I joined a new Facebook group, Dark Fiction & Horror, and it promises to be a fun one. The following bit of #flashfiction was inspired by a photo prompt posted to the group. I give to you A Long, Strange Trip.
A Long, Strange Trip
Sarah stumbled through the cemetery, eyes wide and unfocused. She had escaped from the college frat party a few blocks away after realizing all too late that her drink had been dosed, and her dazed wanderings had brought her here.
If she wasn’t so focused on putting one foot in front of the other on the moving sidewalks—who would put moving sidewalks in a cemetery?—she might have appreciated the beauty of the old headstones and mausoleums. As it was, she found it extremely difficult to maintain her balance while trudging through the dry autumn leaves which, oddly enough, glistened in the moonlight as though covered in dew.
Somewhere in the distance behind her, she heard someone giggling. Damnit, she thought, one of those creepy frat boys followed me.
Turning to look behind her and see who it was, Sarah tripped and fell over her own feet, tumbling off the sidewalk and rolling down a small hill. She came to a stop when her back slammed against a large grave marker, driving the breath from her lungs. Gasping for air, she looked up into the leering eyes of a stone angel. She wondered if it had been the angel laughing at her, but this one merely swayed softly in the breeze, dancing in time with the tree branches.
Again someone laughed in the graveyard, this time much closer than before. Sarah scrambled to find her footing, trying to determine which way was up. She decided to grab onto the angel’s skirt to pull herself up, hoping the angel wouldn’t take offense. Despite the angel’s apparent movement, it was solid beneath her fingertips. In some distant part of her brain she realized that it was the drugs making things move, and this knowledge helped to steady her on her feet.
She turned around and saw what appeared to be a college student dressed up as a court jester in a twisted mask, a shiny blade in his hand. A little early for Halloween, but perhaps one of the pledges had been ordered to follow her into the cemetery to scare her. Then again, perhaps the jester wasn’t there at all. Damn those drugs. She vowed to abstain from drinking at parties in the future, given the absolute mess this night had become.
The jester, like the angel, was wavering in the wind, and Sarah decided that he was indeed a hallucination. This gave her a new sense of bravery, and she climbed back up the hill to face the drug-induced harlequin. She marched up to him and raised her hand to wave it through him, figuring this was the closest she would ever come to seeing a ghost.
Her hand made contact with the sleeve of a coat that she now saw was tattered and filthy. She opened her mouth to scream, but it was too late.
The knife sliced through her neck, and everything in the cemetery finally stopped moving.