The Maw

A fantasy flash fiction by Zachariah Wahrer

I found myself alone, which is something I must never do.
The view from here is enough to drive someone mad, or so I’m told.
They keep me from looking, shepherding my eyes away from what lies beyond my balcony.
I can wait, must wait. They will return and I’ll be secure once again.
Did I hear something Outside? That cannot be.
I almost turn to look, but no, I must not. My vows deny my most inner need.
The draw, the compulsion. Surely one little look couldn’t hurt me.
Just a quick peek and then I will know what lies down there, Outside.
“NO!” I scream, turning my back on the balcony.
One little look, my mind reasons, what could it hurt?
They said it is something I must never do, but really, what could be the harm?
I turn my head, and my eyes focus on the railing.
I take a hesitant step forward, my muscles tensing in anticipation.
As I shuffle forward, I’m nearly close enough to see what lies below.
They might return at any moment, be quick about it.
I lunge forward. The Maw greets me.

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