Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting back into writing Flash Fiction stories. When I first began Authoring Arrowheads last year, the Flash Fiction Friday posts were some of the most popular ones; however, I soon ran out of ideas and wanted to work on finishing Speak Your Mind instead of dedicating time each week to write more short stories. Now that Speak Your Mind has been sent to my editor and beta readers, I’m taking some time to explore some new flash fiction ideas, such as today’s crazy tale: The Carolina Golden Neuse!
**A Quick Background on This Story**
The Carolina Golden Neuse is loosely based on a true story that happened in my family about 5 to 7 years ago. The characters in this story are not based on the real family members this happened to (though I’ll admit I was involved in the original story XD ) The legend mentioned in this story is fictitious as well. I named the “beast” after the Neuse river that runs in eastern North Carolina.
The Carolina Golden Neuse
The tale of the Carolina Golden Neuse began as innocently as any other Saturday morning. My younger sister, Auden, and I were diving into a pile of leaves, while Grandma Adeline had ventured over to the field to inspect how her sweet potatoes were coming along. A shocked, “girls, come here!” and we were at her side.
“What is it, Grandma?” Auden drawled, her southern accent strong for her seven years.
“Don’t y’all see that bird out yonder?” Grandma whispered, pointing across the field at a large, golden figure shuffling towards the woods.
“Ain’t that a turkey?” I asked, squinting to get a better look.
“No,” Grandma dismissed, her features etched with fear. “I heard the legend when I was a youngin. That right there is a Carolina Golden Neuse. They’re extremely rare, and prone to attack. Legend has it, they sneak into farms and kill every animal in sight… and the farmers.”
I eyed my grandma, skepticism brewing. She’d always had an overactive imagination. Just weeks before, she’d sworn she’d seen tiny red Martians dancing in her front yard, when all along it was a flock of Cardinals.
“Well, if it’s rare, we need to get a picture then,” Auden chimed in, as a gust of wind picked up. The creature bolted toward the woods, stirring up dust in its trail.
Grandma clutched her heart. “Absolutely not. Girls, go inside and get your brother to come run this thing off. My insurance ain’t gonna cover ‘mauled by psycho bird’!”
Silencing our rebuttals, Grandma ushered us back into her house, meeting our older brother, Rider, in the kitchen. Decked out in camouflage from head-to-toe, Rider had come in from turkey hunting earlier that morning.
“Rider go out there are shoo off that beast,” Grandma demanded, shoving her worn broom in his hand.
Rider stood warily from his chair, startled by her tone. Before exiting the house, Auden grabbed Grandma’s disposable camera from her overflowing bookshelf, whispering to Rider, “Get some good shots. I bet they’ll be worth a bazillion dollars.” Rider shook his head as he hopped down the back steps, muttering under his breath.
Watching from the window, Grandma’s breath hitched as Rider began his trek across the field. About fifty paces from the bird, Rider pulled out the camera and snapped some photos for Auden, as well as some of the field.
“Tracks! It left tracks! We’re gonna be rich!” Auden cackled, answered with an angry “Shhh!” from Grandma.
As Rider approached the bird, it soon took notice and charged in his direction. Holding the broom in a swinging position, he struck the bird as it drew near.
“Oh mercy, I can’t look!” Grandma shrieked, covering her eyes. “My poor grandson!”
I stepped in front of her to get a better look. Rider was in no peril at all. In fact, he was dragging the creature by the foot back to the house, a triumphant beam on his face.
“Ugh, he killed it!” Auden pouted, turning from the window. “Now everyone will hate us.”
“I’m calling Channel 8 News!” Grandma hauled off to locate the phonebook. “All of Linwood County should know the terrible Carolina Golden Neuse has been slain!”
The wind surged as Rider peeled open the back screen door, the creature in hand. Tossing it on the floor, he burst out laughing as he walked to the living room. “Here’s your beast, Grandma!”
Inching closer, I stared at the remains of the Carolina Golden Neuse. Its golden feathers appeared more metallic up close. Hesitantly, I reached out to poke the bird, and its skin deflated beneath my touch. Holding it out at arm’s length, I facepalmed myself.
“A golden unicorn balloon? Grandma, hang up now!”
With a quick click of the receiver, Grandma paced back into the kitchen, arms folded across her chest. “No one needs to know about this. Y’all hear me?”
“Too late!” Rider snorted from the recliner, flipping channels on the television. “You’ve already booked an exclusive on Channel 8.”
© 2018, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.
I can already picture the amount of people thinking my family’s insane. XD Ah, well. I did it for the blog! 😛
If you liked this flash fiction story, feel free to browse through the archives and read over some blasts from the past! For longer works, my debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl is available for free on Kindle Unlimited and through KOLL, and available for purchase for only $0.99 on Kindle. 😉