Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #27.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.
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.
This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“Yeah, I used to be a yellow shrub too. Just hang in there you’ll develop.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
My own Contribution.
November 27th, 2019.
The police cruiser pulled over. Deputy James Laverne climbed from the cabin with radio in hand. “Christine, I’ve located the bike. It’s around five miles in on the old mill road, just past the bridge turnoff. You know that location! No sign yet of the Kendall boy. Send me out some back up.”
“Jesus, Jimmy. That’s the same location as Jenny O’Connor went missing. That’s gotta be a year ago now.”
“Yup. It’s exactly one year. Say nothing to the parents. Not yet. Now get me some help out here, before that sun sets. Tell Gunther to bring his dogs. Say nothing to anyone outside the station! We don’t want that crazy hysteria erupting like it did last time. The press can’t get wind of this. “
“You watch your ass out there.”
“Copy that. I’ll radio back in every fifteen minutes.”
The deputy readied his sidearm and pulled his notebook from his jacket pocket, hurriedly re-checking the time frame. Frank Kendall had reported his fourteen-year- old son Clifton missing when the boy failed to come in for his dinner last night. His folks waited till ten p.m. before calling it in. Frank said his boy had been acting up lately, talking nonsense about seeing strange lights in the night sky and other rubbish. But this was the first time ever that he hadn’t been home in time to wash up and join the family for dinner.
Deputy Laverne looked over the bike, nothing stood out as unusual, except for the fact that it was out here in the middle of nowhere on a road in an area designated off limits for non- military personnel. He followed a few tell-tale broken branches where the youngster had entered the overgrown forest that surrounded the area.
His guts churned with the acid of the memory of what he’d seen at this location a year ago.
He found himself drawn back to the clearing exactly where Jenny O’Connor’s neatly folded clothes had been waiting. No trace of the girl had ever been found.
The surrounding forest had inexplicably been flattened out to form an almost perfect circle. No birdsong echoed in this place. There were no clouds directly overhead and no wind stirred the trees. The man groaned aloud when he saw another pile of neatly folded clothing. “No, no, no! Not another one!”
He heard a soft moan come from just behind him. There at the edge of the circle a young woman lay curled into a ball. She was naked. The deputy removed his jacket and placed it over her. She looked up at him, “Where are my coverings?”
His heart jolted as he recognized the girl, and suddenly realized he’d heard her voice, but her lips hadn’t moved “Oh my God! Jenny? Jenny O’Connor?”
“Yes. It’s my time to return home now.”
“Sweetheart I don’t know how you’re doin’ what you’re doin’. I don’t know where you’ve been. But I promise you I’ll call your folks as soon as we get you back to my cruiser.” He reached down to assist her to stand.
The young woman placed her hand on his arm and looked into his face, “Clifton will be gone one earth year. You’ll find him waiting for you when that time elapses.”
The man shook his head and sadly acknowledged that nothing in her world would ever be the same again. He knew damned well she was about to become one of his country’s most closely guarded secrets.
He helped Jenny into the cruiser. He wanted to call her folks as he’s said he would, but knew his country’s security may hinge on his decision.He placed the urgent call to General Robert Matthews in Washington. The call altered the course of all their lives forever.
November 27th, 2020. 11:50 P.M.
The airspace above the location was the focus of attention. The military powers appeared satisfied that nothing could enter this airspace without their prior knowledge and approval. The recovery team were ready to deploy.
Time moved relentlessly forward. Midnight beckoned, and no incursion had been reported.
November 27th, 11:55 p.m.
Clifton Kendall’s mother touched her son’s dearly loved face with both joy and sorrow. “I’m so glad you came straight here, son. I’ve missed you so much. But you need to leave here, Cliff! You need to do it now! Sweet young Jenny O’Connor hasn’t been seen around these parts since a year ago when she came home again. I don’t want you put anyplace you don’t wanna be.”
“I need to locate Jenny. Do you know where she’s being held?”
“I believe it’s called Area 51.”
“Ah, yes. I know of it.”
Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments. I will as always featuring each new contribution as I receive them.
I may be reached here …