Sabrina's Flash Fiction

This section showcases the flash fiction I've written and published on my blog in response to a contest or some prompt that spoke to me. I thought I'd pull them together in one place, linked to the post in which I originally published them. I hope you enjoy them if you haven't seen them before.

*Disclaimer: These writings are all original works written by Sabrina A. Fish and cannot be used, copied, reproduced, or borrowed in any way without permission of the author.

#1:

by Sabrina A. Fish

Risa opened her eyes. She lay among an unfamiliar moonlit forest, her cheek resting on her outstretched arm. No sound broke the stillness around her. Where was she? How had she come to be here? She searched her memory, but could remember only her name. Her heart hammered in her chest. Why couldn't she remember?

She rolled to her feet and waited in a crouch. Only stillness surrounded her. Her breath rushed in and out of her chest. She closed her eyes and willed herself to calm.

She peered through the trees, compelled to go forward. She moved from shadow to shadow, careful to avoid breaking twigs under her feet. Straining eyes and ears, she studied the forest around her. No breeze sighed through the trees. No night creatures chattered. She shivered. The hairs on her arms lifted. Goose-flesh dotted her arms and legs.

The glimmer of moonlight on water shimmered ahead. Crouching behind the closest tree, she peaked from between the foliage. A still pond covered, almost entirely, a small clearing. A mirror amidst a tangle of vines. A jewel nestled within a leafy nest.

The pond beckoned. She slid from the protection of the trees into the clearing on hands and knees. Her gaze darted from side to side knowing this would be the perfect place to ambush someone. She paused. How did she know this?

The water, so still, pulled her gaze back to its glassy surface. She eased closer. The tiniest of shivers disturbed the water. She froze. The water stilled once again. She leaned toward the pond's edge. The water rippled. A woman floated under the water's surface, pale and wrapped in vines, her long white hair floating around her as if alive. The woman opened her eyes and focused her ancient gaze on Risa.

She jerked away from the pond, her hand covering her mouth. She closed her eyes and forced her racing heart to calm. Leaning forward again, she met  the still woman's black eyes. She leaned closer, reaching her hand toward the woman. The woman smiled and lifted her vine wrapped hand. Their fingers touched and stuck. Risa pulled back, but her finger remained attached to the woman's. The woman pressed her palm to Risa's. She yanked against her hand, her gaze jumping up to meet the woman's.

Do not fight the exchange. My time is over. You are chosen.

The woman's lips moved under the water, but the voice echoed inside Risa's own head. She bit her lip and tugged on her hand again. Her fingers began to tingle, then burn. Her veins turned from blue to red beginning at her fingertips and crawling up her arm. She tugged harder. Her breath, a loud rush in the quiet stillness of the clearing, moved rapidly in and out of her lungs. Her skin lightened from sun kissed to palest white as the bite of a million tiny ants prickled on her skin. Her eyes locked with the woman' s as a scream tore from her throat to echo around the suddenly boiling waters of the pond. Information poured into her mind. The vines from the woman's arm creeped over her fingers, twisting around Risa's arm, up her shoulder. She clawed at it with her free hand. The woman pulled her hand away from Risa and let it float back into the water.

Surging to her feet, she looked down to see the red in her veins flowing up from her feet. She looked inward, at the visions filling her mind as the vines covered her body. Her life force connected with those of the forest's green inhabitants. She stretched her arms and the tree's limbs reached toward the pond. She shook her hip length hair and the vines surrounding the pond rippled. She breathed and the forest sighed.

The woman's body broke the surface of the water and hovered over the pond, her eyes closing as the vines left her skin completely to wrap around Risa. The woman rose to a standing position over the water and stepped onto the bank.

You are the heart now. Until your time comes to pass into the next world and the next chosen takes your place, you will burn within the ivy's embrace. Your only relief will come within the pond's soothing waters. Gift or curse, it is for you to decide.

The woman walked away, never once looking back, until she vanished in the moonlight.

The fire burned beneath her skin, the power longing to flow from her fingers, to suck the life force from the living. She searched her haven, this small pond, the clearing, and the dark wood that surrounded it. At the edge, she became aware of a steady thumping. A young boar hog, having wondered too close, nosed for grub worms under a fallen log. It did not see the vines creeping over the ground toward it.

She smiled. The hog froze, its beady little eyes searching for the source of its unease. Seeing nothing, the hog lowered its nose toward the log. The vines shivered as the nose moved closer. Quick as lightning, the vines wrapped the hog, pulling its life force from it. She tilted back her head as the burning in her skin eased, her nipples tightened, her skin flushed pink.

As the pink faded from her skin, the burning returned. She reached for the trees outside her haven, commanding them to find her another life. They moaned their sorrow, and the connection faded. Until summoned, her connection with the flora and fauna outside this wood would fail. She screamed as her skin burned hotter and dove into the pond. She would wait in the pool until she was called and then someone would pay. No one kept Poison Ivy contained. She was the heart of the world's wood.

