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The wonderful Fiona Riplee loves to challenge us:
Your setting: woods, 3 AM.
Write a Flash Fiction of 500 words or less that includes the words bubbles, mindful, and deep.
I am in some deep woods, cloistered among the dark green foliage. The scent of damp earth is cloying and I am mindful of the dangers of the night. The quiet screams at me and the lack of sound causes fear to bubble up, threatening to choke me. Where am I and how did I get here? I look down and I am dressed in the fashion of the forties. The fifteen forties. I try to walk but my legs have turned to water and are melting beneath me. There is a light wavering in the darkness. I try to slog forward. Then I hear it. Thwack, thwack. Someone is moving toward me, cutting away the undergrowth with what sounds like…a sword. Thwack, thwack. Coming closer. My heart is pounding in my ears and my breath comes hard and fast. Thwack, thwack. Sweat trickles between my breasts. I want to cry out, but I fear it will draw the thing to me. Thwack, thwack. Please God.
It is a man’s voice, rich and deep like molasses. “Elizabeth, where are you?”
How does he know my name? He sounds worried.
I duck behind a tree and dig my fingers into the soft outer bark. A sliver of wood slides up under a nail and I stifle the yelp of pain.
“You know I won’t hurt you. Please come out.”
Who is he and what does he want?
“There you are, my darling.”
I feel his strong arms close around me from behind, holding me in a viselike grip. I stiffen and my mouth fills with the taste of copper as I bite my tongue. Will I be punished for hiding?
He continues to speak to me in calming whispers with no form. His voice is soothing and I relax against him. He is familiar and safe. “You cannot run away from this. You are a princess and you have duties to perform. You know this. And marriage is just one more thing you must consider.”
Marriage. Is that what I fear, why I ran? I am a princess? But I have no wish to marry. My mother married and it didn’t end well.
Let’s see what the amazing Fiona Riplee comes up with. After all, this was her idea!