Flash Fiction Friday- Mountain

We took a small break with the holiday, but we’re back with some flashes for you. I think you’re going to enjoy these! This week I am stepping back and letting you read these fabulous authors!

 

FLASH 1 Author Brieanna Robertson

Kash stepped out onto the front porch to see that she was already awake. Against the backdrop of the

morning fog rolling across the lush green countryside, she sat on the railing, a cup of coffee in hand,

one leg dangling lazily. She looked harmless in this setting, quaint almost—quiet. Her blonde hair hung

in tangled waves down her shoulders, and the denim button-down shirt she wore was about a size too

large for her slender frame. She glanced over at him when she heard the screen door shut, and she

smiled.

 

Kash wasn’t fooled for one second by that smile. So innocent and dazzling white. He’d been transfixed

by it at first too. No one would ever believe looking at her right now that three weeks ago he had

stood stunned, shocked into silence, while she tramped out onto the very same porch they were now

occupying, shotgun in hand. In her form-fitting wedding dress, she had propped her booted foot up onto

the railing, golden hair flowing down her back like the mane of a wild lioness. She raised the shotgun to

her shoulder, took aim, and with a shot that a sniper would be envious of, had blown the back of her

husband-to-be’s truck full of buckshot. After reloading a few times, she managed to take out all of his

tires as well.

 

Apparently, that’s what went down when a woman like Branson found out her fiancé was sleeping with

her sister the day of the wedding. Kash was just glad he was still on her good side.

 

“Well, good morning, handsome!” she greeted cheerfully.

 

Kash smirked and went to stand next to her with his own cup of coffee. He took a breath of the

fresh morning air and sighed in contentment. Peace stole into his heart. “For as much chaos as I’ve

encountered since arriving here, I have to say, there is something magical about this place,” he said.

 

She snorted. “Chaos? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The last part of her statement was

muffled due to her stuffing her lips onto the rim of her coffee cup and taking a sip.

 

He chuckled and leaned a hip against the railing. “I wandered quite a while before ending up at this

place,” he continued. “I’ve always been so always so restless. I’m not here.” He let his gaze travel off

across the vast wilderness beyond the house.

 

“It’s because I’m awesome,” Branson stated, her voice lighthearted and teasing. He glanced down at

her, and she grinned while she took another drink of coffee.

 

“Awesomely scary,” he muttered teasingly.

 

She burst out laughing, almost knocking herself off the railing. She slung her legs over the side and

planted both her feet on the ground to steady herself while she wiped her mouth free of the coffee

she had spit. When she got herself under control, she sighed. “Yeah, well, story of my life. That’s what

happens when you’re raised with six brothers.” Her usual jovial disposition sobered suddenly and a faint

frown furrowed her brow. “Well, unless you’re my sister. Apparently, being raised in our family just

made her a whore.”

 

Kash’s heart went out to Branson. He couldn’t imagine what it must feel like to have to deal with that

kind of betrayal. He shook his head and made an irritated noise in his throat. She looked at him in

confusion, probably thinking his disgust was directed at her. “She did what she did out of jealousy.”

 

She frowned. “What could she possibly have been jealous of?”

 

He smiled softly at her and held her gaze for a few seconds. “What isn’t there to be jealous of?”

Surprise blossomed across her face, followed by a faint pink tinge to her cheeks. She stared at him for a

moment, then stood and smacked him playfully in the chest before heading back inside.

Kash grinned to himself, and thought back on the strange journey that had brought him to this mountain

