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A blog for poetry, prose, and pop culture.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flash Fiction: Under a Dead Sun: Past Sins

Chapter 20

Ally Marshall was sore all over. The blackened sun had risen high in the sky, nearing mid-day and she still laid slumped against the boathouse. The fire had consumed the stable, but the muddy earth so near the river's shore line had confined it there. The embers of the building still smoldered slightly as Ally slowly regained consciousness. She must have blacked out after stumbling from the stable, but it seemed as if a few hours had passed since then.

Shakily, she used the boathouse wall to pull herself to her feet, fighting off another vicious wave of vertigo and she woozily regained her footing. Her head still throbbed from the lump the outlaw had given her, and she stumbled down to the rivers edge to look at herself. Her reflection in the water was a fright. Her face was bruised on one side from the slap and her split lip had swollen. Dried blood ran down her chin and across her puffy jaw. Her dress was tattered, burnt and torn from the scuffle and caked in mud. She lifted it slightly, seeing her ribs and stomach having turned a deep bruising purple. She winced as she gingerly touched them. Even her knees, elbows, and backside were scraped and cut from crawling acorss the packed earth in teh stable. Worse yet was the throbbing in her fingers, a few of her nails had been pulled off in the scuffle and they were thick with blood.

She slowly sank to the muddy river bank and splashed the cold water on her face, allowing the bracing water to soothe her aching fingers. She thought she wanted to cry, but her whole body just felt numb. Ally washed her face softly, tracing her swollen cheek and split lip gently with one of her fingers. Her hair was smokey and frazzled and she tried to pull it back into a semblance of a pony tale again. She looked at her ruined dress and didn't even try to clean it, she just sunk back down along the shore line, pulling her knees up to her chest and felt that lump in her throat grow, but no tears came.

Ally rocked like that slowly, feeling the cold sink into her skin as she rested on the muddy banks. Her mind whirling at the devastation of the last few hours. Her brother, father, and fiancee dead. Then to have them rise to life and try to attack her. The dead sun overhead. Her whole life, dead, just like that. She was scared and lost, and worst of all, alone. She looked bleakly on, her eyes heavy and red.

The sun started to slowly drift higher in the sky, approaching noon when she first heard noise. Slow shuffling footsteps along the dusty trail far from the river bank. She saw them first, a small mob of the creatures, the same things her father had turned into. She wanted to move, to scream, to run away, but her body wouldn't move. The monsters continued down the trail, and as the rounded the wall of the boathouse, they saw her. They moved quicker then, an urgent kind of shuffling, grossly distended jaws working in anticipation. As they grew closer instinct finally kicked in, and Ally did the only thing she could do, thrusting herself off of the muddy embankment and into the cold rushing waters of the river. The last thing she remembered seeing was the cold black eyes of the creature as it lashed out at her.

End of Line.

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