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Flash Fiction by Author Jennifer Arnett: The Clearing

Updated on August 31, 2016
Flash Fiction: The Clearing by Author Jennifer Arnett
Flash Fiction: The Clearing by Author Jennifer Arnett | Source

The Clearing

She crept down the stairs and opened the door with little more than a small whimper and a crack. Down the porch stairs, her pace quickened. It was 11:48 PM and she had twelve minutes to get a mile into the deep darkness of the forest.

She had no time to turn back for a flashlight and her eyes hurt as they adjusted to the thickening darkness. She began following a small deer path that led to the southwest corner of her property.

Tonight it would not snow, but the whiteness all around her crackled under her black boots. The full moon reflected ever so softly off of the snow and allowed her to see the unusual landmarks. She went past the kissing tree, over the raccoon log, under the swinging branch, around the climbing rock, past the creepy cave, and out into the open field. She felt exposed as she entered the treeless acre of withering grass. Then it was back into the shadowy forest on the other side.

Something cracked a branch a few feet away, but she only had four minutes to make it another quarter mile, so she trudged on ahead. She climbed a small embankment, weaved through a thicket of birch trees, went past the abandoned hunter's cabin, and into the darkest part of the forest.

She had made this journey every night for the last three years, but it always sent chills down the back of her neck, causing the small hairs on her neck to stand erect. She slowed, trying to feel her way through the thick branches and fallen tree trunks, but not too slow as to allow her imagination to conceive denizens she would have to convince herself did not exist.

A wolf howled a few yards away, causing her to quicken her pace. She squeezed through a passageway between two cliffs. As she made her way through the final thicket, she heard the chanting coming through the trees and the drums pulsing off of the valley walls. She began seeing shadows dancing in the clearing and could barely make out the blood smeared bodies.

© 2014 Jennifer Arnett

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    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 2 years ago from USA- Florida

      .....and then? Surely there is more to come? I'm hooked good job.

    • Availiasvision profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Thanks for reading, Abrushing. That's it. Flash fiction is like fishing a spinner bait; you flash a lure in front of a fish and hope it bites.

    • jrachellegreene profile image

      Jessica Rachelle Greene 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Hm, interesting! Nice work.

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