I took down the flash fiction stories, as they have become part of a more cohesive project. Dead Ringer is still available, however, and has been added to the Prose category.
To make up for this, I present one more 300 word story, a preview of what’s to come.
Please enjoy “They Must Not Ride.”
Father Joseph Wells presided over the congregation at St. Eustatius for nearly a year before he unlocked the bottom drawer of his desk. Father Malcott left him the church, with the drawer key sealed in an envelope on a high shelf. Scrawled on the envelope were the cryptic words, “They must not ride.”
Father Wells had just finished preparing his sermon on a Saturday afternoon when he remembered the envelope. Curiosity got the better of him. His heart warm with memories of his mentor, he broke the seal and unlocked the drawer.
Within was another key, stained with pitch and rust, a note with an address, and a sketch of a cross. Below the cross was written, “They must not ride.”
The address was in the country, only a few minutes from the church. He decided to see just what Father Malcott had left him.
He pulled up to a small farmhouse that appeared to be abandoned. He knocked on the door and waited, twice, but there was no answer. He tried the knob… unlocked.
The house was bare of furnishings. The only thing of interest was the basement door, which was padlocked and adorned with crosses. His heart raced as he made the sign of the cross on himself and unlocked the heavy door.
In the basement, he found what he was looking for. Four horrifying figures were crucified in a dimly lit circle of salt. On each cross was written War, Famine, Death, or Pestilence. They all snarled and screamed inhuman curses in the preacher’s presence. Red paint on the wall demanded, “THEY MUST NOT RIDE.”
Wells approached the cross marked Death. The thing’s eyes were abysmal, and black as the void.
Father Wells would carry on this holy work. They must be kept. They must not ride.