As usual, whenever we set a Horror Scribes comp, I challenge myself to write a flash fiction story too. Here is mine, enjoy!
It should’ve been the best day of our lives, the summer ahead of us, our youth still ours. Two hours later on the hottest day of the year, we peeled ourselves off each other, slid out of the car and almost ran to our tents. Quickly dumping our bags, ignoring the girls’ pleads for a freshen-up, we headed over to the main stage. Thirty minutes later and we were in the midst of the crowd, waving our arms and singing our hearts out.
I noticed the shimmer of colours well before I saw him. A coldness moved through me as I watched him effortlessly weave through the crowd towards me. I remember the feeling well: vertigo with an overwhelming, intense sense of familiarity. What creeped me out the most wasn’t the sensation, nor was it the fact this man was wearing full black attire in 35 degree heat. No. It was what he spoke into my ear.
‘Don’t drink the water.’
I didn’t get a chance to ask him why as the crowd swelled and he deftly slipped away. My mate Dave handed me a beer and I quickly dismissed the exchange, losing myself in the music.
That night we were awoken by the sound of violent retching; a chorus of groans and projectile vomiting. People began to collapse. Ambulances arrived. Lots of them. In the days following ten unfortunate souls perished and 378 were hospitalised. We later heard that the water source had been contaminated. Something about a fault in the filtration system.
To this day, whenever that sense of familiarity in a new situation surfaces, I see the shimmering kaleidoscope of colours at the edges of my vision. I feel his presence, but I’ve not seen him since that day at the festival.
Not yet anyway.