Welcome Home, Sister. Welcome Home.

Sunshine’s wings fluttered, then beat furiously, as she hovered in the sky. It had been two years since Sunshine left the lake in the Northern Forest. Two years since her sister Fauna died in the war with the invaders from space. Two years filled with storms, lightning, thunder, floods, howling winds, and the destruction they cause.

The surface of the lake was mirror smooth, the trees around its edges and the wispy white clouds in the sky reflected off its surface. She slowly flew over the lake, her reflection painted on its surface. “Should I be here?”

She floated from the sky to the center of the lake, where she hovered, and wondered, “Will my sisters welcome me home after the things I’ve done?”

As the sun slowly approached the horizon, her reflection stretch across the surface of the lake, toward the shore. She followed it. She remembered each village, each town, she’d destroyed. “I’ve done so many things.”

Her toes felt the grass beside the lake. There was no thud pause on landing, only a graceful move from flying to walking. Her wings still open, she walked along the edge of the lake. Her home remained as she’d left it, a small house in the trees. The trees made it for her, their branches had moved together, grew her home.

She stopped beside the stone memorial for Fauna. It looked so like her. Her smile, the way her wings looked when she was ready to escape the ground. The gentle softness of her fingers. “I miss you, sister.”

A hand touched Sunshine’s shoulder. She recognized it, knew it was kind and caring. The hand of her sister, Rose. “Welcome home, sister.” Rose embraced Sunshine.

Sunshine cried.

As she did, the sun set, and a soft, summer shower fell, it’s drops laced with the orange and gold colors of the sunset. As Rose held Sunshine, a runner of roses grew from the ground, up the leg of Fauna’s statue. It crossed Fauna’s hip, then her side, where it wrapped around her shoulder and grew down her arm to her hand. Every few inches a pink and silver rosebud bloomed. The last bud bloomed in Fauna’s hand.

The soft rain stopped when Sunshine dried her tears. She looked once more at Fauna’s statue beside the lake, and she smiled. “Thank you, Rose. Thank you.”

“Welcome home, sister. Welcome home.”

398 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the fairy tale I’ve written for Anna Meade‘s Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream Writing Contest. Please, go read the other fairy tales, dreams, and myths in the contest. They are located here.

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#MidweekMusings 1×05 : Fire

Flora paid for the drinks, then left the bar. She spoke with the grass, dirt, flowers, trees. “Where has Pahana gone?” A trail of white only Flora could see formed along the ground. She followed it.

Pahana stood before the remains of his house. Fauna felt the heartbreak in his veins, the aching of his heart, the tears of his soul. “Pahana?”

He turned as he wiped away his tears. “Flora?”

Flora’s fingers touched his cheek, his tears. “Show me where they rest, please.”

Pahana led Flora to a mass gravesite at the edge of town. A dozen fresh graves were there, unmarked. He stopped before three of the graves. “My daughter. My son. My wife.” He slowly sank to his knees. He didn’t cry. Flora knew he’d run out of tears in that place. All he could do was kneel before the graves, and pray someday he could feel anything other than empty.

She placed a hand on his shoulder, “Thank you.” She spoke with the ground, the grass, the trees, the flowers. Pahana watched as green grass sprouted around the graves. At the head of each, a rose-bush grew. Deep red for his wife, peach for his daughter, yellow for his son.

Pahana stood. “Thank you.”

Flora smiled, touched his cheek once more. “Tell me, my friend, are there still angels here?”

He nodded.

“Tell me where they are.”

He took her hand, and guided her through the town, to the home of the mayor. “They took over everything.”

She smiled, touched his cheek once more, “Go someplace safe. Tell everyone you can to hide someplace safe.”

“What are you going to do?”

Flora said nothing. Pahana looked at her, into her eyes. He saw fire. Burning, white-hot fire.

“Be safe, Flora. Please.” Pahana left, running from house to house, telling people the fairy Flora was here to save them from the angels. “Get somewhere safe!”

