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Fatal Flaw

The Writers' Block #13 - Theme: fatal flaw

‘We don’t even know what they’re called.’

Callum had been the first to break the silence as they marched and had been mumbling for quite some time.

‘Shut up. Shut up. Shut up!’ Caitlin turned on him and roared into his face. ‘We get it. Huge creatures with beaks and claws that tried to kill us. We beat them. Let it go, will you?’

She stared at him until he acquiesced.

‘Hey. Sorry. I was just saying, we don’t know. Look, we’re tired. Maybe a little in shock. Please, Caitlin.’

Caitlin straightened up, turned and carried on sloshing through the swampy terrain. ‘I’m sick of you already. And of this water. And all this mud. And this swamp smells like things have died in it.’

Oona splashed her way towards Caitlin, trying to link arms as she spoke. ‘You know, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, don’t we? And your strength, Caitlin, is being calm and making wise decisions like the natural leader you are.’

‘Piss off.’

‘And being such a cock-sure bitch is not one of your finer points,’ Oona retaliated.

Caitlin released herself and growled under her breath as she stormed ahead, getting herself wetter in the process. ‘Oh, I’m getting bored with this… Look, there’re some stones over there. Yes! It’s some kind of path. Come on!’

Shenagh looked concerned. ‘No, Caitlin. We were told that when we got here we were to stay in the swamp.’

‘We’re still in the swamp, aren’t we? But I -’ she announced, standing free of the water - ‘am on a path. So, suit yourselves. Get yourselves all wet. See if I care. I’ll be as dry as a -’

Her silence made the others look up at her. She had frozen. Something so terrifying had gripped her soul that she stood there, motionless. Tears began to roll down her cheeks and slowly, almost poetically, her face contorted and writhed. Finally, she let out a howl of pain so high and cracked that it seemed her very heart was breaking.

The others sloshed their way to her as fast as the terrain would allow. Shenagh moved some moss and discovered that Caitlin’s feet had been absorbed into the stones upon which she stood. It was evident she was sinking into them. Or, rather, they were digesting her.

Oona brought her axe down onto the stones, but, although a few sparks flew, no dent could be made.

‘We should chop her legs off!’ Callum shouted, his words a simple manifestation of his panic. No matter how they pulled her, Caitlin was simply not being freed; the only movement was downwards, inwards.

Oona could not do what Callum had suggested, so the three of them simply stood there, crying, watching Caitlin being eaten inch by inch. As her head began to squeeze down, her jaw cracked and the last thing they saw were her eyes, pleading for release, before, as one, they all turned away.


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