A Name to Fear- Flash Fiction Challenge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
This is my story for day four of my 30 day flash fiction challenge. Due to a hectic weekend I have gotten a little behind. I hope to catch back up tonight.

Submitted: October 07, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 07, 2018



Day Four Flash Fiction Challenge


Prompt: The world goes through 2000-year natural cycles of magic and non-magic. The non-magic cycle is about to end any day now.



The mall was bustling with young people, talking and laughing as they took up space in the walkway. Gideon sat hunched on a bench his small paper bag containing a pair of socks from the department store in his lap. He lifted his shaky wrinkled hand to look at his watch. He did a double take, putting one hand over his heart and knocking the bag to the floor. He had lost track of time.; lost track of the years. He had been waiting for this day for two thousand years and he almost missed it.

"Sir, are you ok?" Asked a young woman with a sweet smile as she picked up his bag.

"Yes, thank you, my dear," Gideon took the bag, "Today is the day. Today the magic returns." He caught a look of pity in the woman's eyes.

"Are you here with someone?" She said as she looked around at the sea of faces.

Gideon shook his head, "No, I walked from my house."

"Do you know your way back?" Gideon clenched his dentures.

"Of course, I know my way back, but that doesn't matter. Can't you feel it? The static in the air," his legs shook as he stood. The woman took him by his arm to steady him.

"Why don't you let me take you home?" Said the woman.

Gideon thought about it for a second. The faster I get home the sooner I can prepare, he thought. "Thank you my dear, that would be very kind of you."

"My name is Allison Reed," she said as she hooked her arm in his.

"Gideon Rockwood," he said shuffling towards the entrance.

They didn't talk for a few minutes just walked arm in arm to the covered parking lot.

"You know my name once carried fear and respect with it," said Gideon randomly.

"Really, why is that?" Asked Allison.

"Everyone fears a dark wizard," he said, "Or used to. No one listened when I told them the magic was ending. So, like the grasshopper, I built up my stores and prepared to wait it out. I had no idea it would take two thousand years."

"Do you live by yourself or is there someone waiting for you at home?" Asked Allison.

"I know how this sounds Miss. Reed, but I'm not crazy. You will see. Soon everyone will once again know the name Gideon Rockwood."

They didn't talk as she helped him into her car, "Where to?" She asked as the engine turned over.

"26 Elder ST. Just around the block," said Gideon. She drove around the block and down Elder St counting the house numbers as they passed. They stopped in front of a brown brick house. The yard was overgrown with weeds and the mesquite trees looked like they hadn't been pruned in years. Half a dozen newspapers littered the walkway leading to the front door. Allison heart hurt as she helped the old man out of the car. She kicked a newspaper out of the way as they walked to the house. He removed a key ring from his pocket and after moving several skeleton keys out of the way he found the house key.

"Are you going to be ok by yourself? Should I come in?" Allison asked as she tried to look over his shoulder into the house.

Gideon thought about that, "I do have a lot of work to do if I am to be ready for tonight. Sure, come in, but wipe your feet."

Allison did as told but didn't know why it mattered. The house was a mess. Cob webs and dust bunnies clung to the walls and furniture. A path made from Gideon's shuffling feet could be seen throughout the house. There were several rooms he hadn't entered in a very long time. Allison followed him down the hall to a closet. The closet didn't contain cloths or cleaning products. Instead it was full of ancient looking leather-bound books, stacks of yellowed parchment and wooden boxes covered in strange markings. He started rifling through the boxes looking for something and mumbling to himself.

"Here take this," he held out a crystal vial without looking, still searching for something specific.

"What is it?" Allison asked holding the small bottle to the light for a better look.

"Unsichtbar," Gideon said.

Allison looked at the bottle for a minute before turning back to Gideon.

"Could you do me a favor?" He asked, "There is a box on the top shelf, be a dear and bring it down for me."

She waited till Gideon was out of the way then stepped up on her toes to grab the box.

"Careful, it may feel heavy," he added. He wasn't kidding. Though the box was only slightly bigger than a shoe box it felt like it was full of lead. She cradled it, careful not to drop it. She set it down on top of a large box at the bottom of the closet.

"Thank you," said Gideon as he squeezed past her. She looked over his shoulder eager to see what was in the box. Gold? Silver? She thought.

The box was lined in blood red velvet, thick as a pillow. A wave of dread rolled out of the box. Allison thought she heard a sound like distant screaming of men and women. Goosebumps rippled up her arms. A stick, an ornately carved stick, but still a stick, lay nestled on the velvet cushion. The way Gideon ran his hand down the wood before removing it from the box made Allison feel uncomfortable. It looked like he was reuniting with an old friend.

"Mmm, you feel the magic returning too don't you," Gideon said to the stick.

Allison, feeling more and more uncomfortable decided it was time to leave, "Well, maybe I should be going, you got your stick now. Is there anyone I should call?"

"Stick?" Gideon spat the words, suddenly angry, "This is a wand, you twit. And not just any wand. This wand brought fire down on Gilgamesh, this wand killed Tormund the Great. This wand has risen and toppled empires."

A grandfather clock somewhere in the house struck the hour with a gong. Allison backed up from the old man, who was now pointing the wand at her. The ground began to shake, followed by the rattling of dishware. Pictures fell off the wall. Allison grabbed whatever she could to steady herself. She looked to Gideon thinking he would need help.

Gideon stood rock solid in place, unfazed by the shaking of the earth, "It is happening. I appreciate your help, keep that bottle as payment. I suggest you run, my wand has been waiting just as long as I have and it is hungry for blood."

Allison felt like a pinball bouncing off the walls of the hallway. By the time she made I to the door the shaking had stopped. She threw the door open and ran to her car. There was an explosion behind her. Wood and shingles rained down on Allison and her car. She covered her head to protect herself. She looked back at the house. The roof was gone. A hole blasted from the inside out took its place. Allison's jaw dropped as she watched the old man rising in the air out of the hole. Before her eyes his skin tightened and his back straightened. His white hair turned black. A rolling gray cloud swirled around his feet, slowly moving up until it covered him. After a minute the smoke faded. Gideon, still hovering, now wore black robes. He pointed his wand in the air and shouted something Allison couldn't understand. A purple light, edged in black, streamed out of his wand tip exploding into the air. A piercing scream of terror followed the explosion as the purple light took the shape of a roaring bear. Clawed paws extended down from the sky clawing at the houses below.

Allison locked eyes with Gideon. She dropped the small crystal bottle he had given her. Gideon pointed his wand at Allison, his eyes filled with blind rage. The crystal vial broke. Allison vanished just as the blue energy of a spell snapped and sizzled in her empty space.

© Copyright 2019 J. M. Crawford. All rights reserved.

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