In thinking more about the primary topic of my last post, an idea for a flash piece occurred to me. And so, I give you “Isolation.”
Stay tuned after the story for another new Halloween Horror link. I'm expecting some more tomorrow and will add them to this post then.
In last minute news, before this post, I just got an email accepting a short story of mine called "Dragon Lost." I'll write more about that at a future time.
The snow falls straight down. Like cold feathers at first. Then in heavy clumps like frozen rags. You stumble to your knees. But you’re up again swiftly. To stop moving is deadly. Not that you’ll freeze. That death would be almost welcome compared to the horror you fear. You can’t even name the horror. Not clearly. But it follows you. It follows.
You stagger forward, through the first swirling winds of what threatens to become a blizzard. Wind will cover your tracks, you think. It would be such a gift. But you doubt it’ll happen fast enough to save you.
The snow thickens. You start to sweat. You remember reading how dangerous that is in the cold. The sweat will freeze on you, chill you to death. But you dare not slow. The followers are coming. You hear them, you think. Though you hope it’s only the wind’s shrill shriek.
Then the world knocks you down. You don’t see well anyway without your glasses and in the snow you run head on into a cliff. Suddenly you’re flat on your back with wet white piling on you. Your face throbs. You taste salt at your lips, know that it must be blood.
Somehow you climb to your feet. Your hands find the cliff’s face. You realize it isn’t a cliff at all. It’s a wall. It towers too high to climb over so you begin to feel your way along it, knowing there’s no time to retrace your steps.
A sound stops you, freezes your blood more than the cold surroundings. You turn. Your followers are there, mere silhouettes through the blitz of snow. You back away—until your shoulders press against the wall and there is nowhere left to go.
The followers close in, bulking around you, cutting you off from any escape. You want to cry out for mercy. You would beg in an instant if you thought it would save you. But their soul-less eyes tell you it won’t.
One follower offers something to you in a bulky paw. Though terrified, you scoot slowly forward. The paw resolves itself. It’s wearing a mitten. Your glasses dangle from the digits. You reach for them, knowing what will happen. The glasses are released just as you touch them, drop and disappear in the snow. You feel the sting of tears and fight them back.
From somewhere a bell rings. It’s too late. Nothing can end the game just yet.
The other children laugh as they push you hard against the wall, and you hear the crunch as someone stomps your glasses. You do begin to cry now, even though you know it’ll make things worse. They love the tears, and they don’t care that recess is over. They only care that you’re different, and alone with them. Alone. Isolated.
--- the end ---
Halloween Horror Links:
Three more from Laughingwolf:
1. Polterguest by Laughingwolf.
2. Dawn Coyote
freaky flash IX, night, a recent one. I'll add this one to links in my next post as well.
One from SQT
Election Day by SQT. OK, now this one is almost too horrific to contemplate.