I don’t usually do Flash Fiction, but I was intrigued by Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Six Random Titles. This challenge required selecting a randomly generated title to create a story of less than 1,000 words. Here is the result, creepier than my usual fare, slinking in at just 407 words, sans title.
THE RAGGED ROSE
They will be sorry for their sins.
When they turned on him, beating him bloody before tossing him aside like dregs from a chamber pot, he had wondered, questioned.
What crime had he committed?
But, no. He had done no more than he had promised. Yet, in guilt and fear, they had betrayed him, setting the mob upon him.
You made me what I am.
His revenge will be scarlet, their cries for mercy served up as a delicacy to his new army of believers.
Prophets are not destroyed so easily.
Spitting out the loose teeth that hang by sinewy threads, he claws the crusted dirt from his eyes, blinks, and snarls when his left eye refuses to open.
An eye for an eye? So, be it.
He raises his arms, hands clutching at the star-filled sky, stretching as if he can reach out and touch the red-faced moon. His feet sink below moist soil and the bitterness of a thousand souls floods through him.
I am the future.
Power thrums. His bones vibrate with the cries of battle and dying men, shadows of the past filling the air like a rising mist
Rally to me.
They come from out of the shadows, hollow eyes filled with darkness, surrounding him, whispering his name, a sacred mantra.
Laughter rattles up between his ribs, expelled like the cough of a lingering plague victim.
A whimper makes him turn.
She stumbles back, trips and falls, satin skirts hissing like a nest of snakes.
He moves closer, turns his good eye to stare.
She crabs away, back bumping against stone, rosy petals scattering upon the ground like spattered blood.
He reaches out his hand.
Shivers jar her fragile frame. Her breath comes in ragged gasps. Tears stream down her face, dripping onto black lace.
The scent of rotting flesh wafts on the chill night air. Murmuring voices turn into hungry growls.
He looks up. One by one, he fixes his eye upon them.
I am your God, now.
He holds out his hand, once more.
Her eyes glitter with apprehension, but she reaches up and places her warm hand in his. Trembling, she allows him to help her stand.
Lips part. Jaw unhinges.
Rows of jagged teeth scrape against flesh and bone.
A cry of anguish is cut short.
Now, follow me!
A single eye fixes on the scowling moon, as his broken remains are trampled beneath her passing army.