For my writing post this week, I bring to you my first ever flash fiction! Many thanks to Jay Dee for his writing prompt this week.
The rules to this prompt are pretty straightforward. Read the prompt, add my portion (less than 1,000 words), post on my blog, link to the original, then let Jay know when I finish. Easy, right? I actually had a ton of fun writing and figuring this out!
Now, I present to you my very first ‘What Will You Write?’ submission! (Bolded text is the prompt)
Ferd opened his eyes, his head throbbing. Scrambling up to his feet, he remembered the rock slide. That was no accident, he thought. Someone tried to kill us. Us. Where is Cassia? He couldn’t see through the dust, but she had to be there.
“Cassia!” he shouted.
“Ferd?” The faint voice came from the direction of the cliff. “Ferd! I can’t get up!”
Ferd edged his way to the precipice and looked down. Through the dust, he saw Cassia. She held onto a branch over the chasm. He reached for her, but she was too far away.
“Hold on, I’ll get something to pull you up!” Frantically, Ferd tried to think through his blinding headache. Packs. Where were their packs? Surely one of them had remembered to pack rope for this trip—hadn’t they?
As Ferd glanced around, his gaze fell on a large tree branch submerged in the rubble. He rushed over and tugged it free, blinking when he realized it was actually one of the small saplings from further up the mountain. Maybe he was being paranoid and the rock slide really had been just an accident. Who would want to destroy half the mountain just to kill a couple of teenagers?
After testing the wood to ensure its sturdiness, Ferd rushed back over to the ledge. “Here, grab on!”
Her face pale, Cassia nodded and adjusted her grip on her current branch. Strangely calm, she asked, “Are you sure that will hold me? Where are the packs?”
“I can’t tell in all this dust. You’ll be fine, it’s pretty hefty. Just hold on tight, and I can try to pull you closer to the cliff just in case.”
She nodded again and started to reach for the extended lifeline. Abruptly, her blue eyes widened in horror, and she shrieked, “Ferd! Look out!”
Whirling, he caught a glimpse of leathery black skin and glowing white eyes. Trolls?! They never ventured out into daylight. Why was there one here, now? Too late, he noticed the dagger as it flashed toward him. Ferd jerked; Cassia screamed.
Bright red blood welled between Ferd’s fingertips as he clutched his arm. The wound wouldn’t be fatal, but it would be almost impossible to pull Cassia up now. He stumbled away from the hulking shape of the troll, hoping to draw it away from the younger girl.
The soft crunch of gravel behind him made his heart sink further into despair. Turning, he saw another troll, its sharp teeth bared in a glistening snarl. He could barely make out a third shape through the dissipating dust, too tall to be human. There was no escape. He tried not to think of the horrific tales from the village that told of what happened to unwary travelers who visited the mountains in the dead of night. It would have been better if the rock slide had killed them.
Hopeless, he glanced at Cassia. He had failed her. Instead of listening to his instincts, he had let his guard down—now they were in worse trouble than before. No. They were going to die; there was no way to avoid it. The only choice they had left was how.
Reaching a decision, Ferd whispered, “I’m so sorry, Cass.”
Her eyes widened when he suddenly sprinted and leapt into the chasm—right at her. He managed to hook his good arm around the branch she held onto. Heard the expected snap as the wood gave way under their combined weight.
They fell together, Ferd scrambling in panic, wanting to hold her one last time, hoping in vain that he could somehow cushion her fall. He felt her grip on his tunic, and he yanked her close with a sob. This was all his fault. He should have never asked her to go with him on this journey. There were so many things he would never get to tell her, questions he’d never get to ask.
Dimly, he realized Cassia was whispering in a language he didn’t recognize. Incredulous, he felt their descent begin to slow. Impossible! Would nothing make sense today? Rock slides that traveled down half the mountain, trolls in daylight, now this? Had this whole episode been a test of some sort? Or had Cass somehow managed to do this? No, that would make her a …
As they floated along the canyon wall, Cassia looked up at him. Gasping, he noticed the unmistakable ring of gold that now shimmered in her eyes. “… sorceress!”