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For Your Protection

23rd May, Story #145/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 23 days ago 3 min read
10
Image made with AI

I squint at the flaming sky, trying not to drown in the chasm opening under my diaphragm.

Sunset, and they're not back. I pace. Chew my lip. Glance at the clock. None of it brings them to the door, nor slows the seconds.

We have only minutes until this splash of colour fades and takes the light with it. They mustn't be caught out after that.

Eyeballing the streets below, I know that if they were to make it back in time I'd be able to see them already.

We've never seen the creatures, only heard stories. And if they don't get you, the coppers will. The curfew is strict. For your protection, they say.

In my mind, I see the not-horses stalking my family. Huge hooves clicking, their bony spurs wicked and sharp. Darkness pouring off them, like a palpable stink.

Why didn't I leave and try to find them? And why is that image not as terrifying as the other, the after-hours wagon? Rattling along the cobblestones, looming out of the twilight, the finality of those thick black bars.

And why, when I think of that, do my feet finally propel me to the door? Why am I locking up as if everything is normal, like I'll be back soon?

I don't find them, and I can't avoid the wagon. Maybe I wasn't trying, Maybe I hoped to find them on it. Perhaps some bit of me knew no rescue was possible, and this was only a chance to see them one last time before... something.

I peer through the near-dark at faces I don't recognise. My heart breaks. All for nothing then, getting caught.

I can't bear to look at them. Theirs aren't the faces I want to see. The terror stamped across them makes mine harder to bear. I stare out instead, looking for the nightmarish creatures, the reason for all this. Ears cocked for hoofbeats.

Were they even real? And if not, what was it all for? Why are they picking us off the streets?

We clank through enormous gates. My heart pounds harder. Perhaps now I'll see my family. I want to, and hope not to, at the same time.

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Word count: (excluding author's note): 366


Submitted on: 23rd May at 23.34


*Quick Author's Note*


First, and most importantly:
thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will toss in my hat for your eyeballs landing on this humble piece will be well-spent. How much does a pyramid cost?


If you enjoyed this one, the very best compliment you can give me is to
share it, or read another!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one continues my 145 day streak since 1st January!


Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!


Rachel Deeming


Gerard DiLeo


Leave a comment: Please do leave me a comment. It makes it easier for me to reciprocate the read.

The story behind the story: I fancied doing a story about a curfew. I started out with this idea of these monsters, and ended up with the government experimenting on people in some facility. SHUT UP BRAIN.

Thank you

Thank you again, most especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you very much indeed! 😁


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Short StoryMicrofiction
10

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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Comments (7)

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  • Sasi Kala22 days ago

    The story effectively blends elements of suspense and horror. Good story

  • Hahahahahahhahaha I like your brain, so keep going!

  • You have maintained the liveliness throughout the story.

  • Gerard DiLeo23 days ago

    The gub’mint? Don’t even get me started.

  • Caroline Craven23 days ago

    Could totally feel that anxiety as she waited. Great story. Sometimes I feel like we’re not far off this - especially after the Covid lockdowns.

  • John Cox23 days ago

    It’s hard to top the anxiety of waiting, specially when terrors like these wait in the wings. Chilling portrayal of terror and despair! Great story, LC!

  • Never tell your brain to shut up! You're doing incredible work! Keep going! Haha Another fantastic piece LC!

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