Written for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: THE MAGIC REALISM BOT’S REVENGE
Word Count: 933
My tweet: “A giant clam starts talking to you. It says: ‘Look for a diamond. It will be your guide.’ ”
WARNING: Quite a bit of swearing ahead.
I had to still be high.
“Look for a diamond. It will be your guide.” So spoke a giant clam that was half sticking out of the sand next to my feet. My bleary eyes blinked slowly as I lifted my head front the sand to stare at the clam.
“I heard you the first time.” I muttered as I attempted to get to my feet. My balance had other plans. halfway standing my world wobbled and I fell on my ass in the hard, wet sand.
“Look for a diamond. It will be…” the clam repeated.
“I heard you the firs time!” My voice snapped. “How is a damn clam talking anyway. You don’t have lips, much less a brain.”
“Jeez, don’t shoot the messenger.” With a soft pop the clam winked out of existence.
I stared unblinking at the spot where the clam had been. “Yep, still high. Thomas better not have cut the weed with anything weird again.” I stood up slowly, this time the world didn’t wobble.
Brushing the sand off my ass I looked around the beach. There, to my left, was the gull rock, the famous landmark of Pickanny Beach, which was weird cuz the last thing I remembered from last night was partying at Becky’s over in Newton. A good fifty miles South of the beach.
A quick check of my pockets found a dead cell phone, my wallet with $2 in it and a some tinted chap stick.
“Perfect.” I muttered. At least I knew the area. I had visited this beach a lot as a kid. Pulling my jacket tight against the early fall chill I headed up the beach where a small path should take me to the main road back into Pickanny Village.
The beach was deserted this time of morning. The low tide pickers would have come and gone already and the weather was too chilly for all but the most adventurous swimmers.
My legs burned as I climbed the sand dunes. “I need to get in better shape.” I wheezed. After a few more heaves I pulled myself to the top of the sand dune that lead to the road…that wasn’t there.
“What the shit?” Instead of a poorly paved two lane road, before me was a deeply marked dirt road, stretching along the top of the coast line. “I don’t think I’m high enough to hallucinated no road.” I looked in both directions. “Or power lines, or the snack shack.”
I spun around looking for anything I knew should have been there, but aside from the dirt road and a wooden sign in the distance the land was nothing but grass and a few sparse looking trees.
“Well fuck me, what kind of fantasy novel bullshit is this?” My voice echoed along the empty road.
I ran desperate fingers through my knotted hair. My hair tie had gotten lost at some point.
“Someone’s pranking me. This isn’t Pickanny Breach. Just looks like it.” There must be thousands of rocks that looked like seagulls with their wings spread. “I’m just in some backwaters shit hole.” I took off quickly towards the wooden sign I had see. The sooner I got back to civilization, the better.
The sign, when I got close to it, looked oddly new, the wooden planks still white and not gray with age. And next to it was some kind of tiny hut the size of a dolls house.
“Weird.” I turned from the doll house to the sign.
North Bend 2 mi —–>
<—– Ceder Village 5 mi
“I’ve never heard of either of those places.” I said flatly. Well. I turned my attention to the doll house, crouching down to see inside.
It looked like a shrine maybe? I thought I remember reading about something like it in history class, roadside shrines to local gods or something.
Inside there was a small stature of a woman with her arms raised, her face, crudely carved as it was, looked angry. Strewn around her were dried flowers, stale bread and a few scattered coins. Offerings I guess.
I picked up one of the coins and rubbed it between my fingers. It was heavier than I was expecting and crudely stamped with a man’s face on one side and what looked like a freaking dragon on the other. I dropped the coin, it fell to the ground with a heavy thud.
“Nope, nope, nope.” I rubbed my eyes, hoping to banish what was clearly a severe dream stemming from bad weed.
But when I opened my eyes the tiny shrine and the weird coins were still there.
“Alright guys, jokes over, ha ha.” I shouted to no one in particular. There was no response.
Heaving a sigh I started to rise from my crouch when the sun came out from behind the clouds, a stray ray of light hitting something shiny in the back of the shrine.
Figuring my day couldn’t get any worse, I reached in, fumbling behind the statue until my fingers found and pulled out a leather string that had been tucked in the corner.
Dangling at the edge of the string was a what looked to be a large diamond wrapped in silver thread.
“You’re fucking kidding me.” I reached out a finger to the stone. As soon as I touched it the stone began to glow with a purple light and a cheerful voice sounded in my head.
“Welcome traveler from another world. Our land has fallen into chaos and we desperately need your help. I am to be your guide.”