The Awakening

My latest in the Flash Friday weekly flash fiction contest wherein they provide the above photo and you provide a maximum of 160 words of flash. I was fortunate enough to receive a special mention for “Best Closing Line.” My entry:

It was as if Sylvia could see the battle hymn coming over the hills like silky fog before she heard it. Maybe it was just in her head, but her blood seemed to dance at the edge of her skin.

The rhythmic cadence from the distant drummer caused her to walk a bit faster, to stand a bit taller and to grip her hand a bit tighter on her axe.

She wasn’t supposed to be here. Nobody knew she was, but the battle hymn had drawn her from the village. Drawn her to the axe.

That battle hymn represented the coming of death; the death of her father and brother, the last time they came around. Death’s arrival ought not sound so beautiful.

Sylvia had only ever used the axe on a stubborn block of wood, but she still remembered how powerful the swing had felt.

Human flesh was not like wood, but naturally it would be just as stubborn.

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