A bit behind the times here but here is my entry to Microcosms 76 from back in June. As always Microcosms gives you three elements to inspire a piece of flash fiction, chosen at random. This week I got poet, cave and crime which helped to inspire the tale below. Hope you enjoy!
The forest wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale. Branches of grabbing hands with trunks of twisted faces. Never the kind of place you want to search for teenage lovers in the dark.
The girl’s daddy started the hunt. The cops didn’t care, twenty four hours hadn’t passed. I cared, especially when he got his money out. Some of his silver went to a few friendly coppers’ palms. Their traffic cams got me to the edge of the forest. From there it was whatever bread crumbs I could find. Luckily they left me nice big ones in the fresh mud. The footprints dance and giggle like you’d expect young lovers to do. No reason yet for Daddy’s concern.
Mud turns to stone at the entrance to a good size cave with stalactite teeth. I gave the mouth a sweep with my torch. I don’t check above in case I find a pair of monster eyes. The darkness can play tricks on even the most experienced mind. Nothing but a few grumpy bats at their early wake up call.
A new sound replaces the flapping, moaning. Maybe Daddy’s concern was right. I dash in, torch pointed at my feet so I don’t discover anything with the tip of my toe or how hard the ground is with the face. A silver sliver reflects back in the darkness, a bright but broken pattern.
“Stop.” I shout. Echo screams my instruction. It seems to do the trick. The sliver stays where it is, mid-air. A drip, slow, singular, fills the cave.
My torch reveals the daughter, knife in hand. Her words as cold as her blade. “I needed more sadness in my life, for my poetry.”