Flash Fiction Friday Number 5: Jungleworld

It’s your favorite time of the week again. And not just because it’s almost the weekend. It’s also Flash Fiction Friday. Your weekly snippet of fiction from yours truly. I hope you’ve been looking forward to it all week. I know I have.

I like to call this one;

Jungleworld

He felt like the plants were watching him. They way they seemed to turn as he passed them gave him an uneasy feeling. The wind rustling their leaves sounded almost like some strange language he couldn’t possibly understand. Yet at the same time, it seemed they were whispering to him as much as to each other.

Up ahead, the path he was following through the thick jungle was coming to an end. Did he dare attempt to bushwhack through this strange foliage? Just when he thought he was going to have to make his own path whether he wanted to or not, the wind shifted and the path opened before him. To his exhausted brain, it looked almost as if the plants moved aside to let him through.

He had been flying past the planet scanning for signs of life. While there was plenty of plant life, he could find nothing with a heartbeat. He’d just marked the planet as possibly viable for colonization when he noticed an anomaly. While the planet was almost completely covered with vegetation, he’d spotted a barren patch roughly two square miles wide. Normally, this wouldn’t have bothered him, but from his vantage point, it appeared to be littered with dozens, maybe even hundreds of wrecked spacecraft. He’d just begun to make a note of it in his book when something struck his ship.

When he woke up, his ship was just another wreck in the graveyard. He was grateful that the abundance of plant life produced breathable air because the visor on his helmet was shattered. Luckily, other than for a few small scratches on his face from the broken plexiglass, he seemed to be uninjured.

He knew the smart thing to do would be to stay with his ship, but he felt an overwhelming compulsion to explore the jungle. Besides, all the strange wrecked vessels creeped him out. At least he hadn’t seen any remains of their pilots. Maybe rescue wasn’t out of the question.

It seemed he’d been walking for days. All he wanted to do was find a soft spot to stop and take a nap. Still, something told him he had to keep moving. That was the important thing. Just put one foot in front of the other and hope the plants would keep letting him pass. A vine reached out to him and wrapped around his wrist. He barely noticed as he kept moving through the thick foliage. The path before him shifted this way and that, as if the plants themselves were guiding him somewhere.

He found himself in a large clearing with a massive purple flower standing in the very center. The flower’s petals looked like purple velvet blankets surrounding a pillow of gold. He couldn’t see a path exiting the clearing. He turned around to go back the way he’d come, but that path had closed to him as well. The vines whipped back and forth almost menacingly. The air was suddenly thick with the sweet scent of the flower.

He felt a calm wash over him as he breathed in the perfume and felt silly for seeing the vines as menacing just a moment before.

I’m clearly exhausted, he thought to himself. I just need a little nap.

Without another thought, he climbed onto the humongous purple flower. The center of the flower was every bit as soft as it had looked. He laughed as puffs of pollen jetted into the air with his every movement. As he drifted off, he realized he could understand the whispering of the plants after all. It was just that there were so many voices, he could only understand them now that they were all saying the same thing.

“Join us.” The voices chanted in unison.

Soon he was slumbering deeply. He never even felt the petals enfold him as they began to digest his body.

.     .     .

Well. That turned out darker than I’d intended. I don’t know why so much of what I post here has such a dark ending. I honestly don’t plan these things. I just sit down and start writing whatever comes into my head. Maybe I need therapy.

Anyway, that’s it for this week.

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Don’t forget, I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Monday’s are a rundown of what I’m reading. Wednesday’s are my general writing blog, and of course, there’s Flash Fiction Friday.

Flash Fiction Friday Number 4: Reymir’s Savior

Welcome to another Flash Fiction Friday. On a Saturday. Apologies. The time got away from me yesterday. So since we’re already running late, let’s get into it. Shall we?

What I have for you today is actually a prequel to my Children Of Pyrelia series. So far, Bloodmoon is the only published part, but it will soon be followed by Daughters of the Flame.

