Wow, stressful day for me on this end. I could have used some time. A lot of it.
But did you have fun with the prompt? Speaking of time, today’s judge, Pavarti K Tyler, @PavartiKTyler, got the results back to me as fast as I could hope for. Thanks again for being such a great judge and for the PRIZE you’re donating to today’s winner: choice of a bound copy of her story, Fragrant Taste of Rain, an itunes gift card, or a collection of awesome Pavarti Swag! Check her blog for more details.
And now, without further ado, our finalists:
Congrats all! Here are their entries, folks. So give a read, give a vote, give a sh…, I mean, ahem. Vote and send your friends, and then be back tomorrow morning at 9:00 to find out who WINS!
Sarah checked the clock above the front door. She paced around the living room. One more minute. He had one more minute. She started to chew at her fingernails. Her heart raced, she thought about what might happen if he was late, or didn’t show at all.
Suddenly her thoughts were interrupted when the doorbell rang. Her arm hair stood at attention. It couldn’t be him…
She slowly opened the door, it made a long loud creeking noise as she peered out into the night.
“I have your pizza ma’am, that will be $14.95.” The freckled faced teen said with a smile.
“God Damn it!” Sarah shouted “Thirty more seconds and this would have been free!”
Time stopped. Every clock read half past three, but the sun touched the horizon. Amanda sat in her chair, looking out the window at the sun set. She couldn’t bring herself to turn on the television or the radio. The blanket did nothing to warm her as she pulled it tighter around her.
“I warned you,” she said to the empty room.
Dreams came to her weeks ago. Dreams about this very day.
The names others called her still reverberated through her mind. Anger no longer welled within her at the thought.
Tears trickled down her cheeks, unwanted but unavoidable.
Time stopped, but only for the people in the world. The sun would still fall behind the earth and the world would still turn. Time would go on, but it had stopped for life.
All life but Amanda’s.
The cold metal of the barrel didn’t phase her. Neither did the ease with which she pulled back the hammer. She looked out at the horizon as she put the gun to her temple.
“I warned you. And I was left alone. If you had believed me, you could have been saved too.”
No one heard the sound of the gun going off. No one cared, for they were all gone before.
Time stopped. Every clock read three thirty one…
Time stopped again. People froze in their tracks; not even the wind stirred. A giant eye looked in at it all, nudged a few things. The people moved again, and he sat back. Maybe this time it would work….
He looked down at his watch. He was running out of time.
Pocketing the watch, he looked around the crowded London street and quickly found the place he was looking for. He dodged between the people and made it to one of the large red postal cylinders. He bumped against it as the crowd pushed against him. He grunted in pain. The package under his long coat pushed against his rib and inflamed the wound there.
Sweating, he pulled out the package and stuffed it into the mail pillar. He looked around again, but still didn’t see them. Quickly, he ran off, down the street.
Then he heard them. The screeching came first, followed by the flap of wings. He turned, and knew immediately that was a mistake. There were three of them, large, black, man like creatures with talons instead of fingers, leathery bat wings on their backs, and the most disturbing faces he had ever seen. They had no eyes, but a great, grinning mouth filled with an impossible number of sharp teeth.
No one else even reacted to them. No one else ever did. Until you became their pray, they were invisible. He turned to run, and checked his watch once more. He was hoping there was still time.
He hit the edge of the bridge running and flipped himself over the edge. A woman screamed, and people started crowding around him. No, this would not do.
“Get away!” he screamed, but no one listened.
And then he heard them screech. They were perched on a statue across the bridge, looking at him. Just looking at him. He smiled. He pulled out his watch. He had made it. The package would be delivered, and he had made it here in time.
He flipped his watch closed and let go of the railing.
“Time for a drink,” she purred in my ear. I wound my arm around her waist, pulling her back down onto my lap, but she shrugged me off and glided toward the refrigerator. When she opened the door, I sat up to get a better look at the light reflecting off her graceful curves – her dimpled chin, the grand arc of her breast, the slight swell of her toned stomach.
She turned to me and one eye glowed green, caught in the light it became a laser beaming into my heart. It burned.
“I have just the thing,” she said as she grabbed a murky green bottle with no label. Once the door shut we were plunged back into darkness. I felt her hand cool against my cheek, and even cooler the frosted glass against my lips. I sipped slowly, feeling the burning spread from my heart to my throat, then it was swirling through my head.
I gasped and coughed as the heat spread through my entire body, bathing me in fire. My heart raced as I struggled for a breath. I collapsed on the floor, convulsing, until I felt her hand stroking my back in slow circles and my body calmed but the heat remained.
She kissed my cheek once and then she was gone, but before she left, she reminded me, “A phoenix bathes in fire only to be reborn again.”
All my thoughts were consumed by fire. I begged for death, and it came for me. She promised rebirth, and she delivered on her promise. But I will never forget the fire.
It burned. Oh how it burned.