Welcome to Day 5 of the October Frights Blog Hop!
Today I you bring a flash fiction story, a little homage to a sleepy hollow...
The ancient oak tree stood at the top of the hill, all gnarled and bare, its fallen autumn leaves a crumpled shroud over lifeless grass. A few ebony crows roosted in its branches; dark solemn harbingers of death, awaiting the coming of the midnight hours.
Still air breathed an unnatural silence, while the rising moon bathed the sky in a nebulous pale glow. The night dripped an ambience, an expectation that held suspense and terror in its sway. As if it knew. As if it rejoiced.
The Horseman was coming.
A tinge of sulphur slithered from the loam beneath the leafy rot, the breath of Hell released by untrodden footsteps. The limbs of the oak quivered in the breezeless sky, while the crows screeched a raucous caw and twitched their wings in restless flapping. In the distance the drumming rhythmic thud of hoofbeats sounded their harbinger echo. A fog of sepia dust and ash grey unfurled along the hillside cloaking its vista and shrinking the world to misty obscurity.
The Horseman was riding.
A stygian nightmare emerged from the fog, an onyx wraith atop a ghostly sable steed. The creature’s long coat flailed in a cloud of malodorous smoke as it rode, its beast’s hoofprints leaving burning impressions in their wake. Petrified skin pulled taunt over its bones, as bony hands gripped the reins, and crimson eyes glared at the world. A tattered uniform of coal cloth and stained brass buttons, along with scuffed black boots, clothed the spectre, a remnant of a persistent but forgotten past. It ran long dead fingers through thin wisps of ebon hair and drew its mount to a halt beneath the oak tree. High in the branches the crows stayed silent and still.
The Horseman had arrived.
The fog parted, in whirl of choking grime and fetid rot, leaving a clear view of the land beyond. Below the hill, nestled a village in a tranquil hollow, dark and sleeping. The fearsome apparition looked down upon the quaint houses and exhaled, the crackle of fire in its eyes and the whiff brimstone on its breath. It nudged its horse forward and began the canter down the hill. High in the oak tree the crows cawed a futile warning.
And the Horseman laughed.
© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved
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You can check out my Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway! (live until October 31st) by clicking on the Giveaway Tab at the top of the blog or this link: Halloween Horror Haiku Giveaway!
And here's my October Frights Book Giveaway!