Flash Fiction Friday: The Outsider

The Outsider
                This lake is part of my fondest memories. Fishing with dad, my first kiss, racing my friends across the water.  Out here I can forget the rest of the world. Now, I want her to be here with me when I escape from it all. Her accepting my proposal is the next memory I want to create here, hopefully amidst many more she’ll share with me.
                Early this afternoon, I prepared the food we’d have and set up a table close to the water.  Now, with the sun’s last rays falling on us, we arrived. The sight of the setting sun through the trees is breathtaking. Yet, even the golden strands reflected off the water pale in comparison to her golden hair.  I park in view of the table and candles.
“The night is young.”
I open her door and lead her to the table. I grab the food and spread it out for us. Chicken Parmesan, salad with vinaigrette, and one cupcake. It’s not much, but it’s what’s in the cupcake that matters. While eating, I’m distracted by movement in the trees, but it’s too dark to see. I’m drawn back in by her biting into the cupcake.
“What did you put in thi…..oh my…”
She freaks and practically dives into me.  It’s so unexpected I fall sideways with her in my arms. Then, she attacks me with kisses.
           “I love you so much!” Kiss. “I never even knew!” Kiss. “I almost broke my freakin tooth!” Kiss, kiss, kiss.
I laugh during her barrage with my arms wrapped around her. That’s when I heard the footsteps.
“Looks like you’re having a good time, boy.” 
           Kym rolls off of me and I sit up. Three guys stand about ten feet from us, all in torn denim and t-shirts.  The one who spoke has on a crimson and white cap. My eyes are on the hunting rifles.
           “Now what would your parents think of you mixing up with his kind?” He asks with the strangest sincerity. 
“Fuck off.” Good ole Kym.
I climb to my feet and help her up. Then the three men start walking toward me. 
“Got nothing to say, ni..”
I punch cap-man square in the mouth, ending his statement for him. Dumb move. The guy on the right tags me in the ribs, bringing me to my knees. Out of nowhere, Kym punchs the guy on the left and he shoves her back into me. He then pointed his gun at her, but cap-man snatched it from him.
“Calm down.” He wiped a bit of blood from his mouth. “Heh. We’ll have some fun fir…”
           He’s cut off by something huge hitting the water. Hard. A mist starts to rain down on us and I try to take advantage of the distraction. As soon as I reach for Kym, though, the other guy aims at me.
“Don’t move boy.”
          I put my hands up and try to make out what hit the water, but it’s too dark. We all stand in silence for a few seconds, then a sound rings out. It reminds me of a door opening in Star Trek. A dim light shines from what’s in the water and something climbs out. Its skin looks oil-like. Its arms don’t have hands at the end, more like tentacles.
“What is that?”
         Cap-man raises his rifle, but the ship’s light goes dark right before he pulls the trigger. Doesn’t sound like he connects, but then I notice splashing on the water’s surface, with each splash coming closer together. And getting louder.  It was running toward us.
“Run!” I yell.
         Right then, it runs past the table, grabs cap-man’s friends, and flings them toward the lake. Then it just stands there. None of us make a move.
“Ron…..what is it?” Kym says.
        Then, as if reacting to her voice, it dashes toward her. I barely move my arms before she’s snatched out of my vision, me and the cap-man left in a sphere of darkness while her screams get further away. I suppress a scream of my own as something dawns on me.
        I look at cap-man and terror is in his eyes. His eyes flicker from me to the direction she was taken in. Back and forth. Then he brings his hands to his mouth, signifying he’s come to the same conclusion I have; It only reacts to what it hears. He stares into my eyes. Then he hands me one of his guns. I guess we’re in this together.

8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: The Outsider

  1. Grrr. I lost the first draft of this comment when I accidentally clicked on an icon and left the page. Small comfort, I know, to say it was long but not reproduce it. I'll try and hope I remember everything I wrote: Wow. When I first started reading this story, I thought it was going to be another run of the mill love story and I was prepared to start skimming when you threw in the three thugs. The racial tension was a nice touch as it instantly doubled the suspense. Bigots will go to great lengths to right an intermingling of races they find distasteful and Ron and Kym's isolated surroundings are perfect for it. When I thought I had the story figured out again, you threw in a lake monster! Ha! I feel like the rug was pulled out from under me. Not in a bad way, mind you. I hate predictable stories and yours couldn't have been more arbitrary if you tried. I loved it! I like the dialogue, but sometimes it was unclear as to who was saying what. For example, the very first two lines of dialogue lost me for a moment as I tried to figure out who said which line. Other than that, the only other criticism I have is I felt Ron's reaction to Kym being snatched away to her supposed death should have been stronger. He just proposed to this woman, she's the love of his life, yet he doesn't make a move to follow after her when she's taken away. If he's standing, shocked at what just happened, unsure of his next move, maybe an extra line explaining his state of mind would make it more believable? Just my two cents. Overall, I LOVED it! Already sent the link to several friends for them to read it too!

  2. @Carmen, THANKS! In the rush of things, I actually deleted the very line explaining his mind state (I suppress a scream of my own as something dawns on me) and connecting another that comes soon after (..same conclusion I have).Unfortunately I think this takes me over the word limit for this prompt a tad bit too :(.Also, I must admit I'm weaker in the dialogue department and tried to structure a story not requiring much. Your comment helps alot though and I'll keep it in mind next time I write.Thanks again!

  3. If it helps any, I get the same criticism about the dialogue being hard to follow in my own stories. I always have to go back and iron out who says what after I the first draft is done.

  4. Interesting premise – I had thought the story would go one way then you threw a curve-ball with the 'alien ship' thing!Like Carmen said, the dialogue issues need a bit of tweaking, but this shows promise for a longer piece…! 🙂

  5. The Outsider; nice title with dual meaning, Ron as an outsider though he's been to that lake all of his life, then you add the alien. Nice. Hope to see a follow up.

  6. Very creative take on the prompt… I have to admit, I too was expecting a love story… the twist with the alien craft really 'upped' the ante here…I would comment to on the dialogue… a bit rough, but I think you are going in the right direction. I still work on my dialogue… on stories where I use a lot, I spend a lot of the second draft working on the dialogue.

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