Tuesday 23 October 2012

Flash Flood

In response to the National Flash Fiction day, an international flash-fiction journal was set up called FlashFlood. So far they have had two issues, and there will be more next year.

I submitted a piece, which although was unsuccessful, I really liked. I reworked it from a previous entry I had written in April 2007 for short story competition held in Writing Magazine.

'Echo of a Whistle' by Miranda Kate

Jonas had no idea how long he’d blacked out for this time. His heart raced as he spun round trying to see if the man was still there, but all he could see were empty train carriages sitting in the disused siding.
He shook his leg and pulled at his foot, but it was still stuck. It was wedged right under the track and he couldn’t reach it.
           It was really dark now and the wind had picked up. It startled him as it hurtled round the corners of the derelict train sheds. Any second now he was sure the man would appear. He’d chased Jonas through the woods and out onto the embankment; he had to be here somewhere.
He fought back tears of fear and frustration; crying for his mummy wasn’t going to help him now - the man had been right about that. But the images of that underground room, with its dirt floor and rusty metal cot, haunted him. He couldn’t risk being taken back there; he couldn’t go through that pain again. The very thought of the man touching him; putting those metal things in him again, terrified him.
His freedom had been hard won as he’d had to wait for the man to finish relieving himself and slump back, on one of the rare days that he’d chosen not to use the other equipment on him. The man had expected Jonas to go and clean himself up, and shouted when he was gone too long. Jonas was grateful he was already halfway up the stairs when that happened, and started running for his life.
And he was almost free, but then he’d caught his foot when running across the tracks; too busy looking over his shoulder instead of where he was going. He remembered wondering why the man was still standing on the embankment, then a roaring noise filled his ears and his fall was punctuated by a blinding flash.
He tried to reach his foot again, leaning one hand on the track as he did so, and that was when he felt it; the vibration running through it. This stirred a whole new world of fear and panic inside him. He peered in the darkness and made out two pin pricks of light. They were moving; their size was increasing. In his gut he knew it was a train.
He expected to become frantic, but instead he became calm. This meant that the man couldn’t have him anymore; whether dead or spotted by the guardsman on the train, it was over.
He looked up at the oncoming train. He could see the lights clearly now; the shape of their perfect roundness. He waited for the whistle; the signal that they had seen him; alerting him to move. But it didn’t come. 
He’d already heard that whistle earlier that evening; the blinding flash hadn’t been his head hitting the track. He foot wasn’t trapped anymore, and the man was gone, just like him. 

499 Words

No comments :

Post a Comment