Swallowed Whole

Hey Happy New Year, you guys! I hope you all celebrated safely and with all your loved ones. I wanted to start 2019 with a flash fiction piece because it felt fitting for what I want to accomplish this year.

I’d love to know what your writing goals for 2019 are, so don’t hesitate to share them with everyone else! Mine is to write more fiction as well as finally finish the first draft of my novel-length story.

To get myself back in the groove, I wrote this up on the spot. I’ve been having a hard time coming up with ideas for stories, which is annoying because once I get going, I can’t stop. It’s just getting into that groove that’s tough. Hopefully this is the start of something good!

Swallowed Whole

The woods were cold and dead. Not even the sound of a car in the distance or a plane overhead could be heard over the whoosh of wind whipping past his exposed ears. The longer he walked, the more anxious he became. No animals were in sight — no tracks to follow, either. The last time he remembered himself on the trail, the sun was nearing its highest point in the sky. The clouds blocked his view, and his phone was dead (he tried desperately to find a signal, forgetting he was killing his battery). Night was coming in faster than he expected.

He stopped to rest for a couple minutes and gather his thoughts. He knew if he kept pushing himself, he’d collapse and probably not be able to get back up. The cold was already settling into his bones. A fire would’ve been helpful, but he didn’t bring his fire starter. It was supposed to be a simple hike. It’s always supposed to be a simple hike. He regretted not feeling sorry for those who’d been in his situation, who explained on the news wrapped in space blankets that they never thought it could happen to them. He also knew his family would be worried, that they would’ve called the authorities by now.

There was no question they’d find him; as soon as he realized he was lost, he stayed put. He had no idea what direction the trail was in, but he knew enough to use the sun as his guide. Some hikers make the mistake of trying to push forward in one direction until they run into something, but that was never a guarantee. They say on TV to just stay put. He did just that, but in that cold, time wasn’t on his side. The park rangers would have to guess where he could’ve gotten himself lost, and that could be wrong.

There was so much that could go wrong. They could also use thermal imaging from a helicopter, but if they’re calling in a helicopter and he made it out alive, the cost he’d be responsible would be enough to wish he had died. Little did he know that fate had been listening, and that he had confirmed he still hadn’t realized how sacred life was, how lucky he was to still have the strength to make it for as long as he did, and that if the mountains had wanted him gone, they’d swallow him whole and go about their night as if nothing had happened.

There was a light just over the horizon. It had to be a search party. No one else would be out there at this hour. He called out for help. The light came closer. He tried again and again to make his voice as loud as possible, and it was working. The more he yelled, the brighter the light got. It was only a matter of time now. It illuminated the entire area around him. Its reflection off of the snow was blinding; he had to close his eyes. As his eyes stayed closed, he continued to yell. He could feel the warmth of the light against his entire body. Even as his eyes were closed, the light continued to get brighter, until there was so much of it that it felt as if he were drowning in it.

2018 Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary

If you haven’t had the chance to read the 2018 Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary, please spend some time to do so. The stories are short and powerful. The essay about fences at the end is long and bold. They’re all necessary and every writer spent a ton of time working with me and on their own to make their work perfect.

And if you do like what you read, please share it and pass it around with friends and family! I hope the journal can start some kind of conversation that gets us all to start thinking about new ways of going about our lives and looking at other peoples’. We all know we need more empathy in today’s world.

Submissions

If you’re interested in submitting your work for the 2019 Spring Issue of Come and Go Literary, see my submission guidelines and click the link above to see how the last journal came out. Use it to see what we’re looking for. There are no limits on genre and it’s free to submit, meaning you have no excuse not to try!

 

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