The following piece is my first entry in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition 2019. I was given a prompt Saturday morning, and then had to submit a 1,000-word story based on that prompt by Sunday Night!
The prompt for this story was Genre: Action/Adventure, Location: A ravine, and Object: A bag of money. Hope you enjoy!
I heard the soft click of a weapon behind me.
“Well done kids. Daddy would be proud.”
My hands shot up.
“Don’t shoot! P-please don’t shoot!”
Carefully, I turned around and faced Rafe. His slicked-back hair was greying and his once chiselled features sagged around the edges. His weapon was raised.
Cassie’s hand darted for her weapon. I grabbed her wrist.
“Listen to your brother Cassie. Give me your weapon.”
I could only hear the wind ambling through the ravine, the soft tinkling of water seeping through the collapsed ruins behind us. Cassie turned, dangling her weapon by the barrel. He nodded. She tossed it to him.
“Jesus Cassie… You look just like your mother.”
“Fuck you Rafe.”
I was so scared.
“Hey, business is business.”
I couldn’t move.
“What do you want Rafe?”
“The Bitten Apple. If you’re anything like my old friend Nate you’ve found it.”
“Dad was not your friend.” Cassie spat.
Rafe’s eyes narrowed. He fired his weapon into the air. The sound echoed off the walls of the ravine. Water started running through the centuries-old brick and plaster of the collapsed building behind me.
“DON’T! That building is damming the river! We’ll drown! It’s extremely unstable, even an echo could set it off!” My heart pounded against my ribs as if trying to escape.
Just like it did that night. My heart pounded but I did nothing.
“We didn’t find the Apple Rafe,” stated Cassie, more calm and collected than I, “In fact, we doubt it’s here.”
As she spoke my eyes snapped to the case that held the Bitten Apple.
Rafe snorted. “Thanks, kid.” He walked over to the silver case.
“W..wait! Just take that bag,” I nodded at the bag beside the case, “It’s filled with old coins. Some are hundreds of years old. They’d be worth-”
He fired again. This time straight into the dam behind me. The noise cracked around us and debris started falling down. I felt water soak my feet.
“You’ll kill us all Rafe.”
“No, just you two if I’m lucky.” He stepped away from us, weapon in one hand, the case with the Bitten Apple in the other.
Plaster crumbled. Brickwork cracked.
The dam collapsed, bringing the entire river with it. The water hit me like a wall of cement.
A wall hit me. I bounced off it, being washed further down the ravine. I got my head into the air.
I was bashed against the ravine wall. I felt a rope at my arm. I grabbed it. The same rope we had used to rappel down only hours before. I tried to set my feet against the cliff wall, but the pressure stopped me. I needed to breathe. I pulled myself up. Hand over hand.
My head broke the surface. I began the difficult climb as the river smashed against the wall below, raging to pull me back under.
I pulled myself up and put my feet against the damp slippery wall. Now I was out I looked around me. The whole ravine seemed to be shaking. Rocks started falling down and I had to dodge left and right to avoid being hit.
I scanned the water for her.
Then I saw her. Directly across from me, climbing up the cliff itself to a small plateau halfway up.
“Oh thank you universe…” I relaxed for a second… Until I saw Rafe, climbing up the other side of the same plateau.
It’s happening again.
I’ll lose my sister. Just like I lost Mom.
Rafe reached the top of the plateau and lay on the ground, breathing heavily. Cassie was almost there too.
I tried shouting, but the noise of the water was too much. She wouldn’t hear me in time.
I shouted for Mom too. I told her to look out, but Rafe got her.
I tried to shout at Cassie again. But I was too late. She had reached the plateau.
I dove in.
The water wasn’t as strong but it was still a battle. I swam. Water forced it’s way down my throat. The current pushed me away from the plateau. I kicked harder. There was less debris now, it was easier. I gave one last push of energy and…
I reached the bottom of the cliff-face, on Rafe’s side. I grabbed at the rocks, slippery and wet, and began to climb.
I heard a blaster echoing across the ravine.
Hearing the lasershot gave me new energy. I climbed, pulled, grabbed, leapt and scrambled. My fingers found the edge. I could hear both of them fighting.
He punched her.
She kicked him.
He threw the blaster away from them.
She knocked him to his feet.
He tripped her up and clambered on top of her.
She tried to bash at his head with a rock.
He took the rock and hit her in the head. Once. Twice.
I finally got up and grabbed the blaster.
“Rafe!” I yelled. He looked up at me and I fired.
The lasershot caught him in the shoulder.
He fell off the edge.
I ran to my sister’s side.
“Cassie?! Cassie, you okay?” I ripped off a bit off my shirt and pressed it to the cut above her eye.
“Ow! Fuck Nate!” she slapped my hand away.
I let out the breath I didn’t even know I was holding.
I flopped onto my back and admired the sliver of blue sky and fluffy white clouds pass. Green vines and grasses peeped over the edges as if watching us.
We made it back to base camp and couldn’t wait any longer.
“Well?! Check it out!”
I slid the Bitten Apple out of the case. We plugged it into our universal power adapter. Carefully I lifted the lid of the ancient technology and pressed what was once called the ‘powarchy’.
The Bitten Apple on the lid turned a brilliant white.
“We’re in business!”
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
If you’d like to read some more flash fiction then click here: Flash Fiction!