This flash fiction of mine is currently featured in The Sirens Call Issue #5 which is available on Amazon and the Sirens Call Publications website. Sharing it today seemed like the right thing to do. Leave me a comment for a chance to win an awesome prize!
© 2012 Julianne Snow
I awoke to find myself clawing through dirt. My breathing was restricted, a heavy weight pressed against my chest, seemingly constricting my efforts further each time I expelled precious air from my lungs. Pure and unadulterated terror warred with common sense inside my brain. Losing it now was not going to help me, but I was so close to the brink. Closer than I had ever been before. Closer than I could ever remember.
I remember being held under the water as a child. My family had gone on vacation to Florida and we’d spent many lazy days on the beach, sunning ourselves and swimming. The ocean is an amazingly scary thing, especially if you’ve never seen the power contained within each wave before.
It was in that rolling continuum of azure that I had my first brush with death. As I frolicked in the shallows, someone grabbed my ankles and roughly pulled me under. I fought my attacker then, hoping a kick would free me. But the hold on my ankles was solid; too solid, and there was no way I would have been able to simply kick myself free.
The only thing that saved me that day was my father. He had seen the spot where I had disappeared under the surface and run to make sure I was okay. From the story he told the authorities later in the day, he was certain that something had grabbed me. Thinking it was a shark, he’d splashed through the water to save me, only to find that once he pulled me free, I had no bite marks marring my young flesh.
The uncontrollable blathering of a young and frightened child added nothing to the investigation, so the police chalked my accident up to a strong, but isolated undertow. I knew different, however. In a moment of incalculable fear, I had seen its face.
Grotesque is not even a word that can adequately describe what I saw under the water that day. It was a face made only for nightmares and to be honest, it certainly haunted mine. With a deep understanding, I knew it would be back to collect me.
The time had come and as I clawed my way in the direction I prayed was up, I could feel the fear that was born the moment its hands had clamped around my ankles rise again into my throat. I had been so careful. Always locking my doors, never going in the water, always checking my backseat; still he had gotten to me.
My fingers rasped painfully against something rough, wooden. Tearing out fingernails, I ripped at the boards, trying to break through them any way that I could. Splinters of wood pierced my torn hands until I was at last triumphant. My hand pushed through the layer of wood and further into air. My body reacted, hungrily sucking in lungful after lungful. As I pushed my way into the space, I realized where I truly was. My coffin.
It’s getting close to the end of the Coffin Hop, so make sure you check out all of the posts and contests – lots to be won! Before you go, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Days with the Undead: Book One. There will also be a grand prize winner at the end of the hop!