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Half of last Friday’s Flash Fiction

October 26, 2012

10/20 Flash Fiction:

Requirements:
~1000 words

An Impossible Doorway

An Indestructible Tree–x

A Sudden Storm–x

An Ancient Curse–x

A Music Box–x

______________________________

The ravens squalled overhead as I approached the contorted redwood. I should have let Toby come with me, but the deaf hag was insistent that I go alone.

“What if you get lost or run into a bear?” Toby argued. His arm was broken and he’d sprained his ankle.

“I suppose I’d have to feed you to it!”

The hag’s eyes were focused on our mouths. She grew tired of our bickering and bellowed, “Walk until the tree stops getting closer. Then you must hold your breath, turn around, and walk backwards.”

She yelled these words to me three times and I was left confused.

The sun was setting and I didn’t want to be in this creepy forest any longer than I had to. I took one more look over my shoulder at the sunset and made a dead-sprint for the tree. The mess of mangled limbs got bigger and bigger. I could make it before the sun sinks! Then, it stopped. I kept running, but the tree seemed to get smaller. It looked even further away than when I started running.

I stopped. The sky was getting dark.  I took a deep breath, faced the last shreds of orange light, and walked backwards towards the tree. I closed my eyes; I was light headed and my lungs were starting to spasm. I couldn’t hold my breath much longer.

My foot caught something and I fell backwards. The sound of splintering wood bounced off the trees. I was glad to breathe again. I turned around to get my bearings. I had landed on what used to be a pretty, wooden box. I picked off the cracked lid and found a mechanical chameleon. I found a crank on the bottom and twisted. A clashing wail cried out from the box and the lizard tried to spin, but wouldn’t.

We’d gotten into this mess because of a broken music box; here I was, breaking another one! The first had appeared in my mom’s old room at my grandparent’s house. Mom had found an old music box with a salamander in it. She cranked it; the salamander danced and flashed a fiery red and yellow while a song in a haunting minor key spilled out. She reached out to touch the lizard. It caught her finger with its tongue and she vanished in a burst of flames. Ever since that night 3 months ago, I have been searching for her.

As I stood, a gust of wind threatened to push me back down. Icy bits of rain tried to poke through my cheeks. I drew my hood more tightly around my face and looked up at the tree. It was riddled with notches all around the trunk and here was a hollow about 10 feet up. The tree looked like it could fall apart any moment, but I would freeze in this weather. The wind screamed and the thunder pounded through the forest. I nestled the broken box in my hoodie pocket then climbed and slipped my way up into the hollow.

Lightning attacked the trees. The forest floor glowed and danced as flames took hold of anything they could eat. They began to work their way up my tree. I huddled back as far into the hollow as I could and covered my face.

“Once song and fire combine, all will be fine,” the damn hag was echoing in my head. I cried out and chucked the music box out of the tree. The box came to life playing the same minor melody that had played for my mom. Flaming lizards crawled out of the box and headed straight for my tree.

Please, please, please,”was all I could muster as smoke surrounded me. I don’t know who I was asking, but the smoke drifted away and everything began to cool.

__________
Ok, 100 words less than half, but I’m warming back up!

I will get the 1000 words required of this story! I’m just trying not to force the pieces together. Trying to find a way for these items to naturally fall in place. But I gotta go peek at the next one up!

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