Flash Fiction Friday – Death Words

Today’s flash fic piece was based on a prompt from Seventh Sanctum! And yes, the title is a bad D&D pun.

Death Words

She was absolutely positive he would be speaking, and we all knew what that meant. A few years ago, we might have debated the issue, might’ve doubted what she said but by now everybody knew that Aunt Gemma told the truth.

The only debate that remained was what to do next. The cousins said we should kill him. They argued their case as they polished their ineffectual guns—as useless as the fervor in their voices. Us older ones knew better. We remembered the day when we’d tried, when we’d trekked all up the hill and waited outside the cave for Stonebrow to appear only to have our axes and spears glide off of his skin along with the bullets from the handgun Father had brought. We had learned then what everyone in the village now knew—when Stonebrow had it in his mind to speak, the only recourse was to plug your ears.

We spread the word around the village, going door to door. In our wake, wads of cotton and strips of torn fabric were plucked from their hiding spots and balled up, pressed against ears and tied in place with ribbons and string. One by one, the houses stopped talking and the streets emptied, people hiding away at home and busying themselves with whatever they could find. The children were the biggest challenge. They always were. All those little hands pulling at their ears, all those little minds not understanding how essential it was to keep them in until it was over. 

I was the last to plug my ears. In those last moments before silence engulfed me, I could’ve sworn I could hear the sound of heavy feet shuffling out of the cave on the hill and Stonebrow taking a long, deep breath. 

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