Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of March 14, 2017
Words count: 175 words
The photograph we got this week reminded me of the closing scenes in Spirited Away, where Chihiro finally achieves her goal. At the very end, the family’s car is abandoned, with its leaves fallen all over it. The movie stayed with me, partly because No Face terrified eight-year-old me, but also because it was such a beautiful movie. But Hayao Miyazaki’s films have always been masterpieces – I even did an essay on Asian cinema based on his “The Wind Rises”. This little piece has absolutely no resemblance to that, save for the rusty car. Enjoy?
The leaves rustled, and he shuddered, feeling something brush past him. This forest was out-of-bounds, off-limits. Why was he here again?
Right. Following up her so-called “premonition”. He saw it happen – she picked up an abandoned wallet, shrieked, then fainted. When she came to, she insisted she saw a vision, that it was real, that it wasn’t the first time she’d experienced it. He called her bluff, and here they were.
In the middle of the forest was an abandoned car, just as she claimed to have seen. He stopped, pinching his arm. No way. Oblivious, she forged ahead, crashing through bushes, and began to pry open the trunk.
It gave, creaking. The stench came first, assaulting his nose, and he gagged. Her mouth was slack, her flashlight focused on its contents. They stared.
That was a corpse. A decomposing corpse. For how long?
She groaned. “I kinda hoped…”
“Uh. So.” He fumbled for words, then, “How are we gonna explain this find to the cops without looking suspicious?”