Flash Fiction: Birth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
The lake bubbled over yesterday. The livestock dropped dead within hours. Water poured over the sandy banks and soaked into the pasture, killing the grass, wilting the trees.

Submitted: December 05, 2009

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Submitted: December 05, 2009

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The lake bubbled over yesterday. The livestock dropped dead within hours. Water poured over the sandy banks and soaked into the pasture, killing the grass, wilting the trees. Our dogs had run away shortly after our last supper as a family. The horses followed suit in the dead of night. We awoke to find that everything we had ever had was rotten, fetid, and bare of life. Even the house seemed to have sunk into its foundation slightly, the roof and walls a dead shade.

The air that morning stunk of soiled vegetables, the crops seemingly decayed from the inside out as we slept. Eliza refused to come out from her room, and drew her windows closed tightly – as if to keep the contamination out. Mother and father were praying.

I slowly walked around the drying lake, watching remnants of plant life float to the surface on the strange bubbles. The water reeked of sulfur. Silence had descended upon the valley heavily, like a blanket of pure stillness. It felt like death. A dank miasma wafted outwards from the shrinking lake, the ground shuddering.

I backed away quickly, towards the house – felt the ground tremble and begin to give way. My parents burst through the door, knocking me to the ground. Father had Eliza tucked under his arm, eyes wide with panic. We froze and watched the lake bed give out, succumbing to an unknown force deeply set in the earth. Then it dropped, a fissure rapidly replacing it. The soil began to fracture, then – quickly splitting in a multitude of directions as the breach widened and rushed towards us. I caught my breath and knelt, paralyzed on the dirt – cold seeping in through my pant legs before I forced myself to stand.

Together we scrambled backwards, around the side of the house, its foundation sinking, forcing the support beams to groan and splinter forward. We raced across the valley, fleeing home as fast as our legs could take us. In the distance, birds shook out of the trees and abandoned the forest. The still, dead air had been replaced now with the thundering sound of earth falling into itself, of trees cracking and rock bed shattering, closer and closer. When my mother fell, I froze my gaze on the horizon. When my father stopped to pick her up, I continued on the road, lungs burning. When I heard Eliza’s screams succumb to an impossibly deep chasm, I did not look back. I am not proud.

I reached town just before nightfall. Just in time to watch the sun get blocked out by an impossibility. It had been born.


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