Flash Fiction: The Wellspring

For Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge
“The Wellspring”
Doing a good thing sometimes means being evil
775 words, a little short but I didn’t feel like it needed to be longer


She was going to be damned for this.

People would curse her name for this.

Nevertheless she persisted.

Her fingers ached where they gripped the rock, bleeding where slivers of rock cut into them. Still she climbed.

The wind threatened to pull her from the cliff face, she gripped harder.

She looked above her, the top was close, it wouldn’t be long now. Her mind was blank, focused on putting one hand above the other. And avoiding what she was about to do.

After what seemed an eternity, she reached the top. The wind was weaker here, ad if it realized there would be no stopping her.

Her eyes grew large with wonder as she gazed upon the scene before her. Where the cliff and the hills surrounding it were dirt covered and barren, the top was teeming with life.

Greenery filled her vision. Flowers, bushes, fruit trees of every kind fought for space; growing around each other and even through each other. The air was scented with the perfume of hundreds of flowers.

And the power, it thrummed against her skin. she gulped and felt her knees go weak. What it would be to lay down and simply bask in the pure power that was the wellspring. The Source of magic.

A loud boom broke her from her trance. She looked behind, back to the lights she had come from. The bright colors of another magic powered explosion spread across the sky. They seemed small and dim from so far away. Dull compared to the green surrounding the riot of color surrounding the wellspring.

Her hand reached fro the small packet inside her coat pocket. So small, seemingly benign. But she knew the destruction it would create.

She walked into the greenery, her palms sweaty.

The leaves and wines seemed to caress her, welcome her into their domain, unaware of her task. The greenery should have a talk with the wind.

She didn’t have far to walk, which was good, her legs already shook with exhaustion from the hike and then the climb.

There it was, it was smaller than she thought it would be. No more than three feet across. Closer to a puddle. It’s waters shimmered in a rainbow of colors, it glowed slightly.

Small mushrooms grew around it’s edges. Vibrant in colors nature never intended  Infected by the magic of the wellspring.

She knelt by the waters edge, careful not to smash any of the mushrooms.

She reached a hand out, over the water. Tendrils of magic smoke rose up from the water, twisting towards her fingers. Just as it was about to reach her she snatched her hand away, afraid of what would happen if the smoke touched her.

She licked dry lips and reached a shaking hand into her pocket and pulled out the tiny packet of powder. Powder made from the heart of a murdered person. She tried not to think about who had to die to make this powder.

She stared down at the packet and thought of the words her brother hand told her before she left on the mission.

“Doing a good thing sometimes being evil Evvy,” He had said. His voice had been sad, but sure.

“Are we doing a good thing?” I had asked.

“This is the most good thing. People will die, yes. Lots of people. But the wars will stop. They have to, once there is nothing left to fight for. And that will save so many more people.”

“Yes brother.”

I closed by eyes, unwilling to think about what happened next. His soft sigh as her knife slid into his neck.

The water ripped as her tears fell, changing colors, from deep red, to blue, to green.

She would not fail her brother, her world.

Before she could think, she flicked the paper open and scattered the powder over the surface of the pool.

The effect was immediate  The bright colors disappeared in an instant, the water turning black and beginning to bubble.

The mushrooms crumbled and turned to dust ad the blackness, the death reached them.

All around her a ring of death grew. Leaves turned black and shrived as the magic sustaining them died. Fruit rotted and dropped to the ground in wet plops. Trees crashed over, their trucks rotted through.

The perfume of flowers turned into the stench of decay.

The death would spread, traveling from the wellspring down into all of the le lines converged under it. In less than a day all the magic int he world would be dead. And with it the wars that had plagued the world for centuries.

So she hoped.

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