Between the Fields [Flash Fiction] #writephoto
• Words: 722 • Themes: Fantasy, Horror, Suspense •
The road snakes out before me, a sinuous ribbon of grey slicing the fields of golden flowers neatly in two. An azure sky rules over them, replete with fluffy white clouds. In my chest, my heart skips jubilantly. Alfor told me I was a fool to take the road less-travelled, but my instincts have proven him wrong—again!
What a beautiful day! A more inviting morning I could not have dreamed up. The warm of the sunlight feels glorious against my skin, and the scent of the flowers on the breeze reminds me of my childhood. Funny, but I can’t pinpoint which specific childhood memory it recalls. Perhaps the scent of my mother’s cinnamon buns cooking in the oven… or is it the fuchsias in the garden, coming into full bloom? Whatever the memory, it’s wholesome and good, just like this place.
I blink, and the sun has almost crossed the sky. The fields stretch on and on. I hadn’t realised they were so expansive. Dreams… I’ve dreamed a thousand sunny mornings of cinnamon buns. I can practically taste them.
Are those trees, that I spot in the distance? Perhaps they border these endless yellow fields. I’ll head towards them.
No, it isn’t cinnamon buns I remember… it’s freshly brewed coffee. Oh, how I loved the smell of father’s coffee. I’d sit by his side at the breakfast table and long for the days when I’d be old enough to drink it with him.
The breeze brushes my skin, pulling me out of the memory. The trees loom up ahe—no, wait. The trees are behind me. I passed them already? I must have done. There is only the one road. Just one. Grey. Firm beneath my feet.
Some uneasy bubble rises up from my stomach… but why worry? The flaxen fields are wide open. Should an enemy come, I would spot him a mile away! Not that any enemy would ever come here. Somehow, I just know that no being of evil intent has ever set foot in this place.
Clean bed-linen, hanging from the washing line! Yes! That’s what the smell reminds me of. Helping my older brother, Jor, hang the bed sheets out to dry. We’d bring them in at the end of the day and sleep upon a bed of summer. It’s what I miss most about home. What I wouldn’t give to have those bed sheets right now, so that I might curl up in them as the sun se—
The sun isn’t setting. It appears to have just risen. I shake my head at my own madness. I would remember if I’d walked through the night. No, I must’ve mistaken the earlier passage of time. The road had changed direction, most likely, without me noticing. Hard to get your bearings when there’s nothing around you but fields of yellow.
Cinnamon… Fuchsia… Coffee… Linen… they drape themselves over my mind, tugging at my eyelids. But I can’t sleep now. It’s only morning. I still have miles to go. Home is calling.
Something rustles. Flowers bend and dip with the passing of something tracking towards me. Instinct takes over. I draw my sword. Stand my ground. Wait.
A small creature hops out from the field of gold. Rabbit-sized, with long fur and eyes as wide as teacup saucers. Cute, really. It doesn’t seem to have front legs or arms. I guess this is a safe place for the little guy. No predators for miles around. Come to think of it, no nothing for miles around. Nothing but flowers. I haven’t even heard a songbird in da—no, not days. Slip of the tongue. I haven’t been here that long. Hours. Haven’t heard a bird in hours.
More rustling. More creatures. They line the road like a guard of honour, and when I sheathe my sword and set off again, they follow me. They make no sound. Not a sniff nor a squeal nor an inquisitive whine at my presence. They just follow me. Watching. Always Watching.
My legs grow weary. Feels like I’ve been walking for days. When was the last time I ate? Cinnamon buns? I… had them with coffee? The pleasant memories become more elusive. Perhaps I’ll sit. Wait for nightfall. Wrap myself in those summer sheets I now barely recall.
At least I’m not alone.
I wrote this story for Sue Vincent’s Thursday #writephoto prompt. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last did #writephoto, due to “real” life catching up with me. I enjoyed crafting this story, and hope you’ve enjoyed reading it too. Please go check out stories from other authors on Sue’s site.