I was challenged to write a 250 word short story. Yes, you read that correctly–two hundred and fifty words. In case you were wondering or hadn’t already guessed, I don’t do short, like ever. Not in my make up. No short stories, no abbreviated tales, no concise descriptions. Are we getting it yet? Because I can go on…
Anyway, not one (generally) to turn down a challenge, I was like sure, why the heck not. Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to simply commandeer a few paragraphs (who am I kidding? one paragraph…maybe) and use that, but where’s the fun in that? Also, they’ve kind of read everything already so would know if I was cheating. To be fair, the challenger hasn’t read everything, so I may have been looking to steal from works their eyes have not beheld. In that, I got a smidge of inspiration, because let’s face it, for 250 words, you don’t need a full on stroke.
On that note, I used a line that always spoke to me and might have influenced some of my characters.
When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back.
Disclaimer: While I did use existing characters and constructs for this very brief foray into short-story writing, I have changed the only name that appears in order to avoid any spoilers.
So without further ado, I give you:
I stared into the darkness and it stared back. Where do shadows go when they die? Everyone wanted to know. No one wanted to find out. My essence reached deeper into the abyss. Something reached back. My breathing shallowed at the seductive caress tempting me to venture farther. No demon would ever admit to being drawn to the finality of eternity, an endless night that swallowed you whole and left nothing, not even your soul. Assuming demons even had souls.
I took a step towards the precipice. There was no actual cliff to fall off of, but the depths were real and they were calling to me.
I had thought that finding love would be enough—the kind of love you spend your whole life searching for—and it had been. But I hadn’t banked on what would happen to me when he died. Conner was everything to me. Hope, light, laughter, and more.
Guilt weighed on me at the children I would leave behind. He had made me promise that I wouldn’t leave them. He should have known I was lying when I agreed. They didn’t need me, not as much as I needed him.
I took a deep breath and inched closer. An impossible love deserved an impossible death. Conner always said I had a flare for the dramatic. Another step and I was falling. As the abyss wrapped its tendrils around me, I only had one thought, the warning given to all Shadow Demons: Beware the darkness.