‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #33 Entry Part 3) by Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingComminity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 3) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #33.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

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 and the contribution.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

Sunrise, I stand alone with my blue ocean
The land beyond
I am King of all I survey, at least for another hour
Before the human ants
come crawling out of the woodwork.
I enjoy this hour, I bathe in it
It will sustain me through the day.
Those sullen voices, grumpy faces
It rolls off my back,
I have become a duck for the day.
To hold back the nightmares
I will watch the sun set
Bathe in the peace of it at the end of my day
Armour against the night terrors
I shall sleep peacefully,
knowing all is well with the world…

© Anita Dawes 2021

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be posting more entries as I receive them.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #33 Entry Part 2) by D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #33.
Today I’m featuring a contribution By D L Finn.
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 and D.L.Finns contribution.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

This is a Haibun  Poem, which a prose paragraph finished off by a Haiku/Senyru.

 

A DAY BY THE SEA

I sat on my pink beach towel lathered in sunscreen, perched atop the warm black sand. The waves crashed against the rocks, making entry into the inviting sea difficult, yet people still swam and snorkeled. The day was uneventful as I sipped water and nibbled on sandy snacks while reading the latest romance novel. As the sky turned orange and the sun disappeared into the horizon, I shivered and tugged on my yellow floral dress. Then, I stood where the water met land, taking in the tropical splendor that reminded me of my innocent childhood days. I allowed the waves to wash over my feet as it tried to pull the sand from under them. The few people who were left at the beach were focused on the golden orb’s departure. Now was the promised time for departure. I scanned the incoming water, hoping nothing would prevent its arrival again. A scarlet glow caught my eye. I smiled deeply as tears of joy filled my eyes. Finally, it was here!

