Friday, 6 September 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side

Bridge girl. Photo by Scott Liddell.

A Walk on the Wild Side

“Don’t look back. Run, quick sticks, and hide in the woods with Missy. No, don’t stop. I’ll come find you.”

I hoped I would, anyway.

His hand was a dead weight on my shoulder. The bridge boards creaked beneath his weight.

Red rimmed eyes peered from a thicket of beard and wild hair. His breath rattled and bubbled like a broken down old steam engine. I wrinkled my nose as he leaned closer. He was one of the bad ones. Seeping sores scattered his sweatshirt with red and yellow patches. One bloody, weeping toe peeked through his ripped tennis shoe.

“Now then Sweetheart, I kept my word, let the little ones go. Now it’s your turn.”

His grin was a ruined castle of broken teeth, and he smelled like the cesspit after Daddy got too sick to empty it.

He bent down. A filthy, nail bitten finger raised my chin.

“Hell, you’re pretty! How come you didn’t get the sickness?”

I clenched my muscles, tried breathing through my mouth. It didn’t help.

How long had it been? Had Missy and Laura reached the woods yet? I tried to sneak a peek across the bridge but the finger stopped my head turning.

“No Honey, it’s you and me now. What you got for me?”

I tried to smile at him. Like I’d seen Momma look at Daddy before they got sick.

“I’ll show you.”

I untied the front of my coat - and showed him.

The roar of the sawed-off twenty gauge made my ears ring, but the finger was gone, and the smell was now of gunpowder. He reeled back, toppling from the bridge.

I sprinted for the woods.

“Girls! Let’s play hide and seek! We must be quiet as mice.”

The gunshot would attract more of them, I knew.

300 words


This story was written for Rebekah Postupak's Flash! Friday Challenge #40 
It received an Honourable Mention from judge Anthony Marchese
who said:-
“A Walk on the Wild Side.” A horrifying post-apocalyptic world featuring a strong-hearted girl who will do anything to get her siblings through it. That’s the kind of sister you want.


  1. Seriously good, my kinda flash

    1. Thanks Laura! I wanted to bring a 'Three Billy Goats Gruff' vibe to the story, but a bit darker :-)