Drabble Wednesday is back with three more dark stories. Enjoy.
“This isn’t a good idea.”
“I have to know.” I brushed past my brother, entering the Oracle’s chamber. The door shut behind me.
A young, pale girl sat on a throne in the darkened room, surrounded by strange hooded statues. Cracks ran across her visible skin, as if she too were made of stone.
“I need to know what will happen. Can I stop it?”
The oracle’s chest fractured, separating into jagged halves, her glowing heart revealed. A voice echoed around the chamber, spoken from frozen lips.
“You can’t save him. No matter what you do, your brother will die.”
How many days?
I had lost count, wandering the dark winding tunnels looking for a way out. My fingertips were raw from clawing at the stone walls, my tongue swollen from thirst and my belly pinched from hunger. I survived this long on brackish drips and slow moving rats, but death still moved in my shadow.
But that was the purpose of my being here, after all. A slow death for me, unless I found an escape. A death to fit my crime, or a reprieve granted by fate.
I prayed they hadn’t lied and there was a way out.
“When the Reaper comes, you run or die.”
I nodded at my grandfather, sensing his fear and swallowing my own. The Reaper was fear, the dark shadow that haunted my village. He came on the Long Night, for one child, any child over the age of five. I was six.
“Take to the woods and the westland path that leads to the mountains. The minute he enters the village. Don’t stop running. Understand.”
I nodded again. I could do it. I could survive. Grandfather trained me right. To rise above the fear.
Someone would die tonight. It wouldn’t be me.