Amy C at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie atTink's Place have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate - you publish your Fiction Flash on Friday - 350 words, give or take.
It's been ages since I wrote a flash but this week's pic undid me completely:
Patricia was sitting on a hard, wooden chair which looked like a cross between a throne and a piece of furniture straight from a torture chamber - uncomfortable like hell, full of spikes and metal studs. Dark birds (ravens? crows? jackdaws?) were flying around her making a lot of racket and crapping on her lap and feet. She swore loudly when a piece of guano landed on her head as well. She wanted to stand up and escape those pesky birds but she couldn't move, as if she was glued to her seat. She looked up at the overcast sky. 'Dammit, it might rain any time now' she thought. Just her luck - she was wearing a sleeveless dress made of a very thin fabric (silk?) very low cut at the front and hardly anything else. It meant that if she was cold now, she was bound to be freezing pretty soon. And wet. A shiver ran down her spine.
She heard a murmur of voices and thought that finally some help might be coming her way but saw only an endless column of people with heads hung low, some of them limping, most dressed in bloody tatters. Slaves. Other people, riding horses and brandishing long, vicious whips, flanked the column. She blinked several times hearing ominous swishes through the air and cries full of pain and horror. What was happening and what was she doing here? She made another attempt to move, once again failing spectacularly.
Somebody approached her from behind and whispered into her ear:
"We won, my princess. The darkness will rule forever and you'll marry me today as your father's promised."
She turned her head and saw a big, black raven with a human head sitting on the backrest of her chair. The head smiled nastily, showing blood-stained, sharp teeth; she screamed like mad and woke up with her mouth still wide open and her throat constricted with fear.
Next day Patricia threw away all her Goth wardrobe and accessories. She couldn't look at them any longer. She dyied her hair brown, as close to her natural colour as she could manage, and put on a lot less of that black and red eyeshadows than she used to. Even though she repeated in her head that it was just a spooky dream she didn't want to return to that chair, black birds and the darkness. Ever.