The Rule of Three Blogfest, or REN3, has arrived! It's hosted by Stuart Nager of Tale Spinning, Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite, Lisa Vooght of Flash Fiction, and J.C. Martin of Fighter Writer.
My story is below :)
Deep beneath the ground, in a long forgotten cavern, young Tobias sits on a cold earthen floor twisting twine into rope. A soft glow flickers in the darkened room but it doesn’t give much light. His colorless eyes do not need the light to complete his task.
“Tell me again, Naan, about the awakening,” he asks hopefully.
He loves to hear this tale, especially the way his grandfather tells it. It fills him with hope as his belly rumbles. There was a time when the rumble was soft and almost undetectable, but lately, it has become louder and more agitated.
Sitting by the whisper of a fire carved into a hole in the earth wall, a silver haired woman, wrinkled with splotchy skin shudders. She puts a clay pot over the dwindling flames and throws some leaves, dried mushrooms, and roots inside in the vain hopes of suppressing his hunger and prolonging the inevitable.
“Will it be grand?” he asks without looking up, twining his rope tighter.
A deep growl of approval and affirmation comes from the farthest part of the cavern where the fire’s light cannot reach.
“But you must be patient, the awakening must not be rushed. When it comes, the earth opens and releases it bounties. There is abundance, there is life, there is rebirth and there is freedom. The awakening is a grand, grand time that must not be hurried or all would be lost.”
The boy’s stomach grumbles again. This time so does Naan’s. The old woman responds by tossing another root into the pot. A tear rolls down her leathery pale face. She has run out of time and food. The awakening was approaching far sooner than she had hoped. But then, being in the dark earth hole, she had lost all since of time. How long has it been?
She was once young and beautiful. But that was a long time ago. She tries to remember that day. The day life as she knew it ended. A life she tried to lengthen to immortality through myths and legends. Did she really think she’d find an escape from the sickness that had spread throughout Renaissance, the outpost town her family found by sheer luck and claimed their own?
She leans closer to the pot to smell the cooking roots and leaves, a concoction that has thus far tempered the hunger for the awakening. When she leans back, she can feel the hot sticky breath of Naan against her neck. She freezes stiff, her heart beat stops and her blood slows to a snail pace crawl. She can feel him baring his teeth as he inhales the scent of fear and regret that emanates from her pores. Or is it her remorse for being the catalyst that started the awakening all over again he relished. Yes, this will not be the first awakening of the town of Renaissance.
Little did her people know the lonely town in the middle of nowhere was ghostly empty for a reason. His stomach growls sending chills down her spin. The little boy looks up from his work with a grin, baring his fully formed little teeth that are now razor sharp, ready for the feeding.
“Remember,” she says to herself. “Try to remember.”
But all she can remember is her father’s last breath on that fateful day.
“An evil deed can only beget evil.”
She hands them their last meal of cooked leaves and roots, as the new town of Renaissance rises with the sun far above them unbeknownst of the coming awakening.
word count: 596
prompt: Impending misfortune