Lou Silvestri 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 story:
by Lou Silvestri
Would this be the end? I wondered. My aching foot wedged deep into the crack of the tapering stalagmite. The pain was unbearable. For hours, no matter how I twisted and turned, I couldn’t get free. Hopefully, I prayed someone would find my notes to venture into the cave in search of the Shivegul.
I remembered my grandfather intriguing me with his stories of the ghostly creature haunting the cave. His eyes would blacken as he repeated the tale.
“The Shivegul was a grotesque, blood-thirsty spirit that lived in the deepest parts of the cave for over three hundred years,”he would begin. “Whoever went in search of it would never return,” and went on to tell of the lives lost in their searches.
I wondered if his story was true, or just made up to frighten me. That’s what led me on this quest. I didn’t tell grandfather where I was going tonight.
The cave was enormous. The ceiling covered with bats softly clicking and chirping amongst themselves. Hundreds of stalactites hung like icicles feeding the growing stalagmites below. Of course, I should not have come alone, but….. A faint sound echoed through the cave. I held my breath. Did they find my notes? Were they finally here? The Shivegul?
A shadow began weaving through the calcium salt formations. Terrified, I cringed and waited. The shadow grew larger. Was it…..? A form finally emerged. It was…..
Grandfather sat at the dinner table, wondering why his grandson was late.