The Hole

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: The Poor Poor Protagonist. Thanks, Chuck, for the inspiration.

***

My eyes open to supreme blackness. My leg hurts. My fingers feel wetness and something spongey. Then something like bone. My heart races.

I aim my eyes upward, but there is no light.

“Help!” I yell until my throat is raw.

I stand on my good leg and reach up as far as I can. Nothing but wall. I hop around and explore my cell. The walls are made of earth. The ground is covered with twigs and leaves. I’m in a hole. Circular, damp and taller than me. The pain is too great to put any pressure on my wounded leg. I fall into a screaming heap. Climbing is not an option.

It’s so dark in this earthen abyss my eyes can’t adjust. They feel like they are going to pop out of my skull.

Trying to be resourceful, I feel around for two twigs. Maybe if I start a fire I could get my bearings. I think back to those survival shows on cable that I barely paid attention to. It should be as simple as rubbing two sticks together.

It’s not. I try for what seems like hours. I break countless sticks in the process and have blisters on my fingers. Still no fire. No light.

My breathing is ragged. Will I run out of oxygen?

My leg is throbbing. Am I going to bleed to death?

I sit with my back against the wall. I think of my mom and dad. Of my sisters. I think of the loves lost and wonder if I’ll ever find happy love.

Something is tickling my calf. I try to just shake my leg to make it go away, but it doesn’t. Absently I reach down to scratch. And that’s when I feel it. A bug. And not just any bug, a hairy one. I do not like bugs.

My beating heart picks up speed again.

I try to calm down, trying not to use up precious air. As soon as I shoo Hairy away, his friend finds his way to my other leg. Another on my arm. I don’t know if I’m imagining all these roommates, but I don’t think I am. My hand makes contact with more than just my skin.

I stand up too fast and fall immediately back down into the brambles. Next time, I move with caution and get myself to standing. Not without squashing something beneath my hand when I touch the wall. Maybe if I keep moving the one piece of me touching the pit, nothing will crawl on me, I try rationalizing with myself.

As I hobble around on one leg, I try to get my mind out of the hole. I think of the ocean. Of mountains. Of anything with a wide open space. I imagine my family’s faces. My friends’. My dog’s furry little face and the way she bites her back when she gets excited.

Thinking about them enjoying fresh, bugless air starts to piss me off. My leg is getting very tired. Blood is drying on the banks of the river flowing from my wound.

I try to focus on me floating and that’s when I hear it. I pray it’s thunder. I have a quick second to react, but it’s not enough time. The noise is tumultuous. The earth starts to shake with me in it’s bowels. It knocks me to my ass. Instinctively I cover my head from any falling debris. Nothing but dust falls.

“GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” I scream when I’m sure the shaking is done.

Only the bugs hear my cry. The shaking has brought them out in droves. I’m swatting left and right. I stand again, but my leg is oh so tired. But it’s helping. Time goes by slowly when you can’t measure it. I want to sit so bad.

An hour, two, three go by. Maybe only twenty four minutes. I can’t be sure, but I can say feeling the first web makes my skin crawl. Only one creature can make a web. Eight legs. Creeps around. Always hunting. I hate spiders more than I hate bugs.

I can’t keep standing forever. I keep swatting at insects. I feel the desultory string of spider excrement. I want to sleep.

I see my mom, dad, baby sisters and my most recent ex. They are all laughing enjoying a day in the desert. Then suddenly, the sky grows dark. Thunder roars. I look to the sky to see black clouds. I look back to my family. Their flesh has fallen off. Empty eye sockets made of bone stare back at me. My skeletal ex says, “How’s that college degree working out for you down in your pit of hell?”

I wake screaming. Ever since I was little skeletons frighten me.

There are creepers crawling on me, in my hair. I feel strands of web every where I move. Some strands connect my arms to my shoulders. I try to stand, but my tired leg won’t allow it. The wound is covered by disgusting vermin that want to feast off exposed tissue. I vomit. I cry. I can’t breathe.

Please let me die.

Flash Fiction Challenge: 4th of July

This is the first piece of writing that I’ve ever publicly shared…so nervous and excited at the same time! I found this little challenge from Chuck Wendig and thought, why not? Can’t say I write if I keep all my stuff to myself?

I hope you like it. (Rated R)

Headache

Her head feels like a wrecking ball is pounding her skull. It usually does right before a kill. She’s not sure if the headache or the desire to kill comes first. She doesn’t care. She only cares about ceasing the excruciating pain.

The streets are packed with people waiting to see fireworks. Every Fourth of July, the city put on an excessive display of colorful explosions that reverberate throughout. She can’t stand being in the collection of onlookers. The smell of alcohol radiating out of their skin. The way they yell idiotic crap at each other. The way they think it’s their world and everyone else is a nuisance.

With each step, Lisa is more frustrated. The throbbing in her head is worse. All around her lay the filth from the very people she despises. Red plastic cups, empty water bottles and beer cans litter the sidewalks and roads. The temporary trash cans that were provided lay virtually empty. She watches the obnoxious herd with animosity, the deafening uncontrollable brats tugging their parents, the couples groping each other inappropriately, the cliques of middle-aged annoyances walking the streets like they own them.

Lisa spots her prey and begins her pursuit. The medicine for her pain is walking alone, talking on a cell phone, oblivious to the surrounding world. He kicks the foot of a homeless man leaning against the wall. He slams into a woman’s bag as they pass. In neither case does he turn around to offer his sorrow. He just keeps on his way. Lisa decides to nab him as soon as he clicks off the cell.

She doesn’t have to wait long. His call ends with a “see ya” and the instant his thumb hits the END button, she’s on him.

“Hey, wait up!” she yells to him. He turns to her. She uses her looks to reel him in. She’s tall, slender and has the kind of tits guys drool over. Her blonde hair is pulled back…so not to get blood in it.

“Hey.” He says with a smile, his eyes focusing on her cleavage. The smell of stale beer hits her and she tries to not recoil.

“I was hoping you could help me out. I’m looking for my friend. She’s about my height, but red hair.” She wraps her arm around his.

“Beautiful as you?” She’s got him.

Smiling, she answers, “more so.”

They are in a middle of a crowd. Bodies knocking into each other as they corral towards the fireworks. Plastic flags flap all around. A sea of red, white and blue as people show off their annual patriotism. Ten apes are banging the walls of her skull. She needs her remedy.

He keeps talking, so she keeps smiling. She rubs her chest into his arm to keep him in place. As he rattles on about himself, she leads him into an alley. No one would dare disturb them down here. She knows these streets, they are hers. Cats scramble and rats scurry at the sound of their footsteps. While they walk, she draws the knife from her pocket. She leads him around a dumpster, hiding from the street.

She pulls him close so he’s facing her. His breath repulses her. The way he gazes at her like she’s a prize infuriates her. She puts her free hand on his neck. “Ever fuck a stranger?” Lisa has no intention of having sex with him, but she could see that he was fully on board with the idea.

As he dives in to claim his prize, she thrusts the knife through his linen shirt, through his freshly tanned skin and into his kidney. She has learned that when she uses men to ease her pain she has to be agile. As he pulls back and starts to scream, she yanks the blade from his side and quickly slices his neck. His vocal chords severed, he can’t scream. Before he could bleed on her, she lets go and he slumps forward. The dark blood pools around his limp body. A fallen sandal lies by itself.

Lisa looked up towards the sky as an explosion of red erupts the night and inhales the moment of her kill. Within seconds her headache vanishes.