December 13, 2010

Flash Fiction: "The Orchard and the Crow" by Gef Fox

I entered a flash fiction contest almost a year ago over at Jason Evans' blog, The Clarity of Night. Entrants had to come up with a flash fiction story using the picture shown to the right as inspiration. My entry wound up getting an honorable mention, despite missing out on getting a prize.

Since I shared a previous flash fiction entry called "Liar's Glass" (click here to check that one out), I figured I'd share this one too. I have a third piece that I'll likely share some time before the New Year. Enjoy.

The Orchard and the Crow

by Gef Fox

I awake hungover and cold inside a decrepit barn. The night before--New Year's Eve--only clouded fragments. I roust myself up and fight against the chill. A wonder I didn't freeze to death.

Outside, I squint against the sheer white that greets me. I'm in an orchard covered by new snow. Fallen while I slept. I see no tracks. Nor my car.

I left my car, I remember, to walk home. But there's no orchard between the pub and home. I don't know where I am. Gnarled trees surround me, clinging to withered fruit.

A crow circles above me, then glides down and lands on a skeletal branch before me.

"Maybe you can tell me where I am," I joke.

We call it Purgatory, a voice answers.

I sober up and look for whoever spoke, but there's only the crow.

"This is a dream," I say, unconvinced.

This is Purgatory. Where you will remain, unless you find the boy.

"What boy?" I ask, but I already remember.

I abandoned my car, but not at the pub. I didn't see the boy--barely in his teens--on the road's shoulder until it was too late. I swerved into the ditch. Then--

Find the boy and salvation is yours, it says then flies off.

I search for the boy. If he's here like me, I can find him. The coldness creeps inside me. I have to find him, but all I see are trees. Like tombstones row on row.


  1. I like the trees/tombstones link. Chilling...

  2. Aaron - Thanks. That was the main image floated through my head when I wrote it.

    Chad - Glad you liked it.