A micro fiction horror story of exactly 206 words — the number of bones in the human body. Originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of The Sirens Call eZine.
The creature lay dozens of feet in front of her, gnawing through a pile of bones. The way out of the cave was behind it.
Patrice knew spelunking a new cave solo was risky, but how could she have expected this? Her muscles ached from swimming and climbing; sprinting past the beast would be impossible.
The sound echoed off the walls and started to turn her stomach.
Maybe she could distract it? Still lying flat on her belly, she searched around in the dimness, not daring to flick her head lamp back on for fear the thing would notice her. After a moment she spotted a pile of hand-sized rocks nearby. Pulling herself into a crouch, she hefted one and prepared to throw it.
Taking a deep breath, Patrice hurled the rock as far as she could away from the mouth of the cave.
A massive head raised up, then the strange, stocky body leapt to its feet chasing after the noise.
She had no idea what it was, but she didn’t want to hang around to find out. Bursting from the crouch, she ran as fast as she could.
Almost out, she was steps away from safety…