The Gate – microfiction challenge #5 for Jane Dougherty.




As Stella opened the modest gate, the scent of smoke hit her. She was looking for Rex Brandenburg – she had his photo in her top pocket, along with the tarot card his grandmother had given her. She’d been told he’d definitely be here. This was his crowd, and this was the biggest party of the year.

Down by the lake she spotted a folly built to look like a temple. It was ablaze with candlelight and she could see a group of slim figures moving backwards and forwards, silhouettes against the light.

Stella’s irritation with the bright young things around her was growing. Identical twin brothers were handing out pale yellow pills, champagne was sloshing into glasses, and a couple were tangoing on the terrace. The party was hotting up.

She pushed through the crowd, trying to make her way towards the folly. Call it intuition, call it a sixth sense – she called it her inner cop – whatever you call it, it was telling her that something important was happening down there.

She was still a couple of hundred yards away when the explosion happened. A pillar of green fire shot 60 feet into the air, in deathly silence.


This is a microfiction for Jane Dougherty’s challenge. Like Stella, I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m hoping that together we will be able to make some sense of these strange events, eventually.