"Lightning Flashed" Blogfest–Instinct

Cherie Reich is hosting this blogfest. Follow the link to see the other participants.
Here are the rules:
1. Entries must begin with the two words: Lightning flashed.
2. Entries must be 300 words or less and be in prose.
3. Entries must be posted on your blog between May 21 – 23.
4. You must sign up in the linky to have your entry be counted.

Here is my entry at 300 words exactly if you include the title. It’s a rough draft of a dream I had, so I’m sure there are lots of things to improve upon. I know the imagery isn’t quite there yet. Feel free to offer any comments so I can clean it up.


Lightning flashed.

I tried not to flinch at the creatures roaming over the ground. Thousands of insect-like aliens cleaned the area of anything living. Any movement from me and it would be over in minutes like the poor man in front of me.

I wished I could close my eyes, but I feared sleep.

At least the screaming had stopped. And the pile of sludge that used to be the Colonel had been reduced to clean white bones. His last words echoed in my head, “Avalon is perfectly safe, I promise. Sunset is almost here, so let’s get you settled in one of the biodomes.”

Avalon Three was supposed to be my salvation. They warned me about the night monsters, but in my mind nothing could be worse than my husband.

This had been the Colonel’s first trip away from Base Camp. I guess he didn’t realize sunset came early on the edge of the giant forest where Camp Two was located. The colonists watched his death from the safety of their windows.

Lightning hit the generator and all the lights in the courtyard went out. It was a relief for half a second.

Without my eyes to keep me informed, my ears picked up every click of mandible. Every hiss and whistle.

I wished it would rain. But no, only lightning split the sky to show me the nightmare around me.

Every muscle ached. I couldn’t even look at my watch to see how long until dawn. If I could last until then I might live.

Lightning flashed and I heard soft laughter in the night.

I wished I was safe behind windows.


About charitybradford

Science fiction and fantasy writer and blogger. My first novel is now available--The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing, 2013)

Posted on May 21, 2012, in Blogfest, story bits, writing exercises. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Oh god, this was utterly creepy. I hate bugs, and the thought of living on a colony with creatures that eat you so close by is a very frightening one. You did a great job of describing not only what was happening in the present, but also the recent past. Very chilling.

  2. What a crappy place to be stuck! Excellent piece, Charity.

  3. so creatively bone chilling! shiver inducing! great job!

  4. Thanks to all three of you! Sounds like some of the creepiness did make it to the page. I know I couldn't go to sleep again after it.

  5. Wonderful atmosphere and tension! You did an excellent job in getting so much drama and world-building done in so few words, Charity!

  6. Creepy! Bugs give me the hibbie jibbies. Great post for the fest. I wonder if she made it.

  7. Wow. This is terrifying. I love it. You set the atmosphere and the tension just perfect. I think this would be great as a much longer piece.

  8. Thank you for entering my 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest! The six finalists will be announced on Friday, May 25th. I will further comment on your entry on Thursday.

  9. Absolutely terrifying. Great use of atmosphere. I loved this line 'Lightning flashed and I heard soft laughter in the night.'

  10. How terrifying. I wished she was indoors too.

  11. How scary! Oh, that poor girl. I'm really wondering what will happen next…. Great job! 🙂

  12. Thanks for the kick start Cherie. I wanted to start this short story and this was what I needed. I plan to extend this in the near future.

  13. Me too. I plan on expanding it. This section won't stay as written though, because in the original idea everyone dies in the first attack. Then the "rescue" team brings her children out to her and they have to survive a second night. The idea is still germinating though.

  14. I need to start visiting the other blogs!

  15. I pictured the entire thing in my head – great descriptive words!! – and am officially creeped out. lol!!!

  16. ooh, creepy eerie good 🙂

  17. Oh wow! After reading this I'm wondering if it's a good idea to read the blogfest stories in the evening. Great creepiness!

  18. Hm. This sounds like a piece of something larger. =) At least, that's what I'm hoping it is.

  19. Very descriptive! I think I would rather have the lights on!

  20. Oh, I definitely wouldn't have been able to sleep after having a dream like that! Excellent flash piece.

  21. Soft laughter. How creepy but oh so good.

  22. Scary story. Great description of the poor colonel.

  23. Horrifyingly descriptive. Great writing, I say felling more and more insecure. LOL

  24. Wow, terrifying!Allison (Geek Banter)

  25. "my ears picked up every click of mandible. Every hiss and whistle." ooooh, that gave me chills right there! I love your story.Andrea

  26. The last line is my favorite.I wish my dreams were this creatively inspiring. Instead I've dreamed about zombies the past two nights. -.-

  27. Fantastic piece set at a nerve wrecking pace. I fear for her and wonder what she is doing outside.

  28. ooh! I don't know which is worse – the fact that your character is stuck out there, or that the other colonists are just watching. Chilling, well written, great descriptions! Good job!

  29. Oh my word that's a terrible situation to be in.

  30. Great tension and truly terrifying. Not a place I'd want to be. Great story!

  31. Dude, that tale was like, "Whoa!" I've no idea how I'll get to sleep tonight. Well done! 🙂Some Dark Romantic

  32. Wow! Thank you everyone!

  33. For some off reason, I imagined this scene being played out in Minecraft … Love the suspense in this, good job!

  34. “I wished I was safe behind windows.” Me too! Such a tense piece. Very creepy.I'll announce the finalists on Friday.

  35. I would fear sleep too if I was there!

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