I wrote a flash fiction piece for the Breathless Press authors group on Facebook. I had such a fun time writing it that I thought I’d post it here.
We’re giving a picture or photo for inspiration and we write the piece based off of it. Here’s the pic that inspired my flash fiction piece.
And now, here’s the piece to go with the picture! Enjoy!
THE BLOOD GIFT
When he woke, the first thing he smelled was blood. It took him a moment to realize that it was his own.
He looked at the crimson liquid with detachment. He could see the bite marks, the wounds closing over before his eyes and wondered what he had become. The last thing he remembered was walking through the forest, the sound of shouting, the hard glare of fire in the darkness.
He had been going to visit his lover who lived in amidst the trees in a small log cabin. He wondered if his lover was worried about him or presumed him to be dead.
*You did die.* said a voice. *I’m sorry. It was the only way*
Theo looked around him, looking for the source of the voice, before realizing that the voice had echoed inside his head. “Who’s there?” He asked. His voice was different. It had taken on a deep, guttural quality.
The leaves of the bush in front of him began to move and rustle and Theo tried to quell his fear. A wolf, bigger than he had ever seen, stepped out of the shadows. *I’m sory.* the voice said. *You don’t remember what happened do you?*
“Who’s there?” Theo asked. “Who’s speaking?”
The wolf in front of him huffed out a breath in impatience. *I am.* The wolf barked loudly and Theo knew it was the wolf speaking inside of his head, as impossible as that fact seemed.
“What did you do to me?” He asked, trying to keep the fear from his voice.
*You are like me now.* The wolf whined in apology. *It was the only way to save you. They’ve taken everyone in your village, you are the only one left* It whined again. *I’m sorry*
“Like you?” Theo asked. “What do you mean like you?”
*I will show you*
The wolf stood still for a moment and Theo watched as light began to emanate from its fur. It began to grow in intensity, showering the darkness like stars. Theo was blinded by the brightness of it and had to turn his eyes away.
When he looked back, the wolf was gone. In its place was the most beautiful man that Theo had ever seen. He was naked but the cold didn’t seem to bother him. Theo’s heart thudded in his chest as he realized the wolf and the man had the same piercing green eyes. Something clicked inside of his head and Theo corrected himself. The wolf and the man were one of the same.
“I won’t hurt you, Theo.”
“Then why am I covered in blood?”
“It was the only way to save you. The group that took your village was led by the man you’ve been seeing in the forest. Everything and everyone was razed to the ground. I found you here in the snow bleeding. I had to bite you to transfer the gift.”
“What gift is that?”
“Immortality and the ability to change shape, among other things.”
“Am I a wolf now, too?”
The wolf man nodded. “I’m sorry.” He held out a hand to help Thro up. Despite the fear that thrummed through him, Theo took his hand. “I am called Xavier.” His hand was calloused but warm, despite the cold. “I promise that no harm will come to you. I will be your protector.”
Theo’s cheeks flushed and he looked away from Xavier’s piercing green eyes. Instead, he looked to the ground where he had lain. The snow was covered in blood. There was so much of it that had flowed around him that it looked as if he had been wearing a red riding hood and cape or as if he had red wings that had fallen away from his skin.
There were more shouts in the darkness and Theo could see the bright flare of fire. Xavier pulled him further into the darkness. “Come, we must go.”
Xavier offered him another reassuring look and took a stronger hold of Theo’s hand. Theo nodded and let Xavier lead him through the trees. “Where are we going?”
Theo nodded, knowing that he was in danger and that Xavier spoke the truth. As he moved with Xavier into the darkness of the forest, leaving behind the red riding hood made of blood where he had lain in the snow, Theo thought it was as if he had left one life behind only to start another.
With his heart thick in his throat, Theo shivered.