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  • Kelly J Massey

Short Story Part 4

This prompt asked the writer to create an eerie feeling with their setting. Something I still need to work on.

We sat in comforting silence as we nibbled on our provisions, but I couldn’t help notice Nimbus continuing to glance at the oncoming chasm of rock that stood in our path.

“Have I mentioned that there’s only one entrance and one exit on that path? We can’t go up, can’t go to the side-”

“We could ride the cold raging river that flows down below with sharp murderous rocks sticking out of the water like a monster’s teeth.”

“Yeah, maybe there’s even a slide we could use that takes us to the water. The rapids would be a fun ride,” he replied with a half grin. “Seriously though. Those monoliths are ominous and bitter, especially with the wind that blows through that chills you right to the bone. They stand there like unfriendly gates to an even worse outcome on the other side.”

I considered the land on either side of the chasm still hidden in dense fog. The low-hanging clouds concealing the way as though no traveler would be permitted entrance. “At least we can see where we’re going through the chasm. Besides, I have my sword and bow and arrows and you have your… wit and charm.” I laughed and Nimbus flushed red.

“I have my own weapons, just so you know.”

“I know. I think we can handle ourselves.”

“Good. Now I know I can tread on perilous rock ledges and only worry about being attacked from above.”

“Maybe there are cave trolls in there. Looks like a good place for a home,” I added. His brown eyes flashed at me before he controlled whatever feeling had took hold of him for an instant. Was it fear? Now I felt like an ass. “We should get on with the last league before the chasm.” I stood and shouldered the saddle bag on my already stiff shoulder. Nimbus eyed it as he stood but didn’t say anything. He probably wanted to take them both himself, but he would need his strength as much as me.

“All right then. We’ll be off.” He struck out for the chasm without hesitating and I quickened my first few steps to match his pace as we approached the great split rock that towered in front of us.

“Do you think the ledges will be perilously narrow?”

“I’ve heard they’re barely wide enough for the length of a human foot in some areas.”

“What else have you heard?”

“That on a cold and bitter wind you can hear the land singing to itself.”

“Isn’t that just the sound of the wind moving through the chasm?”

“Guess we’ll just have to see.”

I glanced sidelong at him wondering again whether he was a noble or some other official position among the fae. He seemed to well-cultured and yet again he could talk to anyone of any economic status and make them feel understood. His responses were careful even when he didn’t pause to think the matter over until well after that particular conversation had ended. I hoped I hadn’t steered him wrong by choosing the chasm over the fog-laden areas. To be honest, I hadn’t wanted to read through any of them. The rolling hills and glens and even the forest I found Nimbus were far preferable to this desperate attempt to go east as quick as we could.

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