The Waiting 5

There are a lot of things I like about writing prompts. Here’s one.

Sometimes the prompt is merely a hoop to jump through. An exercise in creative story-telling. And sometimes the prompt makes the story.

I didn’t have any particular idea what story I was going to tell today, but when I read the prompt the story unfolded for me. I saw her, my lead character, creeping along the hallway of a deserted building. I could sense the danger nearby, and I knew immediately that she was looking for something that would keep her safe, even if only temporarily.

All of that from three words.

Which is why I feel all writers, no matter how novice or experienced, should use writing prompts on a regular basis. They wake up the mind.

The story below is the fifth in an unplanned, unconventional series I’m writing centered around the theme of waiting. The prompt is from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘conjure’, ‘shadow’, and ‘shy’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

Oh, and it’s October. Expect darker things in coming weeks.

the waiting 5

She was like a shy fox, sliding along corridors on silent, bare feet. She knew what she needed.

Three cockroaches. One page from an unread book. Two threads from a dead man’s clothes. And blood. But she already had that.

Simple means for a simple conjuring. A spell to hide her. A way to wait out the long, lonely night.

She cast her incantation and vanished in a veil of darkness. She became a shadow among shadows.

The living dead would walk right past her. No sight. No scent.

And she was safe.

For one more night.