The red orb found me
Transporting me to the ship
I was going home.

~~~~~~~~~

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #33 Entry Part 1) by John Howell @howellwave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingPrompt #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #33,
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.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Drop the blind, will ya, Shela. After last night, I need to stay where the sun don’t shine.”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

Here is my own contribution.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

Allie Patterson pulled the purple shawl up around her shoulders as the sweet salt scented air cooled and caressed her body. She dug her toes into the swirling sand as the waves rushed forward and danced around her ankles.

Allie drew in a deep lungful of air to steady herself as she looked across the ocean to where the sun was kissing the new dawn into wakefulness. She marveled at the myriad of colors nature had granted permission for the sky to share, and then smiled at her own flights of fancy. It had been ten years to the day since she’d last been here.

Allie felt her soul weeping within her, she cried out with the pain of it. “Am I a damned fool to have come back here? Will this bring me closure?”

The aching, burning, need to see Lance just one more time had gnawed at her guts like a ravenous cancer for the last ten years. But this place? Dear God, this place was the most difficult of all to revisit. It was here, right here on this spot where Lance had laughed with pleasure at the astonished look on her face when he first told her that he loved her beyond reason. Could a kiss ever be sweeter than the one following their mutual declaration of insanity?

They’d spent every anniversary of that day here. Rejoicing in the rightness of their being together, they’d walked hand in hand along the beach and snuggled down together to watch the kaleidoscope of sound and color explode around them. They’d sipped on hot coffee and Lance had moved and seated himself just behind her, Allie had leaned back into his arms, not needing conversation to intrude on the moment.

Ten years ago, it had changed forever.

Allie had turned forty-five and begun questioning everything she’d ever done in her life. What had she done to bring her to this moment? She lived in a great apartment in a good location and excelled at her job. She was in love with a man who loved her back. She told herself that over and over again as the guilt she was feeling about their affair weighed ever heavily on her.

She’d lived the lie for so long she’d forgotten what it was like to have someone in her life who was available to share time with her spontaneously. Someone who’d ring her at work and invite her over for something simple like Pizza and a movie. Her affair with Lance saw her spend every holiday alone. She attended friend’s weddings and their children’s christenings without a plus one, and her friends had long since given up trying to pair her off with anyone. She couldn’t share Lance with them. The only day of the year she was certain to spend with him was the anniversary of the first day they’d spent together here on the edge of the ocean.  Apart from that date she never knew when she’d hear from him, and like a damned fool she was so grateful when he did finally call, she’d never admonished him, she’d simply agreed to his sudden urgent need to be with her. Until the bitter taste of her own disenchantment permeated their relationship. She’d watched her pride in her accomplishments drown in the acid of the deception she had been living for far too long.

Ten years ago, right here, she had ended their affair. Lance had seen it coming and done nothing to prevent it. It hadn’t ended with an argument. He’d made no promises. He seemed to take pride in that knowledge. “I did tell you I was married,” he said as if that completely absolved him of any wrongdoing. Allie looked at him clearly perhaps for the first time, then she turned and walked away forever.

Allie felt the tears on her face and used her shawl to wipe them away. She turned and smiled up at the man who had now joined her. “Have you put him to rest now, my love?” He asked.

Allie glanced at the wedding ring on her finger and reached her hand out to her husband. “Yes, darling. I have.”

“Good. Then let’s leave here now. After all we have our own memories to keep making, don’t we?”

Allie kissed his cheek and grinned happily, “Oh, yes. It’s so wonderful to have memories I’m able to share.” She caught the wicked gleam in his eyes as he responded. “Well, we can share some of them.”

They laughed together and walked hand in hand into their future.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 …

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On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ New Image Prompt #Week 33. Join in the fun! #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021″  WEEK #33.

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.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by ,DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, January 28th.  Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM.

Here is the image prompt for this week.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

Photo by Artem Saranin from Pexels

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 10) by Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 10) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021”  Week #32.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mark Bierman.

 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 and Mark’s contribution.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

Sophie hated these woods at night. During the day, they were cheerful. Cicadas played their endless rattle songs in the trees, while black-capped chickadees fed from your hand.

This trail was usually lit by sunlight, its rays marked the path ahead with the promise of a refreshing dip in Potters Lake, or, if you went the other way, the back door of Nanny and Pappy’s cottage. On most afternoons, the smell of fresh baked cookies would reach your nose before the brown walls of the cottage could be seen.

Yes, the daytime was safe time, but not now, out here, in the dark, and with only an old lantern that Pappy had used as a kid . . . now that was old.

Her teacher, Mr. Palmer, had said darkness was just the absence of light, that everything was the same. She’d love to have that man here, now. If only he could here the thumps, the rustle of branches as they were parted by the claws of who knows what. Sophie tried to ignore them, to keep the lantern pointed only at the path ahead. She was weirdly mad at the lantern for lighting up the edges of path. It showed a pair of glowing eyes that stared at her very soul, before disappearing back into the woods.

Every ounce of her wanted to run back to the cottage. Her desire was increased when she heard the crazy call of something on the lake to her right, just beyond the bushes. Sophie had jumped then . . . had almost dropped the lantern, and then what? Complete darkness!

She felt the gross things squirm at her side; disgusting, slimy, and terrifying. She tried to imagine they were not there. But they were, and the sooner she got to the lake, the sooner she’d be rid of them. Sophie shuddered at the thought of what was to come.

Something grabbed her right sneaker, and she was pulled towards the bush.  A scream was caught in her throat, it wouldn’t do her terror justice, anyways, and who knows what blood thirsty monsters it would attract.

Claws tore at her jacket and snatched her hair. In her panic, she dropped the lantern and it smashed as she fought for her life.

Trees are good for the environment. Not these ones, Palmer, not all trees were good! Some were evil and would grab you . . . these trees kill you! Find that in your stupid Life Science book, Palmer.

Then she was free of them. She raced towards the lake. Scared to death, running like a crazy person down a trail that was almost as dark as her closet. But there was a weird satisfaction that she’d at least ripped off some of their spiny fingers They were still freakishly stuck in her hair, though.

Their angry brothers and sisters tried to stop her, by grabbing at her feet, but she was ready for them, this time. She was an expert dodgeball player. Nimble as a mountain goat, her gym teacher had said. Well, all those games had certainly paid off.

She didn’t have the nerve to get the broken lantern, but the slimy things were still with her. She hated her luck.

A monster screeched in the trees and her feet seemed to float over the path. Up ahead, was the last corner before the lake. Another screech, this time directly overhead, was answered by a bone chilling yodel!

There was nothing for it, no turning back for Sophie. She had a job to do and no self-respecting girl would let it go undone.

Sophie put her head down, to avoid it being torn off by the screechy thing and raced to the lake. The slimy creatures bounced off her right side, and it felt like every monster from all the horror films she’d ever heard about were after her.

The lake appeared. The job was finished!

“Sophie! What on earth happened to your hair? Are you alright?” Pappy’s worried face looked at her from his boat, that was still tied to the dock.

Sophie ran onto the dock, nearly of breath. It was difficult to speak, but she managed, “I-I’m okay, now.”

She reached into her coat pocket and cringed. Her hand grabbed the carton of those slimy devils. “Here’s the worms we forgot.”

“Thanks, Sweetie, that was brave of you to go back in the dark. Especially with all of those roots on the trail. Now, let’s get those twigs out of your hair.”

