This is a flash fiction piece that is part of an anthology on Authonomy. the book is 416 and all the stories are 416 words long. It was an exercise in the horror genre and if you like vampires, blood, scary stuff and hiding behind the settee it’s worth a look http://www.authonomy.com/books/38028/416/. and on Smashwords for download
One Last Look
The dark was viscous, she believed her eyes were open but blinked them to make sure. The flashlight was a good one huge and heavy and now in her hand about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
She tried to visualize the last thing she had seen. Okay, she had entered the cave and walked down the well worn slope. On her left had been the little scene that delighted the children every day. The Fairy Grotto, usually lit with blue and pink lights and with the hint of magic about it.
Next there was the first cavern with enormous stalactites and the reflecting pool. She had passed that about ten minutes since. Then there was the wishing well and – no wait before the wishing well there was the Witches’ Fireplace with the deep bowl worn to mirror smoothness by the constantly dripping water. Then it was the reflecting pool. She had turned left at the Devil’s Cauldron, left for sure. Had she? Was it left or right at the Devil’s Cauldron?
Concentrate, Witches’ Fireplace, Devil’s Cauldron left, then down the slope to Hell’s Deep. That was when the bulb in the torch had blown. So, right all she had to do was go up the Hell’s Deep slope and then right at the Devil’s Cauldron. Oh God, if only there was a hint of light somewhere just the merest gleam.
She turned round, had she turned all the way round? She turned back. Now she didn’t know whether she had turned all the way back. Why, why had she come in on her own? Why hadn’t she told anyone she was coming in? Both actions against the rules.
Okay, now she was facing towards the Devil’s Cauldron, or was that away from the Cauldron? Her heart thudded and raced. Her hands holding the flashlight were slimy with sweat. Keep calm, she knew she had to keep calm. She had walked this route every day all the way through the season. All those tourists and she had told them over and over, “Don’t stray from the main group. It’s safe but stay close.”
Okay, left at the Devil’s Cauldron with that steep drop into the bottomless pool. She had warned the children, “Don’t go near the edge that pool is ice-cold and no-one knows exactly how deep it is.
Why had she done this? and on the last day of the October before the caves closed for the season. One last look she had thought, just one last look.