#2:

Home 
by Sabrina A. Fish

A path stretched before her bare toes. An honor guard of one hundred majestic trees stood at attention to either side, their limbs creating a canopy over her head that welcomed her to take her first step down the path. A light mist hung among the branches giving the path a dream-like quality that put her at ease. A gentle breeze swirled through the mist, playing a soft tune among the branches and leaves.

At the end of the path, a warm glow beckoned her forward. Promising her relief, but relief from what? She searched her mind wondering how she came to this place. Was it a dream? She couldn't remember lying down to sleep. Her heart pounded in her chest as she realized she couldn't remember anything.

The trees loomed above her, their reaching branches no longer welcoming. The swirling mist surrounded her, threatening to suffocate her. The music became an eerie moan. She stepped back.The glow at the end of the path grew brighter, drawing her gaze, allowing her to breathe once again. She stepped toward it, a sudden urge to bask in its warmth pulling her feet forward.

Eyes glued to the light, she walked faster. She could taste the warmth like the slide of hot cocoa into her stomach on a cold night. She quickened her pace. The light grew brighter. It’s heat the caressing warmth of a crackling fire reaching for her from a cozy hearth. She started to jog. The shadow of a man, arms opened wide, appeared. He stood with his back to the light. Trees flew by as she started to run. The last of her anxiety and amnesia vanished as welcoming arms enveloped her. 

She remembered.

Her name was Terra and the pain she had known the last days of her life was gone. She was home.

#3: I won 1st place in the Tragedy category of this Blogfest!!

What if the queen hadn't figured out Rumplestiltskin's name by the end of the 3rd day?


 The ominous beat of the drums vibrated the ground beneath her feet as Queen Serena made her way toward the platform that floated amid the sea of silent spectators. Head high, she fought against the weight of her grief even as her tears made glistening tracks down her cheeks. She could feel the King’s gaze boring into her, his words at discovering the reason for their missing child imprinted in her mind forever.
          “What kind of woman barters her child to save her own life? You are a liar and a fraud, undeserving of being called queen or the mother of a prince.”
She reached the platform and turned to face the balcony overlooking the crowd.  
The drums stopped as the king stood. “Queen Serena, you are guilty of lying to your king, of false claims, and of arranging to have the heir to the kingdom kidnapped. The punishment for these charges is death by beheading. Have you any last words?” 
She met the cold eyes of her once beloved King and remembered when those same eyes filled with desire, amusement, and love for her. At her silence, the King gestured for the execution to commence. 
She knelt before the box and bent at the waist until the rough grain of the wood pressed into her cheek. As the sound of steel sliding free echoed around the courtyard, the queen broke her silence. “If I could go back, knowing where this would end, I would make the same choice.” The air whistled as the sword swung toward her, but she continued to speak. “Having you love me and having these few precious months with our son is worth the price.” 
            Her last thought was relief as the King surged to his feet, his grief and love written across his face.

#4. I placed 14th in Challenge #2 of Rachel Harrie's Platform Building Campaign 4 with this one.
by Sabrina A. Fish

Sonya combed her fingers through her salty, wet hair then leaned her head back against the rusted support of the crumbling concrete bridge. Thirsty, she licked her dry, cracked lips with an equally dry tongue.  Dreia sat beside her rubbing at a new cut on her emaciated thigh, weariness creating lines in her fifteen year old face after a day spent sifting through the debris on the beach for anything of value like combs, shoes, or clothing. 
Seeing that wariness on her friend’s young face sparked resentment inside Sonya. Her grandmother whispered stories of a time when children had been allowed to play, kicking balls across the very bridge this rusted backrest used to support.
 A time when fruit was so ripe and plump it could quench one’s thirst as well as water.
Staring at the shapes in the flames of the fire at her feet, Sonya longed for the return of the world her grandmother told her about.
 She rubbed the scars on her arms from the slavemaster’s whip, glanced again at the wariness on her friend’s face, and vowed that one day she would find a way to free her people from the Survivorists’ rule. Or die trying.

#5: Challenge #1 of Rachel Harrie's Platform Building Campaign 4

Elusive Escape
by Sabrina A. Fish

Shadows crept along the wall, inky filaments of death reaching for her. Crouching next to Deitric, Lara clenched her sweating hands as the shadows separated from the darkness to became two guards with spiked helms and long steel swords. Walking within touching distance of her small group, frozen dirt crunched under their boots as they moved past. The breeze from their passing ruffled her hair, the scent of their unwashed bodies wrinkling her nose.  A nudge from her rescuer and she sprinted on cold bare feet for the next grouping of shadows, heart hammering inside her chest.
Not daring to hope, she studied the gate. Freedom taunted her.  A hand touched her shoulder.
                Ruark whispered in her ear. “Stay. I will take care of the guards and then signal.”
Glancing over her shoulder, Lara narrowed her eyes with suspicion. Did she trust him? Not really. But what choice did she have. She nodded. He glanced once at Deitric and then ran in a low crouch for the gate, disappearing into its shadows.
Stomach clenching, she waited. Would he betray her? Was this another of the dark one’s tricks? Movement sounded behind her. Ruark’s low voice whispered, “Forgive me.” Everything faded.

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