Yay, it’s Fiction Friday again. My favourite day of the week. Although when I read the prompt this morning, I nearly didn’t take part. Usually I read the prompt, then start writing, the plot is formed as I go along. But nothing came to me today. Not a single word. So I thought about it for a while, and an idea eventually brewed.
I’m happy with the basic plot of this, but not the writing itself – even as a first draft – and especially not the second half of it. I was in a rush to finish it as it seemed to be going on forever! I hope you enjoy it anyway. The prompt for this week is:
A segregated audience at a school play leads to a town revelation.
And the story goes like this…
‘That’s crazy, we can’t see from here.’
‘I’m very sorry Madam, but we can’t do anything about that.’ The teacher pointed ahead to the crack in the floor. Crack may not describe it – it was a foot wide and took up the whole of width of the assembly hall.
Jayne took a step towards it to look in, but the teacher stopped her.
‘Madame, you really can’t get any closer, it’s not safe.’
‘What caused it? Is it safe to even be in this room? Shouldn’t you cordon it off. I mean anyone could just fall in it.’
‘Madame, we’re not letting anyone close to it. See.’ He pointed to other teachers along the room, also stopping inquisitive parents from getting any closer. ‘I’m sure it’s very safe. Now please move back and find a seat, the play will be starting in just a few minutes.
Jayne turned round and shrugged her shoulders at Tim. He’d found a couple of seats that weren’t too far back, although probably much too far back to hear and see what a group of five year olds were saying.
Once Jayne had scrambled past the other parents, brothers and sisters on her row, she sat next to Tim and sighed.
‘No one here seems all that worried about the 15 metre crack in the floor. I’m worried one of the kids will fall into it. It’s about a foot wide.’
Tim frowned at her. ‘I’m sure Mrs Harper wouldn’t let this go ahead if there was any risk to the children. You know how hot she is on safety.’ Jayne thought back to the incident with the toxic glue.
‘You’re right.’ Tim took her hand.
‘Lets just enjoy this. Our little boy is in his first play. Lets forget about the hole and enjoy it.’ Jayne lent over and kissed him. He always knew how to make her feel better. ‘Just out of interest though…’
‘I thought we were forgetting about it.’
‘We will. Just… Well, how deep is the hole?’
‘I don’t know. That teacher wouldn’t let me anywhere near to have a look. From a few metres away it looked pretty deep, and it goes the whole width of the room.’
‘Strange.’ Tim got a funny look in his eye.
‘What is it?’ His look had worried her.
‘I don’t know. I’ve got a strange feeling about this. Like I’ve read about this or something.’
‘Apparently it was discovered this morning, maybe you heard about it on the news?’ ‘Maybe.’ They both knew that wasn’t the case. An icy shiver crept down Jayne’s back. She had no idea why. Before she could think anything further, the lights dimmed in the room, the chatter died and everyone turn to the huge red velvet curtains shielding the stage.
Gentle music started and the curtains opened slowly to reveal a forest scene. At the back there were huge trees, taking up the whole height of the stage, in front children were dressed as trees, flowers and small animals.
Jayne nudged Tim and pointed to Mikey. He was one of the tallest children in the class, so had been given the part of a tree. He looked so proud to be up on stage.
A small child dressed as a farmer in jeans, a red checked shirt, and straw hat walked to the middle of the stage chewing a strand of straw. Mikey had told Jayne and Tim that would happen – from this distance the straw was invisible.
Before he could start speaking, there was an almighty roar that shook the room. The children on the stage screamed and started running. Some of the parents screamed too. Everyone was puzzled, what was the noise?
As suddenly as the noise started 7 foot black figures flew out of the hole. They landed on the stage, and started grabbing children. Once each figure had a child in each arm, they disappeared back down the hole, leaving one single figure on the stage.
In the seconds it had taken for the children to be snatched, the parents started screaming, and running forward. The teachers again prevented them from getting near to the hole.
‘SILENCE.’ The single word vibrated round the room. It had the desired effect, the room went quiet, except for the music that had been playing.
‘TURN THAT MUSIC OFF.’ Instantly it was stopped leaving the room in absolute silence.
‘DO NOT TRY TO FIND US – YOU WILL NEVER FIND US. WE HAVE FULFILLED THE TOWN’S DESTINY. THE TOWN IS YOURS FOREVER.’
In a single leap he flew back to the hole. Before he got there, the ground started closing up, the hole getting smaller and smaller. After he disappeared it took three seconds for the floor to return to normal, with no sign there had even been a crack there.
Parents started shouting at each other, small brothers and sisters were crying; Mayhem filled the room.
Tim grabbed Jayne’s hand and whispered something. Above the noise of the room she couldn’t hear him. She turned to him. Unlike everyone else in the room, he was still and silent. His face had turned white, pure white.
‘Parents! PARENTS.’ Jayne turned back to the stage. Mrs Harper was standing there trying to get everyone’s attention.
‘The curse…’ This time Jayne heard what Tim said. ‘THE CURSE.’ He shouted so loud everyone in the room heard. It silenced everyone. The adults that had grown up in the small town froze. Their partners had no idea what Tim had meant. Jayne was one that had only moved here a few years ago. She looked blankly at Tim. Then Mrs Harper.
‘What? What curse?’ Jayne asked Tim. He couldn’t answer. ‘WHAT CURSE?’ someone else shouted.
Mrs Harper stuttered.
‘Speak up.’ Someone from the back of the room shouted. Mrs Harper looked embarrassed, it wasn’t like her to let herself not be heard.
‘400 years ago.’
‘NO!’ A mother near to Jayne shouted and collapsed to the floor.
‘400 years ago,’ Mrs Harper started again. ‘The first settlers of this town arrived. They built their houses near the lake and started farms around the houses they’d built. 40 years later a figure appeared one evening and spoke to the tribe leader. The town had been built on the devil’s Soul feeding ground, he wanted it back. The tribe leader wanted to keep the town in that place – the people had spent 40 years building it up. There was too much at stake.
‘After discussing the situation at length, an agreement was made. No one knew of the dark figure’s visit, and the Tribe Leader didn’t tell anyone about it. Except, there’s been a myth going round the town since that day. A young boy had gone to visit the Tribe Leader, but was too scared to show himself with the dark figure there, but he heard every word.
‘Rumour has it, he tried to tell people the story, but no one believed him – certainly not enough to mention it to the Tribe Leader.
‘Two years later the Leader died. The boy again tried to tell the village about the dark figure, they still didn’t believe him. Through generations the story has been told – we thought it was a myth.
‘We were wrong. Last night the Dark Figure came to me. It was the Devil himself. He told me he was coming to fulfil the town’s destiny.’
Next to Jayne, Tim’s legs gave way and he fell onto the chair. Jayne looked at him, but was frozen to the spot. She couldn’t think about anything other than her son and his classmates disappearing.
Mrs Harper stopped talking and wiped her eyes – at some point during the story she had started to cry.
‘WHAT IS IT?’ Another parent shouted.
‘The Devil allowed the tribe to stay on the land, but 400 years later, he would return with his Henchmen and take the town’s five year old children. That would be the payment for the land. After this the land is ours forever. The Devil told me last night there was nothing I could do to stop him. If we tried to stop them, or save the children, he’d take us all.’
She fell to her knees and started bawling out loud. A murmur erupted around the room. Jayne sat next to Tim.
‘But there must be something…’ She started.
Tim shook his head. ‘There’s nothing anyone can do. They’re gone.’ He put his head in his hands and started sobbing.
So, that’s it. Not the usual turn my stories take is it! Let me know what you think of it.