Christian A. Brown Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Christian A. Brown is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:

 

methuen library tree 1983
methuen library tree
photo by K.S. Brooks

Reunion
by Christian A. Brown

“Come now, my son, before it returns!”

But his child stayed curled in the hollow where he been found: shivering, surrounded in bones, and slick with filth. For what felt like an eternity, Giacomo had trudged through the black mire, and overcome gruesome trials to reach his child. Why did the boy hesitate?

“I tried, father,” whispered Marcello. “To warn you away. I did not want you to see what I have become.”

A memory flashed in the warrior.

‘Giacomo hears the screech of the beast on high. Nimbly, he dives for the cover of a muddy thicket—thorns tear at him—and cowers until the leathery shadow passes. As the horror flaps off, it cries again. Giacomo harks to the sound, as plaintive as it is angry; it is a sound he feels he should recognize, like the scream of a babe in the night…’

Giacomo knew that cry. Heard many times while nursing his son after Clara’s death. After the beast of the Black Forest had devoured all but the finger that wore her wedding ring: leaving that grisly trophy outside his son’s crib.

“No…” muttered Giacomo, stepping back.

“The beast did not take me, father.”

No. Giacomo shook his head, refusing to understand. Regally, his son rose from the bones and rot. What stared at Giacomo had eyes like whorls of darkness, a smile of white knives, and a hump to its back that would soon unfurl into wings.

“I am the beast,” said his son.

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14 thoughts on “Christian A. Brown Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

    1. Yes, I wasn’t certain if web code would work. Such as: , for italics. And it would have been a waste of words/ characters, as well as potentially looking like a hot mess. I just needed some distinction in the narrative.

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