So I did it.  I finally tried a bit of flash fiction for an online contest.  The prompt was the line, “Take a chance on me.”  Below is the result:

A Chance by DM Domosea

(submitted for the August 28 Operation Awesome Flash Fiction #19 contest. No winner selected for that round.)

Her lips part, soft and beckoning.

“Take a chance on me.”

Her call surrounds you and lifts you from a deep sleep. You open your eyes. It’s late. The full moon drenches your room in blue light. Within it, you watch yourself dress, a detached observer. You walk out your door, down the staircase and across the empty lobby to the heavy wood doors.

“Take a chance on me.”

Yes, I am coming.

 

You head east from the hotel entrance. Your feet know where to go; they’ve taken you there every day since your arrival in Cairo. You cross the city quickly and wonder if you are floating, cradled in her call.

You arrive at the ancient temple and take a lit torch from the entryway. The temperature cools as you descend down the main passage. You walk for half a mile, perhaps more, past anterooms and side corridors uncovered in the excavations. None contain what you seek. None contain her.

You go farther than you’ve been before and stop. A pit lies before you, swallowing the passageway for twenty feet. You pick up a loose stone, toss it in, and wait. Nothing. Not simply a pit then, but an impossible fathom.

“Take a chance.”

You nod and retreat down the corridor, turn and take off. Your torch blazes beside you in your tightened fist. You pick up momentum and spring from the ledge.

You are weightless for mere seconds, but also for an eternity, as you fly across the void beneath you. Once you land, your head clears and you wonder at what you’ve just done. You could have died. You could have…

“Take a chance.”

Yes, I will. I am.

You continue down the corridor. Your feet follow your mind, or your mind follows your feet. You’re not sure which.

Finally, the passage opens into a grand room that dances with multi-colored lights. You aren’t familiar with this place. It’s not on the schematics you’ve drawn of the buried temple.

The room sits empty, save one statue in the middle. It is her. She sits on a cracked throne, her stone face at once beautiful and terrifying. Her right arm is raised, her palm flat and facing up. In it rests the source of light that shimmers throughout the chamber: a diamond.

“Take.”

You approach her. The gem is large, easily the size of a human heart. Such a treasure. Such a wonder!

“Take.”

No, I can’t. I shouldn’t.

It’s not a treasure for one person alone, but its beauty is her beauty. Her voice is its voice. They speak as one, and they called you. You!

“Take,” she commands.

Yes. Yes. Take it. 

You reach out and caress her fingers as you close your hand around the diamond. You lift it from her palm, and the air  around you screams. Your mind releases a final, desperate thought: but I took a chance!

The torch clatters to the ground with no hand left to hold it.