This post is part of the Writer Wednesday Blog Hop, a weekly meme designed to inspire creativity and encourage sharing of stories.
The hop is co-hosted by myself over at Reading, Writing and Everything in Between, Leanne Sype at Writings and Ruminations, Tena Carr at Jottings and Writings and the newest member of our team, Debb Stanton at Stanton Sunshine.
The challenge this week is to write a piece of flash fiction in up to 500 words, using two pictures as inspiration.
This weeks pictures:
This weeks story:
Hidden in the storm
As the storm built overhead my appetite seemed lost, leaving me pushing my food around my bowl. It had been scorchingly hot, the fields dry, with barely enough water for the cattle.
We hadn’t fared much better, the house holding the heat and baking us as we slept. Even with windows open and fans on full, I still woke in the night dripping with sweat. Tonight had been forecast for rain though, and we felt it in the air as the rumbling grew in the distance.
There hadn’t been a good storm for years. We’d spent two days strapping everything down that could be, locking things away, tying them to anything that was likely to hold itself in place. All we could do now was wait for it to arrive and ride it out as best we could.
I knew it wasn’t just the wind and the rain that had everyone worried though. I’d not seen it myself, but there were stories of other things that came when the wind was high, when the storm distracted one and all. They weren’t to be fussed over in the broad light of the sun, but when the night fell, and the winds blew, they could terrify.
I knew I’d need my energy if I was going to be up all night with the others, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat a thing. My stomach was churning and I didn’t trust it to keep anything down. I picked up my full bowl and took it to the sink where mother was standing, staring out the window. Following her gaze I could see the trees beginning to sway a little bit more, the leaves rustling loudly. The cattle were becoming restless in the barns, jostling against one another in the uncertainty. They could already sense that something was happening.
I think mother knew too, her hands gripping the edges of the worktop until her knuckles started turning white. I couldn’t tell if it was through fear or determination, and I was too scared to ask. She lifted one hand at last and pointed out through the window. The storm was becoming more visible, even against the black of the night. The lightning flashes were frequent, lighting its way as it came. For a moment I couldn’t see what she saw, but as my eyes adjusted they became clearer in the black.
I could only make out a few to begin with, dotted around the sky, flitting in and out of the storm clouds. I thought they must be birds but as the absurdity of this fact struck me I realised I didn’t know what they were, but I knew to be afraid. Their numbers grew as the cloud came closer, and on the wind I could hear their wailing and moaning. They were coming, whatever they were, and as I turned back to mother she was already moving.
‘They’re here,’ she said, without emotion. ‘Grab whatever you can and be ready to defend yourself.’
Word count: 501