And in the darkness bind them (2)

Continued from yesterday.

Rick removed the ring from the crumbled debris of his meteorite. It was highly polished and contained multi-colored metallic flecks. He brushed the remaining fragments of meteorite rock away, and rubbed the ring clean with his fingertips. It appeared to be the perfect size for his ring finger.

Without really stopping to think, Rick put the ring on.

And jumped back in surprise. His hand turned black. Jet, pitch, ink—the complete and utter absence of color. His other arm, his legs, his stomach, his whole body was now as dark as the deepest shadow, just a hole punched out of the corn and dirt and color of the world around him. Now that’s just eerie-looking as hell, Rick thought, and his heartbeat skyrocketed.

He turned his hand over, he could feel the muscles moving it, but he wasn’t getting any visual cues. No sunlight on the top or shadow beneath, no color at all. A hole shaped like a hand. Light behind it, cornfield and dirt and sunshine, normal.

Curious, Rick glanced down. He wasn’t casting a shadow. Light seemed to strike him and just disappear. Heat—no, he couldn’t feel any heat from the sun, but he didn’t feel cold either. Temperature neutral? What do they called that, thermal equilibrium? Is that even possible?

He touched his hands together, and that still felt normal. No pain, no discomfort. And he felt—yep, he slipped off the ring.

And jumped again, dropping the ring in the dirt. Color just turned back on, *snap*, and his hands were back to normal. He stooped and picked the ring back up, his hand shaking.

Whatever this thing is

“Think it landed over there.” A voice, shouting from over in the corn field, maybe a hundred yards away.

Osterman. Without a doubt, the Frankenstein Brigade was headed this way.

Rick slipped the ring into his pants pocket and slipped deeper into the standing corn. Time to exit stage right before the Jocks found his meteor site. Once he felt far enough away, he turned in the direction of the corn rows and began running.

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We’re knocking on a thousand words, and there’s so much still to explore. I’ve reached the conclusion that this tale can’t be told without at least a novelette. YA novel, probably; they tend to fall in the gap between long-form short stories and short novels.

So it’s inappropriate for Flush the Fiction. Going to just back-burner this project (for now).

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