Microfiction challenge Isle of the Dead: the entries

I had a feeling this painting would get the horror juices flowing, and it did! Great stories this week, very much in keeping with the season. I enjoyed reading these stories very much and hope you did too.

Sarah

https://fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/the-isle-of-the-dead-microfiction-for-jane-dougherty

Pensivity

https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/microfiction-challenge-20-isle-of-the-dead/

Lorraine (Frilly to some of you)

JD’s Microfiction Challenge, Isle of the Dead: Amphitheater of the Spirits: revised – My Frilly Freudian Slip

Ann

Microfiction Challenge: Isle of the Dead – Ann WJ White E

Michael

Microfiction challenge #20: Isle of the Dead | Morpethroad

Neel

neelwritesblog/microfiction-200wordstory/isleofthedead/#02/29/10/2016 | neelwritesblog

Merril

Isle of the Dead: Microfiction | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

Lynn

Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge: The flight of Little Wren – Word Shamble

Leara

Isle of the Dead – Leara writes and other creative things…

Geoff

Regulation 14/234 of 96 #microfiction | TanGental

Shaun

The Isle: A Microfiction – Clockwork Clouds

Me

Microfiction: Last rites – Jane Dougherty Writes

And Bill gets left until last place again because of the spooky white space he trails after his link.

Moon Watch

 

Microfiction: Last rites

For this week’s microfiction challenge #20: Isle of the Dead. I didn’t stick to any word count, but it’s less than 500 words.

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“So, where do we put them?”

“What?”

“Them, the stiffs.” The young man glanced suspiciously up at the monolithic openings in the cliff face with their smooth posts and lintels carved from a single block of stone. “Don’t tell me we’re supposed to stick ’em up there!” He jerked his chin in the direction of the dark doors.

“No,” his companion replied.

The oars splashed, rise and dip, rise and dip, the only sound in the silence of the oily sea. The young man peered into the depths of the approaching cypresses for signs of life.

“Not even any birds.”

Rise and dip, rise and dip.

“I said, not even any birds.”

“I heard.”

“Don’t talk much, do you?”

“No.”

The young man shrugged. The prow nudged the landing place, which wasn’t a jetty, just a gap in a low wall with an iron ring to tie up. He leant over and passed the rope through the ring. “Here we are. What now?”

 *

From the bowels of the mountain, it gazed out upon the vastness of the ocean. Nothing moved beneath the surface, no birds grazed the sky with their wings. The trees grew tall and dark and not an insect disturbed the smooth skin of their bark. It saw all, every movement, caught every breeze, ever rustle of grass beneath the dark trees. It was the island, its soul. It gazed upon the ocean and sniffed. Warm. Blood. It shifted higher, closer to the opening onto the world, the door that led from death to life. And vice versa. It looked down on the sandy landing place at the puny skiff, saw the shadowy boatman, the pale shroud of the ghost, dry and dead both, of no interest, and passed over to the…other. Warm. Blood. It bloated with pleasure, filling the cavern mouth, and it spilled out, groping long dark fingers towards the source.

*

“Well?” The young man had jumped lightly onto the shore. Pale sand crunched beneath his boots. “Ew! You seen what the sand’s made of?”

The boatman nodded.

“How do they end up crunched to bits like that?” He nudged a pile of sand with the toe of his boot, peering in disgust at the millions of tiny bits of bone. “Tell you what, I’ll take the feet, you take the shoulders and we’ll heave him over. Then we can scarper, let the bone cruncher deal with it.”

When the corpse was laid on the sand, the boatman spoke.

“Drag it a bit higher. We leave them by the big flat stone.”

Grumbling to himself, the young man bent to his task. When he raised his head, the skiff was a dot on the horizon. He shielded his eyes with his hand and stared in disbelief. Behind him, the sound of something heavy scraping and scratching its way down the cliff made him turn. There was no clump of trees, no more cliff with its sinister openings. Only darkness and the stench of corruption.

Microfiction challenge #20: Isle of the Dead

A nice cheery subject this week. That’s the title of the painting, which I think is eerily beautiful. It’s a pretty small island if it’s meant to stock all the dead ever, so maybe it’s like the Tardis? Or the portal to another dimension? Where is it, and who is in the boat?

There’s lots to get your Halloween teeth into with this one. What I would suggest, if you want to keep on good terms with me, is not to mention pumpkins, or werewolves, or vampires. Keep it classic, please.

Post your stories in the comments below before next Thursday, and have fun!

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