for this. Leslie just hoped she was ready.
Her usual turn was coming up. This time however, she went left instead of right. If he was after her, then she wasn't going to lead him to the compound. The wind tugged at her tresses as she cut through the forest like a deer fleeing a hunter.
Soon, she found a hand clasped over her mouth as she was being pulled inside a hidden hollow tree. Karl's blue eyes filled with tears as he cupped her face in his hands. “Shhhh, Les.”
“He's following me.”
Karl shook his head making his long sandy hair dance like the leaves on the trees. “No he's not.”
Leslie frowned. “Then it was you following me?”
He shook his head again. His thumb traced along her cheek. “It's my fault. I didn't want to lose you.”
She searched his eyes for an answer. “What are you talking about?”
He leaned forward and lightly pressed his lips to hers. Pulling away, he took her hand and led her to the girl still lying dead in the forest. “It's all been a lie.”
Leslie's gaze fell where his was and watched as the leaves parted to reveal the hidden truth. She gasped as she met her own lifeless eyes.
“I loved watching you run. You were so free.”
“What is going on, Karl? Tell me!” She backed away from him.
Tears sprang free from his eyes. “You fell. I was supposed to make you return to your body, but—I,” he walked to her and cupped her face in his hands, “I fell for you, Les.”
“What are you?”
“Is this a dream?”
He shook his head.
“If you loved me, you'd let me live.”
Karl closed his eyes and brought her lips to his.
Freeing herself from the leafy prison, Leslie felt the October air filling her lungs with life. As she rose to her feet, she felt the light touch of Karl's lips on hers as he whispered, “I love you.”
Realizing he'd returned her, she whispered, “Me too, Karl.”