All right. This will be my last Halloween Horror October story for the season. I hope to do this again next year, or something like it. I’d very much like to thank everyone who took part by posting flash fictions or other Halloween related materials on their blogs. We truly had some awesome stories posted and some great discussion of movies and other horror related topics. Kudos to everyone, even if you just came and read the pieces.
Now, I hope I didn’t miss any links. But I plan to do a post in a few days that pulls together ALL the Halloween Horror links that I’ve posted previously. So, if I’ve missed anything you’d like me to include, let me know and I’ll get it into that post. After tomorrow night, however, I’m not going to be adding any new links for a bit. I need a short break.
The piece below is a variation on something I posted originally in response to a prompt on another person’s blog, in this case Bernita, who is soundly missed, by the way. I don’t believe most of you have seen it so it should be completely new to you. It’s been revised anyway. It’s called:
Sunlight fogs the clearing where the dying trees watch; nothing stirs. But the quiet will soon break. Riders are coming from north and south, and before them fly the ravens. They come in flocks, light spilling dark from flashing wings. Their cries rasp the sky. A wind moves with them.
The ancient oaks shiver as the black birds settle raucously in their branches. The ravens’ agate eyes spark with red as they turn their heads in the sun. The grass stirs now, whispering with gossip as the wind arrives. And there is a rumble in the distance that might be thunder but which the ravens know as the beat of iron-shod hooves.
Up the last hills toward the clearing the riders come, their thunder shaking the earth now, shaking the trees and stirring the birds into a frenzy. Light ripples off armor, off the heads of lances and the bright pennons that snap with eagerness.
The sky roars with sound, then falls nearly silent as the armies draw to a halt facing each other. In the trees, the ravens preside. And the charge comes, as the birds expect. Battle is joined. Carnage riots in the clearing.
First blood soaks the earth, moistens the dry soil. More crimson follows. Buckets of it. It’s what the dying oaks have waited for. It’s why they’ve been sending hate over the years into weak human minds, urging them toward war, urging them toward this moment and this place.
Quietly, the oaks begin to bloom. And in the trees’ awakening hunger, the ravens are the first to be devoured.
The first. But not the last.
--- the end ---
New Halloween Horror Links:
More Halloween Horror October Flash Stories, or Poetry
Barbara Martin, with her first: Halloween Flash
Lucas Pederson: The Creeper.
Sarah Hina: Run.
Laughingwolf (Adult Language Warning): taboo
Jason Evans: The Forgotten Ones
Vesper: On a Halloween Night
Billy Hammett: It Is a Fearful Thing
Halloween inspired art:
Check out Steve Malley’s killer Halloween art here.
Jack Bertram: Frankenstein versus Hercules
From Scott’s blog: David Hartman