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Reymir’s Savior

Reymir wandered down the dirt road that ran through his village, dwelling on his misfortunes. There were almost too many to count. He had always been the fat kid. Other kids made fun of him mercilessly. Girls were out of the question. His father was an abusive addict, but nevertheless was a village elder, so nobody would speak out against him. And then there was Bearok.

“Hey fat boy. Do you have to take up the whole road?” A voice came from behind him.

“What?” He said, turning around. He had been so engrossed in his myriad miseries that the surprise of being torn from them made it come out sounding more angry than he had intended. As if summoned by Reymir’s mere thoughts, he found himself face to face with Bearok, his constant tormentor.

Bearok’s face registered surprise for a flash of a moment before returning to his default sneer as Reymir cowered before him.

“I said you’re in my way, fat ass.” Bearok said, pushing him to the ground.

Reymir curled into a ball on the ground, covering his head in anticipation of the beating to come. His years of experience with his father’s temper had trained him for this. He squeezed his eyes shut and prayed for his mother to come and rescue him. An odd thing for him to do since she had died giving birth to him. His father had implied on numerous occasions that it was his size, even then,  that had killed her.

Reymir waited for the first punch to land, but it never did. He felt a hand on his shoulder and flinched. The hand didn’t hurt. It gently squeezed his shoulder. He cautiously opened his eye, just in case it was some sort of trick.

It wasn’t Bearok at all. It was Terek, the son of the chieftain. He extended a hand to help Reymir up from the dirt. Reymir looked around and saw Bearok standing a few feet away, holding his nose and hate burning in his eyes. As Reymir watched, blood began to seep between his fingers.

Bearok mumbled something unintelligible but clearly threatening before running away. Terek helped Reymir to his feet.

“You okay?” Terek asked, genuine concern on his face.

“Yeah. He just pushed me.”

“Well if he ever touches you again, come get me. I’ll handle him.”

Reymir nodded and immediately made himself a promise. If Terek were ever in trouble, he’d make sure he was nearby to help. He owed his savior that much.

.     .     .

And that’s it. I wrote this story in part to satisfy a friend who wanted a little more backstory on Terek and Reymir. I hope you enjoyed it. As I said earlier, part two in the series is coming soon.

I’ll see you on Monday with an update on what I’m reading.

As always, be sure to stalk me online. Also, I hate to beg, but I’m really trying to reach 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, so please check it out and, if you like what you see, subscribe.

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Flash Fiction Friday Number 3: Excerpt from Shadows Of Influence

Happy Flash Fiction Friday.

In honor of the fact that it’s St. Paddy’s day, I’ve decided that it’s your lucky day. Today I’m going to change things up a bit and share a short, but pivotal scene from my work in progress;

Shadows of Influence

Stephanie felt the gel slipping from her face and she opened her eyes. This time there was no disorientation. She knew exactly where she was. She had just completed her test.

The past few days had just been part of the simulation. All the pain, the abject terror, the heartbreak, had been a lie. She should have felt anger, but she was too exhausted for that. Her muscles felt like jelly, but she willed herself not to fall.

Christopher looked at her impassively as he waited his turn. She craned her neck to see the large screen above the machine as it  printed out the words “Stephanie Williams: CLASSIFIED!”.

All lethargy left her  body as she began to panic. She had heard what happened to people  whose results came back as classified. They disappeared, never to be  seen again. She tried to bolt, but the guards were already there to  catch her and haul her toward the doors.

They didn’t take her through the large double doors. Instead, at the last second, they veered left. One of the guards placed his hand against the wall and a small, hidden door opened.  As they dragged her through it, she tried to struggle free, but one of  the guards pressed a small metal object against her neck and then everything went black.

 

Want to know what happens next? You’ll just have to wait and see. With any luck, the book should be out later this year.

I’ll see you on Monday with an update on what I’m reading.

As always, be sure to stalk me online. Also, I hate to beg, but I’m really trying to reach 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, so please check it out and, if you like what you see, subscribe.

www.justinmkelly.com

Check me out on Facebook

On Twitter @JustinMKelly1

My Amazon page, in case you want to read more

And on Goodreads

And on YouTube

I also post a copy of this blog on Tumblr