From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – Link Party
Short Story Prompt Link Party 3 – Fade To Black
This little story was written as part of a blogger link up. The concept is that we were each given the same prompt from which to develop a story. Below you will find my contribution.
The Prompt: One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp…
They had talked it over and planned their signals. One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but this time she saw three flashes and was puzzled. They had never talked about what three flashes would mean and she could feel swells of fear rising in her stomach.
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She had asked him not to go. Not tonight while the swamp seemed even darker than usual because of the storm. It was rare for a storm to come through the swamp. The locals believed God spared them when it came to storms because He knew how difficult it was to live there on a regular day.
But tonight, God had sent the storm and what a storm it was. And while the swamp swelled, she was beginning to panic because she thought he could be stranded on the other side of the bridge where the creek was sure to rise with all this rain.
She waited for another signal. She waited for the signal to correct the three flashes. She waited because she had to know he was okay. She knew she could not survive without him. She knew she needed him to come back because he was her life and the swamp was their haven when they were together, but it would become a hell without him.
She made the decision to go out to find him. Her fear would not allow her to wait until morning. Although the thought of the swamp on a stormy dark night was scary, not knowing if he was safe was even more frightening. She had to go now. She packed her supplies and began her trek through the swamp to find him.
She had crossed the bridge and ventured into the deepest part of the swamp. The rain was monsoon-like but she kept going in the direction she had seen the three flashes. She was soaked and the bag she had packed with supplies was weighing her down but she continued her journey. She knew she had to get to him.
As she weathered the storm, memories of the first time she laid eyes on him danced in her head and warmed her heart. She remembered their wedding day. She remembered when they announced their crazy idea to move into the little cabin in the swamp. Their families had tried to talk them out of it, but they knew the cabin was destined to be their first home and so they began their lives together in the little cabin in the swamp. It was a cozy little abode. Cozy until they had to make that trip through the swamp and back to civilization for supplies or to visit family. And tonight, was the absolute worst trip of all. She had asked him to wait until morning, but he was determined and said he could get the supplies, say hello to the family and be back by morning. But they were not expecting the storm.
As she reached the clearing just before the bridge, she saw a tent and the light from a lantern. The rain had eased just a bit and she was sure the silhouette she saw was her love. She was sure he had decided to hold up here to wait for the storm to pass. Her heart was racing and she felt such joy. He was safe. She had found him.
As she approached the tent she felt that something just wasn’t right. Fear almost stopped her in her tracks but she was just being silly…right? So she continued. As she grew closer a sense of dread engulfed her. She could not determine if the silhouette she saw sitting in the tent was him. She called his name but there was no response. She continued to cautiously approach.
And then she saw him. It was her love but his hands were tied and he was gagged. She had never seen him look so afraid. As she rushed to untie him, he tried to tell her to run with his eyes. He was trying to say something to her. He wanted her to leave. He wanted her to run for her life.
As she turned to see what he was so frightened of, she realized it was too late to escape. The tall dark figure was upon her like a flash. She struggled but she was no match for the strength of the stranger. As her eyes locked with her love’s, all she could think of was the life she was caring and how would they safely get out to this. She continued to struggled until all of her strength seemed to drain from her and finally fear was gone as she began to fade to black…
What would await her once she regained consciousness? How had this happened? Who was this person or entity holding the three of them captive? Could they save themselves and their unborn child? Answers to all of these questions would have to wait because for now she welcomed the unconsciousness. She welcomed the silence and fearlessness. She welcomed the fade to black.
This is a work of fiction and only exists within the creative recesses of my mind.
© Clearissa Coward Command Center
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