Eight pieces of 100 word flash-fiction published July 30th, on
Pen of the Damned!
Thank you Father, for this bounty you bestow upon me. On small feet they come, hands overflowing with offerings; small sacrifices to appease the almighty. Their pulse begs me to feed; youthful flesh so tender, muscles plump with nourishing fluids. When a youngling does not return, they believe the little one has been blessed, granted the highest honor; they are among the chosen. Chosen indeed, to fill my gullet and offer more than their tiny hands could ever bear. Occasionally a mother weeps; she too may find comfort in my arms – all she needs do is step through the archway.
It wasn’t as I’d imagined, not at all. Neither as grand nor as dark.
It wasn’t preceded by a moat full of lava, the dead screaming in their
endless burn. It wasn’t surrounded by the stench of sulfur or
brimstone. No winged creatures or half-man, half-goats to be seen.
Actually, with surrounding trees in an otherwise healthy forest, and
the fact that it led to nothing on either side, the gateway to Hell
was unimpressive. Hell itself is remarkably like the world you call
home. So alike, you might call them the same… and we have all passed
through that gate.
The Ruin of Man
The gates fell long ago… as did man. We stood firm, but quickly died at the hands of incomprehensible horrors—creatures only myth and the bleakest of nightmares could fathom. They came for our souls. Conjured by our hate, drawn to fear, they grew stronger, feeding on the energy of human emotion. Weaponry, science, religion—nothing could save us. Mankind was eviscerated and devoured by the demons of our own making. In the end, we few survived purely on utter indifference and voided faith. They still prowl the shadows, waiting, knowing that hate will one day call to them again.
Joseph A Pinto
In this darkness I have longed, yet only now do you approach beneath my canopy of sentinels. Wordless, though I have screamed centuries for you. Guileless, though now indeed you have been warned.
I shall devour your pretenses; leave shorn your bravado. I am your beast, and under granite columns shall you be reborn. You cannot flee, because I have been yours all along. Your heart pumping with my blood.
Embrace me, then. Succumb to my wild. From this moment on know that I shall be your shadow in the woods. This timbered palace holds a refuge, yours and mine.
The Lost Message
I felt wrung dry, brittle
I often escaped into this “other world” to escape the city’s emptiness
golden light diffused off the centuries old monuments – it inspired
Today an unnatural sickly smell pervaded the air
I felt “it” – absence
curiosity moved me closer, closer
“Civilization Will Fail” was back lit though there was no light source
Why these words from a long forgotten statesman’s speech?
Sadly, I comprehended history’s warning
What civilization devoid of beauty can thrive?
The weeping was for all of us
We lived in a growing life sucking void
Ghoul’s Last Laugh
A monument to greatness, an impressive structure, but immortality is not captured within the facade of stone. The Dark rolls in and shadows flit about in an array of visual ramification. The overgrown ivy tower stretches upwards towards the place he wished to go. Too bad the trees climb higher than he ever did. For ‘ere the monument set atop his resting place, I came and consumed his body, purifying it by disposing of the filth incarnate residing within. But I couldn’t eat his soul. The Dark Lord accepted it into His realm.
I’m a Ghoul. I always laugh last.
THE OTHER PLACE
For a long time – he is not quite sure how long – he stands in silence on the threshold. The entrance is still; a void of blackness extending far into the trees. So dark is the forest that he finds it hard to tell where the stone ends and the entrance begins. He doesn’t suppose it matters. They are one and the same; the forest and the other place beyond. A man could go mad living on these hills. A man could lose his mind for want of company, for the sound of a voice that is not his own.
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