My first entry for Write On Edge and I must say I really like this concept of using a photo as well as quote for the prompt.The writer has the option of choosing the picture or the quote, or both of them as inspiration for their 500 word story.This week I used the photo as my prompt.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Here are my 497 words 🙂
THE GROOM RETURNS
The cold night wind scattered sand over the desert. Iris watched the fine silver grains rearrange themselves gracefully into new patterns. Above her, the velvet sky was dotted with stars, but lately Iris had stopped tracing the constellations with her eyes, she found no peace in them any longer. It was all because of him. He had taught her the art of reading the sky, and now he had made her lose interest just as easily.
Iris and her family had lived with their community among the dunes for years, its serenity only disturbed by the occasional research students, academicians and archaeologists whose curiosity drove them to investigate the mysterious desert and its myriad secrets. But the community was careful not to let anything leak out to the outsiders. Twice that had happened, and the scholars had been captured and put to death quickly, quietly and efficiently.
The desert’s secrets had to be protected at all costs.
Robert had been another young research student, different from the others only because he had fallen in love with Iris. Attention from men was quite unknown to young Iris, for unlike her (flower) namesake, she was neither delicate nor pretty.She was not particularly intelligent or charming either, so Robert’s wooing had enthralled and enchanted her. She had begun to love Robert back, and the elders had been shocked, but tolerant of their forbidden romance, only because Iris’s father was an important man in the community. Since, Robert was still an outsider, they had merely decided on hiding their rituals and magical skills from him.
But as fate would have it, Robert had walked in on a late night sacred ritual worship of a very important deity, disrupting the process and unfortunately becoming a threat to the community. And of course he had been excited and pleased about his discovery, telling the elders how good it would be for their community to be publicized and how famous it would make them. But of course that couldn’t be allowed. The decision to execute Robert was unanimous. It was only after Iris begged and begged and convinced her father, that they agreed upon erasing Robert’s recent memory with a serum rather than killing him.
However, fate had intervened again when something in the serum had gone wrong, leading to a painful death for Robert. There was nothing that could be done, no potion, no spell that could revive him, and the entire community went into ceremonial mourning.
But now he was back. He had somehow returned from the dead to claim his bride, and he was wreaking havoc all over the desert with famines,droughts, infant deaths and worst of all to Iris, he visited her in nightmares with that gruesome bloodstained smile and equally bloody hands that reached out for her.
Iris shivered in fear.
A hand came down heavily on her shoulder. She screamed.
“Hello Iris.” Robert’s mangled living dead corpse rasped. “This time I’m taking you with me….”