Literary Corner Flash Fiction: No Trespassing

Keep Out - No Trespassing Sign

“Come on, Amber,” Charlie said. “The sign is barely there. If they really wanted to scare us off, they’d have put up an electric fence or razor wire or something.”

Amber peered into the brushy undergrowth, but the trees obscured her view. There was a track that led off into the gloom, like Charlie had said, but who knew where it ended.

“Why do you want to go in there? It’s just a bunch of tangled plants. And ticks. There’s probably loads of ticks.”

Charlie shrugged, a mischievous smirk on his freckled face. “Because we’re technically not supposed to. Makes it interesting, and I’m bored of tagging the water tower.”

Amber had zero interest in wandering through some reclusive hoarder’s backyard, getting shot, or worse, tetanus. But Charlie was the cutest boy in tenth grade, and it was pretty satisfying watching Scarlett scowl every time Amber sat with him at lunch. So Amber hopped over the chain linking the two posts on either side of the track. The NO TRESPASSING sign hanging from the it barely twitched at their passing.

Five minutes in, though, the track disappeared under a blackberry bush. Amber drew a firm line when it came to thorns.

“Aw, man,” Charlie said. Then he suddenly crumpled to the ground at Amber’s feet.

Amber leapt straight back into the blackberry bush, thorns and all, when she saw the man in a white linen suit standing just behind where Charlie had been, holding a golden staff with strange lettering engraved on it now speckled with Charlie’s blood. She had no chance to scream before something crashed into her own head and she fell to the ground next to Charlie.

Before darkness claimed her completely, she heard her attacker say: “See? I told you the sign would work.”

Mary Elizabeth Summer is the author of the young-adult Trust Me mystery series. She lives in Beaverton with her wife, their daughter, their dog, and their evil overlor—er, cats.