The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Red Before Black
by Kim Richards
Tree stood at the water’s edge, watching little ripples move towards the shore. The water’s surface and the sky above looked bruised and bloodied. Unable to flee, Tree waited for the cause of the blast to reach her. Fear shook her branches, sending leaves cascading to the darkened ground. Soon they would become ashes.
“Please, let it be quick,” she pleaded to the heavens.
Humankind did this. All the Earth knew this truth. Creatures and all things flora; sun, wind, water, and stone…all were impotent to intervene. They wept for the poisoned soil, the brackish waters, the wilting of life itself. Many no longer procreated nor wanted to. None wanted to bring offspring into this hellish place to doom them with a short life of pain and fear.
Off in the distance the center of the explosion shone as a pinprick at first. Within moments, it grew and brightened, blotting out the setting sun. Tree wished she could turn away from it. Overhead red flames overtook the clouds, evaporating them with a kiss. The wind’s breath warmed quickly until it blasted hot as a dragon’s exhaled flame.
Then it was over. Only ash and a horrible quiet remained. Mankind killed everyone and everything including themselves. The sky that night held no twinkling stars, just an inky nothingness.
Great use of the prompt – such a tragic and cautionary tale