My entry titled Choices for the WOW! Women on Writing FlashFiction Challenge won – Honorable Mention for Winter 2015 Challenge. I'm thrilled because my post was an original post for the WEP-Write Edit Publish Halloween Flash Fiction Challenge in 2014. After reworking the story, I cut it from 1000 words to 750 words and submitted it to WOW!
For today's WEP post, I wrote about What Flash Fiction is and Why it's an excellent writing exercise. Please check it out. There's also a list of links that will give you access to dozens of other flash fiction sites. Some of those sites pay for work and some do not, but it's a great list to have handy if you're looking for a great challenge or publication. Don't forget the WEP's first challenge is in August on Spectacular Settings. Read more about it on the site, as well as the October, and December challenge.
For your edification, here is the story that won honorable mention.
Haley looked into the abyss. Between the sheer marble and granite walls, lava flowed with the blinding brilliance of the sun. Pops of flame exploded in whirlpools of unfathomable appetite, and the heat kissed her porcelain skin with desire. She used a suspension bridge during her last escape, but Kaden recaptured her and wrenched her link to safety from its moorings. Despite her betrothal to his twin brother, King Zane, Kaden wanted her for himself and was willing to go to war to achieve his goal. She stared at the magma, a death that assured no resurrection, while her reason for flight replayed.
Recuperating from pneumonia, Haley curled up on a large chair in front of the fire. The lock on the door clicked, and without looking, she knew Kaden had entered the room. The atmosphere felt heavy, airless, but she did not move.
"Feeling better?" Kaden asked with faux concern.
Despite forehand knowledge, Haley's heart jumped in her chest, and her body stiffened at the sound of his caustic voice. The warmth radiating from the fire turned to waves of ice that girdled her bones and captured her heart in a glacial chill.
"You’ll never convince Zane that I was behind your kidnapping. Be careful, or you'll be the cause of his death." Kaden's voice sounded bored, as though he were tired of playing games.
"I broke the engagement. Zane left without me."
"But you didn't tell him you were staying."
"I prefer an eternity in hell to a minute with you. You have my word. I will not marry Zane, but touch him, and I’ll kill myself. No one wins."
"You’re wrong. I always win. I will have you. Dr. Zheng has a way to make even the dead live. I brought proof."
The sound of a clattering chain intensified the cold and tightened her gut into a knot. He had locked her in; was he now going to chain her to her prison? Haley did not move, but Kaden stepped closer, and the fear that he would touch her had her jumping to her feet. She kept the chair between them but gauged her chance for escape. She noticed the open door. Her illness caused her to sway, but she fought her weakness.
"Don’t test me, Haley. You’ll marry me. You’ll even love me. If you don’t believe me, believe this."
Nothing in life had prepared her for the vision before her. Screams formed in the deepest part of her, but she held them inside as one hand covered her mouth and the other held tightly to the chair. She wanted to close her eyes but could not because an abomination of nature lumbered toward her.
The man she knew as Goren, her kidnapper, the same man she had witnessed being fed to wild dogs, slowly moved into the light. His death was a truth she could not doubt because she'd witnessed the horror, and yet he stood before her, held on a chain by two large men as his handlers.
He barely had clothes, or skin, and yet he moved forward on his own two feet. His skin, what was left of it, black, blue, and green, hung loose where the voracious beasts had ripped him open with their teeth. His remaining muscle hung in purple shreds, and bones, some broken, protruded in ugly bloody angles. The smell of death wafted off him like a putrid fog. A dead man lived.
Kaden's next statement jabbed Haley like a blade through the heart.
"I will have you—even in death."
The proof of his words stood before her, decomposing. Goren's eyes held her gaze, solid blue, rimmed in red, and clouded by tears. His eyes pleaded with her because his mouth and his throat were missing. This horrendously deformed, half-consumed body understood, knew his condition. Goren was fully aware of his own miscreation.
Haley saw the horror of her future.
Kaden laughed. "The doctor is a genius."
Kaden had underestimated her strength and the loyalty of their undead pet. The monster attacked Kaden, and Haley bolted from the room. She made it through the mountain tunnel and stood above the Gulf of Fire, but her pursuer found her.
Kaden approached and bellowed, "There's nowhere to go, Haley. Accept your fate."
She turned, her heels on the edge of the precipice, and smiled. "I've chosen my destiny." Haley felt the arms of angels catch her as the fires of hell opened to swallow her.
Yolanda Renee (c) 2015
The WEP-Write...Edit...Publish is all about preparing your work for publication. Write your story, edit your story, and get feedback and constructive criticism for your story, plus you'll have fun doing it!