In the Blink of an Eye
A Collection of Flash Fiction
By: Candace Gardner
Copyright © Candace Gardner, 2017
All Rights Reserved
First Shakespir Edition
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Table of Contents
“In The Blink of an Eye” is a collection of Candace A. L. Gardner’s most popular flash fictions. If you are looking for a quick but satisfying break, then this is the perfect book for you. With seven short flash fictions, Candace A. L. Gardner gives readers action, adventure, and fantasy in the blink of an eye. Please enjoy to your hearts content and don’t forget to check out her author’s webpage! Thank you for reading and please enjoy!
The Japanese Dragon
I was finally free. Free from the years’ hostility from my boyfriend. As soon as he left for an errand, I took the advantage and busted out of that boarded-up house of horror. Running through the thick brush, I finally came upon a road. Steam rose off of the pitch-black tar that glistened in the blazing sun after the morning rain. I stood there by the side of the road with my hands on my knees struggling to catch my breath. Sweat dripped down my face as I straightened back up to re-tie my hair back into a braid. The thick dark rope hung across my back as I breathed a sigh of relief as a small breeze blew across the land.
I stood there for a few minutes staring up and down the dead road, unsure what to do next. The shrill cry of crows in the nearby trees scared me half to death. Struggling to calm my beating heart, I heard the low hum of a vehicle in the distance. Just cresting over the hill was an old, battered truck its red paint faded by years of sun and weather. The truck stuttered to a stop beside me and the driver rolled down the window.
“Need a ride?” spoke a low voice.
Bending down, I looked into the window to see a young man with black hair and eyes the color of dark chocolate.
“Yes, Please,” I quickly said, jogging over to the other side of the truck and getting in.
“Where to?” he asked gruffly. His voice was a low base and just hearing it sent chills down my spine.
“Anywhere but here,” I replied looking in his black eyes.
“Okay. Do you have anywhere to stay?” he asked shifting the truck back into drive. Putting his foot on the gas pedal, the truck sped off down the road.
“No,” I replied quietly looking out the window.
“Would you care to tell me why you are so out of breath?” he asked, his eyes glanced quickly over me before he turned them back to the road.
“Why? You two have a fight or something?” he asked jokingly.
“Something like that,” I muttered avoiding his eyes.
He was silent. I could feel his eyes graze over the ugly black and purple hand print that covered the one side of my face.
I guess no amount of make up could over it up.
“Hmph. Well, if you don’t want to talk about it, then I won’t pry,” he finally said.
A few more minutes of silence and only the roar of the trucks’ engine could be heard. Looking out of the corner of my eyes, I could see a large tattoo that snaked down his upper right arm. Seeing me eyeing his tattoo, he held up his arm showing me the large dark blue and violet Asian dragon tattoo.
“It’s kind of like a family crest,” he said putting his hand back on the wheel.
“Oh,” I muttered.
A few minutes of silence passed.
“Well, if you have no where else to go, you can stay with me temporarily,” he suggested.
“I’m sorry but I really don’t like staying with strangers,” I replied still looking out the window.
“My name is Rin Suzuke,” He stated looking at me with a grin.
“Kacy Anderson,” I replied.
“There, now we are no longer strangers,” He said.
We drove for probably another hour before he turns into a fancy gated driveway. On either side two large stone dragon statues overlooked the oncoming truck.
This is pretty creepy. I thought to myself as the truck pulled through the opening gate. The eyes of the dragons seem to follow the truck as we pulled past them.
I wonder what kind of family he belongs to. Was it really a good idea to catch a ride with him? Sure he’s super good looking, but I don’t know anything about him. Well to late now.
I wrap my arms around myself as the truck slowly made its way down the long driveway. The sun was just starting to set, casting shadows across the yard.
“You don’t have to be so scared. I wont do anything to you,” he laughed, a deep throated laugh filled the truck.
Although I unwound my arms from around myself, it didn’t help calm my nerves. Finally, the truck pulled in front of a huge house. A house may have been mild; a mansion was more like it. A gorgeous koi pond sat in front of the house and a stone pathway led form the driveway to the house. Sighing, he turned off the truck and opened its door, stepping out. I followed suit and did the same, and stepped out into the cooling air. Walking behind Rin, I took in my surroundings. We trudged up the walkway. Only our quiet footsteps could be heard, until we reached the doorstep. Rin stepped up and unlocked the door. Turning on the light, he invited me inside.
“Well come on in,” he said holding open the door for me.
Walking in I was amazed by the style of the house. He most defiantly had money. Shutting the door behind me, I turned and saw a plague with the same dragon as his tattoo and a bunch of other symbols. A large samurai sword sat below it.
“Umm, what does this say?” I asked pointing to the plague.
“Oh, it’s just my family name,” he vaguely replied.
