Flash Fiction

The Grave Was Silent

blog_graveyardatnight

The iron gates creaked eerily as she entered the Valley of Shadows. Slowly descending into the haunting abyss of death, she wove through an endless sea of gravestones until she found the one that bore her name. Fighting the fear that threatened her resolve, she took the shovel in her weary hands and began to dig deep.

A veil of darkness overtook the evening sky, and thick fog blurred her vision, but she did not stop until her mission was complete and the last vestiges of her old life sealed permanently beneath the earth’s surface. Leaving her grave clothes behind and wearing the armor bestowed upon her by the King, she turned toward the dim moonlit path that would finally bring her home. But the invisible paralyzed her from moving forward.

Cold hands reached from the barren earth below, pulling her helplessly toward the grave. Struggling to break free from the grip of death, she came face to face with the corpse she had buried minutes ago. It was her mirror image, only it reeked of her old habits and selfish ways. As she clawed against earthen soil, the lively corpse fought relentlessly against her—seeking to drag her into the eternal shadows.

Though she cried for help, she was certain no one could hear—and that she was meant to fight this battle alone. Weariness set in, but just as her vision threatened to give way to impending darkness, the fog lifted and the stars illumined a cross in the distance. With her last remnants of strength, she broke free from the grip of death and ran to the cross, clinging desperately to it.

As the corpse descended from the shadows, she remembered the book the King had given her. Holding it to the light, she cried out the words from the pages: “Behold, I am a new creation—the old has gone and the new has come!” Light penetrated darkness, and the corpse let out a hideous shriek, retreating to the grave, defeated at last.

Finally free from the clutches of death, she walked the narrow path that led home. Dawn broke forth in the horizon. As she turned to say a final goodbye to her old self, the grave was silent.

 

Flash Fiction by j.e. fernandez

Photo Credit: File:Glendalough round tower and graveyard at night.jpg …

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Barefoot on Sunday Morning

Blog_BarefootHe came barefoot to church every Sunday morning. Unaffected by the questioning glances, he stood quietly in his ragged clothing. Emma was drawn to him, and she determined to find out why.

When service ended, Emma hurried out the doors and waited until she spotted his bare feet amidst the flood of Sunday shoes. Head down and hands in pockets, he walked toward the alley. She followed.

“Excuse me. I have something to give you.” She held out a small envelope.

He looked up, brows furrowed above his warm brown eyes.

“This is for you…so you can have some shoes to wear to church on Sundays.”

His lips curved into a smile. “You’re very kind. But, I don’t go to church on Sundays.”

Emma tilted her head and looked from him to the building and back.

“I don’t believe we’ve met. Name’s Joshua.” He held out his rugged hand.

“I’m Emma. But…I’ve seen you in church. Every Sunday.”

“Oh, the building? Yes. But if you want to see my church, follow me.”

He proceeded down the alley, and Emma followed until they came to a series of row houses surrounding a small, dusty playing field where children ran barefoot.

Joshua turned to her. “Meet me here tomorrow.”

And she did. Each day that week, Emma came to the field and watched as Joshua delivered shoes to different families. He’d spend the day making shoes and the evening passing them out. By the end of the week, many of the children were wearing brand new shoes.

Emma watched as they played. “I don’t understand. Why…”

He smiled gently as the children ran happily across the field. “I like to give all I have, and to remember all I have to be grateful for.”

The next Sunday, Emma saw one of the families from the row houses walking in to church. The mother was wearing the Sunday shoes Emma had given her; the father and their boy were wearing the shoes Joshua had given them. Emma smiled, savoring the feeling of the cold floor beneath her bare feet.

Photo Credit: File:Barefoot on red dirt.jpg – Wikimedia Commons