~~~~~~~

Mark can be reached here …

Twitter

Blog Mark Bierman Adventures in Writing

Amazon.com

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Your comments are always appreciated.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 8) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #32.
Today I’m featuring a contribution from Karen Ingalls
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 and Karen’s Contribution.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

 

And here is Karen’s Tanka poem based on the above:

There is a wonderful poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, titled “The Sands of Time.” It is a poem that left a large impact on me when I was in high school. Its influence is obviously still with me.

Karen may be reached here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

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’ll be featuring further contributions as I receive them.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 7) By Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #FlashFiction #wrintingcommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.”  Week #32.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

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’s the image prompt and the contribution by Gwen Plano.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

I’ve situated the image within a larger picture of a cabin in the woods. My haiku poem (5-7-5 syllables) is called Home.

Picture

Gwen Plano can be reached here …

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 6) by Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingComminity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 6) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #32.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

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 and the contribution.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

In the dark of night any light is welcome
This tiny orange glow, held by a helping hand
Yet I could not walk towards it
A whispering voice in my mind
Telling me there is danger that way
Turn around, come back to me
I have lived here in the dark a long time,
Waiting. Each day you tread this path
So many times I almost touched you
Whispering, hoping you would hear me
Tonight, I know you heard my voice
You remember the times we lived together
The many years that pass your mind
The hand that holds the light
Wants to take you from me
Don’t let them, turn around
I am waiting…

