This was my entry to Cracked Flash Fiction on the 17th of June 2017. There were only four entrants that week so the judge picked one winner (not me but the stories were great so I don’t feel bad) and she was able to give us all feedback.

Here‘s what she said about my story:

“Some nice storytelling. This deserves to be read around the campfire!”

 

BY THE RIVER

(300 words)

Only the oldest people in town remembered the story of the sea serpent. The young ones didn’t believe in folktales. They wouldn’t go to the village because there was no internet connectivity. Not even the story of the beautiful forest goddess enticed them.

One Saturday, out of boredom, four friends decided to go on an adventure. They set out to spend the night in the village. They wanted to prove the non-existence of some fearful forest creatures. Encountering nothing bizarre from their initial stroll, they sat by the river, taunting each other, challenging nature to show them the terrifying sea serpent.

“I only want to see the pretty forest goddess,” said Adam. His friends laughed.

“You’re such a romantic.” Steve guffawed.

“She’ll fall in love with you and take you to the other side.” Matt glared at Adam before yelling, “Boo!” They howled with laughter.

“But where is other side?” asked Dan mockingly.

“Let’s find out,” teased Steve.

It was almost dusk so they got up to go but Matt noticed a movement on the water. He whispered to his friends and pointed at the ripples. Adam ignored him and walked away. The three young men fixed their gaze on the water. Suddenly, the sea serpent appeared in front of them and dragged them all to the bottom of the river.

Hearing a faint splash, Adam turned to look. Seeing nothing, he concluded that he imagined the noise and assumed his friends were hiding as a prank but he thought his peculiar surrounding couldn’t have been his friends’ doing. He looked around, hoping for a familiar landmark, and was startled by a beautiful woman standing in front of him. He was speechless.

Gently, she proceeded to lead him home. He would find out where the other side was, after all.

© Anna Jailene Aguilar

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