These stories were written with the photo and “defeat” as the prompts. “Defeated Draugr” received an honourable mention at the 30 May Flash! Friday competition.
We uncovered the grave while digging foundations for a tower that would reach to the stars. Layers of dirt weighed the barrow down and we dug greedily, talking of mounds of buried treasure among the defeated dead.
Layer by layer we removed time’s dirt until we found the sealed barrow entrance. A red light flickered from behind the doorway. Drawn by the promise of gold – or money paid by collectors – we broke away the rotting doorway of wood and stone.
Yellow light shone from the tomb. Inside among golden treasure, on a stone pedestal, were two figures; a man sitting with a shrouded woman in his arms. He was crying, unaware of the corpse lights or his own death.
“She said she would never leave me,” he moaned, rocking slowly. “She said she would wait for me. And now she does not wake!”
Yellow light flickered around the corporeal ghosts caught forever inside the tomb’s imprisoned time.
“She said she would never leave me,” he cried in vain.
We left the gold, jewels, and the dead lovers and built for them a new door. We were unable to tell others what we’d witnessed. There was no language for such deep sorrow, no hope for forgetting that voice defeated by time.
Construction of the Statue of Liberty’s Pedestal. CC2.0 photo by National Parks Service, Statue of Liberty ca 1875.
As If We Never Met
As the tower stretched towards the moon, we started thinking ourselves gods that could shape earth to our wishes. I, however, felt very small and mortal every day when you walked past my front door. You were an angel in a world of wood, mud, and bricks. You never saw me at the window, too scared to speak.
At night I stared at the moon, wondering if you would live there with me in the perpetual silver light. I’d work myself to the brink of death if it meant that I had something to offer you. That we could be together.
The building grew slowly and each day I stared at my angel passing. Until, one day, I waited until you came and then went out the door. But I could only smile like a silly teenager. No words would come to me.
The building crumbled on the day we finished. I fell when I ran, cracking my head on fallen masonry.
I awoke in the hospital; my voice not my own, speaking a strange language – a medical marvel to be studied.
You saw me the day I returned home. I introduced myself, but you did not understand me and kept walking.
And I wished we’d never met.