Hi, everybody - I'm posting this piece of flash fiction here because I had to write it for another blog and thought you, too, might enjoy it. It's never easy to write a story in 500 words (this one, I think, is 529) but it's always entertaining.
It was a dark and stormy night. Really. Marisa managed mostly to ignore the thunder and lightning and the howling of the wind but it was impossible to ignore the rain. Cold. Heavy. Unending. But she didn’t have a choice about being out in it. Her car – her brand new slate blue Prius– was stuck in the mud about a mile up the road. And – for the first time in her life – she was lost.
Marisa prided herself on her bump of direction. She always knew where she was and where she needed to be. She read a map as well as any cartographer. She’d inherited that skill from her mapmaking father and it had never steered her wrong. Until tonight.
The weird part – the part she tried very hard not to think about – was that it shouldn’t have been hard to get from Lone Butte to Perryville. After all, only one road went from here to there. No logging roads, no tertiary highways, no park trails.
She’d driven down the only street in Lone Butte heading west. She should have ended up in Perryville about two hours later. Yet here she was, in the middle of nowhere, in the fricking rain and without a light or another car in sight.
The rain pummelled her from top and bottom, bouncing up off the pavement to drench her sneakers and jeans. She continued to walk, trudging along the side of the road, pretty sure she was heading west. Hoping she was heading west.
The first light she’d seen in two hours appeared on the horizon. Motionless and the palest of blues, she hurried toward it. She didn’t give a damn if it was a house or the Bates Motel – she could handle it. She just needed to get out of the rain.
As she got closer, and wetter, Marisa began to wonder about the light. It strobed, just a bit, and the blue which at first had appeared warm and welcoming began to worry her. Now she was close enough to get a good look at it, she saw that it hovered above the ground, nothing she could see holding it up. She lifted her face to the rain and let the cold wash over her. I can do this, she thought, I will do this. Marisa didn’t believe in flying saucers. Really.
Good thing, too, because it wasn’t a flying saucer.
A man, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, spun in the sky above the road, turquoise light enveloping him so all she saw was an outline. A perfect outline. Tall and solid and… coming in for a landing right in front of her. She tried for a deep, calming breath. It didn’t work. She tried for a hello, where am I? and that didn’t work, either.
The light surrounded her and with it the calm Marisa had failed to achieve on her own. She looked up into eyes of the blue of the Caribbean after a storm and, suddenly, being lost no longer mattered. He held out his hands. Marisa grabbed and held on as the spinning began again and she rose, with him, higher and higher and higher.