Terveen Gill 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 eBook at year end.
Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:
by Terveen Gill
Jimmy’s hand had merely stroked the fiery colors before he fell to the ground. Professor Goodwin’s fingers searched for a pulse, an attempt that proved futile. The expression on his face sent Rachel into a hysteria. Her screams echoed in the quiet. It was extremely quiet.
The others mistook this reaction as a signal for dispersal and what ensued was beyond controllable. Mature boys and girls ran amok, entangling themselves in wild foliage, brushing past the painted trees. They fell to the ground one by one. Their bodies lay wasted like lifeless puppets. Professor Goodwin grabbed Rachel by the arm, striking her across the cheek. They both sank to the ground, his arms wrapped around her trembling frame.
That’s when they heard it. Muffled cries for help drifting in the air. Professor Goodwin cocked his head slightly, carefully deciphering the troubled sounds. Releasing his grip on Rachel, he crawled towards the apparent source. He was inches from the tree that took Jimmy’s life when the harsh reality crept up on him. Jimmy’s screams were barely audible from inside the tree trunk. His pleas for help rooted deep beneath the bark.
The other trees began to moan, harboring within them tormented cries for release. Their branches began to sway despite the absence of a breeze. It was the dance of death. Professor Goodwin noticed Rachel standing dangerously close to a tree. Its colors blazed in the sunlight. There were no extraterrestrials. Mother Nature had ordered a clean-up.