#176 The Guardian

by C. Sonberg Larson

The creature squirmed on the flat rock.

Len restrained its arms. “Hurry, Rek! The Filth is descending!”

Mila held its legs. “I can’t hold on much longer.”

“No, please,” the creature implored.

Rek watched the gray mass creep over the mountains, blocking out the sun.

He hesitated, knife clutched in his hand. “What if it isn’t one?”

“Then we die anyway.”

The Filth drew closer.

The creature trembled as Rek approached it. “Do not harm.”

“I must.” Rek took the blade to the creature’s abdomen and carved. Blood the color of plums stained the rock.

The creature screamed and thrashed.

Rek cupped his fingers under the cut and peeled back the skin, the same way his ancestors had done for generations.

Horrid cries shook the ground and echoed through the trees.

Rek looked beneath the flesh to see inner tissue woven in the colors of earth, fire, water, and eternity’s blackness.

“It’s a Fairy! Release it!”

Len and Mila let go.

The Fairy rose. Massive stained glass wings unfurled from its back.

It shot into the sky, spreading its arms wide and wailing an unearthly cry. Light poured from the open wound, drenching The Filth in a white hot glow and driving it back over the mountains.

Relief washed over Len and Mila.

They bowed their heads as the Fairy hovered above.

“Will it forgive us?”

Rek glanced upward. “They always do.”

The Fairy cradled its torn body as crystal tears cast rainbows across the morning sky.


Clara said...

wicked! A bit hard to follow but nicely done : )

Maria Cisneros Toth Blog said...

Good pacing. Great descriptions & tension. :-)

Stephanie, PQW said...

Great read! I love the way the writer slowly reveals what is going on in the story. It calls for the reader to visualize everything. Awesome!!

Carol J. Amato said...

Very interesting! It makes me want to know more!

Anonymous said...

I really liked this. The story does a really good job of answering all our important questions and leaves us curious about everything else. Very nice.

Hobo Annie said...

An awesome bit of flash fiction. Like a tasty hors d'oeuvre of a story you can eat in one bite and savor the taste of for a long time.