Tarnished Tranquility

She’s trudging through the forest as silence hits, sending chills through her despite the hike and heat of nearing sunrise. Could’ve been peaceful, under different circumstances.

Determined to find her missing friend, she persists. Body growing numb.

The forest’s stagnant silence thickens. Her mind reels.

Shouldn’t have ignored the reports, her friend wasn’t invulnerable.

And neither is she.

Sudden sound startles her, the cacophony yanking her senses back.

From nowhere, her friend emerges, barrels past, yelling “run!”

She staggers, follows.

Noise strengthening her after the eerie silence, they escape back to the comfort of a chaotic, sound-filled, life-affirming world.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner

August 13: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Literary Community
In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story, using cacophony. You can use the word or show discordant sound in action. How can you create a literary cacophony with your words? This one might be of interest to poets as a literary device. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

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19 thoughts on “Tarnished Tranquility

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  1. This is such an exciting piece, Rebecca, full of tension. I love the should-have-been peaceful silence that chills though the morning is warm. The fright that occurred when her friend appeared and barrelled past must have got the adrenelin going. I can’t wait to hear (but don’t want to) what is out there. Great use of language, very descriptive, Rebecca. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norah! Glad you enjoyed this foray into the forest. I look forward to sharing more and seeing what intricacies and secrets wait. It’s such a fantastic ride to be drafting to an outline, there’s still so much I’m yet to discover but the whole picture remains strong, keeping me on track.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Charli! I wrote a more stilted draft of this and left it overnight. I’m glad I did, otherwise it wouldn’t have flowed so well. I noticed parts where I tried too hard to make it sound complicated, and the refreshed perspective showed me exactly what was wrong.


  2. Mom used to say, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
    A little wordplay and it becomes: If you can’t take the country, get out of the forest.”
    That’s why I stay out of large cities, I feel the same way about cities as the characters in your 99 word prompt feel about forests. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fascinating! I love nature and open space, though.. not at night. And I equally enjoy the energy and ever-changing life of cities. I challenged myself with this one, I usually think of noise as negative so it’s interesting to hear from others who enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

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