Howdy! I just discovered this subforum existed. Pretty neat!
This is my short story for the OCtober prompt, ‘Lost,’ which I wrote about a week or two ago. It’s one I’m a little more happy with than some of my others. If anyone would care to read, here it is.
Kai wasn’t quite sure where she was.
It seemed to be a clearing in the woods. She was surrounded by trees, overlooked by a dimly lit overcast sky. Fog crept at the treebank, threatening to overtake the little space Kai had found herself in. But the last time she had shut her eyes… The weather hadn’t been quite as gloomy… And her brother, Elijah had been beside her…
Certainly, this was a dream. Kai didn’t remember falling asleep, but there was no other explanation.
She gave a few good flaps, hoping to fly above the treetops and see what was going on. But, as if she was being weighed down by lead, Kai only hopelessly scrabbled her wings around, lifting herself a few centimeters from the ground before falling back down. A worrisome pit began to grow in her stomach.
Luckily for her, just at that moment, a figure appeared at the treeline. Hopeful, she tried calling out to the stranger. “Excuse me,” Kai asked, tipping her head up to get a better look. “I-I’m lost. Where am I?”
The creature turned towards Kai, and stared straight at her. A horrible dread filled her heart. Whatever it was, it wasn’t like her - it was comprised of a skeleton, hardly held together with skin and bones, adorned with jewels. A skull was fitted perfectly over its head, hiding its face. “In the inbetween.” It answered, stepping towards Kai. Even though the creature had no eyes - none that Kai could see, at least - she could feel it staring straight through her. As if it wasn’t looking at her, but at her soul.
“T-The inbetween.” Kai repeated, shaking her head. “What do you mean? Where am I?”
“I am here to guide you to your afterlife.” It took another step towards her, and she backed away. It flicked its tail irritably, raising its head so it was staring down at Kai, as if she was as tiny and insignificant as a flea.
Kai froze. The afterlife. Nausea filled her belly, crawling up her throat. That meant that this skeletal creature approaching her must have been a Reaper. “I’m not dead. You’re not taking me anywhere.”
“I do not have a choice. Neither do you.” The Reaper replied, “Come. Walk with me. We can talk.”
I’m not dead, Kai thought. This had to be a dream.
But, truly. If she had died, was it better to simply sit around and wait?.. Or follow the strange Reaper into the unknown?
In the end, Kai’s curiosity ruled over her fear. With the skeletal creature still waiting for her, she flew over to its side, and peered up at it. It only stared down at her, with those wide, gaping holes where eyes should have been, then began to walk into the fog… Kai in tow.