Flash Fiction Challenge: Scary Story Part 3

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First the awesome news: not 1, not 2, but 3 people took my Scary Story Part 1 and continued it to part 2!! It’s funny because I had a bit of an idea where the story seemed to head, but all 3 interpretations went in a completely different direction. It’ll be cool to see if anyone finishes any of these. Also, so far, 1 person has finished the story in which I wrote a Part 2. I’ll wait until the end of the week when all the conclusions are done, and then I’ll make a post with the links.

Anyway, I took this story (part 1 is here and part 2 is here) and decided to finish it. I wasn’t even sure how it would end until I wrote it, but I think it turned out well. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

Josiah scrambled back towards the boat, pulling with all his might to bring it further ashore. He knew it would take too much time to work the trunk off the craft, so he jumped aboard. With trembling fingers he fumbled with the latches, until at last he got them undone and he threw open the lid.

Meanwhile, the woman, arms still outstretched with palms facing towards the beast, began chanting in a strange language Josiah did not recognize. She slowly advanced along the shore, continuing to chant, moving more as if she were gliding than walking. Suddenly, with a frightening howl that would haunt Josiah until the end of his days, the shape shifted. It froze and then burst, transforming into smoke and blowing in all directions.

An eerie calm followed in the wake of the demon’s disappearance, the treeline visible in the starlight once more. The woman’s arms fell down at her sides and her shoulders hunched forwards. Josiah leapt out of the lifeboat and rushed to her side. He caught her by the waist and eased her to sitting.

“Is it…dead?” He asked a few moments later.

“No. The spell I cast will keep it at bay, probably just long enough to prepare. I must return to the trunk and get my things. Please assist me up.”

Josiah stood up and offered his hand to the woman. It was still icy cold to his touch and he suppressed a shiver as he pulled her to standing. She must have fully recovered because she immediately strode purposely towards the boat and her trunk, Josiah jogging to keep up.

“If we are to destroy that beast for good, we will need to trap it so that I may cast a powerful enough spell,” she said, pulling items out of the trunk. She gestured for Josiah to pick up those items as she rummaged further.

“So you’re a witch, then?” he asked as he bent towards the objects.

“I suppose that is as accurate a term as any,” she replied. She straightened up, a large, worn-leather tome and a small velvet pouch in her hands. She clutched the items to her chest with one arm as she began to disembark from the boat once more, waving for Josiah to follow her.

On the beach, the woman placed the book and pouch on a large flat rock. Using the toe of her boot, she drew a large circle in the sand. She pulled out a small compass on a chain from a pocket hidden in her gown, then directed Josiah to place the objects he carried within the circle: a large wooden box to the west, a long wooden stick to south, a circular cloth-wrapped object to the north, and a sword to the east.

“This is vitally important. You must remain within the circle for the entire spell. You cannot break the circle under any circumstances.” Josiah nodded and stepped into the center of the circle, his heart hammering in his chest.

Josiah watched mutely as the woman removed a large pewter goblet from the wooden box, filled it with sea water and placed it atop the box. She then unwrapped a plate-sized golden disk from the cloth and placed it on the ground before returning to the book and pouch, flipping through the pages until she found the one she wanted. Starting at the north, she slowly retraced the circle clockwise, sprinkling it with a strange black powder she took from the pouch, chanting in the same strange language as before. She stood at the northern point of the circle, continuing to chant, her voice rising as the wind began to howl around them.

Josiah’s anxiety deepened as the wind got stronger, blowing the goblet over and spilling the water within onto the beach. Dark clouds appeared as if from nowhere, blocking out the starlight and swirling over their heads. The woman continued her spell, now yelling over the maelstrom. Josiah’s eyes widened in terror as the beast re-emerged from the treeline, the sound of its arrival overshadowed by the shrieking wind.

It took every ounce of Josiah’s resolve to not flee towards the lifeboat. Instead, he remained rooted to the spot as the creature continued towards the circle, the ground beginning to tremble beneath his feet. Still the woman chanted, seemingly unfazed by the chaos surrounding her.

The beast reached the edge of the circle and the woman finally stopped chanting. It turned towards her and they stared at each other for several moments. Josiah watched, wide-eyed with terror as the woman’s eyes softened and she smiled as if to a lover. He moved to run away but she stopped him with an outstretched hand.

“Not under any circumstances,” she commanded, not taking her gaze off the creature. Josiah stayed frozen in place as it stepped into the circle. The woman turned a couple of pages in her book and began chanting again, but in a different language this time. The wind began to die down, so Josiah could now hear his heart hammering in his ears as the beast continued to approach him. Closer the demon came, towering over Josiah, jaws wide open and talons poised to grasp his shoulders. Josiah closed his eyes, anticipating the pain of his flesh being ripped apart. Instead, he felt a great weight hit the front of his head, knocking him to his back and out of consciousness.

He awoke some time later, head pounding, but alive. Slowly, he rolled to his side and peeked one eye open. The woman sat beside him, unmoving. He opened the other eye, and pushed himself up to sitting, looking around. The night was cloudless once again, with a hit of daybreak on the horizon. The circle had vanished as if it never was, and the tools were gone.

“The demon?” he managed to croak through his scratchy throat.

“Everything is as it should be. Can you walk?” This time she held out her hand to assist Josiah up.

He felt a wave of dizziness as he stood but it passed quickly. They slowly made their way back to the lifeboat. The trunk was closed once more, the contents presumably returned. The woman, with surprising strength, pushed the boat off the shore. As she did, Josiah peered into the water, the demon’s face reflecting back at him.

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