Flora called on the wild magic. She knew it was the machines of her world, of Cylinders. The ubiquitous machines flowing in the blood of everyone, in the air, the water, the trees. She still called it the wild magic. She couldn’t begin to understand the machines, their sciences, their technology. But she could understand wild magic. Especially her wild magic.

Vines grew, came alive, gathered around her. A vine crossed the ground to the door of the house. It grew between the door, and frame, unlocked the door. The door swung open, silently. Flora entered the house, the vines surrounded her, protected her.

She moved room to room, searching for the angels. They’d gathered the beds of the house, the chairs, the tables, in one room. They slept there, draped across everything. They had no guards. They were angels. No one would attack them.

Flora spoke to the wild magic. The vines spread rapidly through the room, twisting around each angel, binding hands, feet and wings. No angle was free. The vines trapped them all. She spoke to the wild magic again.

The vines erupted in flames.

The angels burned.

Flora watched them die. “For Pahana. For his family.” She walked among the dead angels. “For my sister.”

She walked from the home, still surrounded by vines. Outside, the vines spread until the house was no longer visible. She heard the sound of wooden beams splintering. The vines crushed the house, consumed it, turned it, and everything in it, back to dirt.

The fire in her eyes never wavered, never faded. “The angels want a war.” She spread her wings, “Then they shall have a war.” Her wings tore into the air as she took flight. She used the wild magic to guide her as she headed toward her mother’s side.

It was time to stop the angels.

Time to stop the madness.

“There must be no more families like Pahana’s.”

639 words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×05 of #MidweekMusings, another flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#FlashMobWrites 1×12 : Breathe You In My Dreams

Merlin flexed his wings as he soared through the black sky, a black dragon on a black sky. He knew he was nearly invisible. Beneath him was the Kingdom of the Fairies, ruled by Queen Eyela, and King Stephan.

The kingdom was under siege, surrounded by Angels. Angels bent on destroying wild magic. Bent on destroying the fairies, and their magic, the dragons, and their magic. Bent on ridding the world of magic. Magic that brought wars, and death.

The fairies, though skilled fliers, and well-trained warriors, were no physical match for the Angels. The Angels were faster and stronger. They could fly higher, turn tighter. Angels were masters of the skies. And masters of war.

Merlin knew something the Angels didn’t. The magic didn’t exist. It was technology, a gift from the children of the human race. The intelligent machines.

Merlin was a dragon. Genetically, he was a modified human, created by the machines. He could use the machines, they did his bidding. On his world, the world named Cylinders, the machines were everywhere. In the air, the dirt, the water, the food. They flowed in his blood.

He waited for the darkest part of night. When the moon sank beneath the horizon, and only the stars were left. When that time came, he would deal with the Angels.

“Are you ready, machines?”

“We have always been ready.”

He almost laughed. “I breathe you in. I breathe you out. I imagine what I want. And you give it to me.”

“You know how the technology works. You know how we work.

“And yet, you do nothing to stop the Angels.” Merlin knew the machines would not interfere. They would only act when he, and others with magic wished them to act. They would on do what those with magic wished them to do.

And the magic wasn’t really magic. It was communication with the machines. The ability to talk directly to them, in their language. “You know what I will do when the time comes.”

“Yes.”

When it was time, Merlin tucked his wings close to his body. He plunged from the sky, sword like claws fully extended. He sliced into the Angels outside the kingdom’s walls. He placed himself between the angels and the walls, then called on the machines. He hovered in the air. As he pushed his wings forward, toward the angels, the machines did as he asked. His wings spawned the wind. The wind grew into a storm. It howled. It blew everything in its path away.

The Angels were helpless before the storm, blown to the ground, blown into the trees, into the sky. Their wings broken, shattered, useless in the wind.

Merlin settled to the ground. He screamed, the wound of metal sheets being torn in half. He knew Mystica heard. He knew, soon the war with the Angels would be over. And he wondered if any of the Angels would survive.

