Five Minute Fiction 64
An ongoing weekly experiment where I give myself five minutes to write something. Don’t think about anything. Just write. When done, walk away, coming back later to correct any glaring errors.
After dusk shadows grow long, jagged, and unrecognizable. And as Matt and Rick strain against the dense weight in the sled, leaving deep gouges in the otherwise pristine blanket of snow, their shadows keep odd time with them, bouncing in obscene, nightmarish ways as they stumble into the box canyon, making their way to the deep, dry well.
“Jesus, Matt…damn bastard weighs a ton. What the hell you been feeding it?” Rick wheezes as he lets go of the rope and collapses in the snow.
“Listen,” Matt says, dropping his end of the rope, watching it disappear into the cold, soft powder, “we agreed that this was the only way. There’s no other place we can hide it, and keeping it around is too dangerous. And do you think we can keep stealing dogs to feed it?”
Rubbing at a rope burn in the crook of his palm, Rick looks over at the tarp covered sled. “Remember when we first found him? Wasn’t no bigger than a puppy. Didn’t even have those creepy teeth yet.”
“Yeah, and even before we knew what it could do. Couldn’t leave it out in the cold. Wouldn’t have been right.”
“Helpless,” Rick says with a sad chuckle. “Can’t believe there was it a time when it was helpless. Believe that? If I knew then what I know now, I’d have caved its head in with my boot.”
“Well, we didn’t know, did we?” Matt says. “And besides, it grew so fast. Eating cockroaches. Mice. Cats. And the bigger it got, the more difficult it was to hide it,” Matt says, bending over and fishing the rope out of the snow.
“That’s the weird thing,” Rick says, standing up, rubbing his cold hands together. “Everything I’ve ever read about these things says that they’re supposed to be small. But what is it now? Six feet? Six and a half?”
“Hey man, don’t look at me,” Matt says, looking at the sled from the corner of his eye. “I didn’t even know they ate live animals. Come on, let’s dump thing in the well before it wakes up.”
Rick takes the rope handed to him and together they pull. Rounding the first bend deep in the canyon they hear the grinding of metal on rock behind them. Stopping, they turn around to find one of the metal skids wedged high on a boulder, the sled cantering at a sharp angle. “Shit,” Matt says, the words fogging in the air, covering his face in a cloud. “Rick, can you cover that up?”
“Yeah, just a sec,” Rick says, walking over to the sled. Kneeling down he picks up a green and white striped stocking leg and jambs it back under the tarp. Cinching it down with rope, he stands and walks back to the front of the sled. “Hey, I forgot to ask,” he says. “What’d you use your third wish for?”
“Million dollars. You?”
“Damn, that’s a good one,” Matt says. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“Well, we both know I’m the smart one,” Rick says with a smirk.
“Whatever. Let’s get this done. It’s getting dark.”