A. L. Kaplan Wins Flash Fiction Challenge


A. L. Kaplan is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today.

Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:

 

flash fiction writing prompts illinois river nuclear power plant oct 2008
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

The Tunnel
by A. L. Kaplan

A multitude of sounds resounded with each step Julie took. It had to be just her footsteps echoing through the empty tunnel. Either that or a year without companionship had finally driven her mad. Somehow she’d survived the plague that had wiped out the world in just a few months. Now she was alone, scavenging to survive.

Every noise sent shivers up her spine, imaginary demons haunting her solitude. Finally, she spun around and stared into the darkness. The sounds continued. A pair of inhuman eyes appeared. Julie tightened the grip on her walking stick, heart pounding. Feral dogs had attacked before. Last time she’d been lucky.

“Damn. You’re real,” said a voice.

A faint dog-shaped shadow detached itself from the darkness along with a young man. Tears stung Julie’s eyes. A human. An honest to god human. Only the large dog at his side kept her from throwing her arms around him.

“Tom believe Storm now.” The strange voice echoed in her head.

“Who else is there?” she said, looking beyond him.

The man pointed at himself, then the dog. “Just me, Tom, and Storm.”

“Not your dog. Where’s the other guy?”

Tom smiled. “You can hear him too? I thought I was going crazy the first time Storm spoke. He’s is a wolf, by the way. You got a name?”

Julie, she thought to herself, you’ve lost it.

Storm sniffed her hand. “Julie wolf talker. Join pack.”

“Well, Julie,” said Tom. “Welcome to our pack, earth’s future.”

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