Don’t blink | A flash fiction story
There were many ways to die in Anchora — most of them involved being shot by an Atlanta Inc. gun — but Maya had never considered being offered as tribute to a carnivorous plant a possibility.
So this is how the jungle folk deal with thieves, she thought as the guard who threw her in the cell walked away. In the neighboring cell, a gigantic, muscular man was sitting in a lotus pose. He looked peaceful, arms covered in colorful tattoos. Weirdo.
The cell she was in was just a large opening in the side of one of the giant trees. A spacious mouth with vine-covered metal bars for teeth. Wood had grown around and engulfed both ends of the metal bars ages ago. The walls and the ceiling were covered by a goo-secreting, moss-like surface, and the floor was covered in remains of… she didn't want to guess.
"Hey," she called to her cellmate, "big fella." No response.
A drop of goo hit her forehead and she cleaned it with the back of her hand. She inspected the substance and watched it slowly infiltrate into her dark skin. “What the…?”
A subtle numbness spread through her arm and she started getting drowsy.
"Hey," she tried again, shaking her arm in an attempt to bring it back to life.
The man in the other cell was sitting still, only his chest moving slightly, up and down. She blinked and he hid for a moment behind her eyelids, a full second of total darkness.
"What's your name?" she asked drunkenly.
Each time she blinked was a longer period of darkness until the world was painted a perpetual shade of black.
An eternity later she was slapped out of her slumber. Her face stung and she shook her head a million times. The neighboring cell was empty and its door was open, the guard who had thrown her into the cell in a past life lying in front of it.
Towering in front of her was the tattooed giant, one hand holding a thick branch on his side, the other one extended to her.
"Jax," he said.
"My name is Jax."