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And weighing in at exactly 333 words, here’s my entry for Trifecta Week 91. This is what I was working on when I was interrupted, and found my writing time better served elsewhere.

“The Brand”

The brand still stung. The prisoner couldn’t remember how much time had passed, because he hadn’t been allowed to see the sun or a clock since he’d been brought inside. He couldn’t remember his name. Where he was from. What he had done for a living. What he could remember was the stink as the metal burned through hair and flesh, the shock of the realization that it was his own that seared. Countless hours or days or weeks later, it still stung, though the stench had faded.

In the cell’s dim light, he could make out a faint white and pink outline on the inside of his left wrist, the shape somehow familiar. Where had he seen it before? His memory of the time before his capture was gone, and details of the event still eluded him. It didn’t seem to matter how much of his immeasurable time he spent attempting to recall things. The brand stung, and…

Wait? Was that it? The brand… Could they have done something to his memory with it somehow? Burning out his past as they burned his arm? He jumped to his feet, calling for the guards. It was all coming back to him, his wife, his sons, his life, as his mind slowly beat down the barrier between past and present.

“I remember!”

The guards stood at the door.

“Think he means it?”

“Better to be certain.”

“Right. Out then, you.”

Matthew stepped out of his cell, the sting gone from his wrist. He saw brighter light down the hall and felt a surge of hope as a guard’s gauntlet connected with the back of his head, sending him cascading into darkness again.

The brand still stung. The prisoner couldn’t remember how much time had passed, because he hadn’t been allowed to see the sun or a clock since he’d been brought inside. In the cell’s dim light, he could make out a faint white and pink outline on the inside of his left wrist…

10 Comments

  1. Oooo interesting turn at the end. I like it.

  2. Creepy…

  3. Ugh. That’s awesome. I love how you described the crack to the head. And again. And again. Thanks for posting and linking!

  4. Yes! Love the twist at the ending!

  5. I find micro/flash fiction so tough to write. I’m always impressed by how much punch you pack in so few words. Very chilling. Nicely done!

    • Again, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Microfiction is about all I have time to write at present, though hopefully that won’t be the case much longer.


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