with this crazy cowgirl…

FLASH #2 Author Michele Corneglio

It was nearly time for our walk in the community when the dog realizes someone is walking in my backyard. this is a problem since I am the only human member of my family at home and we keep the gate locked.
I slowly walk to the back window and try to see who it is rummaging around my tomato plant.
“Hey Andrea!” I shout through the screened window. I could tell by the body shape and by the A-1 security ball cap it was our local security zealot. She popped her head up in my direction.
“Oh, hey Mag,” she responds with surprise. I am guessing she thought I’d be around the corner on my walk by now. too bad for her, Kat and I had decided to vary the times of our walks because we felt we were too predictable.
“May I help you?”
“Oh… uh… yeah. Yes. yes, you can help me, rather I can help you. as you can see I was able to get into your yard without detection or deterrence. you need to install a perimeter detection system. If I can get in, anyone can get in.”
“Andrea, we have motion sensor lights to deter criminals when it is dark. I did detect you in my yard, probably a minute after you hopped the corner post. if you wanted some vine ripe tomatoes, all you had to do was ask. don’t you think you’re taking this security thing a bit too far? Making a mountain out of this ant hill, I think.” By this time I had walked out to Andrea with a small bag of tomatoes I had harvested the day before. “Here you go. No tomato shopping for a week. Let me walk you to our locked security gate and let you out.”
Andrea stood there a bit shocked. I’m not going to bust her for trespassing. I know she has my best interests at heart, even if I don’t agree with her. I’m going to be neighborly and politely show her the door.
“If you want, come over next week.” I opened the gate for her. “I think I’ll have a couple bell peppers for you,” I said as I nudge her shocked body through the walkway. “Thanks for stopping by!” I lock the gate behind her.
I walk into the house, begin to collect my thoughts and the door bell rings. With a heavy sigh, I check the peep hole.
“Hey. come on in. I’m almost ready,” I say with zero excitement. it is Kat. I know I’m late for our walk, but I just don’t want to go now.
“Was that Andrea I just saw? where’s her car? Did she walk? What did she want?”
“Yes. I don’t know. probably. to instill fear in the hearts of dog moms around the community.” I was shuffling papers on the counter not focusing on the conversation.
“She has a point you know. we do need more security around here.” This is another point Kat and I disagree on. I believe in personal responsibility. it is my job to take care of my house and if I want to deter people from breaking in, that’s my job to do. Andrea wants a full blown lock down of the Community.
 “I am not for a security guard at the front of the community. I don’t think making this a gated community will raise my property values like Andrea reports. I don’t know how much of a deterrent a security vehicle is driving around the community when we live on public streets.”
“I know we disagree on this, Magda, but she’s only trying to protect your family.”
“Then she should have knocked on the front door instead of hopping my fence and looking for food!” I slammed the papers down on the counter. “I have security lights. we keep our gate and doors locked. we have a dog with excellent hearing and notices the slightest change in her environment. I think we are covered!” I am so frustrated by others that tell me what I should do in my own home.
“Kat, I think I would like to be alone for a while. let’s walk extra time tomorrow to make up for today.”
“Mag, I think you’re blowing this out of proportion. Let’s get some fresh air. Come on.” She motioned to the front door.
“No. Thanks.” I forced a smile. “I’m going to clean up this mess on the counter and investigate what damage Andrea caused by hopping the fence near my squash plants. We will catch up tomorrow.” I push Katrina out the front door like I did Andrea out the gate. lock the door and begin thinking:
Is Andrea a zealot or does she have a point?

FLASH #3 Kelly Abell

He knew better. He’d hiked this mountain a million times. He’d hunted and trapped here

with his father, fished and rock climbed with his brothers, and spent many a night under the vast

universe of stars. This time, though, was different. This time might be the last.

 

Glancing down at the offending bone protruding through his shin, he was reminded of

just how stupid he was. Bright spots of pain swirled before his eyes, and he struggled to stay

conscious. Years of military training gave John the discipline he needed for mind over body,

but he struggled with it. It would be so easy to just surrender to the pain and go into that blessed

darkness.

 

“Damn it!” He cursed at no one but the trees, and maybe a rabbit or two. His phone lay in

about a hundred pieces next to where he’d fallen. He smacked his fist on a nearby rock. “John,

you’re an idiot.”

 

If he hadn’t been so angry with them, he would have planned better. The only thing he’d

grabbed, besides his phone, was his ever ready back pack which contained enough food and

water for three days, a change of clothes, and his pistol. Would Carol or Rick send someone to

search for him in that time? He couldn’t bet on it. If he planned to survive, he needed to reach the

ranger’s station he passed about two miles back before dark. He glanced at his watch. That gave

him about three hours.

 

Rumors of a mountain lion were circulating through town. A few local farmers had lost

some cattle to the big cat, and local hunters and trappers hadn’t been able to track the illusive

creature. He’d only seen a cougar in the wild once, and that had been enough. John respected

the awesome God-given power of those creatures. If this one was hunting cattle, then something

was wrong. Cougars didn’t come that close to people unless they were starving or rabid. Even

with the ski resort that went up about two years ago, John knew there was still plenty of food in

this wilderness to keep a big cat happy. The last thing he needed was to cross the path of a crazy

cougar.

