(Page 1 of 2)
Grains of Sand by Era MillingsSUMMARY: Flash Fiction entry for July. Please critique, especially the ending. :)
There was a snake in the corner, and it was deeply coiled, the ebonite diamond pattern on its back twisting and turning in a complex vortex. The head drifted up, and a forked tongue flickered out with a 'hisssssss' as it rocked back and forth, back and forth, ready to strike if the need arose.
A girl, whose name had long been forgotten, looked upon the snake whose angry, slitted eyes watched her with such ferocity that she crawled back, as far as the binding shackles would permit, and sat against the cold stone wall, the frozen flesh of her cheek pressed against the rough surface. She closed her strange blue and silver-streaked eyes, for the moment forgetting about the being before her, the one who was as condemned as she.
Instead she thought about the dream she had had that night, the one about the man she had once known. Except in the dream, he came down to meet her in the cold, dark dungeon with apologies and tears, crying for remorse as he held his arms out to her with the most welcoming expression she had known. In disbelief, she had risen as her dream self and flown to him, becoming a bird whose endless wings flew on forever in the freedom of escape, and she soared towards him, joy lighting her eyes. But then, as she watched and flew straight to him, to give him her forgiveness, to say it wasn't his fault, he changed, and his body elongated and his legs were lost, while his teeth grew and sharpened, becoming daggers that dripped with crimson liquid; blood she knew was her own. She couldn't cry out, and the sound froze in her throat as the snake devoured the bird, and she drifted into the horrible darkness known as death.
Then she had awakened, dripping in sweat that was colder than any ice, as if a freezing hand had trailed its index finger along her spine. But the tears on her cheeks were hot, coursing along her face like molten rivers, running in rivulets along the lines and creases in her pale face that hadn't seen the light of day for almost 500 years. She hadn't ever had a dream like this, and through it, she knew that something must've happened...he must have forgotten her...
But now, as she thought back on it, she realized that perhaps the snake that had to keep watch on her for all eternity had, along with mindless fear, drifted into her dream, inspiring that awful nightmare. The snake, however, only watched her lest she try to escape, which she knew was futile. So why the fear, why the dream?
"Because," said a voice, as if it could hear her thoughts, "it is your worst nightmare. To have him forget you would be..."
"I know," she said aloud, for there was no one to hear and give her odd looks, "It would be the worst pain I could ever imagine. He is all that has kept me from insanity while I live forever in this pit of darkness."
"But perhaps he lied to you," it whispered cunningly, weaving its charm into her head, as it always did.
"You are the lie," she said angrily, and tried to stand, only to fall down to the ground, her weak muscles unable to support her.