Photo by Robin Canfield on Unsplash
Here is a Flash Fiction story that was submitted by C. S. Wachter for last Thursday’s writing prompt that was to include the words “if looks could kill”. Thanks for submitting, Chris!
The Eye of the Dragon
by C. S. Wachter
Sam’s breath funneled in through his nose and hissed out between his teeth. Each long stride carried him farther from camp and his friends. His lungs began burning a mile back, but still he continued; the crashing noises behind him driving him forward on weakening legs. Five minutes later, the forest opened onto a rock-strewn valley surrounded by cliffs. Though the track he ran followed no set course, he couldn’t shake the feeling the creature had herded him to this dead end.
Trembling, he released a curse. He flung his arms up and fisted clumps of sweat-dampened hair as he bent over and struggled to take deep breaths while scanning for a place to hide. He sent a quick glance over his shoulder. The creature hadn’t given up but judging by the muffled roar it was far enough behind that Sam could pause in his headlong rush, take a moment to fill his lungs, get more oxygen into his blood, and plan his next move.
Sweat dribbled down the center of his back and tracked through the dirt on his face from temples to chin as he focused on a darker splotch in the mottled gray rock face to his left.
The ground beneath him vibrated and heavy thumps rattled through his chest. Out of time. He pulled in the deepest breath he could manage, set his sights, and sprinted in a straight line toward the dark opening, praying it was more than a figment of his imagination.
Cool, damp air enfolded Sam, sending a chill through his overheated body. Before him gaped a black hole, behind him, a dragon roared its disappointment. Several more roars sounded before silence fell.
Inching his way forward, Sam moved deeper into the cave. Lightning flashed. No, not lightning. Steady light flooded the cave. And laughter. Brian’s laughter. Brian—the brother Sam had left back at camp and feared for.
More voices came.
Brian strode forward, laughing. “That was the absolutely best simulation. You should have seen your face. By the way, bro, you probably didn’t notice, but there are surveillance cameras all through that forest. You said you were up for an adventure. Happy Birthday, bro.”
Still chuckling, Brian reached out to plant a hand on Sam’s shoulder, but Sam stepped back. If looks could kill, his brother would be roasted by a dragon’s fire in the next second.