 

With tremendous effort, he hauled his body closer to a sturdy young pine. He snapped off

three sturdy branches. Removing his shirt, he mustered the strength to rip it into strips and tie

the branches to each side of his leg. The mere thought of standing caused a wave of nausea.

With shear willpower, John fought it. Rolling first to one knee, he used the third stick to hold

his balance while he hopped to one foot. His other hand braced against the tree as black spots

swirled in front of his eyes. John hooked his arm around the crook of the pine, to stay upright if

he fainted. He closed his eyes and focused, managing to hold the darkness at bay.

 

John knew if he could just make it to the ranger’s station, he could make use of the radio and

call for help. He’d have shelter and a place he could safely stay the night. But that two mile hike

might as well be fifty. He glanced back at the busted cell phone and cursed again.

Seeing Carol with his best friend, Rick, had hurt John beyond belief. That pain now swirled

with the agony of the leg. How could they do that to him? He’d never find out if he didn’t make

it back.

 

He never heard the big cat approach. A low rumble in its throat was all that alerted John to

its presence. Slowly, he glanced over his shoulder at the angry mountain lion blocking his way to

the trail. It was over. He’d never reach his gun before the cat sprung. He watched in horror as the

animal’s haunches bunched.

 

It sprung to the simultaneous crack of a rifle. The gigantic animal fell dead at John’s feet. He

lost his grip on the pine, and as the pain and relief claimed him, he caught sight of Rick, his best

friend. Good. When he came to, he could kill the cheating bastard.

Flash #4 Author Joann Buchanan

 It’s an excerpt from After Dark, book 3 Children of Nox series, available in three months.

Fire burns the ice frozen by time.  Embers made of passions flames have become the death that needs covered in the dirt from whence we came.  There are truths hidden in the darkness. They lay dormant, waiting for that single beam of light to shine on them. They are the freedoms we all long for and the balance we all seek and yet they are nevermore and almost lovers. They are the two sided coin of the bastard free will, the brother of that temptress called love.  If that poisonous spell called love danced across the meadows, I would spit on it and walk away.  I would be ignorant to the pain of endless nights and no longer would I live with a shadow over my head. Did I love him? I did and that is the shame I must endure.

The abomination I allowed to be set upon the world haunts me and now the Time of Three is here. I should have let love fall, crash to the ground and burn in the fires of my beating heart. I gave way for the abomination. I lit the flames and now I must watch and wait to see if the world will fall to darkness because of my own transgressions. If there ever was a curse for the gardens that grow in this the beating hearts of mine then it would be sewn with the weeds of regret. It would be the absence of joy and the single loneliness I must cling to in order for sanity to rein in my soul. 

I have walked the world with the hope that each night that fallacy I called my lover and husband wouldn’t be set free from the cages that surrounded him. Oh wondrous night and fate filled light, how do you greet me?  Is it with more pain or do you perhaps bring me sanctuary from the darkness of my own making?

The deep wooded forests surround the one place of joy I found during my eternal night. I have no children, death and sleep are not my friends. My arms may be empty but my heart is true and loyal to my wolves. And there, upon the mountains sit the Fates who have watched and woven the tapestries. The three of them signal that now is the time and that sweet silence is no longer an option. In this, the Time of Three, the fate of the souls will be decided. The Dream Protector, the Stained one and now the Child of Light is to be born. Will they have the same fate as my dear sweet Lillyanna?

I can still remember the way her tiny hand felt when it wrapped around my fingers. There was goodness and innocence in her. She was my light, my soul, killed in a rage by the demon Ash. And now, the regret I called my lover is free to do as he wills. That BASTARD! I know what he seeks. Am I powerless to do nothing about it? Am I not the goddess of the night? Do I not see in the darkest corners of all the universe? How then is it possible that in this time I am helpless? I know I have missed something. I feel it in the night’s bitter air. There is a piece of the puzzle that remains hidden. If I didn’t, then how could his heart have turned so cold to the embers of our love?

I sob as tears stream down my face. I know the decemberist of days are still ahead. I see the threads and long to pull just one to unravel the past and change the present. Damn the Fates for guarding the tapestries so well. If I designed my own fate, then did I also map out the fates of those I have grown to love so much?

 ~~Nox, Goddess of the Night.

 

See how the epic adventure began. I Am Wolf is available on amazon.com at

http://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Wolf-Children-Nox-ebook/dp/B00LGZ3HJY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr&qid

 

My website, http://joannhbuchanan.blogspot.com/

FF Challenge 3

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