Flash Fiction: The Stairs

Blog header flash fiction The Stairs

Our writing group has a challenge on at the moment where we have to write a story for each of the photos one member of the group is sending from New York.

You can do any genre, etc. as long as the photo inspires it somehow. This is the second photo and my second story.

Read the first story here.

Stairs in New York City

The Stairs

The sweltering heat from the summer reflected mirages even in the alleyways where fire escape ladders led from every floor of the tall apartment buildings. She sat on landing of one of the flights of stairs, huddled in the bit of shade that the landing above cast, and stared up at the sky.

“They said that there would be a solar eclipse today,” she called through the window to where her family sat, unmoving, in front of the TV. A few grunts told her that they’d heard her.

“They say a dragon will eat the sun,” she added softly, hoping that it was true. That a dragon would at least eat half the sun and cool down the oven-like city.

She gazed up at the blue sky again, her eyes watching the few cirrus clouds merge and flow in the winds that did not reach to the ground but only mocked from the air.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, she closed her eyes and listened to the faint ringing in her ears, imagining that it’s the sound of the ocean.

“It’s showing on the TV,” one of her siblings called in their robotic voices. Which one it had been, she could not tell. They had all started to sound the same to her.

She scooted out from under the landing into the sunlight and lifted the film in front of her eyes, making sure that she did not look at the sun directly. Slowly, ever so slowly, the dragon appeared and started to gnaw away at the sun. Slowly, ever so slowly, the sun became little more than a sliver, its jagged crescent shape looking like a golden moon.

The clouds that had been little more than filaments of white started to pack together, swirling in the unseen and unfelt winds. They drifted to where she was, obscuring the feasting dragon and she removed the film from in front of her eyes. With a last look over her shoulder at the family she no longer felt was her own, she started to climb up the stairs. Around and around she climbed, her feet clanging on the metal, until she reached the roof of the building. There the clouds hung low, as if they were waiting for her. She lingered for a moment on the precipice of the roof’s edge before stepping onto the cloud, her arms outstretched. And she flew.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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