One Page Worlds - Gingi'roteth The Beguiler
A whole world on a single page!
The short story morsels of One Page Worlds are flash fiction adventures of all flavors. Every Wednesday will feature a complete story in one page, or the first page of what could be a novel or novelette.
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“Look at it as professional development,” I tell myself, head drooping over the laptop keyboard. Hey, they said I should do some things the characters do at that writer’s retreat. This no-sleep writing is cheaper than a plane ticket. Maybe I’ll even hallucinate.
A shadow darts above my head in the office and I jerk awake for half a second. Purrs roll down from the shelf above the desk. Just the high-ground-loving cat. Ginger swings her iridescent tail back and forth above the laptop.
Following it with both eyes makes a heaviness settle on my eyelids.
Unsure whether I am mumbling in my sleep, I cross onto a cracked plain thick with crust. Thin sheets of rock crack off beneath both house slippers with each step I take. I do not fall. I only advance, following Ginger. Dust or possibly spores waft into the air and I breathe in. The stuff smells of missing things. The cloud thickens and unrolls like fog, spreading hundreds of feet before plunging down between the cracks in the land.
Not cracks. Canyons.
Ginger springs from our side of the nearest canyon to the swath of plain beyond. Fanning the fog back, I see storm clouds approaching from a distance, and smudges advancing outward from somewhere behind me. They are walkers moving through the fog at the same pace I am, following a small something in front of each of them. Beguiled by the diminutive creatures.
Ginger leaps across a canyon ahead, and gurgles bubble forth from its depths. I pause. I have heard that noise a thousand times after work before getting home to write. Those are sounds of an empty stomach. The fluid rushes faster, crashing on my ears.
I halt. Those are not gurgles, but the flood of water from the far away storms. That has to be it.
“They could sweep you up if you do not jump after Gingi’roteth,” I think.
No, I heard ‘me’ and ‘Ginger’ in those thoughts. And Ginger's tail has suckers now, like an octopus.
The walkers nearby attempt to leap the chasm. Many of them fall, without screaming.
Chewing sounds from the canyon's endless pit.
Is my cat thinking me toward…