490 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×12, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×12. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

Thankful For Another Day

Scream soared through the air, high above the desert. Below him was the realm of the Angels. He’d been riding the air currents for two days. The machines provided water and food. He could fly for weeks if needed.

“Please let Merlin and Mystica find a way to end this.”

Scream watched the stone streets and houses. Angel children played in courtyards, flexing their wings, learning to fly. Their mothers watched them, making certain the children didn’t hurt each other. Angels flew between buildings, carrying bread, fruits and food. Everything was normal in their town.

“It would be a shame to destroy this.”

Miss Hooters, a half Angel, floated next to him. “I tried to stop them.”

“I know.”

“They would not listen to me.”

“They are Angels. They listen to no one.”

Scream was glad for her company. Being half Angel, she could sail the air currents for days on end, with no food, no water. There was no way to know her age. He knew she was ancient, far older than she looked, far older than Mystica. “How old are you, Angel?”

Miss Hooters laughed. Scream could see her shape, her curves, the work of art she was, would be difficult for humans, fairies, and possibly other Angels to resist. “Old enough to know not to speak of age.”

He laughed too. She watched him, and he wondered if she’d try to stop him from destroying the Angels home. “You were born here?”

“Yes.” She smiled. “A half-breed.” She floated in the air currents, motionless, the feathers of her wings captured the air and held it long enough to keep her airborn. “My mother lives there.”

“Why did the Angels start this war?”

“They didn’t tell me. I’m not a true Angel, remember?”

“True. You speak with the machines, unlike the other Angels.”

She looked at the town below them, “I hope Mystica and Merlin can work more magic with the machines, and stop this.”

“As do I.” Scream didn’t want to hurt the Angels, especially their children. “War always hurts the innocent. Never the guilty.”

The two of them waited, high above the ground, for Mystica to appear. She would bring the news of the war’s end, or its escalation. He glanced at Miss Hooters. “You will warn them I am coming?”

“Of course.”

“They will leave?”

“We can only hope.” She sighed, “They may not listen to me.”

They watched the sun set on the horizon, both thankful Mystica had not come bearing bad news. Both thankful for another night of peace beneath the stars. Scream wondered how long a dragon could go without sleep. He’d asked Miss Hooters, but all she’d said was, “Long enough.” He knew she could do without sleep for weeks. It had been days already, and she didn’t look tired at all.

“Thank you, Miss Hooters, for keeping me company.”

She flicked her wings and moved beside his head. She put a hand on his rock-like hide, “Thank you, my friend, for working with me to save the children.”

Scream looked to the sky, to the stars. He screamed as he had each night. A warning to the Angels in their town. So they would know to listen to Miss Hooters if the time ever came. And he wondered if humans, no matter their form, would always go to war with themselves.

And the two of them soared on the air currents, high in the sky and waited to see what dawn would bring.


It’s April 23nd, the 19th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 19th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter T. Tomorrow brings the letter U. I wonder what I’ll write for that.

 

#FTT 31 : Fingers Trembling

Fingers trembling, he slowly unrolled the ancient document. His mother, Oceana, sealed the note centuries before he’d been born. He’d always known about it. “I’ll leave you a note one day. On that day, you will open this.”

When he woke that morning, the castle was in an uproar. Oceana was gone. “All she left was a note on her pillow, addressed to you!” He recognized her handwriting, signature, and seal on the note. “I’m leaving to find myself. You are king now. Please, don’t follow me. It’s time to read the note.”

Sword closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “Breathe in. Breathe out. Recognize your fears. Step past them.” He felt the tremors in his fingers fade, and managed a smile. “Mother, you told me this day would come. May I not fail you.”

He read the note she’d written so long ago.

My dear son.

Someday, I will leave the kingdom, and return to my home, the sea, to find myself, and remember who I am.

You will become King that day. It will be a big responsibility, but you will be ready.

