This week’s flash fiction post comes from the word “snail time”. Hope each of you enjoy this little bit of flash fiction. It’s kind of off the wall, but it increases its uniqueness.
Remember let your imagination soar when you read
Copyrighted Julia Matthews
I tried to ask a few what was going on, but all I got was . . . dismissed. The lady I asked continued to stare skyward. The man I asked simply ignored me.
No matter where I looked, which wasn’t far thanks to the heavy dust fog surrounding me, all I could see was the silhouette of people rambling around with dead stares. I tapped a couple on their shoulders and . . . nothing. There was no response. No slight flinch of recognition that a stranger had invaded their personal space. The lack of life among the people sent shivers over my sweating body.
I knocked the swirling dirt away from my face and shouted, “What is going on?”
I hadn’t expected a response of any kind, so when a deep, rich voice replied I jumped about five feet off the ground.
“James, do not fear your true life.”
My head swiveled around, but everyone was still ambling around like zombies, minus the eating other people.
“Where are you? Who are you?”
“I am everywhere. I am you. I am no one. I am everyone.”
What the fuck did that mean? My hands ached from being clinched so tight. I ran up to the red headed lady next to me and shook her shoulders. She mocked a rag doll, but remained on her feet.
“What have you done to them?” I didn’t know any of these people, but I sure didn’t like them being screwed with. It wasn’t right.
“James, I’ve only slowed time down.”
“Oh.” No biggie. Time slows down all the time, no one will mind you doing so. Yeah right. This invisible man had my stomach churning.
“You do not get it do you, James?”
“Get what?” You are a fucked up insane person with some grand scheme to send me right to the loony bin. I get that.
“You are the chosen one from your world.”
“You will be the one to inherit my kingdom from this day forward.”
My facial muscle ached from me gritting my teeth.
“James, you should’ve expected this day to come. Your grandfather told you all about your true home.”
“Grandfather spent the last ten years in and out of hospitals for dementia.” No one would believe a word the man said, especially not me.
“You should’ve believed every word Lord Timely told you. He was my captain for many years. His loyalty is why I chose you.”
“Thanks, but I’ll just nicely decline.” I waved my hand at the people. “You return time to normal pace, please.”
“If you return with me then I’ll do so.”
“It is you at my side, or time remains a snail until it ceases for good.”
What a choice? Me or the whole world. Cliché anyone?
“You’ve five minutes.”
I almost laughed when a clock began ticking. The first minute passed and the invisible man said, “Four minutes.” It was those words that clued me in on how serious the situation was.
I shook my head, wishing to goodness I could decipher what was going on. It made no sense. Who was this guy? What was he wanting me to be heir to? Why me? What did my dead, lunatic grandfather have to do with him?
My mind drifted back to the last time I saw grandfather. The man had been going on about a world called ZarMac. How it held beautiful waterfalls, crashing into rainbow colored pools of water. How the sun and the moon shared the day and night. I’d even thought the world sounded magical when I heard grandfather speak of it.
“Are you talking about ZarMac?” I blurted out the question before I realized it.
“I am. Two minutes left. Best get to making a decision or I’ll leave you to this dribble of a place.”
“It’s not dribble. It’s . . .” I scanned the area, taking in the know gloomy area. “It was full of life until you invaded us. Why do you need me at your side? Do you not have children of your own?”
“No. I was not blessed with the gratification of a woman. I did love, but lover can’t bear me children.”
Did that mean his wife was barren or was he gay? Didn’t matter. What did was that my time to decide was all but up. I had to choose, the world or me.
“If I go with you will the world remain intact?”
“My family will be kept safe?”
“Yes, James. Sixty seconds and those answers will change.”
I heaved a sigh, knowing I had no choice. I couldn’t let the entire world go to . . . whatever this ZarMac leader would do to it, when I could save it.
“Fine. Will I get to say goodbye to my family?”
There was a snap of a finger and then my body lifted over the once again life flowing world. The people appeared as if nothing strange had been going on around them. Everything was right, except me. I was floating higher and higher into the sky. Might as well been riding on some kind of streak of light to my new life.
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