It’s that time again! Wednesday briefs is a group of authors who write a piece of free flash fiction (between 500-1,000) words based off of either a visual or text prompt. I’ve linked the other authors, so if you could please go check out their stories and show them some support.
This week I am continuing with Darkest Before Dawn. Rose is a twenty-two year old woman who has taken custody of her younger brother Ben. The duo are fleeing cross-country, with something terrible and shadowy on their heels. They’ve come to rest in a farmhouse that’s been in their family for years–seemingly abandoned. Rose will do anything to protect her secret, and the secret that her little brother is unknowingly harboring.
I’ve used “Don’t get your knickers in a twist”
The sun was starting to set, the space behind Darren lit up in a blaze of oranges and darkening blues, the shadows of the trees stretching long over the banks of the creek. They had been there longer than she had intended, the cool breeze no longer comforting, but causing her to wrap the thin hoodie she had stashed in her backpack tight around her.
“You’re a terrible liar.” He said. “Call the kid, and I’ll walk you both back to the farm house.”
“I didn’t ask your opinion, and I don’t care if you think I’m lying to you.” Rose got to her feet, and dusted off her rear. “I can also get us back to our property, so thank you for the offer, but your help there isn’t needed.” She looked upstream and saw Ben playing.
“Come on kid, time to head back!” She turned her attention back to Darren. “I thank you for your other offers, and I intend to take you up on them, but for tonight, I think I’m going to walk the kid home, get us settled into something that resembles bedrooms and call it a night.”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, it was just an offer.”
“Excuse me?” She glared up at him.
“Your knickers, you know, panties.”
Rose opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind, to remind him that her panties, no matter their state were non of his concern, in not so polite terms when Ben sloshed up the bank and stood next to her. His jeans were soaked to the knees, he had his shoes and socks in his hands and the grin on his face was nearly a mile wide. There were a couple of scrapes on his arms, and his knuckles were bleeding.
“I climbed a tree.” He said proudly, chest puffed out. “But I fell out of it. I’m going to keep coming back. I’m going to climb all the way to the top and perch up there like a big fucking bird.”
“Language Ben.” Rose said automatically. Despite the scrapes and apparently falling out of a tree, the kid seemed happy. That, in turn, made her happy. He had the chance to be a kid for a day, and get into trouble. “Ready to head back? We should make up the beds before the sun gets much lower.”
“Can you order pizza for dinner?” He reached into the backpack and pulled out one of the remaining sandwiches. He ripped the baggie off, stuffing it into his pocket before attacking the sandwich, chewing open mouthed and enthusiastically. “I mean you used the last of the bread for these, which are so good.” He said around the mouthful of bread and peanut butter, somehow managing to spray crumbs everywhere.
“I can order pizza.” She ruffled his hair, and shouldered the pack. “I’ll do that while you’re getting cleaned up and dry clothes on.”
“Is Darren staying for dinner? He said he could help out some. If you guys patch the holes that way we don’t have to worry about anything.” Ben wiped his mouth with the back of his hand then his hand on his jeans.
“Naw, kid, I’ve got my own dinner to go home to. I’ll be over bright and early tomorrow though.” Darren said. “If you’d like, I can show you how to patch holes, and we can even fix the porch.”
“That would be awesome!” Ben bounced around them, barefoot as they made their way up the path and onto the dirt road that lead back up to the homes. “Rose has a tool set that she hasn’t really used, so I can use it right?”
“You can use it.” Rose said watching as he darted ahead a few feet, turned and walked backward so he could talk to both Darren and her. “While you guys are working on the outside, I’ll work on the bathrooms so we can actually use proper plumbing.”
“And since Darren is so close by and he said he’s going to watch over us, you can actually sleep inside. I don’t like it when you go out and wander around Rose. It’s not safe.” Ben tripped, righted himself, and continued to walk backward.
“You slept outside?” Darren glanced down at her.
“On the porch. I have problems sleeping in new places. It takes me a little while to adjust.”
They stopped at the entrance gate to their property. Ben continued to walk backwards, managing to trip, but land on the stairs in a sitting position. Rose looked up at Darren, seeing nothing on the man’s face but a carefully guarded smile.
“Sleep well.” He said, leaning on the open gate. “Try to stay inside. If you can’t sleep, send a flashlight code across the back yard. I’ll come over and keep you company.”
“Thank you for walking us back.”
“We were headed the same way,. That’s all I was trying to tell you at the creek.”
“You really like pushing buttons don’t you?”
“You’ve found my true calling Rosie.” His grin widened. “Professional button pusher and handsome rakish rogue.”
“Your mouth is moving, but I’m hearing nothing but blah, blah, blah.” Rose walked past him, heading up the walk. She shook her head, frustration with the smug man growing, and partially at herself, unable to keep her own grin off her face.
To Be Continued!
Read more free flash fiction here! Wednesday Briefs