Another person came into the room. The tall burly man whispered something to Rin and Rin nodded. Then the man turned towards me and asked “Who is that? What is she doing here?”
“Don’t bother her. This is Kacy Anderson; she is my guest,” Rin scolded the other man.
“Yes, Boss. I will prepare a room for the lady.” The man quickly said bowing and then leaving.
“Wait a minute,” Rin quickly said. Looking at me he asked, “Where did that ‘boyfriend’ of yours’ live?”
“In the north. It’s in the center of the Michelin Forest. If you follow a stone trail past the old cemetery, there is an old boarded up camp,” I answered. “Why?”
“No matter,” he said to me with a grin. Turing to the other man he stated, “You heard the lady, send Kai. He knows what to do.”
Although that grin sent my heart spiking, it had also left me feeling uneasy.
“Yes, Boss,” the man said. Once again, he bowed and left the room.
“Boss?” I questioned curiously.
“Yes, the Suzuke family is a very important family. Welcome to the Japanese Mafia’s main house; Kacy,” Rin said as he turned towards me.
All the hair on my neck stood up.
Crap, what did I get myself into?!
The next morning, I walked into the kitchen to get breakfast. The tv was on in another room and I could here the news playing. Walking over to a couch I stopped in my tracks when I saw the picture on the screen.
“This just in. Police has discovered the body of Aidan Hoestin. The 25-year-old has appeared to have been shot at close range. At the currant moment, there are no suspects… “
I tuned out the rest as I stared at the picture of my boyfriend.
“Now no one can touch you here. I will make sure of that,” Rin said, as he pulled me into a tight hug.
Light. Blinding white light. That was all that I could see. I could feel the wind whipping around me, scattering the leaves across the lawn.
Chop. Chop. Chop.
What the heck is that?
Something huge landed just behind me. I could smell the fresh acidity of pine.
There goes that nice spruce tree my neighbors were so fond of.
“Kalen, you were not suppose to cut down the tree! What did it ever do to you?”
“Be quiet, Callie! It was in my way!” a feathery light male voice said.
“Oh… The King of the Heavens’ is going to have a field day with you!” spoke a light and airy female voice.
“Who’s there?” I demanded, shading my eyes from the light.
“So, this scrawny human is the Savior?” asked the male.
“He’s suppose to be. But hey, he is pretty small and wimpy looking,” said the woman.
“I asked who’s there. Answer me,” I demanded.
“Well, well. Someone has got an attitude,” laughed the man.
“Oh, come on, Kalen. Quit teasing the kid and just grab him,” said the woman.
“Sorry kid,” said the man.
I felt rough cool hands grab me by my arms and pull my up. I no longer felt the solid ground underneath my sneakers. Flailing my legs, I yelled for them to let me go.
“Stop moving, you brat. Before I drop you,” threatened the man.
“You can open your eyes now,” said the soft female voice.
Cautiously opening my eyes, my dark ones met two pairs of stunning silver eyes. Both persons had long blond hair. The woman’s fell to her waste and the man’s fell to his shoulders. Skin as pale as the moon itself, softly glowed in the beam of light. But what really caught my attention was the pairs of pure white feathered limbs that protruded from their backs. White wings like those of a dove held the two-people suspended in midair.
My eyes grew wide as I asked, “What are you people?”
“We are officers who proudly serve the King of the Heavens. Second rank officials who wield all mighty light swords to defeat the evilness in human hearts,” said the man proudly.
“Huh?” I asked confused.
“We’re angels. Sent down from the Heavens to find the one human with a pure heart,” clarified the blonde woman, elbowing her spastic partner.
“And you want me for …?” I questioned the both of them.
“Callie, this brat is so pure, that I don’t think he has brains!” exclaimed the man.
“Shut it, Kalen!” she snapped at him. Turning her attention back to me she said, “You are the Savior that Heaven has been waiting centuries for. The one human with a pure heart, unsoiled from the sins of human kind,” she said with a gleam in her eye.
“Uh huh. Is this suppose to be a joke?” I asked her.
“Of course not! There are not many eighteen-year-old male virgins like yourself in this century!” she exclaimed, patting me on my shoulder.
My face was on fire, embarrassed to the point that I wish I could bury myself ten feet underground.
“Oh look, our ride is here,” she said turning from me.
“Don’t worry kid. She does this all the time. There is no filter on her mouth,” said Kalen.
A large winged white horse appeared glowing in soft light.
“Wait, why do we need a ride, when you both can fly?” I asked them, pointing to their wings.
“It’s just for appearances really,” said Callie.
“The horse or your wings?” I asked.
“It’s a Pegasus,” Kalen snorted.
“Whatever,” I muttered.
“We are going to see the king, so we have to make a fancy appearance,” Callie explained. She ushered me to the Pegasus and helped me get on the giant beast.
