Not What it Seems

I do have a story for this week’s Indies Unlimited flash fiction challenge, but no one gets to vote on it. Here’s the thing, I ended up going over the word count. I am thinking to the tune of about 70 words over the limit. I am sure I could have whittled them down to meet the requirements but that would take away the oddity of what this one ended up being. At the same time, this story is but a brief flash of what could honestly become a much longer story. There are far too many unanswered questions here (as if that is something new).

But really I think there was far too much of a certain commercial running through my head. You’ll see what I mean by the time you reach the end. But either way, I won’t stand in your way anymore. Let’s get to this story…

Not What it Seems

The creepy old woman with hairy knuckles stopped Jim on the street. There was determination with a hint of panic in her eyes. “You are chosen,” she said. “Guard this bottle with your life. The forces of evil want it badly.”

She forced what appeared to be a sports drink bottle into his gut, knocking the wind out of the slight man.

not what it seems

photo by K.S. Brooks

“But…what am I supposed to do with it?” he asked.

“You’ll know when the time comes.” And then she was gone.

Jim sat and stared at the bottle on his kitchen counter. Just as a forceful pounding on his door knocked pictures off his wall, the bottle started to glow…

The insistent pounding turned into forceful bashing. Jim’s doorframe shook and rattled as the person outside slammed against it. The bottle’s glow, orange and translucent, lit up the room. He felt the pull, the urge to grab it and pull it close.

Jim raced for the doorway to his balcony and crossed the threshold with the bottle tucked under his arm like a football. As he stepped on the railway the door to his apartment exploded into the entryway. Big, ugly, twisted like a gnarly tree, the beastly man that followed the door into Jim’s apartment scanned for signs of life.

The prospect of jumping the three stories to the ground were about as encouraging as the ugly in his apartment. But he could hoist himself up to the apartment above with no problem. He scrambled up and over and avoided the dreaded look down.

The floor below him creaked and groaned under the weight of the beast. And then it reached the balcony, wood and steel were not designed for the weight that assaulted them. Jim not only heard but felt the strain as his apartment’s balcony began to pull away from the wall. The fingers that reached up over the edge of his perch yanked and the face followed.

Running out of time and balconies, Jim spun the cap from the bottle and tilted the glowing liquid into his mouth. Not much just a single mouthful, the urge filled him just as the urge to protect the bottle. As the beast pulled the balcony down to its level Jim felt the change come over him. He stepped to the edge and jumped.

In the rush of wind he felt his body jerk and slow. The beast hadn’t caught him, something more had sprung out from his body. Wings had broken free of his shirt and flapped him away from the certain death of the ugly and the ground below.


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