As usual, the Fiction Writers Group on Facebook issued the weekly 300-word flash fiction prompt. Here is this week's:
My story is called "Mill Race". Here it is:
The old mill on the banks of the stream looked like it wouldn’t stand up to a strong breeze, yet there it stood. As the boy cautiously approached the dilapidated structure, some aspects of it struck him as odd. First, the water wheel was mounted on the side of the shack, perpendicular to and well back from the stream that should have powered it. Instead a wooden sluice ran from its top back to the hillside behind, where there was no evidence of a stream to fill it.
Stefan crossed the little bridge over the stream and circled around to where a door stood ajar. Approaching on tiptoe, he caught a scent that reminded him of the smell of the air after a lightning storm. Peering through the gap between the door and jam, Stefan saw strange lights flickering deep inside the room, much deeper inside than the shack was wide. Drawn inexorably forward, he pushed the door open on well-oiled hinges.
The surprise on Stefan’s face when he stepped through the door was matched by the shock on the alien’s. Frozen in place, Stefan could only watch as the tall, thin monster with the giant head turned to the console with the blinking lights, poked his finger several times at a glowing panel, then strode toward the back of the too-large room. Without slowing, he turned and looked straight at Stefan, his large, round, pupil-less eyes growing even larger, and stepped through the wall.
Moving on instinct, Stefan crossed the room to the glowing panel. Strange symbols floated within the panel’s glow. Thinking back to what he just witnessed, his finger hesitated in front of the panel. With a shrug, he poked the symbols in the same pattern he had seen, took a deep breath, and walked through the wall.