I decided that for this writing prompt I would try to write outside of my romantic genre. I added some suspense into this flash fiction piece, but of course, my flare for romance was still there. Enjoy my little story about a couple and their encounter with a beast.
He urged her to run faster. Her lungs couldn’t seem to get enough air and her legs couldn’t move any faster. Still, he grasped her hand with such force that her fingertips were throbbed. He all but dragged her along.
Behind them, the grunting didn’t tired at all. It just kept moving forward, getting closer.
Gasping for air he urged her on, “Come on baby,” he squeezed her hand, “look there. The bridge is just ahead.”
She nodded. Too tired to speak.
Together they ran, him always a step ahead. The beast just a few steps behind.
The bridge creaked when they jumped on it.
“Are you sure?” She asked, daring not to tell him now of her fear of heights.
“What choice do we have?”
He pulled her further onto the bridge. Her breathing staggering with fear and exhaustion. Not even halfway across the bridge and they felt themselves lift into the air as the beast stepped on. His yell of frustration shook the mountains and the trees surrounding them.
“Shit,” he hadn’t thought the beast would step onto the bridge. They never did in the movies.
“Where are we going to run to?” she sobbed.
“We’re just running baby,” he tried to soothe her. He couldn’t afford her having a meltdown now.
With each step the beast took, the bridge swayed. The beast had slowed down, hesitant and unsure of being on the bridge. But it was determined. Its dinner lay just ahead, within reach. As they kept running and the beast slowed, they were making distance. The beast, frustrated that they might get away, grabbed the rope railings of the bridge and shook with all of his might. Not realizing its own strength, the bridge groaned under the strain. She heard a crack and almost stopped had it not been for him pulling her forward.
“We can only hope it breaks once we’re across,” he said, “so we better not slow down yet.”
“Ok, ok,” she said, grunting as she pushed herself to keep going. She wasn’t sure how she kept her legs moving, but she did. Their lives depended on it. They had been running for miles with no end in sight. The bridge collapsing was their only hope of survival. Unless of course, it broke while
Their screaming vibrated through the valley, echoing back to them. The forest seemed to yell back as though having been rudely awakened from a deep slumber. It was a good thing he held her so tightly and had quick reflexes. He grabbed the rope railing of the bridge just as they began to fall. She tried to grab the other rope railing, but it was just out of her reach. When the bridge slammed against the mountainside, it knocked the wind out of her and almost knocked her unconscious. He held on tight, determined to get them to safety. She heard the pop of his shoulder when it came disconnected, but she didn’t hear him scream out or even whimper. Shaking her head to refocus, she got her footing on the bridge that had now become a ladder. She was able to reach out with her other hand and get a good grip on a piece of rope. Grunting, he pulled on her arm to get her to look up at him. All he could manage was a nod towards the top of the mountainside.
It was time to climb.
When she was beside him they heard a loud thump of what must have been the beast hitting the valley floor. She looked back over her shoulder, surprised at the delay of the sound. Below them, she could see tops of trees and rocks. They were up a lot further than she realized. She swayed with dizziness. He put his arm around her waist.
“Don’t look down,” he said, his voice tired and strained, “we go up now.”
A tear rolled down her cheek. She took a deep breath and began her climb. She was thankful for all of the chin ups she had done. Her arms were strong enough to carry her forward. She could feel his breath on the small of her back all of the way up. He refused to be out of arm’s reach of her.
When they reached the top of the bridge he held her in a tight embrace. Finally out of danger, she let her tears fall.
“You’re hurt,” she whispered as she touched his shoulder and he flinched in pain.
“I’ll heal,” he tried to laugh it off.
Still, she took off her sweatshirt and made a sling for him.
They kissed before once again holding hands. They entered the forest in search of their way to safety and civilization. The forest was dark and had a funny smell to it.
“Next time,” she said quietly, “we’re booking a resort.”
“Most definitely,” he agreed.
Hideous laughter broke out all around them and they froze. They looked at one another, both trembling.
Out from behind the trees stepped an army of beasts. Bigger than the one that fell off the bridge. Angrier than the one that fell off the bridge.
Panicked, with nowhere to run, they were quickly surrounded.
Then darkness came.
(c) Rachel Rennie