The people of the ocean will be ready too. They will need you to lead them, to guide them, to protect them, as they take their next step into the future. I cannot see what that future will bring. I only know you are the one to lead our people into it.

It will be your turn then, to write a note for your child. Daughter or son, I cannot tell. And explain to them the day you will leave. The day they will become the ruler of the ocean kingdom. The day they will lead our people as they take the next step in their journey into the future.

Your loving mother,
Oceana.

Sword knew what to do. He called the captain of the kingdom’s guard. “The queen has declared we are not to follow her, or look for her. She has declared I am now king.” He ordered no one search for his mother. “The kingdom guard will spread the word of Queen Oceana’s abdication.”

He ordered a week of mourning for the departure of his mother. Followed by a week of celebration of the future. “It was always her wish the people of the kingdom be happy.”

Then, he invited emissaries from the machines to the kingdom, so the people of the kingdom would learn of the machines.

Lastly, he ordered the kingdom be searched for any fairies with wild magic, with any found brought to the castle, where he would teach them of their wild magic, and how to use it responsibly, and for the good of the kingdom.

At the end of his first day as king, Sword visited the surface. He stretched his wings, soaring into the sky, where he watched the moon, and the stars. Change was coming. It was time for he asked Rose to become his queen.

492 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 31 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 7)

Dawn on the sixth day of Sword’s journey was absolutely beautiful. The sun slowly inched above the trees, turning the clouds and sky shades of pink, purple, and blue. Sword had slept well that night. The birds woke him up in time to see the sunrise. They could be very loud when they wanted to. Especially a screech-owl, standing next to your head. Sword’s ears were still ringing.He’d been angry at first, wondering why they would wake him so early. But as he watched the birds, he began to think they woke him for a reason. As if they knew there would be a beautiful sunrise. And they wanted him to see it. As if it was a gift. And the sunshine breaking through the darkness of the night, and bringing all the colors of the world to life once more was beautiful.

And he realized it was a gift. Sunshine. A beautiful day. This was a gift from the fairy child named Sunshine. Mystica’s first adopted daughter. She had the wild magic gift of weather. Sword smiled. Then he laughed. He felt great. His friends, Mystica and her daughters, were looking forward to his visit. And he was almost there.

Once the sun was up, Sword resumed his journey. Chasing the birds from tree to tree. It had become a game. Sword, chasing the birds, and the birds staying just out of reach. It was a marvelous way to pass the time on his journey. And in no time at all, Sword and his bird friends had covered miles. The birds were singing, and dancing. Sword was laughing, watching them dance. He’d never known birds could dance. He’d never paid attention before. But they were dancing. And Sword joined right in, hopping around, fluttering his wings, craning his neck, flapping his arms, and doing his best to imitate his avian friends.

The birds led him down from the trees, to a small clearing, filled with roses. Sword stopped there for a time. He looked at roses. Deep red velvet ones. Cream colored ones. White, pink, yellow. His favorite were the multicolored ones. With red fringes on yellow petals. Or white trails through red petals.

Sword sat down in the middle of the roses, on a well-worn path. And he closed his eyes. He knew. This was one of Rose’s gardens. He was getting close to the end of his journey. And he would soon see Rose.

The birds stayed there, among the roses, with him, as he heard a rustling noise. He looked to the West, and saw a shadow in the forest. A big shadow. He watched as that shadow slowly detached itself from the forest, and walked into the daylight of the roses. It was a wolf. A big one. It stayed on the trail through the roses. It stopped a safe distance from Sword. And it sat down.

The birds sang for a while. Then, they took flight, scattering in all directions. Leaving Sword alone with the wolf. The wolf just sat there. Watching Sword. “Am I supposed to follow you now?” The wolf nodded. Then stood up, turned and headed back the way it had come. After a couple of steps, the wolf stopped, looking back at Sword.

Sword got to his feet, and followed the wolf. In this place. In this forest. Near the lake. Sword began to realize things were different. Dragons weren’t dangerous. Wolves didn’t attack people. Predators and prey lived in peace. Side-by-side.

