One Photograph, Two Points of View: Comparative Flash Fiction
Hunger by Nina D’Arcangela
Lying beneath the chill flow; the murk and muck of time settled upon me as a cloak, I await the approach of the unsuspecting. This season of sparse abundance my natural ally.
There! One comes! I see it shimmer and slur as the icy water sluices past my vision. So delicate, so exquisite, so tempting a morsel.
It seeks to sate its endless thirst in the tide rushing over me. The desire to drink overwhelming the natural caution that fear has instilled in it. It hears the stream, edges forward to drink, and dips it’s aquiline neck down to the chilled fluid. Not all trepidation shed, it pulls its lips back after the first suckle.
Does it sense me? Does it taste me waiting below the debris of this past year’s fall? Has it heard my excited inhalation, the slight readying of my limbs for the attack? Or is this a natural response to its previous repose?
My innards growl, a sound drowned by the rushing of the water but all too shrill to my submerged ears. It seems unfrightened, still unaware. It peers about keenly, but with no fear in its black glistening eyes.
This one so young, newly released from its mothers care. They are always the most supple, the taste most delicate upon my tongue. Come little one, I croon in my thoughts, I will not hurt you. A lie. I intend to end its gentle existence to satisfy my own hunger.
Tentative, yet with the belief it has nothing to fear, it spreads it’s hoofed limbs slightly wider to bring its lips closer to the cooling surface. I watch, it drinks – eyes still flicking about. Finally it closes its sight to the world to lap abundantly.
I strike, dragging its struggling carcass to a watery grave.
All Rights Reserved © 2012 Nina D’Arcangela
Window of Ice by Kalla Monahan
The day I died started out like any other; except it was cold. It was the kind of day that made the insides of your nose stick together; that burned your skin on contact.
It scares me to think about that now; to think about what I’ve lost and who I’ve left behind. If I could do it all over again I would, but I know my death was beyond my control.
I died because I was cold; it’s as simple as that. I didn’t want to walk the long way around, so I decided to take a shortcut. That shortcut would prove to be the death of me.
My chilled mind reasoned the ice would be frozen, that it would be safe. I hesitated with each step, unsure of whether or not to continue. By the time I got to the middle of the pond, I was too far in to consider going back.
As I pressed forward, step-by-step, I heard the crackling of the ice beneath my booted feet. Looking toward the opposite bank, I saw I was almost there; almost to safety. My brain screamed to hurry up, move faster, but my frosty feet wouldn’t carry me fast enough.
As the first fingers of icy water bled through my clothing and sluiced over my frigid skin, it was a rude awakening; like a slap in the face. Instantly my breath left my lungs and my panic drew me under the window of ice.
I could see the sky, admire the frosty blue expanse and knew it would be the last time I would gaze up at it. It didn’t take long for the weight of the water to pull me down into its depths.
It was going to be a long winter spent in my icy grave.
All Rights Reserved © 2012 Kalla Monahan
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