This is my entry for L.S.Engler’s Flash Fiction Friday ‘just for fun’ competition, I’m really excited to be doing this as I have never written any flash fiction before! I hope you like it…
Every lamp in the city was lit that night…
Except for one.
Dita found it strange that this one house was not lit like the others. The walk home from locking up at the restaurant to join her family in the festival celebrations was hurried, yet she maintained her observant manner.
The streets were almost empty as everyone had retired to their homes for the traditional summoning. Dita was among the stragglers, rushing to be back before the hour was upon them.
The city was small and fully occupied, for a house not to be lit was a bad omen and this drew Dita to it. She had to know who would risk not partaking in the summoning. She felt compelled to do something about it, fearing what effect it could have if the tradition was broken. She had never known a house to fail to comply and wondered if anyone else had noticed; but immediately realised it was unlikely – such was the urgency for everyone to be indoors.
Dita glanced at her watch, there really wasn’t time to investigate and yet she could not draw herself away. A sigh as she heaved her slipping bag back on her shoulder. She started to walk up the path to the house.
With each step the darkness seemed to envelop her. A strange chill sent a shudder down her spine and a desire to run home fleeted across her mind. Still she continued to the veranda, all the time feeling more and more cut off from the rest of the city and drawn to continue her quest.
The top step creaked under her as she approached the front door. Glancing back she could barely see the street below her, even though it was less than twenty feet away. Goosebumps pricked her skin as the fine hairs stood on end, was this fear.
Finally the door was within reach, as she reached out to knock it opened slightly releasing a musty, damp smell. Now Dita knew she was scared, but now she could not turn away. It was like a force had taken control of her actions, she could tell that turning away was no longer a possibility. The only option was to go into the gloom that peered at her through the crack where the door stood ajar.
A gentle push and the door swung silently open and Dita stepped over the threshold.
Immediately a sense of ending ran through to her bones as she felt the shadows close around her. Glancing back she saw the door close as silently as it had opened. There was no sign of life here and as the last remaining light from the street vanished with the closing door Dita felt a scream building in the pit of her stomach. As she opened her mouth to release the scream the shadows poured in like air filling her mouth and lungs, trapping the scream within her. Blackness, never-ending blackness.
The summoning was done, the sacrifice was made, the lamps came on.
Every lamp in the city was lit that night.