absolution

Flash FictionFirst, bad AR. This story is crazy late. It should have been here on Friday, but I’ve had an unusually hectic social life for the past few days, including some much appreciated time with out-of-town friends. My philosophy is generally that people are more important than writing, so I’m more than a little tardy.

However, the truth is I should have had the story done early in order to meet my own deadline. I don’t regret spending time with my friends at all, but I should have been more on top of things.

As for the story, it’s a kind of prequel about a character you haven’t met yet. I plan to expand on it at some point, fleshing it out a bit more. For now, it’s just my way of getting something on paper. Sometimes flash fiction is great for that.

Even though you have no idea who the main character is, I hope you enjoy this snippet.

absolution

“They had the right idea in Salem, Massachusetts,” he said, only he pronounced it mast-eh-chew-sets.

“Mm-hmm,” his partner said.

“All them TV shows, ghost hunters and shit, all that seance bullshit. Ain’t no need to make peace with the forces of evil.”

“No need.”

“No sir. You gotta put ’em in their place. And where is that, Barney?”

“Hell,” Barney said.

“That’s right. Hell.”

They were standing in a small clearing, just the three of them, Barney Nichols, John-Paul Todd, and their guest. John-Paul, or JP to his friends, took the lead. He was the one to make contact, to initiate capture, and he was generally the more chatty of the two. This was how it usually went down. He liked to mount his soapbox before disposing of the aforementioned evil. It gave him a deeper sense of satisfaction.

Their guest listened in silence.

“You ain’t got nothing to say for yourself?” JP asked.

His question was met with a loathing stare.

It was a bit weird. Most of them talked quite a bit, arguing back, or trying to cast a spell, or even offering power in exchange for freedom. She didn’t say a word, but it didn’t dampen his spirits one iota. No siree.

He turned to Barney. “Let’s do it, then.”

Barney nodded and got the gasoline. He doused the wood and the witch liberally before returning to his friend’s side. JP held the torch. When he walked forward, flame in hand, the wind kicked up.

He might have thought it nothing more than a breeze were it not for the whispers. He didn’t know any language other than English, so the words were unintelligible. He only knew it to be a bad sign. This particular witch was more than she seemed.

He had no idea how true that was.

While he was still feet away from her, the gasoline coating the wood, her clothes and her skin simply slipped the bounds of gravity and rose into the air forming a liquid mass. She continued her stare, meeting his eyes with defiance. He knew what was coming, but there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. She blinked, and everything was fire.

Maybe it was a mercy. They’d used so much gas that the men practically exploded. It was over in an instant.

Moments later the witch hopped down from the stake, the ropes that previously held her melting away. She stretched, not unlike a cat, and walked to the spot where the men had been standing. There was nothing left but scorched earth.

Absolvo,” she whispered before disappearing into the night.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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