‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 Entries Part 2) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 3)  by Harmony Kent.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

The Dead Hour

By

Harmony Kent

The station clock. Stuck. Seven minutes to midnight.

And bang … I’m awake again. Same time. Every. Single. Night.

I need sleep. Without the glorious restorative powers of deep slumber, you can’t hold me responsible.

Even in the glare of these harsh fluorescents, my eyes remember the comforting soft glow of the olde-world clock—the promise of simpler days. A kinder era. I’m a girl born way behind my time. Would that I could go back.

I have FFI, so I’m dead already. I know that. Fatal Familial Insomnia is no joke. But my life still matters. I still matter. Don’t I?

I’m down to a mere 30 minutes of rest in every 24 hours. Each day sees my brief period of respite fall by a minute more. Tomorrow, I’ll achieve only 29 minutes. No matter when I lay my head down to sleep, and regardless of how long I go under for, I always awaken at seven minutes to midnight. What have you done to me?

You promised you would help.

Already, my eyesight fails me. My memory too. What will I lose next? By now, we can’t call it sleep. Not really. Always, I’m aware of the lights. The torturous ticking of the clock. Even with all your drugs, you’ve lost all control over me. Can you not see that?

Three burly men slam open the door, burst in, and hold me down. By now, I’m used to such rough attention. How often do I have to lay here, passive and unresistive, before you trust me? I hold my breath. Wait. Here he comes. The fourth guy, wearing a full hazmat suit, complete with sealed helmet. An elephant-sized syringe gleams silver in the white, sterile space. Idly, I watch as needle pierces flesh and plunger plunges. The vile goober empties into my veins.

Nobody speaks. Not one word. Eerie, this silent dance we perform each and every night. Always as the clock strikes twelve. The new dead hour. Like you, I used to believe that the dead hour fell between 3 and 4 am, when most people are apt to die in their sleep. Also the time when folks slumber deepest. Hah. The irony.

The days pass.

28 minutes

27 minutes

26

25

10 minutes

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …

The station clock. Stuck. Seven minutes to midnight.

And bang … I’m awake again. Same time. Every. Single. Night.

I need sleep. You can’t hold me responsible.

How can you have just one-minute’s worth of sleep? Preposterous. And yet here we are. Again.

Tonight is different, though. All these nights, you’ve believed I’ve suffered hallucinations. They’re real, I tell you. I have precisely seven minutes before the goons give me the needle. Sixty seconds before the big hand moves onto six minutes. I have to make every second count.

Are you with me?

Or are you against me?

The silence terrifies my withered body. Did I get it wrong?

Resolute, I close my eyes and slow my heart to beat in time with each tick, tick, tick.

The amber glow from the olde-world station clock comforts, beckons, and offers escape from this nightmare. With long-practiced ease, I swallow my tongue. My best hope is that you’ll believe I died trapped in this shallow shell of flesh and blood and bones.

I know better.

The clock. Seven minutes to midnight. My doorway from this house of horrors. My soul soars.

In the station, a crowd awaits me. When I land, their applause deafens. Now I know why only my bed was occupied. Why the other fifty lie empty. All your failures are here. With me. Angry.

Contrary to what you thought, our sleep deprivation enhanced our powers instead of destroying them. Fire dances across my fingertips. Nerves tingle. Three seconds left.

My insomnia, and your cruel treatment, have left me devoid of the compassion you might once have expected from this gentle soul that was I. When you’ve stripped everything away, what’s left?

I turn and face the portal. Before it can close, I throw my flames of fury into the lab. Around me, my fellow victims do the same.

Two seconds.

We stand and watch it all burn.

One second.

It’s six minutes to midnight, and I’m free.

Copyright ©Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

23 thoughts on “‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 Entries Part 2) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

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