Flash Fiction - The Unexplainable Photos

Friday, December 16, 2011

Over on Chuck Wendig's blog, it's a Friday tradition to do a piece of flash fiction. I haven't done one in a while, but this week, my curiosity was piqued when he linked to a set of (really, really - disturbingly - really, really) odd old photos. The idea was to create a story based on one of them, but instead, for what I'm putting here, it was the communal sense of otherness that came from the collection.

I think at some point, this may become the prologue to a creepy book, but for now, I give you


People born to the mountains know, it’s more than air you breathe up there. If you climb high enough, and have the nerve to lose yourself in the parts of the world that haven’t touched human hands since apples only grew in Eden, you’ll know it, too.

Every breath is magic.

It hangs heavy and thick, like moss off the trees. It bursts off burning logs as embers that turn to fireflies, carrying just enough of that sense of other to unnerve those weaker souls who come too close. It lives in grandmothers’ tales of ghosts and strange happenings, and it drizzles down in the creeks come spring, when ice that formed before your ancestors were born melts off the peak and brings its memories with it to the world below.

You can’t touch real magic and not know it.

You can smell it, and if the night is very, very clear, and your ears are open, you can hear it. A song that drifts along the lazy breeze in places where the trees are packed so close they don’t sway in the wind.

When the wind calls to you, you answer, simple as that. Try to ignore it, and the urge to run and feel the air on your face becomes overwhelming, exciting for the promise of whatever lies ahead, as though you’re running toward something you can almost see, and it’s the thing you want more than anything else in the world, even if you don’t know what it is yet. It gets in your blood.

Things like that change a person. Though for the good or bad, no one knows until it’s too late to change your mind.

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