Welcome to the new and improved flash fiction writing prompt series – #SwiftFicFriday!
I’ve changed the rules, so if you didn’t see my tweet, check them out!
- You have THREE DAYS (AM Friday-PM Sunday on the east coast) to submit your entry.
- Include social media links/handles/anything you want to promote (Twitter, FB, etc) & word count in the comment with your submission.
- Submission must be between 150-300 words.
- All stories are property of the authors.
- Winner will be determined via reader votes on Mondays.
Ready, set, write!
Prompt: I know we did a picture prompt last time, but I just got back from vacation and took tons of pictures, so you get another one! This is a picture of a bridge we saw in Gettysburg that I thought was pretty neat and gave off some creepy vibes:
5 thoughts on “#SwiftFicFriday – Week 132 Prompt”
The Bridge to Then
“So,” Jilly asked, “What’s there to do around here?”
“From out a town are ye?” the waitress replied to my chatty partner.
“Road trip…going wherever the road takes us.”
The waitress nodded. You could see she was unimpressed. “So,” she posited, “ this road you’re on…brought you right here to this booth in Fran’s Café.”
“Are you Fran?” Jilly smiled, picking up on the snarky tone.
“Nah. Fran…I was gonna say died but she sort of disappeared way before I was even hatched. Jimbo Bottoms, her grandson owns this café…and half the town.”
The disappearance rather than the death of Fran Whoositts got me into the conversation. “The previous owner disappeared?”
“Yup. Frannie Bottoms. One day she was here. Next day…poof. And not the first person to just up and vanish, or so they say.”
With that fascinating explanation of local mysteries and local business monopoly settled, Jilly asked her question again, totally ignoring the investigative possibilities.
“What do people do around here for fun?”
“Darling,” I interrupted, “ I think the operative question should be what do people think happened to Miss Bottoms and the others?”
The waitress turned to me and said, kind of coldly, “Whatever it is, we don’t want to know. All I know is what I’m told. She went walking on the Old #5 Bridge…from one side…this side…through the bridge…to the other side. No one comes back from the other side…no one.”
Jilly suddenly got excited. “Ooh, I have to see this bridge. Where is it.”
“You’re foolin’, right?” the waitress asked.
Jilly wasn’t fooling. So the waitress beckoned us outside and pointed. “Two miles that away.“
“Coming?” she asked me.
“Nah. I’ll wait here.”
Now, of course, I know I should have gone with her.
She had the car keys.
300 words including the title
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Old-timey as it appeared, the red barnlike covered bridge to the forest road was deceptively well maintained. It was a landmark, practically a public art installation. Whereas the road on its other side was a decayed remnant of something the town seemed determined to forget.
This town seemed to have more than a few repressed memories.
“So, maybe we don’t summon any more cryptids with incomplete information,” Alvina sighed.
“Nah!” Dalton waved off the suggestion. “This went fine! Besides, we have Myra! What could go wrong?”
Myra smiled up from helping Gavin and Zorro with the map.
“I appreciate the vote of confidence, but Alvina’s right. Today could have gone really badly.”
After summoning the Horned Hunter, the local cryptid that brought the crew to this town, the teens had to drive him back into the earth by force before he slaughtered them all. A simple counter spell would have been better. Still, all’s well that ends well.
They came back into town by the covered bridge and would head out the same way once they decided the route to their next cryptid. Why spend money on the expressway? Besides, the old forest road was just the kind of creepy cool that brought the crew together.
An overcast afternoon advanced into a moonless night by the time the teens finished their preparations to hit the road again. The police circled by to flash their lights at the weathered van for the fifth time that day.
Then came the choked scream from the bridge.
“Please! Someone help! That, that thing killed my husband!”
A disheveled woman staggered into town, looking like she’d been dragged through the underbrush. That got the attention of the police. The Cryptid Crew looked at one another sickly.
“The Horned Hunter is still out there…”
298 Menagerie words
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Jimmy stared at the bridge. Everything kept coming back to the old, covered bridge over Milford Creek. He knew of at least five disappearances connected to the bridge. They’d been closed as accidents and such, but it seemed strange no one ever recovered any bodies. Milford Creek wasn’t that big a creek to wash a human body away with no trace.
Thinking through the cases, he knew they all happened late at night when it got foggy in late summer. Again, too strange a coincidence for him to ignore, no matter what others said.
“Okay Jimmy,” he whispered to himself as he stared at shapes moving in the fog on the far end of the bridge, “let’s go.”
With a deep breath, Jimmy tapped record on his phone and stepped forward. Each footstep on the gravel approach to the bridge sounded so loud in the thick fog. He hesitated at the step onto the bridge. But Jimmy’s determination overruled his nerves.
As Jimmy got to the far end of the bridge, he’d relaxed considerably. Nothing looked amiss beyond seeing the occasional odd shadow darting around in the fog, but that wasn’t unusual as fog always created bizarre illusions.
When he reached the end, Jimmy paused a moment to look around. Nothing. Not even the random shadow.
Shrugging, and with his guard down some, Jimmy stepped off the bridge. Once again, the gravel sounded too loud. Jimmy took a few more steps but saw nothing unusual.
He turned to cross back over the bridge to his car, disappointed he had found nothing. Until he discovered the bridge had vanished. Gone. Disappeared. Jimmy dashed to the creek, heart in his throat, but found only the grassy bank.
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