AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is my sixth anniversary post. I started doing weekly flash fictions from picture prompts in May of 2016 off the old Monday Flash Fiction Facebook page. There have been a few breaks for holidays but I’ve also written for more than one prompt site as well as the Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge ‘Nathan Burgoine started a few years ago. It all adds up to over 52 stories a year (that’s around 348 stories so far!)
And right now, I am moderator of not only the monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge but Friday Flash Fics as well! (I gotta be out of my mind!)
When I found this week’s picture it made me think of a story I dreamed up for a magazine in the 90s, but I got lazy, didn’t write it and didn’t get published anywhere until now! Enjoy!
The Beach at the End of the World
by Jeff Baker
The tall young man walked along the beach, glancing occasionally at the desolate muck that had been the ocean. He noted the position of the sun in the murky sky and turned around trying to figure exactly where the compass point was. He knelt on the sand and bowed toward the East.
After he was done, he tried to rise but his left knee hit something hard. A rock?
He stood up and pulled at the object. Not a rock, a misshapen cylinder with lines carved on one end. He cautiously pulled at one end and what looked like a cap came off. In another instant, there was the sound of a thousand bees and a blob of dark nothing surged from the cylinder.
In another moment, it formed into a tall, dark man, muscular where the other man was thin. Wearing a flowing robe where the first man was wearing ragged pants and a torn shirt.
“Mortals! Show Fear! I, Attos, am free once more to wreak chaos in this world after millennia!”
The skinny man in the torn clothes stared upward at the apparition.
“Ho, Attos!” the skinny man said. “I am Mottrea, he who has released you into this world. You will find much has changed since you walked the Earth last.”
“I shall destroy you first, then I shall ravage this world!” Attos said, glaring down. “For I am a Lord of the Dal-Huer, one called the Jann by those of this world. Behold my power!”
Attos raised one hand and the wind roared and fire crackled and a column of sand rose from the beach and solidified into a jagged column of dirty quartz.
“Behold, Attos,” Mottrea said. “I am also of the Dal, and my power is the equal to yours!”
With a gesture, Mottrea summoned lightning which shattered the crystal. With another gesture, he restored the crystal shards to sand again.
“I bow to no power!” Attos shouted. The pair of them raised their arms summoning fire, lightning and roaring wind. The ground shook. The mucky water receded.
Attos’ robes flowed behind him in the wind. Mottrea’s eyes glowed green.
A pile of rocks hurtled toward Mottrea and shattered against the aura which shone brightly around him.
Tentacles tried to bind Attos and shredded at his gaze.
Mottrea’s voice could not be heard over the wind. This fight could go on forever. He glanced around. He saw the outline of the city in the distance.
And he conjured.
Visions of the world suddenly appeared before Attos. A world shattered by the wars and cataclysmic weaponry of mortals. Mortals who had wiped themselves off the face of the world they claimed to rule.
The two men lowered their arms, the wind and visions ceased.
“There are no more men?” Attos asked.
“None,” Mottrea said.
“And what of our race?” Attos asked.
“I have found none but you, so far.” Mottrea said.
The two men walked together and kept walking along the edge of what had been a beach, the shell of the city in the distance, sunset, moonrise, sunrise, moonset.
And when the hours came they knelt and faced East, their voices echoing in the empty world.