Welcome! For today's post, I've written you a short short story or in other words flash fiction. The challenge of writing flash fiction is actually good practice for my novel writing. It can be hard to tell a story in so few words. Of course, I think a 100,000 words is too few, so it is definitely difficult for me. I hope I did it well, though. When you are done I would love to hear your feedback. Follow this post all the way down to the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!
by Sandy Kay Slawson
Cindi Jonsen hid behind a green spiky bush on the edge of a shell paved road. She peeked around it and near about blinded herself on one of the pointed fronds. From her vantage point, she neither saw nor heard any of the others except in the distance. This might be her one chance. Cross the road and dive into the wooded area on the other side. One. Two. Three. Cindi pushed off from her crouch and darted across. The crunches of shells were as loud as gunshots to her ears.
She stopped behind a thick pine tree and glanced at her right forearm where a stinging sensation broke through her focus. Shoot. The spiky bush had given her a parting gift. Blood welled along the scratch and might leave a thin scar, a memory of this day. Yay.
A high-pitched scream sounded closer than the last. With a scan of the area, she planned her next target. Another scream pushed her forward. Long skinny legs hurtled over limbs, bushes, downed trees. Branches grabbed at her terry cloth red shorts and white tank top. The nonsensical remembrance of how terry cloth snagged with no effort distracted her. Her bare knees hit hard on the wet pine needles, leaves, and sticks which covered the soggy ground. Her target, a magnolia tree rose upward ten feet ahead. Cindi pushed onto her feet, stepped forward, and fell again. The laces on one of her hand-me-down Converse tennis shoes had come untied. Two double knots later, she took the last ten feet in three strides.
Without the noise from her own movements, sounds from the others seeped into her consciousness. Male shouts, feminine screeches…chaos. She grasped the lowest magnolia branch and pulled herself into the tree. Higher and higher she climbed until she saw the layout of the land past the tree line. Everyone appeared to be off toward the right of the clearing. A group of them huddled together on the grass. Caught.
She straddled the forked limb on which she perched and took stock of her injuries. Scratches covered her arms, legs and if she guessed right, her face as well. Her knees were scraped and bloody and her one good pair of tennis shoes were a muddy mess. Another shout caused her to forget her unimportant problems and search the area where she’d last seen them. A small fella, drug along by his thin arm had been captured. A count of the downcast group and she knew. “I am the last one.”
Cindi watched her pursuer. He did not look her way. Instead he moved in the opposite direction. Good. She had tricked him. A search toward the left showed her the place she must reach. The sole place where she could find relief. With silent, concentrated movements, Cindi descended the tree and dropped to the ground. She had no time to lose. In a serpentine pattern she raced toward the edge of the woods. Her lungs burned, her body ached and sweat and blood tickled her skin as it mingled together and rolled along her legs until they joined her mud soaked socks.
At the edge of the clearing, she sneaked a glance toward the right. He faced the other way. She would have about thirty unprotected yards to reach safety. He stood about fifty yards away. Cindi blew out the fear, which made her question her decision. Maybe if she stayed in the tree, he might not have found her and eventually left, given in. No. Not him. She understood his maniacal desire to prevail, to conquer.
The landscape between her and her target would not be hard to traverse from the looks of it. Her soaked socks and shoes might slow her down, however. She kicked them off. Better to get to safety barefooted than not at all. One more look to the right. Forty-five feet between him and her but he still did not turn her direction.
One. She crouched into position. Two. She sucked in a gulp of air. Three. Out of the tree line she tore. Arms and legs pumped, stretched, flew. A shout. Why…why would they give away her position? Go. Go. Go. His exclamation reached her ears and then the sound of his own shoes pounded the ground. The captured cheered her on. Their shouts echoed the words, which resounded in her own head. Go. Go. Go. He grew so close she heard his breaths. Halfway there, she dare not check on his location.
Ten feet more. Push. Push. Push. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Cindi grabbed the light pole. Clung to it. He stopped so close she saw the sweat on his brow. The guy held his knees and gasped for air. She yelled out for all to hear, her shout of victory.
Although this story is not about me, it does ring of some of my experiences as a child playing hide-and-seek. How serious I was and how determined I was not to get caught. Sometimes I hid so long, everyone else quit before I ever came out of hiding. Perhaps it is a leap but this does make me think of how we hide from the Lord God (or try to). We end up as dirty, bloody messes, inside and out. If we would just run to Him, our Safe Place, from the beginning we would avoid so many more injuries and regrets.
Happy Monday and Happy week. May the Lord God bless each of you and your families with faith, hope and love. In Jesus' Name.
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