Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the sixty-eighth piece in this series. This week’s is a 466-word second person viewpoint story by Bethany Rycek aka Rika Natsume. This story will be podcasted in episode 24 (with two other stories) on Sunday 5th May.
Beyond the Horizon
Across the sky, you see a beauty transfixing. Nothing too amazing, yet backed by the purple skies and the distant lightning, it seems to you a wondrous spectacle. This area around you, complete with barren wasteland, seems almost not to match what your eyes confirm they see. What lies before you is a stretch of silver, a glint of gold. The empty breeze sways the flimsy gauze before your eyes. A musky aroma scents the atmosphere, drawing you in to the texture it present, a touch of silk. You feel a soft breath of wisps, lighter than anything you’ve ever known, brush your elbow in a sublime manner.
As you take a moment to inhale this sensation, the wind whips past you in a swirling frenzy. You look up suddenly to find that what you stare so openly at is now gazing back at you. Struck by this sudden shock, you turn away, not from embarrassment, you swear, but because it was unexpected. He laughs, amused by your plight. For a second, a melancholy sigh runs through you. Yet, never does it pass your lips, for you realize that he doesn’t mean the hurtful sound, that he only wishes to protect his reputation. He’s always doing this, covering for his kind heart with cold eyes and sadistic humor.
But you don’t care about that. All that matters is that he is standing right there, so why cower? You turn back, prepared to face him, but he is gone. Off in the distance, as you watch the tail whip around him, you catch on wind, “Come on! What are you standing there for?” You can hear the toothy grin in every syllable. You smirk, knowing he is right, once again. You both have things to do, people to find, priceless items to pore over and praise. Many a pressing issue is at hand. For a moment, time was standing still. For those few glorious second, the world could wait. But now, it is back to the life you lead, the life you know, the life that, all things considered, you love.
So, you run off to join him. Neither of you know where the other is going, but, inevitably, it will lead to the same place, for you each follow the other’s guideless paths. You follow the lightning that strikes without rain, piercing the sky miles ahead of you. You seek to find more objects of admiration, but know, wholeheartedly, that the most gorgeous, supreme of all of them, will be the one you gazed at only moments ago. You continue running to that unknown destination that has but one fixed point. It is always just past the tangible, barely out of reach; always it will be just outside the bounds of possibility, just beyond the horizon.
I asked Bethany what prompted this piece and she said…
I actually wrote this as part of a high school assignment. I’m uncertain if the guidelines were to use the second person or if it was just a description assignment, but I chose to use my fandom of the time (an anime called Yu Yu Hakusho) as inspiration. It was meant as a bit of a fluffy and partially romantic one-off. I didn’t realize until later that there were two possible narrators, depending on who you preferred from the show. Subsequently, there were two different time periods in the story arc, as well, so it’s a bit more thought provoking than I’d truly intended it to be. Regardless, of the two stories I’ve ever posted online, this one strikes me as more sophisticated and far stronger than the other.
We were talking about second-person viewpoint (my favourite) and I invited you to send me a story. I’m so glad you did. Thank you, Bethany.
Bethany Rycek was born in Pusan, South Korea and adopted into a wonderful home at a young age. She has since traversed the world, from Boston to Hong Kong, Singapore to the Philippines, New Jersey to Philadelphia. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature and currently tutors Japanese. Ms. Rycek is pursuing a career in voice acting and is currently represented by TAG Talent. She loves penguins and singing. Her voice demos can be found at http://www.voices.com/demos/NatsumeRika.
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