Flash Fiction: Severance

She was always there, waiting for the appropriate time to make her presence known.

It was late.

Scrolling through different ideas he had written down, nothing was catching his eye. Nothing was “popping” out at him. The writer got up from his laptop and grabbed a cold bottle of water from the fridge and walked back to his point of origin. As he sat, she came in through the kitchen. Delicate, bare feet on a hardwood floor, she moved phantom-like towards the Writer. At first, she placed her hands on his shoulders, slowly moving forward, she embraced him from behind, cradling her head on one of his shoulders. Breathing in unison with him, she stroked his shoulders and then turned her face to whisper in his ear.

Enchantment. Inspiration. Something small to get him writing.

Amuse me…

Make me think, make me laugh, make me cry or make me wonder, I don’t care…

Write for me…

A small spark in his mind, a snap shot of a scene… his fingers found the keyboard and began to write…


On the surface all was calm, a Stoic expression betraying not what lay beneath.

Inception. Landscapes within landscapes.

Of Mind

Of Soul,

Of Heart.

A man, bound like a beast of burden, pulling a heavy laden cart. The strain, the weight, the pulling: never ceasing, ever present. A Phantom, hooded, masked and safely anonymous, drove the man/beast on.

They were both searching, seeking something. The driver: for something specific. The beast/man: for something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, yet it nipped at him in the recesses of his mind just as the drivers whip nipped at him from above.

Maybe the two were both looking for the same thing. A scent was picked up and on instinct both turned towards it; picking up the chase.

Elusive, evasive, the man/beast’s ability to call it out, name it, capture it, silence it – thwarted at every turn. Down and in the two went, digging, scraping, clawing.



Far below the surface.

It must be here.

A pause, a brief respite as both driver and beast/man scanned the recess they had found themselves in. Just enough room for the cart to fit through, it seemed to stretch on, upward and away from the desolate, muddy landscape,Flashes of light: rare, terrible, beautiful of this land, Within.

The scent was strong here, bitter and sweet at the same time. A great arc of lightning stretched across the expanse, illuminating the recess. Light brought Awareness and Unexpected Clarity to the man/beast.

To the shadows.

To the fetters.

To the harness.

Frantic, grabbing at the first buckle he could see, freedom his only thought. Grafted into the skin from years of servitude. Banshee like, cries and shrieks came as he clawed at the buckle.

Was that him or the Phantom? Both?

Pain and terror. How did the fetter become tighter? Another flash of light. Severance: the only way.

Stretching, pulling, driving onward – searching.

Feeling, clawing for something to help him in his quest for freedom from the terrible master at the reigns. The scent stronger and stronger. Driving on, another flash of light – a small glimmer of hope.

A knife.

Never pausing as he crossed over and palmed the object. The blade, cold in his hands, rusted but still the edge held promise. Commit to the act or stay a slave. Now.






Laying on his back.

The Phantom was gone… just the cart and the fetters remained.

The sky, far above, seemed new from the depths of this landscapes of Mind, of Soul, of Heart.

Slowly, carefully, the man began to climb to the surface.

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