Flash Fiction: Diamond

Er, honestly not sure where this came from or what it is. Thoughts?

She remembered everything. It had taken her years because she’d forgotten it all, and then spent so long in the dark. But now, now of all times, the memory became crisp in her mind and it was the name, the name, always that one, seemingly inconsequential name. So many times she’d heard it since but today was the day it brought the memory back.

And she remembered diamonds. She remembered thousands of glittering, black, jagged diamonds, brilliant in the hot sun, brilliant even in utter darkness, soaking up all the light until they were blacker than the black around them. A field of them, a jagged plain of monolithic precious gems spreading outward for miles. She remembered that they hurt to touch and did not shatter when she tried to smash them. She remembered that they took away who she was, memory and everything that created it.

Ancient-forest-trail-mistHow she came to be in this place she didn’t know. Grass rising up, up toward the sky as though reaching with desperate fingers to touch the sun. Taller than her head, and thick, sturdy like wood. Even taller trees, ancient trunks filled with hundreds of rings inside, giving away the secret of their age.

She walked. She could do nothing else but move forward, move away from the place she had been and toward the place she needed to be. She couldn’t be completely sure if she was going in the right direction but the taste of the air, the tang of metal, told her she was getting closer.

They were all gone, though. There was nothing to go back to, nothing but empty huts, cold fire pits filled with ash, abandoned toys of children long since gone. Dead.

Because they all died, didn’t they? She remembered that too. That they all died while she lost her memory and wandered witless into the woods. But she had to see it. She had to know, to feel the phantoms of that day on her skin, to taste the air in the place.

It was revenge she’d want, that was certain. Once it was burned into her flesh once more, once it was not just remembered but felt, she would want to go after him. He who slaughtered her people. So casually, so calmly. Flick of the wrist, and up in flames they all went. The name, the name was the thing. She would go after him. She just needed the courage first, fueled by rage.

Abandoned_village_near_ChernobylAnd she got it. Hours, or perhaps days later (she wasn’t quite sure if she remembered how time worked, exactly), she stumbled out of the woods and into the sunlight. Immediately she shielded her eyes, unused to that much illumination after so long, and she kept walking. It was utterly silent.

She remembered how it used to sound, how it used to bustle. Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays could be heard for miles. The smell of deer cooking. Music, sharp and energetic, played on a small mouth instrument, accompanied by a quick, steady drumbeat. Hers had not been a quiet society, had never lacked movement. But here, oh here…

The village was deserted. She had expected it, logically, but her memory had tricked her. She could not have conjured an image of it even if she wanted, because she had simply never seen it. Had never conceived of it. But here it was. Market stalls falling to pieces, their wares still on dusty plates and fabrics, falling in on themselves. Huts crumbling into disrepair, roofs scavenged by needy birds. Doors hanging idly on hinges, threatening to fall with the smallest gust of wind.

She felt…empty. As empty as her village, as empty as her mind had been only hours ago. She could sit and weep, but there would be no point to that. None had been there to mourn the dead before, and she was too late now. A whole culture, buried in ruin and gone, forgotten. How many years since he came and destroyed everything? How long had her mind been sleeping beneath a blanket of false memories? She would never know, without a mirror. Without someone to tell her her age. She was only a child, then. She felt older now.

Her fists clenched. Opened, and clenched again. She was empty. A vessel, ready to  be filled. So she walked past the broken huts, the scattered fire pits, the deserted skeletons of toys, and she felt like the nothingness might swallow her whole. She was an empty vessel, waiting to be filled.

So she filled herself with rage.

8 Responses to “Flash Fiction: Diamond”
  1. Some wonderful imagery, but there are a couple of typos scattered around.

  2. Dave says:

    Nice. I have no idea where it came from either, but I must tell you I didn’t want it to end. Great read, Hannah. Wonderful imagery.

    • A friend thinks I should develop this into a bigger story. I’m not sure where it would go – I’m not really a pantser when it comes to larger stories, but maybe I could Stephen King it just this once…we’ll see!

      Thanks, Dave, it’s always nice when you leave such awesome comments 🙂

      • Dave says:

        I agree with your friend 🙂

        You know, you could do a lot worse than following in King’s footsteps and pantsing your way through, at least at the beginning. Personally, I’ve always primarily been a pantser. I love the feeling of letting go and allowing a story to just flow freely onto the virtual page. Not without risk, though, as I’ve painted myself into a number of corners over time 🙂

      • It’s true. I have just never been able to make it work for longer pieces. I paint myself into corners too and never know how to get out of them…but hey, there’s a first time for everything. Maybe it could work this time 🙂

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