Flash Fiction

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 38

It’s been a long week again, not necessarily in a bad way. More so that there is so much stress and tension in the hospital, and the ongoing question of how long will all of this last. The prospect of another 6-8 months of COVID craziness  sends shivers down my spine. I know things aren’t going to be this total lock down the whole time, but trying to figure out how to navigate all of this for who knows how long is a whole different animal. Makes me glad sometimes I can hide in my writing from time to time. With a little tongue in cheek humor here, courtesy of Fiction Trials and the #SwiftFicFriday prompt, I give you:

The Bargain

I sat there, staring at the blank page, my cursor blinking, mocking me. Words, I needed words to flow. But none came. Not one solitary word. I scrubbed at my face and scrolled through various pictures, but nothing helped.

A heavy voice filled the surrounding air. “Your time is running out.”

“I know!”

“If you understand this, why have you not produced what I asked for?”

I shook my head, gritting my teeth. “Because this isn’t how it works. I can’t produce on demand like this.”

“Yet if you do not,” the voice hesitated. “You will be trapped here forever. It is the bargain you struck.”

“Don’t remind me.” I felt my face contort into a grimace despite my best efforts to keep itmonitor-1350918_1280.png neutral.

I tapped out a few sentences and scowled before deleting them. Why was my muse escaping me now? So many stories flowed with ease before, what stopped them now? Eyes bored into the back of my head, forcing setting me on edge and raising the hair on the back of my neck.

“Will you knock it off?” I almost shouted the words before I could stop myself.

“Stop what?”

“Your incessant looming.”

My bluntness gave the voice pause. “What else am I to do? I await your words.”

“Which will never come if you continue looming like you are.” I wasn’t sure what had gotten into me, talking back to the voice like that. “I don’t care what you do, just please do it somewhere else.”

“How am I to know when you complete your bargain?”

“Oh, you’ll know.” I grinned, my reflection on the screen distorting my face into an odd parody.

The lingering presence disappeared, but still the whiteness of the screen mocked me. I would be stuck in this purgatory forever.



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