This was the land of Mystica and her daughters. He could feel it. It was a distinct feeling. A happy feeling. A safe feeling. A caring feeling. Where everyone was welcome. Every creature welcome.

The wolf led Sword down a well-worn trail. A trail walked by wolves, and others. A trail that blended into the woods. One that was hard to discern. But following the wolf, it became obvious to Sword. He knew he would never have found it on his own.

He’d been planning to head West, until he reached the river. And then, he’d explore the river to the north, hoping he was south of the lake.  After a couple of days, he’d turn south, and search for the lake to the south of where he’d found the river.

Now, he didn’t have to search. He could feel the wolf leading him to the lake.

Along the trail, Sword noticed more and more vines filled with green leaves, and flowers. White and pink flowers. And he began to feel music. He could close his eyes, and he could feel music gently caressing everything. The flowers, the trees, the ground, the wolf, and himself. He knew the music was Musica. And it was music that soothed all the aches and pains he had from his journey. He couldn’t help but smile.

The trail came to the river. Sword had never seen this part of the river before. But he knew it was the river leading to the lake. And he was happy he had the wolf guiding him. The wolf turned south. So did the trail.

The wolf stopped and took a long drink from the river. Sword did the same. The wolf waded into the river, diving under its surface, splashing around. Sword realized the wolf was taking a bath. So he waded into the river too. And splashed. He washed the dirt off himself. Washed the debris out of his hair. Got his shorts soaking wet, and mostly clean.

The wolf and Sword returned to the trail, where they stopped, and waited for the water to dry off of their bodies. “Thank you, kind wolf. You are wise to help me make myself more presentable for Mystica and her daughters.” Sword swore the wolf smiled.

When they’d dried off, they continued their journey to the south. Bushes filled with flowers filled in both sides of the river, they bushes were well cared for. Sword realized all he had to do to find the lake was find the roses of that garden. Find the trail. And follow it to the lake.

And suddenly, there it was. The lake. The trail just ended, and opened up to the lake. The wolf led Sword out into the clearing.

Rose was there. Waiting for him. She smiled at him, and gave him a big hug. Wrapping her arms around his neck. She never said a word. Neither did Sword. And when she finished hugging him, she took his hand, and led him into the clearing, where Mystica, Dream, Sunshine and Musica waited.

“Welcome to our home, Sword,” Mystica greeted him. “It’s so grand of you to visit.” She picked him up, like the little boy he really was, and gave him a hug before setting him down. “I must tell Oceana that you are here, and unscathed.”

That’s when Dream spoke. “OK. Mommy. We’ll take care of him.” And she smiled. And Sword, for the first time in his life, blushed. It was an interesting feeling, that burning sensation in his cheeks, and across his chest.

Mystica laughed, and so did her daughters. “I’m sure you will.”

And so ended Sword’s first journey to the lake. It was a journey he would make twice a year, every year, from then on. At first, Mystica’s daughters knew he was coming to spend time with all of them. But, over the years, it became obvious to all of them. Sword made his journey twice a year for Rose.

The two of them were like two halves of one whole.

He spent plenty of time with all of Mystica’s daughters. He loved them all. And they loved him. But he made that trip, twice each year.

For Rose.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 6)

Sword slept in on the fifth day of his journey. He didn’t mean to. But he was so exhausted he couldn’t help it. By the time he woke the day was half gone. When he woke up, he found he was surrounded by birds and squirrels.

One of the squirrels had a rose stem in its mouth. With a beautiful yellow rose bloom on it. The bloom had bright red edges on each petal. The squirrel walked up to Sword, and put the rose in his lap. Then he squeaked several times, and walked back where he’d come from. At that point, Mystica popped out of nowhere, and said, “It’s from Rose. She sent her friends to check on you.”

“Mystica?”

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not really here. I’m just communicating. Figured I’d say good afternoon, and tell you what was going on.”