“I have never ridden a horse, err – a Pegasus before,” I announced nervously gripping the wondrous beasts’ mane tightly in my hands.
“You’ll be fine. Here we go,” said Callie with a reassuring look on her face.
Bright light enveloped me once more and a gust of wind blew past me. But once the light cleared, we were no longer in the night sky, but in a huge richly decorated room. White marble tiles decorated with gold covered the floor. Large white stone pillars rose up from the floor and braced up the high ceiling. Multiple vases filled with various types of plants flanked the walls. The only furniture in the whole room was a large throne. Masses of golden vines and wooden branches looked like they were woven together to create the seating arraignment. A long royal blue carpet ran from underneath our feet and all the way to the throne.
A lone figure sat on the throne. His chin held in his hand and his elbow rested on the throne arm. Kalen cleared his throat, gaining the attention of the man.
“Ah, you’re back,” he said, quickly getting to his feet. Long white robes cloaked the man. He also had long blond hair that he let hang down to his elbows. Brilliant gold eyes swirled with amusement as he strode closer to us.
“Welcome to the Kingdom of the Heavens, Trayner Vist,” the golden eyed man said.
“How do you know my name?” I asked him, swinging my legs over the winged horse, I jumped to the ground. The soft sound of my feet hitting the tile floor echoed in the large room.
“I am the King of the Heavens, Trayner. I have been watching over your kind for centuries. I know all the names of the humans, even the humans who choose to live in the dark,” the king replied. “I will give you an emblem of the heavens to keep you safe in your world,” he continued, raising one of his hands; the palm facing me; the space around me began to glow.
“It seems we are out of time in this world, my magic is not strong enough to keep you here for very long. This is farewell for now. Stay safe, Trayner Vist,” the king’s voice faded into the blinding light.
My eyes flew open to see a plain white ceiling. A steady beeping noise greeted my ears. Then the faces of two concerned people blocked my vision. One I recognized as my mother and the other man was dressed as a doctor.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re awake!” exclaimed my mother who was close to tears.
“Well young man, you need to take better care of yourself,” scolded the doctor.
“What happened?” I asked them, pushing myself up on my elbows.
“You passed out in our yard. You went to take the trash out and when you didn’t come back in, I got worried. I went out to check on you and you were flat on your back,” answered my mom.
“What about the two people? And the light?” I asked.
“Young man, I’m afraid that the hit you sustained from the fall was creating illusions,” the doctor said. “But you are clear to go home now. Once you’re dressed, you can leave,” the doctor said patting me on my shoulder.
“Come on Honey, let’s go home,” my mother said, handing me my normal clothes.
I slowly took my clothes from her and once she left the room, I changed into them. As I pulled my t-shirt over my head, a gold mark on my shoulder made me stop. On my shoulder was a gold star that glittered softly in the light.
It wasn’t a dream, I thought to myself, touching the golden emblem that was given to me.
Opening the window, a warm humid breeze filters into the car. The night air smells heavily of rain. Taking another swig from my flask, I eyed the moonlit house to my left. All the lights are off and not a single car sat in the driveway. A doghouse sat in the side yard, a silver chain gleamed in the grass.
That is going to make this difficult.
I flipped open my cell to check the time. I took another mouthful from my flask, the liquid set my throat on fire, but it’s a pleasant pain. Sighing deeply, the moonlight reflected off of the silver container in my hand.
United Stated Army
Persian Gulf War 1991
Dad, I miss you. I swear I will get my revenge.
I gulped down another fiery mouthful of whiskey and then put the cap back on the flask. A shine of incoming headlights reflected in my review mirror. Putting my head against the window, I pretended to be asleep as I waited for the car to pass. Only it didn’t.
It pulled up behind me and a person stepped out and walked towards the front passenger window. A man with a flash light peered in and knocked on the window.
Great, a cop.
I reached over and rolled down the window. The glass squealed in protest.
“Is everything alright, sir?” the officer asked, looking into the car.
“Everything is good, officer,” I leaned my head against my window.
“Why are you sitting in your car outside of this house?”
Nosy, aren’t you.
“Oh, me and wife got into a fight and she locked me out of the house,” I replied, thinking quickly.
“Yeah, you know hormones. She’s five months pregnant and the slightest thing sets her off,” I sighed, shrugging my shoulders.
“Oh congratulations. My wife and I had our first child a few months ago, so I know where you’re coming from. Came home late from a weekly patrol and I had to go to bed hungry,” the officer said, laughing. “Well try to enjoy your night. Be sure to lock the doors, there have been some shady people around here.”
I rolled the window back up as he walked away. I watched as the patrol car slowly drove up the road and turned a corner, out of sight.
Phew, that was close.
I turned my eyes back to the house. A mailbox sat in front of it with the name Swavy printed on the side, the letters barely visible.
