Flash Fiction, Words
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A Light in the Dark

Words by Lilli Hertel

“C’mon Bender, just do it!”

He could see the faintest light fall on Tom and Carry’s faces from inside the dingy movie set. It was after baseball practice and Tom filled them in about his newest hide out.

“Tom, I don’t think this was one of your best ideas.” Bender stood outside the set and watched the other two standing impatiently inside.

“Maybe not, but it could be cool. We could find some old movie props, or ghosts.” Tom waved his hand, gesturing for Bender to join them. So he did. As Bender climbed through the jagged hole, the smell of feces and dead raccoon filled his lungs.

Bender gagged, “Tom! This is disgusting! I can’t breathe in here.” The more he tried to suck in fresh air the worse the stench got.

“Yeah, you’ll get used to it.” Tom shrugged him off. They started walking further into the darkened set. Bender kept his mouth covered with his baseball rag and followed close behind Carry. Tom led them further into the building, looking around himself every so often. A creak echoed through the building. Tom raised a finger to his lips. His eyes darted around the set looking for a culprit to the noise.

“We should g-“

“Bender, SHUT UP,” Tom strained to whisper. Bender began walking back towards the hole, hoping that Carry and Tom would follow. Then there was another creak, this time longer and louder. The three boys looked up to see a giant rusting light shaking back and forth above Tom’s head. Without a second to spare the light unleashed from its shake and crashed into Tom’s head, knocking him to the ground. Carry crouched down to Tom immediately and began to shake him, “Tom wake up!”

But Bender had already spotted the blood spilling from the top of Tom’s head. His breath began to quicken and he felt his body in a panic.

“B-Bender, the blood,” Carry’s signature grin was gone and overcome with the same panic that filled Bender’s body. His feet were glued to the wet cement beneath him and no matter how much he wanted to help Tom and Carry he couldn’t. Carry was talking faster now but Bender didn’t hear what he was saying. He could only see the giant light lying next to Tom’s limp body. He pushed himself to walk towards the accident. But his feet moved the other way and within seconds he was pushing through the hole and running back into the corn fields they had entered through.



Lilli Hertel is a high school junior and she spends her time photographing, writing, and reading. When she isn’t doing any of these three things she might be found “binge-watching any Netflix series imaginable and procrastinating her school work.”

Photo by Hana Tsyzka 


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