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Waiting -- FWG Flash Fiction for 12/12/2020

Here is this week's prompt:


This great pile of stone known as Coldwynd Manor has been my home since the first Elizabeth reigned over this land. Patience is my nature, and the name I chose centuries ago when I commissioned its construction and took refuge here. But there are limits to even my tolerance for solitude.

My isolation has protected me through wars both internecine and global, political and religious. But it has also insulated me from the progress of philosophy, medicine, and science. I did not seek refuge here to avoid the dangers of the outside world, however. No, I have waited these long centuries for a sign that my pursuer has either passed on to a different realm or has otherwise given up the chase.

In recent days, I have felt the spiritual oppression that defined my existence lift, which I took this to be my long-awaited sign. So it was that, with a light step I crossed my threshold. The lane that wound down the mountain had long since sprouted saplings that grew into towering oaks. I made my way mainly by memory to the old post road at the foot of my mountain. There I found instead a thoroughfare as wide as any boulevard in London or Paris covered with a strange black rock that formed a continuous smooth surface.

I encountered the modern world for the first time as I walked along that strangely paved road. I froze in horror as a carriage without horses raced toward me at supernatural speed. It screeched to a stop a hair’s breadth away and struck a terror in my heart that my nemesis never had.

When I stopped shaking, I turned and, with the curses of the carriage driver at my back, climbed back up my mountain to resume my lonely seclusion.

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