Flash Fiction #25 – Light in the Forest




It’s time for another year of flash fiction!


The sun on our faces as it shone through the leaves was so warm. We laid back on the forest floor, and for once, I didn’t worry about sunscreen or homework or even curfews. I was content resting my head on Ethan’s shoulder listening to his heartbeat and the sound of the breeze riffling through the leaves. Though now that I look back on it, I don’t remember hearing any birdsong or the chatter of squirrels.

Ethan squirmed, dislodging my head as he reached beneath his back. “There’s something digging into my spine.” He pulled out an acorn. Or, more precisely, he pulled out two acorns joined together. They were tiny–more cap than nut.

With a grin, he booped me on the nose with them. “You know what this is, don’t you?”

I shook my head, smiling as he stared into my eyes.

“It’s a sign.”

“That laying on the ground is a bad idea?”

“No, smartass. It’s an important sign.” His smile faded slightly, but the warmth in his honey colored eyes didn’t as he leaned over and kissed me. When he lifted his head, he said, “You and me–we’re gonna be together forever. Just like these acorns.”

“A couple of nuts that get a happily ever after?” I asked.

“Exactly. And I’ll remind you that you called us nuts when we plant these acorns in the yard of our dream house.”

He gave me the acorns, and I tucked them into the pocket of my jeans.

“I love you, Livvy.”

He kissed me again, and I pulled him closer, but we broke apart almost immediately as a high-pitched whirring sound shattered the tranquility of the day, and a brutal, blinding light moved steadily closer. The sounds of trees cracking and snapping filled the air, as a huge vehicle lumbered toward us. Over all of the other sounds was an odd, computerized voice broadcasting what sounded like a pre-recorded message.

“Attention, all humans. You will not be harmed if you come with us, now. Enter through the rear doors in an orderly fashion.”

The vehicle loomed closer, as mounted spotlights swept through the woods.

“Attention, all humans. You will not be harmed if you–”

Bullshit,” Ethan muttered. “C’mon, Liv, we’ve gotta get out of here.”

We jumped to our feet. I grabbed my backpack, and Ethan grabbed my hand. We ran deeper into the forest, but we didn’t get far. The entire thing was on fire. A solid wall of flame cut us off and crept up on either side of us.

“What the hell?” I gasped.

Ethan pulled me to the left, but we had no choice but to return to the main path. The forest burned so quickly, it was as if all the trees were covered with accelerant. By the time we got to the spot where we’d been lying, six silver-toned, weapon–at least, they looked like weapons–toting robots waited in a semi-circle in front of a huge multi-story tank looking thing.

“Attention, all humans. You will not be harmed if you come with us, now. Enter through the rear doors in an orderly fashion.”

Neither Ethan nor I moved.

“Are those ro–”

“Silence, human.” One of the robots cut me off and stepped forward.

The rest of my question died in my mouth as it stopped in front of me. Reaching out, it grabbed my backpack and yanked it from my grasp. “You have no need of this, human.”

“Hey!” Ethan lunged for the backpack, but before he could touch it, the robot fired its weapon, engulfing Ethan in an unearthly, red glow.

“Run, Liv–”

He crumpled to the ground like a broken puppet, and my heart slammed into my throat. I dropped to my knees beside him and shook him, but there was no life in those honey colored eyes. No breath in his throat. No warmth in his skin.  I’d known before I’d touched him, but I had to try.

“Attention, all humans. You will not be harmed if you come with us, now. Enter through the rear doors in an orderly fashion.”

The robot that had shot Ethan stepped closer to me, and the shiny silver of its legs blurred as tears filled my eyes. I stumbled to my feet.

“Attention, all humans. You will not be harmed if you come with us, now. Enter through the rear doors-”

“-in an orderly fashion,” I muttered.

I was tempted to let them shoot me, too. I wanted to. The thought of being without Ethan stole the breath from my lungs, but I needed to find my family. I couldn’t stand the thought of my little brothers alone and scared.

It’s been two years, and I still haven’t found them.

The Overlords, as I learned they preferred to be called, have destroyed everything that humans might have found useful or comforting. The forests are gone. Not just the one where they killed Ethan but all of them. No chance of hiding, finding shelter, hunting for food. No chance of listening to the wind in the leaves while remembering the boy who’d promised me forever.

I’ve still got the joined acorns in my pocket, though. Someday, somehow, I’ll find a place to plant them, and give the parts of me and Ethan that are still alive a place to grow and be happy.


So, clearly my unwavering fear of SKYNET figured into this one. Yeah…I don’t know, either. But let’s see what everyone else came up with for this image.







Author: Bronwyn

There's not a lot to tell - I'm married a wonderful guy and we have two fantastic, kids. I write erotic romance and try to avoid housework and cooking at all costs.

15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #25 – Light in the Forest”

  1. Evil robot overlords!!! And yes the idea of Skynet is a valid fear. When they talked about the whole “star wars” program in the 80s I kept thinking, “This is just like War Games and Terminator.” I really liked this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Resistance is futile. (and rude, hello) Tell me, did you want some Terminator reruns over the holidays? Nicely played. Not what I expected, yet you seem to love the depressing ones… it’s a theme 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can you see I’m just now catching up? I was thinking “aww this is cute” and then “WHAT THE HELL BRON?!?!”

    Those were my thoughts.

    I don’t know why I trust you so much when you keep going off and doing these things to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look…the light didn’t strike me as friendly. And, as with all not very friendly looking lights, I immediately panicked and thought…Skynet!

      You should probably take a minute and just adjust yourself to the expectation of some variation of this during our friendship from now on.


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