The very name brought back memories. My father Murphy Smitherz was a First Lieutenant in the US Army. He was well liked among the ranks and he gained rank pretty quickly. He was close friends with a fellow officer. A few years his senior, Alex Swavy was a Lieutenant Colonel and he was always with my father. Back in ’91, my father was killed in battle by enemy troops. That was the official report, however my mother was told that he was killed by friendly fire. The only one who was close enough was Lieutenant Colonel Alex Swavy.
I don’t care who says what, as far as I’m concerned, that man killed my father. And now I’m going to take something of importance to him away.
With a grunt, I made up my mind. I reached towards my left, pulled the handle, and flung open the drivers’ door. Just as I stepped out of my car, my phone buzzed repeatedly. Glancing at the buzzing device in my hand, I read the name that glowed on the screen.
I paused for a moment. Sighing, I quietly flipped open my phone and placed it to my ear.
“Where are you Jamie? Please rethink this! It’s not worth it! Doing this will not bring your father back. Please, I can’t loose you too,” my mother sobbed into my ear.
I guess she found my note.
“Mom, I can’t live like this anymore. An innocent man was killed because of him. After tonight everything will be better. I promise. I love you, Mom,” I whispered hoarsely.
I turned the power off and flipped the phone shut. Reaching over the drivers’ seat, I pulled out a large knife from under the back seat. The ice-cold metal reflected the clouding night sky.
A storm’s brewing.
I walked up the grassy front yard. My footsteps crunched softly in the dew covered grass.
It’s finally over.
It Was Meant to Be
“What… What in all that’s holy?!” exclaimed John. “Kisa, you have got to check this out.”
“What is it, John?” I questioned, running into the captain’s quarters. I nearly stumbled as the ship swaying when a hefty wave slapped against the ship side.
He pointed at the sonar screen that was perched on the wall. The screen was pinging like crazy and the sonar pulsated around a slightly obscured object about 150 feet down.
“I have no idea.” I stated in wonder, staring closer to the screen. “Is it too deep to dive to check it out?”
“Do you really want to chance it?” he asked, pushing his glasses up the ridge of his nose with his middle finger.
“Absolutely! We could have just discovered a piece of those missing pirate ships!” I said, rushing to the shelf that held all of our diving equipment. I loaded up a divers bag with a paint brush, plastic Ziploc baggies, and a couple of glass jars.
“What do you need all that stuff for?” John asked me as he helped me put on my oxygen tank.
“Just in case I find some pirate coins,” I said laughing as I started to walk back on deck, all decked out in my diving gear. The waves were starting to turn a foamy white. The brine burned the inside of my nostrils as a spray of salt water came up into my face.
“Just be careful down there. It looks like a storm might be brewing. If the currents get too strong, I’m calling you up. Understand?” John demanded, with his hands on his hips.
“Understood, Boss,” I mock saluted him before climbing the rail ladder.
“Wait. You forgot your lucky charm!” shouted another voice. A fellow crew member ran up to me and dropped a chain into my hand.
“Thanks,” I said, putting the chain over my head. This necklace was my lucky charm. Handed down from generations, the intricate stone was hand carved into a complex set of knots with a pearl in the center. Tucking the necklace into my wet suit, I put on my mask and dipped my feet into the chilling water.
“Good luck. We’ll be watching you on the screen,” John said, patting me on my head.
Nodding my head, I flipped backwards into the churning currants. Water washed against me as my body hit the water. Foam flew above my head as I started to sink into the deep blue water. As I sunk deeper, the visibility decreased dramatically. Turning on my flash light, I shined the beam around me. Sometimes a brilliant colored fish would swim in front of it, but other than that, it was empty.
Empty like a graveyard. Which is exactly what it looks like.
My beam of light sat illuminated what remained of a ship. The boards were covered in sea moss and what were visible, were rotting and damaged. A stray eel poked its head out of a port hole before slithering back in. Large heavy cannon balls sprinkled the soil around the wreck. I saw closer and discovered a what looked like a piece of fabric. Brushing the soil and ruble away, I shined my light over it. The pattern of a skull was barely visible as sand swayed back over it. Just beyond the ship was the wreckage of another.
“Are you seeing this, John?” I spoke into the headset.
“This is incredible Kisa,” crackled a voice in my ear. “This looks like a ship graveyard.”
“Probably more like a small fleet,” I muttered as I swam over to the next ship and found that this ship had a similar flag still attached to the mast. Beyond that I could make out the outline of what could be more ships. They all seemed to be in one general area, almost like a ring around something. Curious, I moved away from where the ships sat and seen that the sea life started to thin out. The ground even seemed to change into a strange blackish green color.
“Kisa, where are you going? The ships are back there. We should try to get a better picture of the flags to research once we get back to the university,” said John over the set.
