For the first time ever last Saturday I entered the Cracked Flash Fiction Competition. The challenge was to write-up to 300 words inspired by the prompt below and the photo to the right:
“Don’t worry; you won’t remember by morning.”
Smoke drifts into the star filled sky. Flame devils dance between the fire’s blackening logs. “And then.” Toby becomes a whisper, pulling his audience of five friends closer. “She was pushed into the oven and cooked alive.”
His friends play along and all make the suitable scared noises. Only Sandra doesn’t play the game. She shrugs off her camp blanket and steps out, in front of everyone else.
“That is just Hansel and Gretel.” She waves her end as if brushing them off into the fire. “Let me tell you a real horror story. They say that in woods like these,” her arms gesture at the ring of trees around them, “a mile underground there is a secret government bunker where an army of scientists develop new weapons. Not bullets or guns, genetic weapons. Some are gases that strip skin from people’s bones or send them so paranoid they think their own mother is trying to kill them. The really horrible stuff is the genre splicing, mixing shark with horse or vampire bat with monkey. Horrible mutant creatures that are in so much pain they attack anything that moves.” Sandra enjoys the shivers that roll through her audience like the waves on a rocky beach, the fire’s warmth no longer visible. “The next stage is moving to humans but this isn’t growing spliced embryos in jars, this is sowing bits of animal into humans while they are awake. They scream so loud they say you can hear them as you walk through the woods.”
“Who’d volunteer for that kind of project?” Toby chucks an empty lager can into the fire.
“People don’t, they are taken but don’t worry.” Sandra’s audience scream, dozens of hands pull them back into the wood. “You won’t remember any of this by morning.”