The Dark – Flash Fiction
I wrote this for another writing prompt in the street team. The photo was a bench in the dark, surrounded by misty trees.
Mary sat alone on the bench. Cocooned by trees, bare autumn branches hung overhead and scratched the night around her. A single leaf shivered, the last of the season before winter’s chill declared victory.
Mary pulled her purse against her thigh, nervous eyes darting around the silent park. It seemed suddenly too quiet, too dark, as if the blackness was a palpable entity, a monster waiting to devour her.
Like the stories so many children whispered about.
She’d grown up on them, shared them, joked about them. Death Park they’d called it as teenagers, based on urban legends with no substance. Now, an adult, she’d long dismissed the stories, had even forgotten about them.
Until this moment.
Now, waiting for someone who was obviously never coming to meet her, those stories came to mind again. The black, swirling something that killed. What had been a childhood joke now seemed real, palpable.
Why did I agree to meet him here?
She checked her watch a final time. It had been over an hour of waiting. She’d been pretty sure he’d called her here to end things, to tell her that he loved his wife and children more than her and the baby in her womb. This seemed the ultimate proof.
Maybe it would be better if some strange thing killed me.
As though summoned by her thoughts, the dark moved closer, tighter, constricting, choking the bench and its occupant. Mary shivered and pulled her coat tighter, as if that could keep the night out. But it couldn’t. Nothing could keep out the cold fingers of dread that snaked under her protective layer, tendrils of terror that wrapped around her, choking out her breath, wrapping around her heart, until the dark was all she could see.
It was a neighborhood child that found her the next morning, cold and stiff, hands still clamped to her coat. Though the coroner wrote heart attack on the paperwork, he knew the truth; she was another victim of the darkness, taken by the night.
Not much else to say because I am scheduling this ahead of time. I can only assume I’m having a good week. Or at least an okay week. I know I won’t be sitting on park benches alone in the dark.
Have a stay-away-from-creepy-parks kinda day!