“Hold on, I want to check something out really quick. There’s something causing the sea life to avoid it completely.”
I ignored the pleas in my ears and continued on in the direction of the darkening earth. Before long large rocks plunged up from the ground. Turning my light to them, they seemed more like pillars. They were all placed all in a precise location, most like the Stonehenge in England. In what seemed like the center of the set of pillars, stood what looked like an altar. I swam closer to it and ran my fingers along the strange marking on its surface. Brushing aside the dirt with my hand, a strange eerie green light began to glow from it. The pattern that glowed was familiar to me. Searching my memory, I remembered that it looked similar to the pattern on my charm. Then the water trembled as the large stone slabs started to pull apart from each other. Inside of the opening was an old chest about the size of a jewelry box. The vintage red velvet had lost its softness from years of weather. The gold detailed ridges were clouded with filth. Where a place for the key should be, was an outline of a pattern. Something told me to put my charm into the crevasse. The box clicked and I was able to lift the top. What was inside of it made my breath catch in my throat. Inside of the box was inlaid with gold coins, chunks of jade, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, sat sparkling under the light of the flash light.
“Holy mother of a mermaid!” exclaimed John. “I think that you found that missing pirate treasure that you mentioned earlier.”
“Yeah I guess so. But it was strange that my necklace was the key for this,” I said in wonder. “I’m heading back up.”
“I guess now you will want to research your family some. No wonder you love the sea, you’re half- pirate!” John joked into the headset.
“Arr… Matey!!” I laughed climbing towards the surface with my treasure in hand. “Now I have to get a parrot.”
A mini story with Hati
Centuries have passed by. So many centuries of hunting. The beast thought, as it softly padded through a thick layer of underbrush. It looked up to the dark sky, a silvery orb of ice sat glowing above the tree tops.
“I will find you, Mani. Mark my words,” the beast growled, its’ lips curl back in annoyance. Its fangs glisten in the moonlight. The beast lowered his head and continued to stalk through the trees as branch after branch swept through his glossy black fur. His nails left large indents in the softened ground.
He heard a soft rustle in the trees. The branches were being snapped out of the way as something passed through the woods. He stopped walking and slightly raised his muzzle to the air. He took a deep breath and recognized a scent that he hadn’t smelled in at least five hundred years.
“I know you’re there, come out and show yourself,” the black beast demanded. He turned his head to the left of him and growled menacingly.
“Oh, you’re so scary. You nearly had me jumping out of my pants,” spoke a low voice, teasing the beast.
“What do you want?” the wolf snarled, his teeth dripping with saliva.
“Oh, come now, Hati. We’re old friends. Is that anyway for you to greet them?” teased the voice, as a tall, lean figure stepped out from behind a thick birch. As the figure stepped into the moonlight, its beams illuminated a mass of dark hair with red streaks throughout. A pair of dark eyes glistened back as the figure stepped closer to the wolf.
“You are no friend of mine,” Hati snarled back. He lowered himself on his haunches, preparing to rip apart the man. “Let me rephrase that, what are you doing here, Trickster?”
“I heard from some sources that the moon god has been reborn. I only came to check him out, or should I say her. Hahaha! To think that the great moon god has been indeed reborn as a girl!” the man said, as he threw back his head and roared in laughter. His deep laugh echoed in the still night.
Hati shook his head at the laughing man and turned to walk back into the trees.
“Wait, where are you going?” the man asked, as he wiped tears from his eyes.
“I don’t have time for you. I need to find the moon god,” Hati replied in annoyance.
“Let me go with you and we can travel together like old times sake,” the man suggested joyfully.
Hati turned and looked at the man who was bounding towards him with a skip in his step. His ears flicked back in annoyance to the man humming joyfully.
“If you don’t shut up the humans are going to hear you,” the wolf said.
“Humans. Ha! As if I am afraid of a human. Let me tell you, Hati, what I could do to a human,” the man said as a dark glint traveled through his eyes. A creeping grin accompanied his little rant.
“I’ll pass,” Hati replied as he brushed aside the dark eyed man.
The man kept following Hati and causing all sorts of ruckus.
“I mean it! Leave! I don’t have time to deal with you. Leave me be, Loki,” Hati snarled, barely missing the trickster with his razor-sharp teeth.
Loki quickly stepped back and dodged out of the snarling wolfs way.
“Okay, okay! Don’t take my limbs!” Loki said, giggling. “But just to let you know, you are not the only one who is looking for the moon god, Hati. I feel like having myself some mischief,” Loki stated, sending a wink to the black wolf. And with that, the Norse trickster turned heel and skipped away. He glanced back one last time.
“You should look forward to seeing your father again, Hati. I heard Fenrir has been pretty rebellious as of late,” Loki said slyly, before completely disappearing into the thick cover of trees.
