Now on Tuesdays…at least for the foreseeable future…welcome to Flash Fiction Tuesday. In case you don’t know what flash fiction is, it is an extremely short story (sometimes created in 100 words or less) with a beginning, middle, and an ending.
But in my case, I write flash fiction with an open ending. I allow my readers to draw their own conclusion as to what happens next to the characters of each story. This week we travel deep into the forest where maybe some magic exists…
Fifteen steps north from old man Barner’s shed is an almost unseen path leading into the woods. I never would have noticed it if I hadn’t seen the X on the map. Patting my pocket to make sure the map was still there, I stepped onto the path and followed it deeper through the trees. Before he died, the old man told me about a box buried deep in the woods. “Keep it safe and guard its secret,” he whispered and then he was gone.
Why me? I was just someone who stopped by every month for the past five years to deliver his medicine. But it was this last visit when he decided to show me the tattered map. I could tell he didn’t have much time left. Muttering, sometimes incoherently, old man Barner told me the tale of the Vespars. An ancient tribe who used to live in these woods and guarded the magic they found there. I had a hard time believing what the old man was saying. But when he became agitated at the thought of this mysterious box being discovered by just anyone walking through the woods, I promised I would recover it.
Dried leaves crunched beneath my shoes and moonlight filtering through the tightly woven trees added to the flashlight beam as I counted out the paces until I came across the large bolder shown on the map. Barner said the box was three feet down and the smell of rotting vegetation filled my nostrils as my shovel bit into the dirt. I wasn’t even sure why I was here. It’s not like I believed the old man’s story. It’s not like I believed in ancient tribes and magic. He would never find out if I just turned around and went home. But there was something in the way those bony fingers clutched my arm, the way those dying eyes lit up with an unknown fire when he talked about the box that drove me to this spot.
And then all I could hear was the sound of the shovel hitting something hard. Could old man Barner be telling the truth?
What happens next? Share your imagination with others by leaving a comment below!
International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.