Winter’s Pilgrims – Flash Fiction

january 2019 writing prompt

Author D. Wallace Peach issued a Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt challenge for the month of January. There’s still time to participate. Click HERE for more info. Here’s my efforts in response to the photo prompt. I guess it’s speculation on how another person feels and/or the entry to an afterlife…

He shifted between dream and waking, fist jammed against his mouth to ward off the ignominy of drool. The cold pool on his crumpled pillow slapped him conscious.

“Father?” a deep voice droned as the beige room boxed them in.

“Go away,” spit out in reaction, but he couldn’t be certain his voice spoke it. Crotchety throat failed to make his wishes known. Why did they persist in prodding him with questions? His lids squeezed tightly against the bothersome boy.

“Father?” a voice soft as a lily petal caressed him from slumber.

A loud snort startled him in reply, and his body was wracked with knives stabbed randomly through his chest, accompanied by a horrific symphony of cacophonous hacking. “Go away,” seeped from him in regret, but he knew his broken voice betrayed him. No message was passed to repel the sweet torture of her presence. Rheumy eyes dragged to open slits; agony slipped in, her image running out in a smear of tears. Histamine or history? Focus blurred to barrenness.

“Father?” a voice scratched through his cool bliss like a rusty saw. Teeth broken and missing. Gaping grin taunting.

He grasped for the open plain he’d slumped upon moments before. Wide, windy winter. White wilderness embracing his weary silence. Frozen wasteland, wondrous under a blue moon come to full. Retreat from their relentless pilgrimage of questions given no answer. He eased into oneness with the ageless ages. Fleeing into the wilds with a final rattling sigh.

-by Sheri J. Kennedy All Rights Reserved


10 thoughts on “Winter’s Pilgrims – Flash Fiction”

    1. Thanks, Carol! I appreciate the critique. Since the frozen old man in the prompt photo looked so tired, I decided to try a point of view where the hikers were people coming to seek his wisdom or visit him in some way, and he was worn out by it. I was surprised where that took me as a writer.


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