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“Footprints” – FWG Flash Fiction for 2/24/2024

We seem to be locked into stairways. At least this one leads upwards. The prompt is:


The old school building was derelict—and had been home to a whole colony of them.

“Calling them ‘derelicts’ isn’t very P.C.,” Officer Colleen Prentice said as she stepped over a pile of something that she definitely did not want to step in.

“Sorry, not sorry. I’m too old to be very P.C.” Colleen’s partner, Sergeant Benny O’Neil said.

After they rousted the vagrants squatting in the abandoned building, they followed a fading trail of bloody footprints to a room on the top floor. Curiously, the footprints stopped before they reached the room’s other open door.

“Looks like it leads to the roof.”

“Maybe we’ll get lucky and the perp will jump,” Benny muttered.

“We don’t know it’s the perp,” Colleen responded. But she drew her service weapon anyway. Benny did as well. “Why aren’t there any prints on the stairs?”

Benny shrugged, but stopped to look around the previously cleared room. All that was in it was an old mattress and an office chair with one wheel missing.

“Faded out?”

“It’s the light that’s fading.” She bent to get a closer look at the last set of footprints. “These are darker than the others, and they’re next to each other. Like whoever made them…jumped?”

She scanned the ceiling. Something was hanging in a dark corner.

Benny looked up the stairs. “Nobody could jump that high.” The sun dipped below the building across the street, deepening the gloom. “Call for backup.”

He never saw the bat that swooped down and sank its fangs into his neck. Colleen pumped most of her clip into the man-shaped figure it transformed into, only saving the last round for herself.


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