On the Changeling Press Bar & Grill group on Yahoo – Changeling has published several stories for me – they have occasional “Flash Fiction” challenges. In 100-150 words, leave your readers wanting more. This week’s challenge:
‘You’re sitting in your house. Looking out the window you see the snow falling gently in the yard. It looks like a Christmas Card picture out there. Then, you see something moving in the big old apple tree out back….’
I can’t resist a challenge. So here you go.
Falling snow always makes me restless. Perhaps it’s the sense that something must come along with it – howling winds or something else that’s fraught with danger – but it always happens.
This snow tonight is soft, muffling, gentle, peacefully uncooperative. I move from window to window, staring out. It’s beautiful, maybe even idyllic. I’m a ball of pent up energy.
Finally, I pause at the back window, staring at the apple tree. Something moved out there. Could it be him, or just a trick of the light?
No, can’t be that. There is no light but the one from the porch.
There. I have an excuse to go outside. Excitement expands from the pit of my stomach, lower. I do hope it’s him. Our encounters are certainly… fraught. I venture out.
I had definitely seen him moving, but there were no prints in the snow. Of course there weren’t. He rarely walks from place to place—not if he can avoid it, anyway. My own prints trailed behind me, sharp-edged and full of shadows. I knew my heat signature must stand out against the frozen landscape like a flare. I hadn’t worn a coat. Snowflakes clung to my eyelashes and frosted my hair. Infinitesimal pinpricks of cold stung my bare arms and vanished as quickly. I approached the apple tree and turned, putting my back against it.
“Barson,” I said. The word hung in the air. A swift and brutal movement overhead rattled even the largest the branches; a billow of swift wind followed, and it was as though every last flake on every dormant twig suddenly leapt free and fluttered down.
He hit the ground in front of me with shuddering force, wings cupping air and creating a blizzard. His low chuckle vibrated down my spine. His voice was gravel and indolence. “So, you come. No more do I appear, but you are mine for the taking and the having.”
Adrenaline screamed in my blood. Arousal weakened my knees. I might have sagged if I hadn’t had the tree to brace me up. “Yes,” seemed so inadequate an answer. “Always,” came a little closer. Finally, I settled on, “Please.”
He moved in. His wings arched high, covering us. The heat from his body set my world afire. I fumbled for the hem of my knit top and pulled it up, baring my breasts to his mercies. His claws, which could easily have torn me to pieces, drew delicate lines, patterns, tattoos that spiraled to the edges of the nipples. “I will have you,” he warned me.
His body is rough; the bark of the tree was, too. Sweat pants puddled onto the bare ground, getting even more wet than I had already made them. He crushed me to the tree, lifted one of my legs to hook around his flank, and made a thrust that lifted my other foot from the ground. He caught that leg too so that I straddled him, helpless to his pleasure. Sensations assailed me from every side. Bite of bark, bite of scales, bite of teeth that did not quite break the skin of my shoulder. Heat. So much heat. And his body invading mine, owning it, driving in again and again. Pain outside distracted from growing glory inside, but eventually the entire world beyond faded into irrelevance. There was only his body and mine, merged into the critical moment.
He threw back his head, wings flung wide as he came. His jaws, wide with a silent roar, flung forth flame into the branches above.
We fled the conflagration that followed. Our ardor was spent, anyway.
I was back inside before the fire department showed up. Thunder snow, they said. Freak lightning. Sorry about the tree. Lucky thing it hadn’t been any nearer the house.