I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately from people who would like to see samples of my writing. Like most writers, I feel a certain amount of fear when it comes to sharing the material I write. Having never published officially, I guess I’m lacking that psychological “stamp of approval” we all need at the beginning of our careers.
I’ve decided to share a piece of flash fiction I wrote for this years annual Lascaux Flash contest. I didn’t win…for that matter I didn’t even place…but, for better or worse, this is a sample of my work. I tend to write about dark subjects, and this is no departure from that habit.
The contest is simple: Look at a piece of art (supplied by Lascaux) and use it as a writing prompt. This is the picture they gave us:
As I stared at this beautiful picture, an image of a waterfall…a cascade…entered my mind. What follows is the resulting story, titled The Cascade of Talandri.
If you like it, or have any questions/comments, please leave me a comment in the comments section. I’d love to hear your opinions/critiques! It’s difficult to tell a story in 250 words or less, and I had to make some word-choice sacrifices, but that’s the truth with any piece of flash.
I hope you enjoy.
[Edit: I should point out, since I didn’t make this clear earlier, this was my first official attempt at Flash. My typical medium is novel-length fiction, with some excursions into short stories when I’m taking a character for a test drive.]
Davin sat behind the Cascade of Talandri. The swirling mist danced its ageless dance, permeating his clothes with vapor and the dank smell of dirt. Night was falling. The elders warned him the pain would be unbearable, but he welcomed the truth of the Cascade. It would show him his beloved Eleni. Seeing her would wash away the grief clouding his mind like the mists clouding the Cascade. The visions would tell him why she was gone…why a hole in his heart had replaced her.
The sun vanished and he gazed into the mist.
Her face appeared as vapor, lifting the oppressive chains of his depression. Her blond hair flowed to her shoulders like the flowing waters of the Cascade. Her midnight-blue eyes glistened like pools reflecting the moon over Talandri.
There was pain in those eyes.
She wore the same dress as the night they met at the Midsummer Festival, white and plain, gathered at the waist by a simple cord. They told him not to approach her but he would do it again.
Blood covered the dagger in her hand.
What is this, Eleni?
A single drop fell from the tip of the dagger…down…down…down…and landed with a splash onto the corpse of a man.
The memory flooded back and filled his mind like the waters of the Cascade filling the pool.
A second drop fell…down…down…down…onto the corpse of Eleni’s daughter. His daughter. Talandri.
Davin fell to the pool below, vanishing into the mists forever.
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Nat Russo is the Amazon #1 Bestselling Fantasy author of Necromancer Awakening and Necromancer Falling.
Nat was born in New York, raised in Arizona, and has lived just about everywhere in-between. He’s gone from pizza maker, to radio DJ, to Catholic seminarian (in a Benedictine monastery, of all places), to police officer, to software engineer. His career has taken him from central Texas to central Germany, where he worked as a defense contractor for Northrop Grumman. He's spent most of his adult life developing software, playing video games, running a Cub Scout den, gaining/losing weight, and listening to every kind of music under the sun.
Along the way he managed to earn a degree in Philosophy and a black belt in Tang Soo Do.
He currently makes his home in central Texas with his wife, teenager, mischievous beagle, and goofy boxador.