On Friday, he posted a flash fiction challenge on his blog, calling for the first 500 words to a story.
This is my entry to his contest, to be finished (hopefully) by someone else.
There was something about the smell of earth that made Jonas think of death. Something about the moisture. Something that made him think of worms and maggots and rot. He tucked his hands in his pockets and braced against the autumn wind. Leaves crunched underfoot as he navigated the forest path.
Jonas looked up at the stars twinkling through the limbs of trees. They were dim and distant and apathetic. He exhaled and steam blossomed from his mouth. It was official- summer was over. Fall was here and winter was snapping at its heels like a white wolf. Jonas hated the winter.
It wasn't freshly dead. It was long gone, forgotten. Only bones. The thrill and life of summer in the past. Buried in the snow. Jonas hated it. It was dark and cold and he didn't want to leave the house. It was a waste of time. And money. But most of the time his hatred of the cold got the best of his greed.
He kept walking. It had to have been long enough by now. How long could it take? Jonas pulled back his sleeve and looked at his watch. It had been twenty minutes. It felt like a lot longer. Probably because the cold. He scanned the brush as he walked.
There was the crunch of leaves. Jonas' eyes flicked to something in the edge of his vision. A blur of fur. He froze. Then he got a better look at it. A rabbit bounced into the moonlight. He stared at it. It stared back with wide, fearful eyes.
Jonas stood and breathed. He thought about how the rabbit might taste ground up and rolled into meatballs. Probably delicious. Then he thought about it longer and reconsidered. The rabbit was small and lean. The meat was probably rough and rubbery. And then the fear would probably taint the meat even further. Fear always tainted the meat.
The wind rustled through the leaves. The sound spooked the rabbit and it darted off in a panic. Jonas continued down the path. He looked at his watch again. Twenty-five minutes had now gone by.
The sound of voices echoed through the dark. They were indistinct and half-mumbled, carried on the wind. Jonas wasn't even sure if they were real. But it was probably a sign that he was going in the right direction.
He took a turn past a ruined stump and climbed a small hill. At the top, he had a good view of the area below. Among the trees, Jonas saw two shadows at work. Their voices were loud, but the words were indistinct. They hefted shovels and worked on a hole. Jonas started down the hill, moving quietly but quickly.
In the moonlight streaming through the trees, Jonas saw the pile of dirt at the foot of their hole. Next to it was the body wrapped in the rug.
“You two still aren't finished yet?”