Welcome to a new feature, Flash Me Friday. Each Friday I’ll post a new flash fiction piece – sometimes using a picture prompt, sometimes using a word prompt, sometimes just using my imagination.
The prompt for this piece came from the Absolute Write horror forum. In a nutshell, there had to be a preternatural evil involved and your character could only have one sense – sound, touch, taste, or smell. They were not allowed to have sight.
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A Touch of Darkness
She awoke in silent darkness, unable to see, unable to hear, unable to move.
Where was she? How did she get here?
She couldn’t remember.
Sensation returned slowly. Her tongue felt too thick for her dry mouth. Her arms and legs tingled as feeling began to return to them. She was aware that her chest rose and fell as she breathed, but she could see nothing, hear nothing. She could feel, but she couldn’t move.
It was like being in a sensory deprivation tank. Wait . . . how did she know that? What else did she know? Her thought process was jumbled, it was hard to think.
She could tell she was lying on her back, in the dark and the silence. There was a feeling of space around her. A warehouse? A cave? Beneath her was . . . earth. Packed earth. A cave then, or some place underground. But she still had no idea how she got here, unable to move, unable to see, unable to hear.
Holly. Her name . . . her name was Holly. Her memory was starting to return. Her name was Holly and she was a reporter. She’d gone to the park to investigate the strange disappearances that had been going on for several weeks.
There’d been no witnesses to the disappearances. Police were baffled. The hookers and drug dealers faded into the background, unwilling to get involved. No one else was talking. But people were going into the park and not returning.
Mostly she’d interviewed street people. Their stories ranged from government conspiracies to vampires and werewolves. All except that last man, the wino, only he’d been stone cold sober when he told her that what was taking those people was far worse than any government, more ancient than any vampire or werewolf. Then he’d warned her to stay away from the birch grove in the park and she’d laughed . . . until his eyes began to glow.
She shivered in the dark. The old man had done something to her, pulled her in with his eyes. The world around her had spun, faster and faster until her only anchor had been the light of his eyes.
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Cool air kissed her skin causing goose flesh to rise, making her aware again. She was naked. Naked and alone in the dark and the silence. Was she alone? Was there something out there watching her? She opened her mouth to speak, but there was no sound. Was her voice stolen, or just her hearing?
She was sure she could feel another presence nearby, maybe she wasn’t alone. Maybe there was more than one – she couldn’t see, she couldn’t hear, there could be thousands of people or creatures staring at her. She could feel their eyes on her. Or maybe it was just her imagination, running in circles.
No, there it was again. The heat of another body, moving, circling her. She could feel the faint vibration of its steps. Did it know she was here? Was it able to see her? She might have whimpered, but she couldn’t be sure.
Her body jerked involuntarily as a tongue rasped across her skin, hot and moist. Human? Animal? She had no way of knowing, could only quiver in fear. Tears leaked from her eyes as the tongue rasped again, this time across her breasts, then again, lower.
Two tongues now, touching her, tasting her fear. No, wait. The second one was dry and scaly, like a reptile. It moved across her skin sinuously, like a snake or a . . . tail. It slithered across her legs and up onto her belly, resting just below her breasts.
The fiery tongue licked the sides of her face, tasting her tears. There was a writhing sensation as something, many unidentifiable somethings, worked their way into her hair, holding her head fast. The tongue rasped across her eyes, its touch abrasive.
Panic set in. She could feel her heart race, threatening to burst out of her chest. Her mouth opened and a scream ripped through her, but there was no sound. Just implacable, utter, silence. She strained against her unseen bonds, but there was no escape.
Why is this happening to me?
It was her last coherent thought before the pain boiled through her and carried her away.