The following is a piece written for a contest that i entered. The prompt was
‘The moon shone red. The end had come.’
It all happened in a flash.
Just as the ancient elders had predicted would happen on this day, at this hour.
We stood as one people, hunters, fishermen, mothers, wives and children, staring up at the outline of the leader of our tribe, Vikron the Immortal.
He stood on the highest podium before us, a dancing shadow cast his outline onto the stone walls as the fire pit roared with a deafening volume amidst the silence of our crowd.
The clouds parted, like a veil being lifted and the moon, high in its cradle of black ocean, shone red for all to see.
The end had come.
If there was a tomorrow, it would be dire, and so forth from there. They said that the world will fall into fire and black creatures would strike from the trees. That would turn our own shadows against us as the red moonlight tainted the very ground that it lay upon.
I couldnt believe it. I held the beliefs of my elders as strong as my fathers had, for they had never steered us wrong, however with this… I couldnt take it. It seemed too much, too much to bare or even begin to think about.
Within moments the forest erupted, every person sprinted out amongst the trees, running as hard and fast as they could, myself included. Branches flicked by faster then i could see them, whipping and scratching at my skin. Some had stayed behind to pray with their final moments as the trees themselves began to scream, filled with the black creatures that came from the Other realm.
All i could think was ‘reach the water’. Surely there was some safety there, for the elders had only prophesised about the trees and the forests. There could be jope for those that made it to the outer reaches and, like an unspoken rumour, i appeared not be thenonly one to think like that. Above me, branches rustled and snapped as the creatures leapt down from above, filling the air with pained screams from the victims. I could feel the eyes burning onto me as i burst at incredible speed. It was chance that yook me, not skill nor agility. The wrong step and it was over, yet i ran hard and got closer and closer to the beach, thinking only of surviving that long.
The ground changed, turning into a wet slope that dragged me around and over gnarled roots, bouncing me harder and harder as i crashed through bushes and small trees. The pain was immense, everywhere stung as though i was covered in hundreds of miniscule cuts. A howl screeched out from above and i forced myself upwards, pushing off the wet ground and onto my feet, i staggered into a run again, dropping every now and then as the pain came in waves.
Suddenly the bishes thinned out. I could make out the sparkle of water as i crashed through the final sections of fauna, i landed with a roll, splaying out onto the cold sands. I was safe… safe enough to hold ground against whatever those creatures where, as i breathed deep, listening to the sounds of chaos from the woodland.
It stopped all too suddenly. One final scream and the trees stopped shaking. I wondered if there where others that had survived, possibly trying to make camp somewhere along the beach when a feeling of dread crept up my spine.
Slowly turning, i looked into the water behind me and beheld the rotten creatures that stared back. Green corpses that staggered through the water, wading in the shallows with their flesh falling off in drabs and chunks as they emerged onto the beach.
My breath stuck in my throat.
The moon shone red. The end had come.