A short story written for ‘The Storytellers’ a photo/storytelling group on Flickr.
Waiting by the side of the road, the fog slowly moved in. Eric knew he couldn’t wait much longer, but he knew he had to wait until the last possible minute, he knew she was out there, somewhere! Beyond all hope, he had to hold on to the possibility that she would make it back!
Why did she go by herself? Yes, the children needed food, but the village couldn’t afford to lose yet another adult. The children needed to be protected from the Creatures in the Fog if their way of life was to continue, and it was down to him as the leader to make sure it did… even if it meant losing the one woman he couldn’t live without!
Just as he was about to turn away, get back to the safety of the inside defences, he heard in the distance the fast foot falls… someone running! The fog was getting too thick to see, he dare not run further into the fog or he would be lost…
“Clarity! This way! Quickly… run towards my voice!”
Faintly… in the distance… “Eric… RUN… they’re coming! You have to run! PLEASE!”
He knew she was right, losing both of them would surely mean the end… but it was Clarity! “Run towards my voice, you’re almost at the wall!”
He saw shadows… so many shadows, moving in the fog! He wouldn’t be able to tackle them all, not by himself! “Clarity…. RUN!!!!!!!!!”
Eric could just make out a figure… it was a child! Who? Where? Then Clarity broke through the heavy fog… “Eric, take her… RUN… they’re right behind me!”
With all the strength his hungry body could muster he picked up the child in his arms and reached out and took Clarity’s hand… and they ran! The pounding of his heart echoing the pounding feet behind them!
“I can’t… I can’t make it… I’ll only hold you back”, cried Clarity!
“I won’t leave you!”, cried Eric, “Take the child!”
In an instant Eric passed the child into Clarity’s arms, turned, drew his gun and opened fire! The thud of two bodies hitting the ground gave Eric the few extra seconds they needed… the outer gates were open, but they had to be closed before the Creatures penetrated the inside defences. With his last ounce of strength, he drew his knife and cut the rope holding the gates open. The gate fell… taking out one of the creatures on it’s way down, the other’s were left howling on the other side!
They made it…. they were safe! Clarity was safe!
©2007 Julian Luckham
I joined a group on Flickr where people post photographs for other Flickr members to write stories about. So far I’ve written about six stories, this is one of my favourites, written for a photograph taken by my Flickr Friend clarity25.