Five Minute Fiction is an ongoing experiment. The goal: To write as much as I can in five minutes, letting the fingers do the work, then go back and clean it up. Written quickly, these aren’t perfect stories, composed on the spur of the moment with little forethought and limited writing time. They’re nothing more than first drafts. Please consider these simple weekly exercises, with the singular hope that I don’t bore the reader.
This entry represents the next installment of Return To Sender. The previous chapter can be found here.
Return To Sender: part 8
The pillar of light widened like a curtain of fireflies slowly being pulled apart, commanding the attention of both Mike and Scott, both unable tear their gaze away from the widening, glowing column of white.
Scott trembled at the sight. “What is it?” he shouted over the crushing noise of tumbling concrete and metal behind them.
“It’s a door,” Mike replied with a smile.
A new noise appeared. Slowly growing louder. Drowning out the tidal wave of Sheetrock, cinder blocks, and PVC piping. Turning around as if on pivots, Mike and Scott looked on wide eyed as a shadow emerged from the pulsing, cascading mountain of refuse.
It grew, like a fountain of ink, blotting out the sky, towering above them. A quivering mass of dark. To Scott it looked like a giant, trembling mushroom that swayed back and forth on a stalk coated in shards of glass. It twisted and shuddered, convulsing, as the garbage pile that birthed it shook and squealed. From the rubble the unmistakable dark outlines of ladders emerged from the vibrating heap of construction castoffs, twisting in the gloomy sky as they rose, positioning themselves before plummeting back to earth like guided missiles, piercing the shadowy skin of the towering monster.
And now to Scott it no longer looked like a mushroom but more like a giant hand. The ladders, flexing at bendable joints, looked just like skeletal fingers, opening and closing with the clicking sound of metallic castanets. Loosening themselves up as if the monstrous hand had just come in from the cold and was trying to warm up. To get some feeling back in its stiff, unresponsive digits.
The sooty hand made a fist, stood still, then shot up into the heavens on a stalk of night, rising up until it blotted out the watermark sun in the grey sky. Extending its lattice work of fingers, it plunged itself down into the garbage mound, and emerged holding a large slab of concrete.
“I say we make a run for it,” Scott said, taking a step away from Mike who grabbed him by the shirt collar.
“We’ll never make it to the fence, but we sure as hell can make that,” he said motioning with a quick jerk of his neck towards the shaft of light, the green number zero above it no longer flashing but a solid glow against the grey skin above the lit doorway.
The ebony hand leaned back like a big league pitcher, winding up, preparing to throw its oversized projectile at the two intruding figures in the center of the abandoned lot.
“Go! Go! Go!” Mike yelled, pushing Scott in the direction of the elevator. Together they crossed the short distance in front of them. Taking one lunging step. Taking another. Kicking up dust behind them as they scrambled towards the safety of the light. Stumbling, lurching, not daring to look behind them, they launched themselves forward through the air, Mike with his hands splayed out in from of him, Scott with his head tucked down and shoulder first as if he expected to crash into something hard and unforgiving.
Both of them fell through space, into the light, and crumpled on the ground like rag dolls on the other side of the doorway.
Sitting upright as if filled with electric current, they looked out of the door they had just flown through and saw the inky, gelatinous hand lurch and let go of its heavy payload. The concrete slab hung in the air for a moment as it arced its way towards the elevator, its embedded bars of rebar silhouetted against the ashen sky like porcupine quills. Mike could hear it whistle as it sliced through the air, growing larger as it fell upon them like the twisted hulk of a crushed automobile.
Instinctively they put up their hands to protect themselves, bracing for the impact.
To be continued…