Mid-Week Flash Challenge – Week 139
This week’s prompt is from photographer/artist Warren Keelan. He’s a seascape and ocean photographer. He calls this one: Sunrise Crest.
Finally – twilight on the dunes. I watch with eagerness as the sun slowly climbs below Gnoc Ker’dun and brace myself for the transformation. It only takes a moment. The light bathing the desert lands rescinds its warm embrace, and a single shaft penetrates the darkness left behind.
Quickly, before the fleeting ray disappears altogether, I lift my staff and shout the incantation with every ounce of power and resolve I can muster, “Konfleur aphida!” I slam my rod into the dust just as the night swallows the sun’s last lingering beam.
At first, I thought I’d been too late. Perhaps I hadn’t directed enough of the sun’s energy into my spell. But, no… there! In the sand at my feet, there is a massive indentation, no doubt left in the wake of my staff’s palpable force field when I’d worked the spell. From the center of the circle, there rose a slight rumbling which rapidly grows into an intense tremor. A slow smile plays across my face. It is time.
Lifting my staff once more, I call out to the elements, “Sirgent d’Tehra!” The tremor becomes louder and louder, until the circle erupts with hundreds of thousands of scorpions, locusts, beetles, scarabs, and all manner of insects native to these lands. The heaping black mass of writhing, crawling beings rises through the warm sands – a cancerous tumor which answers only to me.
Cackling into the night, I glance over to the horizon. There is still a faint, orange glow, but nothing as powerful as the scene which had just played out before me. Still, the view does well to illuminate the way back to my small village. One penetrating thought breaks my concentration, They will rue the day they came to mock me. With a resolute flourish, I sweep my hand across the panoramic view, pushing the aphids’ energy onward. As one, they move.
The bugs swarm over the dunes, riding them like waves, though it is they who will be the true tsunami. Finally, firelight flickers in the distance and I smell the scent of roasted clover-snake hovering in the air. Ah, my favorite. We shall all feast tonight. A smile plays on my lips, and I have to stop the laugh threatening to burst out of me. Too late.
I shriek. I cackle. I nearly cry from the sheer hilarity of it all. My minions are doing their job well. Spreading from person to person, they strip skin from bone in seconds, leaving gaping wounds which ooze and fester. The toxins work quickly, and I squeal with delight as the throbbing, poisoned lesions erupt with a hot, black pus. Within ten minutes, the cries are silenced. The sand is soaked red with the blood of the entire village. Smiling, I raise my staff one last time, “Ireasa – I release you.”
The mass dissipates, leaving behind nothing but half-ravaged corpses. I walk over to the communal fire-spit and peel off a large chunk of clover-snake. “Mmmm, good job, Keh’yana,” I smile over at the cook, who is lying on her side, half her jaw missing. I chew slowly, savoring the juicy meat, swallow, and tear off another piece. Nibbling thoughtfully, I begin to pace.
“You know,” I smack my staff onto the ground, “This needed to happen. Yes, it had to happen. Now, you will listen to me! Now, you will respect me!” I giggle with elation, “You have no choice in the matter, I’m afraid.” I glance back to Keh’yana, “Or… are you afraid?”
I lift my head, grease running down my chin, dripping onto my dirt-streaked neck, and laugh like mad. My coal-black eyes dart to yours, searching your soul, “Well… are you?”
Thanks to Miranda Kate for this #MidWeekFlash prompt!
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