Hati looked at the area where the sly Norse god had disappeared through. Shaking his glossy fur out, he ventured back into the trees, hunting for the only reason why he was there in the first place.
I am coming for you, Mani. Be aware that your seals cannot keep you safe forever.
Captured: Pirate Princess
Power rivals’ friendship.
Screams fill ring throughout the castle and the smell of thick smoke fills the air. People rush by as more screams erupt into the night. The small girl was being pushed around by the waves of people running through the corridor. A loud crash, followed by more blazing flames came from the room across the hall. More screams filled the night air, as the small girl hid in an abandoned hall. Everything went silent before there was a swooshing sound and the wall next to be was painted in red splatters. Scared, the little girl ran as fast as she could, only to be pulled into a dormant room.
“Run, Lily. Run as fast as you can. Whatever you do, do not look back,” her mother screams to her as a figure dressed as a dark colored knight, stomped into the room.
“Run, Lily!” the woman screams, as the knight raised his blade to her. A silver emblem on the upper arm flickered in the surrounding flames.
I was ushered out of my sleep by unfamiliar voices echoing in the trees outside. I looked out the hazy window to still see the moon high in the sky. I hold my breath and listen intently to what they were saying.
“Are you sure this is where the princess was last seen?” a deep voice asks quietly.
“According to the villagers, they have seen a young woman with long raven hair around here,” another deep voice answers.
“Do you really think that after all this time the princess is still alive? I mean it has been what ten years since the colonizing of the Isle of Rydge under the Country of Alkaony, right?” asks the first voice.
“Never underestimate Isle of Rydge’s royal family. Legends say that they are not exactly human. I heard that they can make contracts with demons,” the second voice whispers. “It doesn’t matter anyways, His Highness, the Prince, wants the girl found and brought to him.”
I can’t believe anyone was this stupid to come close to this place. I thought to myself. Where was Reine? He was bound to be around here somewhere.
A low howl rises up into the night.
There he is.
“Did you hear that?” asks one of the voices, his voice dripping with fear.
“It must be the Beast of the Isle. Don’t worry, let’s just get the girl and leave,” a different voice said. This one is low and had a commanding tone.
“Your Majesty, I didn’t expect you to come on this expedition,” the voices say surprised.
“I am pretty interested in the princess, so I came to see her myself,” the commanding voice replies.
“Of course, sir,” they reply.
I hear the branches snapping under the feet of the intruders. I quietly stand from my bed of hay and quietly sneak over to the other side of the old room. The dark stone sits glowing coldly in the moonlight. I watch as a line of ants move through a crack in the stones. Another low howl rings out into the night, this time much closer than the one before. A low snarl follows after and a large dark shadow moves along the wall.
“If you find the beast, you’ll find the girl. The beast is her familiar,” the commander says.
“But what about the beast? What do we do when we find it?”
“Leave it to me,” Mr. Commander says.
I hear the sound of metal sliding against something. The sound sends shivers down my spine. I peek through a hole in the wall, trying to see if I can see the strangers. My breath comes out in short little puffs as I try to calm my beating heart. All of a sudden my view is blocked by a deep green eye peering back at me. I yelp out of fright and fling myself backwards.
“So, this is where you have been hiding,” Mr. Commander replies thoughtfully.
All of a sudden, the wall that I was leaning against is kicked down, and the looming form of a tall man grins in at me.
“Pretty clever, I have to admit,” he says, walking into the room. Two other men stand further behind him, glancing into the room.
The moonlight makes the man seem threating like a wolf stalking his prey. That’s what his grin reminds me of.
“You’re coming with me, girl,” the tall wolf-like man says, as he roughly grabs my arm and drags me out the building.
“No, let me go,” I shout and try to pull my arm back.
“Not a chance, girly,” the tall man gruffly states. He roughly shoves me towards the other men.
“Sir, how do you know that this is the princess?” one of them asks.
“Her eyes, only the members of the royal family have those wolf eyes,” the long-haired man states. Brushing aside my bangs, he lowers his face closer to mine and stared into my eyes. “Mixed match eyes, one green and the other gold.”
“Woah, you’re right. So creepy,” a man says as he turns me to face him.
“Come on let’s leave this cursed place,” the boss says, turning and stalking away into the trees.
“Reine!” I yell out as loudly as I can. But before I could yell again, the man holding me, putt his glove covered hand over my mouth.
“Shut it, girl,” he says lowly.
I kick him with all my might, but still couldn’t break free from his grasp. A loud thumping thudded repeatedly through the trees. A low growl ripped through the trees as out pounced a huge white wolf. Its fangs glistened in the moonlight as it snarled at the men. Thick black markings wind aimlessly through the wolfs fur. Bright silver eyes glow menacingly at them.
