Howard Johnson Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Howard Johnson 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. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:


blue spring state park tree fla 1998 flash fiction writing prompt copyrighted
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Howard Johnson

For three grueling weeks my associate, Mantuke, and I had been exploring a small island off the coast of Jamaica. The island was suspected of being the ancient tribal home of the Kwadrils, also known as the dancing ghosts. Over the last half mile the signs indicated we were getting close. Large tree branches meandered out, swooping down, almost touching the ground before jutting upward toward the sky. It was legend that when the Kwadril danced, nature would dance with them. These trees had danced before.

A sudden clap of thunder brought me back to the present time.

“Dr. Ursain, we must go.” cried Mantuke, his large brown eyes darting all around. “The gods are not happy with us being here.”

“Nonsense, my son. We are too close to turn back now.”

We had continued only a few hundred yards when Mantuke stopped dead in his tracks and began to shiver visibly. Sweat beads arose on his forehead and I could see his eyes roll back in their sockets. “Superstitious natives. If I could make this trek alone I would.” I thought to myself.

Then I saw it. Not twenty yards ahead, a dense cloud drifted out of a rock formation moving toward us.

Running forward I grabbed Mantuke’s collar. I stumbled and we both fell through the mist landing in the opening of a cave.

It was only then that I heard the music and saw them: Croce, Hendrix, Bowie and Elvis, and Bowie was singing – Let’s Dance.

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