Continuing on this new idea of mine, here’s another entry from Cracked Flash Fiction Competition. This one is from 28 May and deals with the Dullahan. The prompt was: ‘Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill.’ The Dullahan immediately came to mind after a tweet I’d read on #FolkloreThursday not too long before this prompt came my way. I’d been doing research on the fierce Faery creature and one thing led to another…
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
‘Don’t feel bad. I’m pretty hard to kill.’
I couldn’t believe it. After I’d thrown everything I had at him, the jerk was still laughing. And alive.
The black steed with fiery eyes snorted impatiently.
‘It’s alright, Crom, the lassie’s a fighter.’ He sounded almost happy about it.
The horrifying, idiotic grin splitting his decapitated head on the saddle-brow sent chills through my body. Something cold and thick dripped from my arm. Blood. Some of the basin’s contents must’ve spilled on me when he threw it at Ian. My throat clenched. I didn’t dare look if he was still alive.
‘You still don’t know who I am, do you?’ the headless creature asked.
I didn’t answer. Ian was the one who knew everything about everything. I was still a novice.
He used the human spine as a whip, making me fall backward on the ground to stay out of its reach.
He laughed evilly. ‘I am a Dullahan. The herald of Death. You cannot stop me, lassie. He will be mine.’
My fingers clawed into the ground. I refused to look at Ian. Fear threatened to incapacitate me.
Then I felt it. Warmth. Something was calling to me from the ground. I had no idea what it was, but I used all of my last strength to pull it forth.
Light filled the dark grove. Gold flecks surrounded the black robed Dullahan, his phosphorescent head and the black steed. The creature cried out in pain. It took all of my magic to keep the gold around them; pushing it into them.
‘Argh!’ he cried and mounted his horse.
They thundered away over the deserted country lanes.
Ian groaned when I touched his shoulder. We’re alive. We survived the call of the Dullahan.
Though this story neither placed nor won, I still like it. What do you think? Is there anything you’d change or add?
“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius.