|My gif won't work :(|
We have decided to disregard your most terrible rule breaking habits and proceed as though you were all law-abiding citizens of Cracked Flash Fiction Island. THIS TIME O.O.
David Shakes' The Road Behind, the Road Ahead
Mars: A lot of emotion is packed into this piece, even though it's a little rough around the edges. The last two lines seemed a pivotal character development to me; throughout the story, we see him clinging desperately to the idea that she might still be alive, but he lets go at the end; he accepts that there's nothing to be done, but he might be able to save a different life. Excellent piece. (Note: Don't think I didn't see you breaking the rules (#2) there, Mister. At least you're in good company. Y'all know who you are o.o)
Si: I loved the intense emotions in this piece, the interspersed thoughts/memories of the main character and his actions as he finds the cat. Excellent "show, not tell"--we can feel the emotions in the main character without ever being told exactly what they are, which makes it more powerful. It's a very immersive piece. Well done!
Steph Ellis' The Family Room
Mars: This is the sort of story that I had to read twice--when I hit the ending, I had the revelation moment, and then the horror set in as I read it again to get everything. I mean, it was creepy before that, with the taxidermy and everything, but then there's that whole, "Oh snap. It looks like his father didn't abandon him after all," moment. A most chilling tale.
Si: AH! This, like mars, took me a minute to "get" the ending, BUT WHEN I DID ... great horror. I loved the description of the empty, listless house--you get the feel of dust covering tables, dim lighting, musty smells. Loved the way the tone was maintained throughout the piece, the theme of family always being together ... never leaving. The main character goes back to find out what kind of a person his grandfather was, and man does he find out. Great understated horror--where there isn't too much description of what the horror is, but when it dawns on the reader it makes an impression.
Mars: Firstly, it amused me that you actually used the photo prompt. Secondly, excellent story. The creepiness vibe was pulled off very well here, particularly because of the elements used--eyes in the darkness, and hearing voices. Not even the light of a campfire can keep a character safe at this point, as any genre-savvy reader would know. The ending of the story inspires a large "DUN DUN DUNNN" reaction at the end. The slight relief in the middle only makes the end realization that much more poignant. (Also, markup works. Good to know.)
Si: Very creepy story! Love the way that the reader feels the creepiness before the main character does--while he's offering the cat a strip of meat, we're sitting tight in our seats waiting for something awful to happen. The eyes! The voice! Great tension as the story progressed. Poor main character, trusting to his comforting fire, while the eyes surround him. I loooved the last line: "There was laughter then, and a thousand yellow eyes.", very well phrased and very creepy. I'm rather amused at how many of you guys took the cat prompt and wrote a creepy/scary tale (my cat would approve). The tension is handled excellently, with some moments of almost-relief but a constant sense of foreboding. Great story!
The cat stared at him.
The only way he knew it was a cat because of the tapetum lucidum. Good thing cats gave themselves away like that; otherwise there’d be no way to discern their presence in a dark such as this.
The fire cracked beside him and he said, hand outstretched, “Here kitty kitty.” He plucked a piece of moist chicken from the bone and tossed it a few feet in front of him. “Here kitty kitty kitty.”
But the cat, beyond the safety of the firelight, remained, as it were, uninterested in anything but him. He averted his eyes but for a second as he dug into his chicken leg and the cat was gone, vanished into the night.
A branch snapped behind him.
He jerked around and smiled, “Oh there you are. You’re a sneaky little fellow aren’t you? You sure you don’t want some chicken? I’ve got more than enough for the both of us.”
He tossed another morsel the cat’s way.
It meowed as cats should and he could have sworn he heard a voice from somewhere say “Soon.”
He looked over both shoulders but the firelight’s radius provided him a consolatory comfort.
Then another pair of appeared, substantially higher than the other and he convinced himself his second guest perched on a low tree branch. “Does your friend want some chicken too?” He tossed it a little further into the dark, listened to the rustling of the brush, and watched (admittedly with relief) that second pair of eyes, more phosphorescent than the first, disappear.
Then that voice again, saying “Soon.”
Chance stood and took from the fire a long branch, less than half of it a bright orange smoldering mix of ember and flame.
There was laughter then, and a thousand yellow eyes.
Congratulations and excellent work, everybody! See you all this Saturday for Week 5!
(Looks like everyone who placed this time around was a Flash Dog! You'll have to tell the rest of the pack to rise to the challenge.)