The Companion

I stand on the edge of time, watching, waiting, preparing for your name to appear next on my list.  I count down the seconds until I can see you, to hold your hand or give you a gentle touch on your shoulder.  You and I are destined to meet.  It has been written in the stars across the eons.  I am the one who is going to take you on an extraordinary journey across time and space.  All within an instant, together we shall watch this universe’s time pass from the beginning until its end — you shall see it all.

Your reason for joining me on this trip is no business of mine nor is your past.  For now, I am merely your guardian for this brief moment, escorting you to your destination.  I do not care who you were or where you had been, I am content to reside with your current self for the duration of this journey.

You may ask of me, “But where are we heading?”
“We are traveling through the stars until your destination comes into view.” I will reply.
“So you do not know where I am going?”
I will solemnly answer, “It is not for me to know where you are heading.  I am only here to escort you there.”
“How do you know where to take me if you do not know where to go?”
I will look at you and draw your soul into my arms. “Deep within yourself, you know your destiny.  It has been determined since the day your body was brought into life.  In your subconscious, you know the location of your final destination.  I am only with you to ensure safe passage.”
“Final destination?”  You will pause, just like the others before you have. “You mean I am dead?”
“You are a soul without a vessel.  Your body expired on the plane of Earth.”

  • Amanda Headlee, 2014

– If you have enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out my Flash Fiction Library. –

Upon first catching a glimpse of the picture above, a story started to spin in my head.  The above is a story that came from those spinning thoughts.  Maybe one day it will expand into something more.

My challenge to you today, is to write a flash fiction story using this picture as a prompt.  The story in no way has to reflect what is in the picture, so allow your imagine and creativity to soar.  It will be interesting to see what you are able to conjure up.

Please keep the word limit under 500 words, and paste your story in the comment section below.

NOTE: This is a grammar free zone today.  This is merely an exercise to get those creative juices flowing.


Lady Death

(c) phototogo2

(c) phototogo2

The unknown captivates the attention of even the deepest recesses of our awareness.  Like the flame to a moth, Death flickers with a beckoning wave.  And as humans, we respond with confrontation, questions, and damnation.    Since the dawn of humanity, Death has captured the fascination of the mortal mind and holds the precious conscience in her barren grip.  She taunts us with her mystery.

For it is the unknown of Death to which we are drawn.  Should we fear or embrace her?  She is, after all, the everlasting end.

Early philosophers weave tales of horror, depicting her coming as a fiery hell or hollow end.  Eternities of pure pain or absolute emptiness; a paradise lost to all of humanity.  Few claim that there is goodness and riches to come, but the cynicism in their voice betrays their inner feelings.

And so we are left lost in wonder and in fear.  What lies in the hereafter?

We know not where to turn because those who claim to be of the knowing are merely false prophets of the mortal realm.  We will only know the truth when she comes to call on us in the night.

One truth that humanity can be certain of is that our mortal time will end.  For she will come for each of us, one day…

And in the end…

I apologize in advance for the following post as it is one of my ramblings…

I had recently stumbled across a short story contest that has a deadline for submission at the end of this month.  The rules of the contest will force me to break out of my normal genre of Horror.  The journey to draft this story has been very difficult as it cannot be filled with any graphic violence, and with that I am assuming no paranormal.  So, no zombies or ghosties!  I know you are thinking, “Why in the world are you even attempting this?”  Well, this experience will make me a well-rounded author.  Sometimes you just need to break out of the routine.  Breaking from a routine always strengthens a routine, if you catch my drift!

As nights turn into mornings, I struggle to write this piece which cannot exceed 2,000 words.  The theme it is just your basic short story completion (sans explicit sex, graphic language, or graphic violence).  This type of contest definitely derails from my routine.  Again, I know what you are thinking, “This is just a basic short story contest, why you are struggling so much?”  Because I am having issues dropping my “routine”!  I mean, I really don’t have to break from the paranormal routine, it is not a rule that is set in stone, but I sort of feel like testing myself.  I want to experience this struggle from my norm.  I want to see if I can do this and what I can do to help change my normal literary “thoughts”.  Adaptations are good.  It makes us evolve.

So, this story which I am in the process of drafting is actually on the border of inspirational (as in spiritually inspirational).  I had no intention of writing an “inspirational” story.  I just sort of started typing, and the words fell into place.  Sadly, in the midst of drafting, I failed at keeping the “horror” out.  Death slipped in.  I have no idea how she did it, but she did.  Halfway through allowing my brain to spill out onto the pages in the form of words, I noticed death made her appearance.  Not once, but THREE times.  Oh, the agony.  I try and I try to write a story that does not have an aspect of “death”, “horror”, or the “macabre” in it.  Yest, again, I failed.  She just has to make her appearance everywhere. 

Maybe that is my sign.  I cannot run from her.  Death is there along every step of the journey through life.  I will be the first to admit, and truthfully admit, I do not fear death.  A painful death, yes, but death itself, no.  She is a part of the balance of life.  Just think, should death ever give up her day job, no one would die.  Our entire would be overpopulated, not just by people, but animals too.  Especially overpopulated by rabbits!  You know how much rabbits reproduce.  Just think if rabbits would never die.  We would wade through an endless sea of bunnies.  They would take over all the land, and eat all of the carrots.  They would be an infection… an infection with their cute fuzzy cotton tails and wiggly little noses.

Sorry to have gotten off track, but in this I have found my reason for allowing death her appearance in my stories.  Because she is there to keep the balance of life and writing.  The balance of life because at some point this life must end.  The balance of writing, because all good writers must allow their Egos to die.  Letting go of the Ego is only the beginning.  Once the Ego is dead, our imagination can expand.  I killed my Ego the moment I started this blog.  Ego does not only mean pride, but fear as well.  I feared placing myself in the public eye.  Yet, if I want to be a famous author someday, I would have to show my true colors.  In my writing, I place death on the forefront to show that she is not scary, she is not malicious, she just needs to “be”.  If we ever turn our backs and allow her to disappear, the balance of everything will be broken.  We will have a world that will be overrun with bunnies and Egos.  So never fear death, just acknowledge her existence and reason.

Always remember that, you “wascally wabbits”.

Mors principium est.

©2011, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative – visit  Amanda Headlee — It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn for the original source of this content.