April 4th, 2008
Friday Flash – Patterns

Friday Flash

(Archives are on the website, if you want to read the offerings of past weeks)


(c) 2008 by Maura Anderson, all rights reserved

The lightning struck and flowed over her skin in intricate patterns of blue and white, leaving behind the smell of singed flesh and the marks of its passing. Pain struck, a fierce, sudden agony that stole her breath. The fire of torment crawled back up her body and she found the breath to scream only when the inferno consumed her.

Sandra’s eyes snapped open as she jerked bolt upright. Heart thundering in her chest, she glanced around the darkened room. Her own bedroom. Her own bed.

What the hell was going on? She’d not had this many nightmares since she was a teenager and now it kept being the same damned dream. Why was that? It wasn’t from any movie or book she remembered. She didn’t feel stressed or upset. If anything, her life was terrific – a challenging new job with a new home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She’d worked for years to get to this point, dammit.

Sandra fingers ached and she forced herself to release her death grip on the satiny cotton sheets. Hands shaking slightly, she rubbed her face and gritty eyes. Now she was awake—too damned awake for the middle of the night.

It seemed to take a monumental effort to climb out of bed and grab her robe off the back of the bedroom door. Snuggled in the warm, soft fabric, she wrapped her arms around herself, shivering slightly despite the unseasonable warmth of the rainy night. “Feels more like Florida than Oregon.”

She laughed. Now she was talking to herself. Maybe there was more of her eccentric grandmother in her than she’d admit to.

Sandra flinched when a sudden flash of lightning lit the room like full daylight. The rain picked up, sounding like a monsoon outside the little a-frame house, pounding on the roof and windows unceasingly. Kaboom! The thunder rattled the entire house.

At least it seemed several miles away, if the old wives’ tale her grandmother had taught her was correct. One mile per second of delay, wasn’t it? That lighting had to be at least five miles away.

Another bright flash and her eyes ached from the sudden light, afterimages glowing before her. Focusing on counting the seconds, she counted only four seconds this time.

Sandra reached a hand up to rub away the lingering effects of the bright lightning and caught sight of her hand.

What the hell was on her hand?

Swirls and lines, interspersed with symbols of some sort, covered the palm of her right hand in a shimmering, opalescent blue. They slowly faded away as her eyes re-adjusted to the light spilling dimly from the open door of her bedroom.

It had to be her imagination. She looked closely and couldn’t see anything on her skin. “Man, I’m so tired I’m hallucinating.” She forced out a quiet chuckle but her stomach clenched in fear anyway.

Staring at her hand, Sandra waited for another bolt of lightning to strike. She was just too tried, nothing was there.

The sky lit up and she stared at her arm. Holy shit. Not just her hand but her entire arm was covered in the glowing, intricate patterns.

8 comments to “Friday Flash – Patterns”

  1. kewl!

  2. Dude, need more

  3. More please!

  4. Intriguing! As a Pacfic NW resident I can relate to that mystical atmosphere the rainy nights sometimes create here. Would love to read more of this flash.

  5. Thanks Jet, Selena and Nik :)

    Gumbo – I live near Seattle and I LOVE the storms up here. Even the thunder snow we had last week. I’m a storm junky… :)

  6. Wow, I like that one :)

  7. So cool! It’s such an intriguing beginning! More, please!

  8. Nice one. But then again I love storms and you caught the right feeling.

    Hope you think more about this one.