Flash Fiction: What the Wind Hides

This story inspired by the Thursday Picture Prompt:  Blowing in the Wind on Flashy Fiction, January 31, 2013.

Blowing in the Wind

What the Wind Hides

The stiff breeze chilled Ray as he paused in the moonlit field.  His hoodie offered no protection from the wind whipping right through it, preventing it from trapping body heat like it did in the still of the night.  He finally managed to get his cigarette lit, but the constant wind was burning it down quickly.  “At least it’s blowing away from me,” he grinned, moving forward again.  “Gonna suck heading back, though.  Why’d I listen to that guy?”

‘That guy’ being the man at the bar with the odd cologne who told him about the long forgotten graveyard that had been exposed partly in the rainstorms a couple weeks ago.  None of his friends had believe the story, but the stranger had sounded so sure of what he said.  “Why would someone make that up?” Ray had argued, but to no avail. His friends still didn’t buy it and refused to come along.

After a good downpour again last night, Ray couldn’t help himself.  He planned, sort of.  He made sure he had fresh batteries for his flashlight, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and a backpack to store whatever he found.

So far, Ray had come across half a dozen spots in the field that looked like they could have been graves, but none of them had corpses in them, much less the jewelry that was supposed to still be on them.  His shoes were wet and caked with mud and he was already done with half his smokes.

“Who’s there?” asked Ray, stopping and shining his flashlight around.  No one was there, but his light flashed across what looked like something between a corpse and a skeleton.  “Now that’s what a zombie should look like,” he said aloud.  A closer look, revealed no jewelry, though.  “Dammit!  Well, I’m done with this crap.”

Looking across the field, into the wind, Ray paused to light another cigarette before starting back.  He had to turn away and hunch over a bit to protect the flame from the wind.  Just as the cigarette caught, the wind died down, revealing a stagnant, earthy smell.  There was something else mixed into that smell, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

Moving back across the field, Ray silently berated himself for being tricked into coming out here while his brain kept going to the smell in the air.  Movement to the side caught his attention and he turned to see something standing up, along with the hairs on the back of his neck.  About the time his light hit the figure, his brain made the connection to the other smell:  decay.

As more corpses began standing up in the field, Ray began screaming, a sound squelched by the wind that began howling across the field again.

 

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3 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: What the Wind Hides

  1. mchristineweber February 1, 2013 / 13:19

    I love creepy stories that aren’t flat out horror, and this one has the perfect balance going on! So good. :0)

    • lorwynd February 1, 2013 / 16:27

      Glad you liked it. The wind was supposed to be a big factor and the first thing that popped into my head was obscuring a smell that would give something away.

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