© Anita Dawes 2021

~~~~~~

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be posting more entries as I receive them.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 5) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #32.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 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 and Harmony’s Contribution.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

Blood Moon

‘Come on, guys. This isn’t funny,’

The utter silence persists. Not even a sigh of a breeze disturbs the foliage. I startle at the eerie hoot of a lone owl.

‘All right, already. The joke’s on me. You win.’

I wait, half afraid and half hopeful. My concession will surely lure them out now. Behind, a branch snaps. I whirl around and peer into the dark … impenetrable past the dull orange glow of my lamp because the thick entwined trees block any effervescence the red full moon offers. Actually, I’m glad the eerie crimson glow is hidden. While I pretended this is all a lark, this jaunt freaks me the hell out.

The flickering flame produces shadows that leap and cavort grotesquely. Cold sweat coats my back and face. Annoyance bolsters me against the creeping fear. How can they think it’s okay to leave a female alone in the deep, dark woods like this? Anything could happen.

Huffing and puffing … I’ll blow your house down. … Ha ha ha aaa. Okay, I seriously need to calm myself and not lose the plot. They’re here. Somewhere. They must be. I wasn’t asleep that long before … before SOMETHING woke me.

Ahead, a fallen log lies across the mulchy trail. The heavy foliage rustles and trembles. Then it shakes. Another branch snaps.

That does it. Terror triumphs—takes control. I scream. And, yes, it’s as high and girly as every corny slasher movie depicts. But I’m too scared for pride right now.

‘Who is it? Who’s there?’

In my panic, I break into a sprint and stumble deeper into the woods. Where did my friends go? What’s going on?

My foot catches on a root poking out of the mud. I face plant, and the lamp flies from my hand. It bounces, once, twice, rolls a few feet, and then smashes against a tree trunk. I lay on my stomach, panting and flicking my terrified gaze here, there, and everywhere.

Night blind, cold, and covered in mud, I lift myself to my knees and listen. Every tiny click and skitter makes my heart lurch and race.

I feel watched. Stalked.

I stagger to my feet and lurch forward. An ominous drum beats. The sound bounces from the trunks around me, and I can’t tell from which direction the threatening cacophony comes. All at once, the trees end. I stand in a clearing, bathed in the sinister glow of the blood moon.

Torches flare to life all around. I’m surrounded. Shadowy figures loom. My breath catches, and my throat constricts. I cannot scream or cry for help or beg for mercy. Those stories aren’t simple myth or legend but as real as the night around me. And I’m the guest of honour … the sacrificial virgin.

Unable to watch as they come for me, I sink to the ground and bow my head. I never said I was brave. My bladder lets go. Hot, humiliating urine squirts down my legs.

An escaped giggle gives them away. I stare at the nearest figure and swear, badly. As my friends guffaw and slap each other’s backs, Damian asks, ‘Who’s banging the drum?’

The youthful mirth hangs itself on the noose of dismayed dread. The drum beats come closer. A ghostly gale extinguishes the torches. An ephemeral female voice seems to speak from every direction, ‘You should not have trespassed on this sacred ground. Rahu demands your blood.’

How I made it out that night, I’ll never know. I’m the only one who did. Selenophobia, the psychiatrist calls it. But I know better. There truly is blood in the moon.

© Harmony Kent 2021

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. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.


‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #32 Entry Part 4) by Jacquie Biggar @jacqbiggar #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 4) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #32.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar

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 and the contribution.

pexels-emre-kuzu-4820763(2)

Mind Games

Jessica and Chris had been trekking for what felt like forever, though when she glanced at the tech-watch Nick had bought for her birthday, only five hours had gone by. At first, the thrill of a new adventure had kept their steps light and spirits high, but as the sky became leaden with menacing dark clouds and the trees loomed tall and intimidating the further along the forested trail they traversed, the more she second-guessed her decision to go camping. The warmth and comfort of home beckoned louder and louder with every step she took away from town.

“How much further?” Chris asked, his voice muted as he lagged behind.

Jess stopped near a fork in the path, a fallen tree covered in moss providing a natural resting place. She sat and took a long pull from her water bottle while Chris hobbled to join her, his lips pressed into a thin line.

“What’s wrong?” Jess used her bottle to point at the foot he was obviously favoring.

He shrugged and slung the heavy pack off his shoulders, letting it fall to the dirt with little regard as to what he might be squashing. “Just a blister, my shoes are too loose.” Sighing, he took out his water bottle and took a small sip before returning it to its pouch on the side of the bag. “Better watch how much you drink, if we don’t make camp tonight there won’t be any for the hike tomorrow.”

Shoot, he was right. She’d been so thirsty she hadn’t thought ahead, some team leader she was turning out to be. This deep into the woods, what little light was left—after being chased by the clouds—was fast disappearing. Instead of stumbling around in the dark, they might be better off building their tent right here. At least they’d be protected from the brunt of the storm rather than if they were out in the open campsite.

“I think we should stay here for tonight. That way you can care for your heel and we can setup before dark.” She glanced up as rain sprinkled down on her head. “And get out of the rain.”

Chris nodded, his shoulders slumping with relief. “Works for me. That way if…” He stopped, his cheeks flushing.

“What?” She asked, then gasped. “You’re hoping Nick comes looking for us, aren’t you?”

Aren’t you?” he countered, his chin in the air. He waved his arms around them. “We don’t need to get lost in the back of beyond to prove some point to your dumb want-to-be boyfriend. C’mon, Jess. If he doesn’t like you for who you are, he doesn’t deserve you.”

Stunned, she took in Chris’s belligerent attitude and frowned. “I thought you were my best friend.”

He rolled his eyes and turned away to dig out the battery-operated lamp they’d brought along for night-time use. “I am your friend, silly. That’s why I can say stuff like that, and you’re supposed to listen—that’s how it works with true friends.”

He continued to quietly set up their camp for the evening, untying the tent from the bottom of his pack and pulling out the lightweight sleeping bag that was rolled into a tight ball. As the rain began to fall in earnest, Jess dove into her bag for the bright yellow rain jackets they’d packed at the last minute.

“Here,” she said, shaking one out for him to wear. He smiled as he accepted the coat, and she was struck by how mature Chris seemed. He’d always been thoughtful and considerate, but now it was layered with authority, the child turning into a young—and attractive—man.

Confused by her wandering thoughts, she grasped the handle of the lamp and rose. “I’m just going to, you know—be right back.”

Chris nodded, though his brows lowered. “Don’t go too far, okay?”

Sensible advice, but she needed privacy to answer the call of nature, so she walked up the right fork of the trail until she crested the hill and started down the other side. Glancing back, she shivered. The path, cloaked in mist and shadows, reminded her of that dinosaur movie Chris loved so much.

Wading through thigh-high ferns, she carefully stepped off the trail, the lantern held high to shed light as far as she could get it to go. “Far enough,” she muttered, and set the lamp on the ground to peel her pants down and do her business. “Hurry, hurry, hurry,” she chanted, seriously creeped out now. Flying insects dive-bombed the light, their buzz adding an eerie addition to the choir of rustling leaves, creaking branches, and the drip, drip of rain on her hood. That’s it, she wasn’t going to eat or drink another thing until she got home.

She zipped her pants and bent to pick up the lantern, then froze. Something was nearby. The woods had taken on a stillness, as though holding its breath. And maybe it was her imagination, but it felt like someone, or some thing, was staring at her—waiting.

Jess screamed.

~~~~~~

Jacquie may be reached here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.