The entire village was outside, waiting for the expected sign in the sky. It came every six months, without fail, but this time it was different.
Marie stood and watched, alongside the rest of the impatient villagers, tapping her foot to and fro in time with the drumbeat. The musicians were playing, the drums thumping louder and louder into her soul, twisting and intertwining within her thoughts, the thudding bass reverberating against her blood.
It was time. But, it was not. It was happening. But was it? A dull red glow manifested just beyond the horizon… was this what they were waiting for? A golden glow was supposed to form, and then sweep across the sky in a thousand delicate tendrils. The bi-yearly blessing from their Goddess, Hyacaine. Why was the glow red?
The music stopped. Everyone stopped to stare at the ominous glow. It sprouted tentacle-esque ribbons that webbed and weaved in a criss-cross pattern, starting from the horizon and slowly approaching to over their heads. This did not seem right… not at all. Marie took a step back.
She bumped into Theresa who quickly glared at her before returning her worried eyes to the sky. “Sorry,” Marie mumbled and hurried to the street. Ready to do her part and greet the usual late onlookers from neighbouring villagers; they were always late –maybe this time, it was for the best.
The path began to take on the colour of the sky, that horrible dull red colour, no longer quite so dull, and she stumbled into a pole as she made it to the the main street.
“Look at that,” she would tell each busload of tourists, pointing at the horrible glow in the sky. “I’m surprised you even made it! Surely you could see it when pulling up. Why would you stay?”
The bus-driver shrugged and hopped out, he and his passengers both rushing to where the music had recently halted so they could see what was happening. See what their Goddess had offered for them this day.
Maries didn’t like it. More and more buses showed up, depositing more and more tourists, and then the sky darkened. She dared to glance up. The red was gone. The sky was black. And before she knew what she as doing, she hopped into the bus. Into the seat. The driver had left his keys behind. Perfect! She was out of here. She didn’t want to know why the sky had darkened. Nor did she want to know what their Goddess had planned.
Maybe it was no longer their dearest Hyacaithe, maybe her evil twin had taken over the heavens. Why else would the sky redden and darken instead of turn golden and lustrous?
She had never driven a bus before, but she revved the engine, moved the gearstick to where she thought it should be, and near died as the vehicle made a grinding sound and lugged forward like a heaving restaurant patron swallowing a walnut whole.
That was obviously the wrong gear. Bugger it. She leapt out of the bus and ran, wails rose up behind her. She had made the right choice. Now a green tinge spread across the sky, as a stain that had leaked from a baby’s nappy and onto it’s onesie. The stain got bigger. Bigger. Until it encompassed the entirety of the sky.
The wails behind her turned into ghastly ghoulish shrieks that reminded her of that time one of the neighbouring villages had a zombie outbreak… Hyacaithe! No! Not again.
Marie kicked her legs up and ran into the woodlands. They would not get her. Not here. Not like how they had gotten her husband.
Hopefully Theresa was the first to be transformed. They had never gotten along… she deserved to be a zombie.
It’s @mariannewest’s #weekendfreewrite! 😀 There are three prompts for this story, which have been bolded and italicised when mentioned! I do my weekend freewrites a bit different – I use the first prompt to begin the story, and then I try and weave the next prompt where it fits best during the next five-minute section, and then again for the third, instead of starting each section with the prompt. 🙂
The image used for my header is a CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay!
Thank you for reading. 🙂