Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

photo-20170717154624399

Forty days Muirdain had walked the path of All-Mother Macca through the wilderness. Her fair skin was burnt crimson and her hair was a fiery tangle of curls and thorns. Her scabbard hung empty by her side.

By the foot of a green hill, where stone steps carried on the ancient path, she met a woman, clothed in rags, her eyes milk-white and her teeth rot-brown. The woman called to her.

“Pilgrim, have you water for an old woman?”

Muirdain stepped past her.

“Spare a moment.”

Muirdain kept climbing.

“What brings you to this road?”

“Penance,” Muirdain replied. “The Queen asked that I walk the All-Mother’s path. Only then may I earn my sword again.”

“Then stop and spare me some water.”

Muirdain didn’t look back.

The All-Mother sighed. Three times she had tested the knight and three times Muirdain had failed.

She did not give fourth chances.


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and J.S. Brand for providing the prompt photo!

tunnel

Saphire-blue waves kissed the green-tinged stone of the cliff. An opening loomed in the rocks, a gaping jaw that led only into grim labyrinths.

Velloa felt the weight of the shadows and the moistness of the air. Her boat was naught more than a battered hull with a split mast and ragged sail. Across the North Sea she had sailed to reach this lonely isle. There would be no turning back.

Raising her hood over dark locks and sun-browned skin, Velloa stepped into the the cave. In shifting shadow she saw swift shapes, black as night, small as children. They were the dream-keepers, the name-knowers, the metal-shapers.

At labyrinth’s end, they kept her prize.

Velloa walked the narrow paths, tunnels branching and writhing like the roots of an old oak. Whispers echoed around her, promising her secrets if only she would follow them, but Velloa kept to the true path her grandmother taught her.

Keep to the dark

Follow the silence

Love not daylight

Trust not whispers

In darkness dwell the dwarren

And their ancient book

At last, she burst upon the inner chamber. Among looming statues stood an altar.

And upon it, a leather-bound book.

The Rune-lore. 


Word Count: 198

This is for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Week #28.

janet-webb-french-still-life

Deep in the dark, dwarfs fashioned gifts for a mighty king: a candle that burnt with a light only the holder could see and a jar that held the wind.

The gifts were put in the king’s daughter’s room to gather dust.

His daughter grew. So did his enemies.

There came a day when the gates were torn asunder and the halls were red with blood and fire. Fearful, the daughter leapt to the window and opened the jar.

The wind lifted her to safety.

She ran through the night, guided by a light no other eyes could see.


Word Count: 99

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Janet Webb for providing the prompt photo!

photo-20170710154707376

He stood on the edge and breathed. His eyes closed, he felt the wind against his cheeks, the cement under his feet, and the emptiness in front of him, pulling at him like an eager lover.

He heard the screeches of tiers, the laughter of children, and the honk of horns. The city throbbed around, a living, pulsing organism.

Whispers and shouts rose up from below. People were watching him.

They were waiting for him to fall.

His heard pounded in his chest. It had to be now, before someone came up to stop him. Before he lost his courage.

A thought rushed through his mind – Flying is just throwing yourself at the ground and missing. He smiled.

And stepped out into nothing.

He felt the wind against his cheeks, the air under his feet, and the emptiness around him.

He opened his eyes and laughed.

He was flying.


Word Count: 149

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Grant-Sud for providing the prompt photo!

205-07-july-9th-2017

The White Horse was a pub like any other, full of good ale, better people, and the roar of laughter. The fire in the hearth burnt like a sunset behind mountains of black charcoal and the dartboard was peppered with the stab marks of near-perfect games. Old friends talked long into the hours of the night, unwilling to leave.

Once you left The White Horse, you never came back.

The White Horse sat at the world’s end, beyond the horizon, perched above an expanse of twilight and mist, where echoes of distant songs carried from unseen valleys. It was where heroes came when their stories were done, a place to rest, to laugh, to tell their stories, before the time came to move on.

Some of them stayed an hour. Some stayed for decades, greeting future generations as they walked through the door to tell of their changed world.

All moved on in the end. Their hunger sated, their hearts rested, they set out along the last road and walked into the swirling curtain.

All save one.

An old man sat behind the bar, pouring drinks and hearing stories.

He remembered them all.


Word Count: 193

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to A Mixed Bag for the photo prompt!

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Every child knows the story of the Black Dragon, whose body was as a mile-long serpent, whose wings were as sun-blocking clouds, whose fire laid waste to the lands. This is the dragon that people think of, the shadow that still hangs over their dreams a thousand years after his fall.

But there is another story of a dragon that they tell in the valleys of Canderas, where the grass rolls like ocean waves beneath the blue skies.

Fair Elowen was a farmer’s daughter, her hair like copper, her skin like milk, her freckles constellations. Long hours she danced in the valleys.

One day, she found the bones of a cow, still dangling with red meat and fresh-hatched from the carnage, a writhing, winged dragon.

It snarled, but Elowen feared it not. She sung the hymn of Mother Macca and the fire fled from the dragon’s eyes. Its horned head nestled against her knee.

So Elowen raised her dragon amidst fields and flowers, till it grew long as a river and she old as a willow tree.

They say it guards the valleys still, a winding shape in the dark, still loyal to its long-dead mistress’s love.


Word Count: 197

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction! Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.

10-eric-wicklund-25-june-2017

She floats like a feather on the breeze. The bite of her arrows is the scorpion’s sting. Her laugh is birdsong.

All the land tells tales of her, the wild outlaw in the forest, roaming the branches with a bow of yew and a tigress’s smile.

They talk of the Sparrow.

Everyone has their own story.

A butcher tells how a friend wandering in the woods was suddenly beset by Sparrow’s strung bow. She demanded of him his purse, his boots, his clothes, and his horse. Laughing she left him, frozen and half-naked in the forests, flitting into the branches like a fay of song.

A farmer tells how a tax collector was strung up from a branch, her mouth stuffed with an apple like a hog laid upon a lord’s table. For two days and a night she hung there, till she was cut down by a passing woodsman. She swore never to take an honest farmer’s coin again.

But there is a story nobody tells of Sparrow.

Each night she lies in the shadow of the trees and weeps for her loneliness, her cries soft amidst the rustling leaves.

There are none to hear her save the beasts.


Word Count: 200

For Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Eric Wicklund for the photo prompt!