Mark A Morris 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 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 Mark A Morris
The purple sea closed around her. She was safe for a while.
Delores settled into the cool dimness of the lavender; her face banded with light. If she kept low, she’d be invisible, out of sight, hidden by the scent cloud rising above. Maybe she could stay here a little longer. Rest a few minutes.
“Hai! Is there anybody out there?”
The voice crackled across the fields; megaphone amplified. It could have been someone she knew; it was impossible to tell through the distortion. She crouched down even lower, sliding forward onto her stomach.
“You can’t have gone far. We would have seen you leave.” The voice became crueller, placing stresses on the pronouns. She could imagine it being a man, a soldier taking pleasure from the hunt. He would be receiving his information from drones, seismographs and satellites, her chances of survival diminishing with every second. Her options were resolving themselves of their own accord.
Very soon, there’d be only one.
“If it’s to be a waiting game, we’re more than ready to play. We’ve got enough MREs to last till Doomsday.”
The voice had become casual, its earlier urgency now a drawl. She knew they wanted to put her off-guard, to make her relax. But she still held a trump card: a low one, but it could be enough.
She stood, hands by her sides, letting the search beams find her.
“I’m here,” she said, dropping the pin from the grenade. “Come get me. I’m ready to talk.”