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Today I’m posting my entry for Jessa Russo’s Flash Fiction BlogHop: Ghosts … and the girls who love them.
From her blog post: “Write a flash fiction piece, no less than 300 words, and no more than 1000 words, inspired by EVER’s main theme: GHOSTLY PARANORMAL ROMANCE. It can be sweet, scary, sexy, young adult, middle grade, adult, etc.”
So, that’s it. Simple, right?
Oh, yeah, as if writing Flash Fiction was simple.
Anyway, before my flash piece, I would like to explain how I came up with this story.
A long time ago, I came up with a story about witches and ghosts and Brotherhood (aka witch hunters). I wanted it to be dark, but also romantic (duh!).
So I always took note of the ideas that came into mind that were about this story.
Here’s the main idea behind the story:
Untitled work: a white witch is awakened almost 500 years after her death. She was betrayed inside the own government that, after receiving her help, promised to protect her against the witch hunts. Now she has to escape the Brotherhood, before they find a way to force her to find her lost necklace.
A little over a month ago, Figment opened a contest about the Dark. It’s called Defy the Dark. The rules was to write a short story (2k to 4k words) about something happening in the dark. So, I remembered my witch story. In this only-in-thought-wip, there’s a lot that happens before the manuscript starts and will only be known by the reader as the story progresses. Lots. (Be aware that I know how to used backstory and wouldn’t info dump =P). Anyway, I got one small scene from this extensive backstory and wrote the short story for that contest.
You can read the short story here. It’s only 4k words, so it should take only 20 minutes to read it. If you want to read. It makes sense to the short story written bellow, though.
Moving on, so here’s my flash fiction for the bloghop—1000 words:
Arianna didn’t need to look to know they were there. She could feel them, feel their presence, their evil chill, their sinful cravings.
A shudder rolled down her body. With eyes closed, she pressed herself on the old wooden floor, savoring the cold it spread through her weakened limbs.
She was tired. Absolutely tired. Her mind was more drained than her body, as if she had lived a thousand lives, and all their memories and emotions flashed inside her head. In a manner, she had lived more than she should. And yet, she had been dead for so long. Dead without any rest.
The icy air pressed against her skin. It was the ghosts pushing against the circle. She peeked up at the thick lines drawn around her, but not enough to see more than the eerie shine coming from the ghosts’ translucent forms. It still boggled her mind that she didn’t know half of the runes along the lines. Well, if she knew them, she would be able to channel her powers, break the circle, and get free. Which meant letting the ghosts in. Letting the ghosts touch her.
Another shudder took over her body. No, for now she wanted to stay away from them, as far as she could be inside a ten feet wide ritual circle.
She rested her forehead against the floor, wishing she could shut down for a minute or two. Just forget all she was, all she had been, all she had lived.
A new energy approached the circle. A good energy. And it pressed against the barrier, wanting to get inside the circle.
“Ari.” She heard a whisper, a low voice she knew very well, even after so long. “My love.”
Arianna’s eyes shot open and she saw him there. Thales. Standing just outside the circle. A ghost.
And he was among the others.
The candles outside the circle quivered, and some of them extinguished.
The darkness surrounded her. And she felt it all again. Their despair, their solitude, their betray, their helplessness.
Arianna held still as the ghosts paraded around the circle, their teeth bared into snarls and their hands raised like claws.
They were all there. The women and young girls that died because of her. She hadn’t meant to. If she could, she would go back in time and do it all differently, even if it meant having to run away when her powers bloomed. Even if it meant not meeting Thales.
Remembering of her lost love, of the time shared with the man who was now a ghost before her, Arianna inhaled a trembling breath.
Tears blurred her vision a she knelt before him. “My goddess, no.”
By now she should have realized. After so long, she should have realized Thales was dead.
Still, it hurt. Seeing him as one of the ghosts hurt.
Silent tears rolled down her cheek.
“No, my love, please don’t cry.” Thales knelt at the circle’s border. “You can let me in.”
She shook her head, her dirty hair falling down her shoulders. “I can barely stand.”
“You can.” His blue eyes, so pale now as a ghost, fixed on hers. Even dead, he was still handsome. Even dead, he still had her heart. A sob escaped her lips. “Please, my love, you can let me in.”
Wiping her tears, Arianna closed her eyes and focused in channeling her powers. The spell around the circle was too strong. She could feel it drawing from dark magic to block her attempts, to throw her concentration off, and to hurt her if she tried.
The protective spell pierced her mind like thousand knives. With a shriek, she fell back on the floor and let the magic slip.
“I’m not strong enough,” she whispered.
“You will be,” Thales said, so confident in her. More tears threatened to escape. “Please don’t cry for me. I failed, my love, I shouldn’t have your grief.”
With stamina she didn’t have, Arianna sat up to face him. “You didn’t fail me.”
“I did.” His beauty was covered by a sad aura. She wanted to remove that. She wanted to undo it with a spell. “I promised to keep your ashes safe and find a way to bring you back to me. Instead, I died in my quest and your ashes were lost. Until these men found them, and now you’re their prisoner. I failed you.”
She raised her hand to the barrier around the circle. “You didn’t fail me. I didn’t expect that of you.”
Thales brought his hand up and rested it against hers, one a tenth of an inch separating their palms. She marveled in the almost contact. After four hundred years living in hell, being this close to him even if not touching was paradise.
His eyes bore into hers. “Gods, how I missed you.”
A sob was lost in her throat when the other ghosts floated close behind him.
Thales glanced over his shoulders. “The Brothers brought them here. They know the ghosts can hurt you. They will use the ghosts to torture you.”
“They brought you too?”
Thales shook his head. “They can’t see me. I just used their spell to come.”
The candles around the circle shone brighter, even the ones that had been gone before, and the Brothers stepped from the shadowy corners.
Thales’ ghost began to fade. All of the ghosts flickered before her eyes.
“I don’t know,” Thales said, urgency all over his tone. “They are doing this. Sending us away.”
Arianna pressed against the wall. “No. No!”
Then the ghosts were gone. Thales was gone.
A scream escaped from her throat and she slid to the floor, her head close to her knees, her hands punching the wood under her.
Thales was gone.
Thales couldn’t be gone. Not again.
But if what he said was true, the ghosts would be back, and he would too. She just had to endure the Brother’s torture long enough to see him again.
I confess that having 1k words as limit was too little LOL. When I wrote this, it was 1400 words and I had to do some trimming ;) I hope you enjoyed it, though.
Thanks for reading!
And don’t forget to write “VOTE” if you like my story the most. You can read the others stories here and decide for yourself.
By the way, the paperback version of EVER by Jessa Russo released early and it’s available on Amazon! Go, guys, go buy it!