Flash Fiction

1 – Rise of the Realms Spin-off Short Story

Since the day Kat DuPont made a deal with the Fee of the Earth Realm, each realm has begun to merge. Follow along with Rise of the Realms flash fiction short stories, and watch as her consequences unfold.

To the readers: Each flash fiction will be written from scratch at the time of posting – a complete “on the spot” writing of the author’s imagination. Each story will be written and posted immediately, untouched by an editor. At no time may this be copied reproduced in any way, without permission. (C) D. Fischer 2018

*****

It’s a cool day for surfing, but the ocean is uncharacteristically calm and warm, yet pleasing to Chris, who wades on his surfboard along the slow churning surface. Chris isn’t sure why he came or why the waters called to him on a day like today – a day of mourning.

It’s overcast, the clouds dreary and heartbroken, a less comforting forecast much like Chris’ grieving soul. The seagulls call to one another as they fly overhead, flapping their velvet wings against a gentle breeze.

Today is the first anniversary of his best friend, Jason’s death, and reflections and memories plague him. Chris and Jason would spend most afternoons surfing these waters, until one day, Jason ventured out alone. Roaming along the shore, Chris has turned his back for a minute or two, and when he looked back to the water, Jason’s board was floating alone, before the ocean’s waves took it too.

Authorities had dived through the ocean parts in hopes of discovering Jason’s body, but they came back empty-handed and heavy-hearted. Jason’s casket was buried without him, the deep blue his final place of rest.

Chris looks to the sky as the gentle rolling waves laps at his knees, his calves fully submerged in warm, salty water.

“I miss you, brother,” he calls to the clouds in hopes Jason can hear from wherever the afterlife took him.

Chris hisses between clenched teeth when he feels a scrape along the back of his calf. He looks down at the water, blood mixing with the blue. Lifting his leg, he carefully leans back, curious yet pained. A deep cut mars the skin, and red, fresh blood trails down to his ankle before dripping into the water.

“What the -” Chris begins.

“Hello,” a female voice calls beside him. Floating in the water, a creature wades, her arms swaying side to side. Her skin is a deep green and her eyes are almond-shaped indigo. Horns cradle her scalp, creating a crown, and octopus tentacles weave between them and her strands of dark black hair, its length hidden by the ocean waters. Her nose is small, insignificant compare to her large plump lips, and gills open and close along her cheek.

Terrified, Chris scrambles on his board, the weight of his body threatening to tip it over entirely. “Wha- what are you?”

She giggles. Her eyes light with delightful mischief, the skin folding around the edges. “What do you think I am?”

A green tail flicks from the water, spraying droplets, and Chris sharply inhales. “A mermaid?”

“No, silly boy,” she begins, swimming closer. Her voice is hypnotic, a song of the ocean. Despite his fear, he falls trap to her unnatural allure, and leans closer. “A pyren.”

“Pyren?” he stammers. She nods innocently and lifts a four-fingered, webbed hand above the water.

Reaching, she strokes his cheek, leaving a trail of wet, which the breeze is quick to cool. Goosebumps raise across Chris’ skin.

“Do you know what a pyren is, sweet boy?” Chris shakes his head against her slippery palm. She grins, exposing the end of sharp, white teeth. “We’re the deliverers of innocents. The seekers of truth. The wisdoms of the Realms.” Raising herself further above the water’s surface, she brings her head closer to his.

Chris stammers, desperate for coherent words while under the spell of beast who holds him captive.

“Do you know what else we are?” she continues in a whisper, her tone sickly sweet. She drops her lure and unrelenting fear cripples Chris, a scream bubbling in his chest. Her response is harsh, “Your death.”

Chris doesn’t have time to act or flee. Her movements are too fast, too sure. She grasps the hair along his head and yanks him into the ocean depths.

Water forces its way in his nose as he takes his last breath a second too late. The salt burns his nostrils, forceably seizing his lungs. His eyes burn, but he forces them to remain open, watching as the water changes colors from bright to a deep blue the further she takes him under.

The pyren drags him by the hair, ripping strands from the scalp while fighting the pull of the surface. She whips her head toward Chris and screeches, protesting his struggles while he digs his nails into the back of her hands. He returns the scream, but one filled with sorrow and impending death. The beats of his heart are number.

Bubbles release from his mouth with each passing wail, the oxygen replaced by the ocean, a twice betrayal.

There will be no savior for him. There will only be a life which is sustained by the torment of others.

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