Sword smiled, and shook his head. “I’m just tired.” At which point his stomach growled, and he added, “And hungry.”

“Obviously,” Mystica smiled. And up walked several squirrels, making a small pile of nuts in front of Sword. “The squirrels told Rose they’d make sure you ate something.”

Sword looked at the nuts. Acorns. Walnuts. Pecans. Pine nuts. All kinds of nuts. He looked at the squirrels, “Thank you, my friends.”

“Well,” Mystica spoke, “I’ll be going now. You just follow the birds. They’ll guide you down the shortest path to get here. And they’ll make sure you find plenty to eat.”

“Oh?”

“Yes,” Mystica smiled. “Rose asked them to.” And with that, the image of Mystica was gone.

Sword looked at the nuts, wondering how to open some them. It was like the squirrels could read his mind. One picked up two nuts, and cracked them together. Sword watched as the shells on the nuts cracked, and the squirrel was able to pull the nuts out.

“So. I’m having nuts for breakfast today,” he shook his head, and smiled. “Mom won’t ever believe this one.” And he sat there, with the squirrels, cracking nuts open and eating them. And every time he had problems opening up a nut, the squirrels would show him how. It was actually a lot of fun. And by the time the nuts were gone, he was laughing, and smiling, with a couple of squirrels in his lap, and one on each shoulder.

When he was ready to resume his journey, he said good-bye to his squirrel friends, shaking hands with each of them, and watching as they disappeared into the trees. He couldn’t help but smile. “It’s going to be a beautiful day.”

A couple of sparrows landed at his feet, and flapped their wings. Then they flew off toward the West, and a couple of red-winged blackbirds flew to his feet. They also flew toward the west. And Sword realized the birds were saying, “Follow us.”

So he did just that. Moving from tree to tree, following the birds. Always there were birds that flew from the tree he was in, to the next tree he should move to. Sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, robins, bluejays, and even a few cardinals. Sword watched them all. He’d never realized how pretty birds were. He’d never studied the grace they moved with. And he had so much fun following them, watching them, listening to them sing.

When he got thirsty, he stopped, and declared he needed water to drink. And the birds showed him where the closest water was. Sometimes, to his surprise, the water was in the leaves of the trees. Sometimes, in little puddles in small indentations where limbs branched off from the tree trunk. He found he didn’t have to go down to the ground to find a drink.

The birds also showed him where nuts, and berries were up in the trees. And they watched him as he ate. He watched the birds too, and was surprised by how much they ate. The birds ate all the time. It was like they were born to eat. He never knew birds ate so much. But when he thought about it a bit, it made sense. The way the birds were always moving. Always flying around. They had to use a lot of energy. They would get hungry. And so, they would eat. All the time.

And every time he stopped to eat or drink, the birds would sing songs to him. Sometimes, a cardinal would even land on one of his shoulders, and just sing up a storm. And the songs always felt happy, making Sword smile as he ate.

As the sun started to set, the birds led him to a bigger tree. And he was surprised to find a set of branches that had formed a little flat floor. No other word applied. And there was a pile of leaves that could act as a pillow for his head to rest on. And a big pile of nuts and berries for him to eat.

He knew the floor was Mystica’s work. She’d spoken to the trees, and used her white magic to give him a place to sleep.

That night, Sword slept very well indeed. Thanks to the birds and squirrels, he wasn’t nearly as hungry as he’d been when he woke up. And having a flat surface to sleep on, and a pillow. As tired as he was, how could he not like sleeping on those.

And as he slept that night, he swore he could hear flute music. Beautiful flute music. Playing a tune he’d never heard. One that made him feel safe. And welcome. And loved. One that reminded him of friends he hadn’t seen in months.

Sword slept with a smile on his face that night. And dreamed sitting by the edge of the lake, with Rose. Holding her hand. And he knew that on the 6th day of his journey, he’d reach the lake. And maybe make that dream come true.