“Take the girl back to the ship. I’ll handle this,” the tall man says, holding his sword out at the beast. The dark blue of the blade glints coldly.
The one man picked me up and threw me over his shoulder as he and his partner started to head into the trees.
“Reine!” I shout again. I pound my fists into the man’s back in desperation to escape.
“Sorry, Princess. Not going to happen,” the man chuckles and tightens his grip on my waist.
My vision is blocked just in time to see Reine lung at the man. The two men carry me through the tree, further and further from my home. The night is silent until a low wine cuts through. Then complete silence. The tall man steps through the trees, wiping his stained blade on a piece of cloth. Dark gold liquid glisten as he wipes it off, staining the cloth in a shimmering gold.
“Demon blood,” the man mutters as he walks closer to us and returns the blade to its sheath. “Let’s go,” he says to them.
They drag me to the port where a large ship sits rocking in time with the waves. A large dark blue flag swings on the breeze and a silver crest is illuminated by the moon. The same crest that the man who killed my mother wore. They drag me up the wooden plank and sets me down on the deck. The tall man grabs me and leads me through a narrow hallway. He pulls open a door and shoves me inside.
“Welcome to your new home, Princess,” he states, before slamming the door shut.
A short version of Darkness Descends
The blood red moon hung heavy in the sky, casting its burgundy beams across the darkened earth. A stray breeze ruffled the tall weeds, bringing the hissing whispers closer on the air.
They keep calling to me.
My quiet footsteps were muffled by the old grass. The eerie moon casted the old broken down building into a demonic glow. The only thing that once resembled life was what was left of a garden. Groups of dead and dehydrated plants withered across the pebbled path. An old concrete fountain sat broken in the center of blacked trees. The dried-up stone was flacked and cracked and a small birds nest sat in the top. My steps creaked on the old rotting wood as I slowly walked up the front steps to the old shrine. Faded red and gold detailing ran around the door and up the pillars that supported the steps.
I slowly opened the door, sliding it back as it groaned in despair. Cold light filtered in through the broken panes of stained glass; casting a misty red glaze over the wooden floor.
“Come closer,” the voice hissed.
I walked further into the room. My feet thudded dully against aging wood. The voices stopped as I slipped and fell to the ground. My hand landed in something warm and wet. Holding my hand up, the moon brightly casted a beam over a glossy dark red that covered my hand. A dark lump lay on the ground not too far from me, leading the trail of red.
I walked over to the object and noticed that it was black fur that made the shape odd. The creature groaned in pain and I kneeled over it. It looked like a huge dog. I looked franticly for a collar, but failed to see one. A glint of gold gathered my attention and I leaned over the large beast and spotted a gold rope tightly wrapped around its front paw. Tugging on the rope, I heard a slight chime of a medallion. Pulling it off of the beast, I held it up to the light and read the words that were inscribed on it.
“Aperta ad mundum daemoniorum, lupus daemonium. What does that mean?” I quietly asked myself, looking from the dog to the medallion. As soon as I said those words, a large violet light glowed from underneath us.
Finally, follow us. Follow us, Airi.
The glowing light swallowed the both of us up. The air got heavy and hot. Wind whipped around us as the voices got to a dizzying rhythm.
Follow us, Airi. It’s time. It’s time. The fallen will awaken.
The voices kept repeating and blurring into one another. Finally, the winding whirlpool of light vanished, leaving blackened earth and charred remains. Dark violet flames crackled and leapt up from craters in the blackened soil. The black dog that was half dead was nowhere to be found. I could hear chattering whispers all around me, but all I could find were these different colored wisps that floated around. A loud crunch sounded right in front of me. Glancing in front I saw a huge man. Or at least a sort of man. Large furled horns jutted out of the sides of his head. Graced by long fiery wispy hair that grew into the color of flames at the ends. Cold gold eyes rimmed in burgundy, glared down at me.
“So, the fallen angel has returned,” he said. His voice was cold and mocking, just as cruel as the sneer smeared on his rough looking face.
I looked up into the fanged grinning face that loomed over me. My mixed matched eyes widening in surprise.
“Fallen angel?” I asked.
“That feather in your hair is from one of my consorts. The fallen angel Luna, maiden of the moon. She had the most beautiful silver blue feathers,” he stated.
“My mother gave me this. It’s the only thing I have left of her,” I said quietly, holding the beaded braid that held the feather.
“You have her eyes,” he said softly, his eyes closing in remembrance. Opening his eyes, he said, “Welcome home, daughter.”
Here I am staring down the fancy wooden sign in front of this five-star restaurant. Looking back down to the emailed directions on my phone, I sigh and walk through the door. The weight of the door swinging open caused a tinkering of bells to ring out, alerting the staff that another customer has arrived.
“Good evening miss. Would you like a table for one or two?” asked the young waiter holding up a menu.
