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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 12

Eva looked out the window of the house, staring at the glowing back orb that had seemingly replaced the sun. Her father had passed it off as some kind of eclipse but Eva still had that feeling that something was wrong, really wrong. Just outside the window you could see the huge BBQ pit that the ranch hands had dug for the cookout they always had whenever the cattle came home. With the somber pallor that hung over the ranch from the death of young Evan and the dark oppression that covered the sky, those plans had been scrapped.

After Evan had passed, they had wrapped him in a sheet and he still lay on the couch in the drawing room, a rider having been dispatched to town for the Undertaker. Even though the cookout was canceled, they still had prepared a huge meal. The ranch hands would eat theirs in the bunkhouse but those closest to the family would eat in the dining room. Eva had finished dressing, her hair freshly washed and pulled back, and continued to stare at the dead sun, waiting until she interrupted by the call of lunch.

Eva walked into the dining room, feeling the pallor over the whole table. Caleb was seated at the head, with Rex on his right side and Bartley next to him. Her spot was vacant on her father's left side. There was an empty seat next to her, though at the far end of the table Thomas Moore sat, her father's legal adviser. Rex had been the foreman at the farm since she was a little girl and she looked at him like a member of the family. Rex still had a thick head of black hair that was just beginning to shows flecks of salt and pepper, though his arms and chest were still thick with muscle. Bart had been with her father only slightly less, though he was older. He had grown a bit softer around the belly and his hair had thinned, he was still the best driver she knew and a crack shot with his rifle. Thomas though, well Eva never really liked Thomas.

He had come aboard the farm after her mother and siblings had died and her father had been injured, to guide her father's business interests. He'd been about 10 years older than her, but even then she didn't like the way he looked at her. He was tall and slender, with a thin mustache, always dressed immaculately. When she was younger she had always wondered if her father had thought him a good suitor for her and an accomplished man who could lead the ranch, but they had never gotten along. Where Eva was tough and self assured, who enjoyed the outdoors, Thomas and her had never shared the same interests. To this day, Eva was convinced the man's sidearm had never even cleared its holster, and his smooth grip always belayed the callous on her palms. Sure, he HAD helped guide the ranch to some of the prosperity it was enjoying now, but she couldn't help feeling that he still had eyes on her.

They ate dinner in relative silence, avoiding topics like Evan and the unnatural sun that hung in the sky. Thomas prattled on about the price the herd would bring in the coming months and the fortunes that were almost at hand for the Saint ranch. Trying to fill the silence with words, another thing that really pissed her off. Eva just ate silently, the knot of worry thick at the back of her neck. Most of the meal had passed when the sounds of tearing came from the drawing room. Soft at first, with louder and with more urgency as the seconds ticked past. Sounds like linen being ripped in two. At first they all kind of looked at each other, before Rex pushed his seat back.

"None of you need move. I'll go check it out."

Rex folded his napkin on the table and got up, accompanied by Emily, who had been clearing some of the table. They were gone just a few moments, when Emily screamed again, loud and tinged with fear, accompanied by the loud curses of Rex.


Eva sprang from the table, followed by the rest, and came up behind Rex, who was staring at a sight neither could believe. Young Evan, or at least something that use to be Evan, tearing at the remnants of the sheet with fingers that ended in long black claws. Evans flesh was yellow and sallow, seeped with green and black pus, and his mouth, stretched abnormally wide, ending in rows of blacked sharp teeth, snapped at the air around him. Then his black eyes locked gazes with Emily, and he sprang free, desperately clawing at the frozen young girl.

End of Line.

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