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The Bell Rang Its Own Doom – Horror Flash Fiction

February 24, 2016

“The Bell Rang its own Doom”
Prompt suggestion from Michael @ Morpethroad


The Bell Rang Its Own Doom

In this sleepy coastal Italian village, the inhabitants marked their days with the ringing of the village bell. Once at noon and again at midnight. People set their clocks by it. Not once in a hundred and fifty years had it failed them.

The bell was proud of its job, but it also remembered. A seer had arrived in the village in the bell’s infancy. A prophesy was given and then long forgotten. It’s words had been carved upon the bell, rendering it forever the Keeper of Doom.

The bell knew the time had come. It didn’t want this job. It didn’t want to frighten the villagers. At 1:55 pm, it steadied itself. Mournfully contemplated what was about to happen. If only it had more time, but what could a bell do? No one had visited it in a century. No one remembered the words etched upon it. Everyone had gone about their daily lives, never suspecting their lives to end.

At 1:59 pm, the bell wept. Rusty water dripped from it’s dome. It gazed longingly out at the villagers going busily about the market. A child played hopscotch on a sidewalk below.

At 2:00 pm, the bell rang its doom. Loud and deep. Bong. Bong. Bong. For a whole minute it rang out. Bong. Bong. Bong.

The earth began to shake and rumble. Great plumes of smoke poured into the air. Followed by a loud explosion.

The villagers held their ears as they ran from the market. The child stood frozen as he looked up from his game to the bell tower, then gazed off into the distance at the volcanic mountain that loomed large above the village. Women screamed. Children cried. Men rushed to their boats to make them ready. Villagers flocked to the shore. Lava flowed down the mountain to the village below. Though they tried to escape, there was no use. The ash covered their bodies. They couldn’t breathe. They collapsed onto the sand and met their fiery fate.

The bell watched it all. Wept. And then finally succumbed to its own tragic end.

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(351 words)

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