“No, thank you. I am meeting someone,” I replied, glancing around the packed restaurant.
“Right this way then, Mam,” the young man replied motioning me to follow him.
“Excuse me, but are you Miss. Hashimoto?” asked an older man. Walking over to us was a slender built balding man.
“Yes, I am Misumi Hashimoto,” I answered looking at the balding man.
“Please excuse my employee. Mr. Nakahara is seated over here in the VIP section. Please follow me and I will show you to your seat.” He replied, kindly grabbing the menu from the waiter. He led me through the fancy dinning room, earning a bunch of rude stares from the other customers.
So, his name is Nakahara, I thought to myself. I rubbed my hands together nervously and follow the manager. I hope this goes well. This will be the first time meeting my soon to be fiancé. I wonder what he is like. I hope he is good looking. Oh, and hopefully he has a good job. But seeing as my father picked him out, I know my father would not want anything less for his only child. I still can’t believe that, at my age, my father still tries to pair me up with powerful young business heirs’. I sigh and shake my head and took a deep breath as the manager walked up to a luxurious mahogany table decked out with candles.
Seated with his chin resting on his hand, was a lean young man about my own age. His silky black hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. A neatly tied violet ribbon hung down to his broad shoulders.
The manager cleared his throat before speaking. “Excuse me, Mr. Nakahara. Miss. Hashimoto is here.”
A pair of bright blue eyes darted over to me. “Very Well then,” Mr. Nakahara said in a light tone.
The manager quickly pulled out a chair diagonal from the long-haired man and then scurried away.
“Good evening. Um, my name is Misumi Hashimoto,” I stated nervously as I sat down in the pulled-out chair.
“Evening. Takuma Nakahara,” he replied holding out his hand.
Cautiously I reached my hand out as well and shook his.
“Nice to meet you,” I said.
Just then a waiter came over and took our orders and another one came over and brought over a bottle of red wine as a complementary gift.
“So, what do you do for a living?” I asked, taking a small sip from my glass of wine.
“I work at my fathers’ company, Nakahara Central Processing Company. My father is Akira Nakahara, the CEO,” he replied rather bluntly.
“Oh, yeah. That’s right,” I replied with a small laugh.
“And you are the only daughter of Takeshi Hashimoto, the CEO of the Hashimoto Law Firm,” Takuma finished, holding his glass of wine.
“Yes sir,” I replied setting my glass down.
“Well, you’re not too bad looking,” he stated, his blue eyes swept over me.
“Same goes to me,” I countered.
We talked about a variety of things, from our favorite animals to our favorite music. The hour was growing late and we had already split a delicious chocolate lava cake between us. Laughing we exchanged cell phone numbers and made plans to meet again over the weekend. As we walked out of the restaurant, he hailed a taxi to take us home.
“See you this weekend,” he said as we stood on the front steps to my apartment.
“Yes, see you then. Have a safe trip home,” I replied back.
He hopped back into the taxi and gave the driver directions once again. As the cab pulled away, he looked out the window and waved good bye. I waved back until the taxi turned a corner and was no longer in sight.
Thanks dad, I thought with a smile. Turning the key in the lock, I unlocked my apartment and walked in.
About the Author
Candace A. L. Gardner is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. She writes short stories and novels based in fantastical worlds. Her first upcoming release will be an E-Book collection of short stories. Candace lives in a small rural town in Upstate New York with her husband and her cat; Munchkin and her dog; Flicka.
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IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE is a collection of Candace A. L. Gardner’s most popular flash fictions. If you are looking for a quick but satisfying break, then this is the perfect book for you. With seven short flash fictions, Candace A. L. Gardner gives readers action, adventure, and fantasy in the blink of an eye. In “The Japanese Dragon”, Kacy Anderson finds herself in an unexpected situation while on the run. Angels cross the planes in “Heaven Sent”. A young man; Trayner Vist; finds himself on the brink or dream and reality. In “Brewing Storm”, a Lieutenants’ son thirsts for revenge. Jamie Smitherz plans on getting his revenge on his fathers’ murderer. “It Was Meant to Be” shows that everything happens for a reason. Kisa is an expert diver aboard a treasure hunting ship. While on a dive, she finds strange ruins that are similar to her family crest. “Norse Moon” is a short mini story featuring Hati. The Norse wolf is on a hunt and who will intrude? None other than the trickster himself, Loki. “Captured: Pirate Princess” tells a story of the Isle of Rydge’s royal family and the princess with the cursed blood. Princess Lily finds herself captive of a foreign prince. “Descending Darkness” is a short version of Darkness Descends. Airi Hunter is summoned into the demon world by her father. And finally, in “The Arraignment”, the daughter of a well known CEO; Misumi Hashimoto; finds herself in the company of her betrothed.