Wshew. This week really kicked my tail. But it was totally worth it to read what you all came up with. Fabulous. Amazing. I’m just happy you let me hang out with you.
But there can only be one winner and that starts with five finalists. This week, poor Tauisha Smith, @shells2003 got stuck with the near-impossible job of picking only five to advance on.
But, she plowed ahead and did what she had to do and here are her picks in no particular order:
And here are their entries. I know you’ll enjoy them. Read, and then vote in the poll on the right. Then come back at 9:30 to see who WINS!
The strangest things etch into your memory. The smell of burnt plastic, slick oily residue of smoke, the rafters turned to crazed charcoal reaching through the wreckage like grasping fingers.
All that remained of my life. All that remained of my home.
Somewhere in the crowd they waited for me; wife and child smudged dark as coal miners. But I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the smoldering pile of ruin. How had it started? I knew they’d tell us tomorrow, tell the insurance inspectors, searching for signs of foul play.
Didn’t they know I would’ve rather died than harm that house?
Reduced to detritus now there used to be a century of memories absorbed into those walls. My greatgrandfather’s chisel marks long erased from the beams by fire, my grandfather’s, mother’s, and daughter’s lines on the kitchen doorway, the path of their growth from child to adult, gone.
I wouldn’t get to watch those marks climb as Serena grew up. Wouldn’t get to mark my grandchildren.
Would never hand on the legacy of my family.
All of it lost. Reduced to blackness on a black night in the middle of winter. A night, that night, I knew I would never forget.
“They’re like…” Klara paused. There was no fricken way she was seeing this right.
The man, creature- whatever, gave that tight lipped smile he’d been giving her since he walked in the restaurant. His large hands stayed perfectly still on his side of the table, as though he sensed one wrong move would send her sprinting out the door.
At this point if he took a deep breath she was going to bolt.
“What is it, Klara?” His voice, god that voice. It was deep, warm, a velvet blanket wrapping around her mind.
“You eyes. They’re so dark.” She fidgeted with her wine glass to escape the sharp look in his eyes. “Like coal.”
The man gave a chuckle. “It is a family trait. I could change them if would please you.”
Klara’s head snapped up. His eyes swirled, a whirlpool of jade and onyx. She watched as the green took place of the black and was not at all eased. As a matter of fact, her heart was already jumping out of her chest and taking that tempting run out the door and into the safe embrace of the night.
“I… uh, tell my mother I appreciate this date and all, but I can’t do this.” She stood so quickly her chair fell back. The loud crack of it’s fall drew eyes their way.
“As you wish, my lady.”
The last thing Klara saw was a set of coal black eyes boring into hers. Then the darkness in them swallowed her whole.
Don’t dig too deep
It was in a coal mine it first appeared. The greed of man, digging ever deeper, destroying the Earth. Who knew what they would find when they got down there. With their technology, mighty machines that could rip the planet apart without thought to the consequences .
It had lain dormant, asleep for countless centuries, so long all memory of it had long been forgotten, erased. Sometimes things should not be forgotten.
The old gods are long dead, killed by science and progress, but they had power
the only power to fight what was about to be unleashed upon the world. It was they who had imprisoned it deep in the bowels of the Earth in the first place. But now the prison is unlocked, and an awesome evil stretches and rises from slumber.
What to do? There are no ancient guardians left to fight it, no power exists to contain it, no hero will defeat it. Run, hide. it does not matter, it is coming…coming for us all.
The fire burned behind the grate, but the flames danced in her coal coloured eyes. She wrapped her arms around her knees, her grip tight, as if she were holding herself together. In the quiet of the night, she cocked her head, listening for another wounded soul. They travelled alone, and yet, there was a pack of them. Her mittens kept her fingers from freezing off, her scarf protected her throat, but nothing could protect her heart. It had withered a long time ago.
Extinguished was her faith in humanity.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, before the scars marred her once ivory skin, she wanted to be a ballerina. Now the only dance she steps to is the waltz of life, trying to stay alive. Rats like her never made it far. But she had a secret to her success, her poisonous bite. Others move in to steal the warmth and she bares her teeth, ready to attack.
Her matches. Her lighter fluid. Her fire. Simple math, but the people are desperate and they beg her. She shakes her head and they scurry away, if they had tails they would be between their legs. They are afraid of her. They’ve seen her rip peoples’ faces off for using her bar of soap. They’ve watched her stomp someone to death over a breath mint.
At one point in time, she remembered wearing dresses and laughing. She ran a hand over her cheek and wondered if her face was capable of such emotions anymore. For many years, she waited for help, but no one arrived. Her hand remained outstretched as people passed her by, until she realized no one cared.
The realization of being alone had walloped her upside the head, but now she wore it proudly, like an invisible cloak. It protected her from being hurt. A screeching sound hurt her ears; she glanced back over her shoulder. On her knees, an elderly woman is begging for someone to help her.
Lexi snorts. “What makes you think you deserve help?”
The old woman’s face is horrified by her question.
“I don’t,” the woman wailed.
“That’s right,” Lexi said. “None of us do.”
His eyes were coal, shedding their darkness over his naked body. His hair oozed across his scalp like tar. His lips were two pieces of charcoal carved into a smirk. He drifted down the sidewalk towards me as I cowered in the corner.
“Leave me alone,” I whispered, hoping to stop him from touching me.
“Give me your hand,” he said. With each word, his voice sent violent shivers down my legs. I clamped my hands around my purse, containing the only item keeping him away from me.
I reached into my bag and removed the locket. I fumbled with the clasp, and in my hasty attempt to unlock it, the necklace broke. I wrapped the gold chain around my neck like a scarf, and repeated his name like a prayer.
When I looked up, he was gone.