One Photograph, Two Points of View: Comparative Flash Fiction
Stalemate by Julianne Snow
As I stared at it, I saw the mirror reflection of Earth in its eye. I was probably fooling myself, but as I was hard pressed to move from my spot, all I could do was gaze into the bulbous vacuum it radiated. I knew it was in there; it hadn’t moved from its spot since it first noticed me but trust me, it had the upper hand if a fight ensued.
Massive. That’s the only word to accurately describe what faced me sideways, its eye flinching ever so slightly as it sized me up. I was going to end up a snack, of that I was sure. I couldn’t outrun this thing, especially not underwater. Instead I was going to die and it was going to eat me. Hell, I haven’t even been able to get a good look at its teeth yet. I could see them in my periphery, but there was no way I was going to look away from that eye. It was almost as if I was in a trance and by not moving, I had entranced it in return. I was willing to grasp at any straw at this point.
Stalemate. With neither of us moving, we were going nowhere. I knew I was running out of oxygen, but I had no actual recollection of the time I’d spent transfixed. Even as I prayed, I knew it was not going to end well. I could feel its triumph through the cold and murky depths. It was going to devour me and I could feel how much it would enjoy it. Was that the flicker of a shadow behind me? I turned slowly, as if the sluggish speed would save me from my fate, only to come face to face with another gigantic cerulean eye.
All Rights Reserved © 2013 Julianne Snow
Slivers by Nina D’Arcangela
Slivers, that’s all I ever saw – peering through the crack of a door that didn’t seat in its jam; between window and sash where the slightest breeze blew; below floorboards that had shrunken, leaving the barest opening. Slivers of it as it watched and waited. For what, I dared not imagine in my waking hours, though I’d suspect it was for my guard to falter.
Closeting myself in a fully sealed room with no chinks each night, I allowed myself sleep when it would come. My dreams invaded by visions of that godless eye. It stared at me relentlessly, the light absorbed by its depthless void; a lie of beauty hidden among the allure of its iridescent skin. But I knew far better than to be fooled by its camouflage. Looking into that eye, I could see what it promised – it promised pain, it promised torture, it promised an end that would not come swiftly or easily. Worse yet than the uncaring, unfeeling eye were the rows of endless teeth. They glistened and dripped saliva. Translucent and viciously pointed; some jutted straight upward to pierce and stab, others curved backward toward its bulbous throat, insuring that once it had snagged its prey, there would be no escape. Teeth designed for ripping, tearing, rending chunks of flesh from bone to be swallowed whole. A gruesome death awaited any that it caught. I did not wish to die that way.
Perhaps worst of all were the moments sleep did not come in my tiny sanctuary. I’d crouch listening as it scratched at the walls, the floor, the ceiling above me. It knew where I hid; it was only a matter of time before it breached my woeful defenses. This we both knew, but still the want to live another day…
All Rights Reserved © 2013 Nina D’Arcangela
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