Flash Fiction Friday – Later

Seems like all my flash fic pieces are based on dreams lately. Well, this one isn’t so much based on a dream, as vaguely derived from one. Hope you like it!

Later

Her hand tightens around her staff and she quietly gets to her feet, drawing herself up to her full height in the shadow of the trees. The campfire in the clearing sparks and pops, and far away thunder rumbles. She braces herself.

She remembers that night so well. The telepathic message had slammed into her young mind with as much force as the door to her room had slammed open. “Play dead. Don’t say a word. I will explain later!” Then her uncle was upon her, his big hand around her neck, lifting her high off the ground. He roared, and other things, other people, were roaring too outside in the yard, in the corridor. His hair was undone and out of its brains, and the big knife he always carried at his belt was dripping crimson. He looked frightening, but what really scared her was the bone deep fear carved into his own face alongside that familiar long, red scar that cut his right cheek in two. “Don’t move a muscle. Please.”

She hit the ground, and the air was knocked out of her, but she clamped her lips shut so as to not make a sound. She didn’t move, didn’t open her eyes as she heard him stomp about the room, knocking over her chair, her little shelf, tearing up the bed-linen and throwing it around. “I’m sorry!” he told her in her mind, and she wished with all her little body that she knew how to respond, but she could only hear like this, not speak. Not yet. The next moment, he was gone.

She steps into the clearing, and her gaze bores into the old man sitting by the fire. He is frail-looking, almost scrawny, and his hair is grey and thinning. His clothing is torn and dirty and no knife hangs from his belt, but his right cheek is cut in two by a long, red scar.

Well,” she says in the old man’s mind as he nervously stands up. “Are you going to explain now?”

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