Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/05/21

I walked the long halls, bone straight, a hundred doors down either side. Those doors had been bars that sealed tiny rooms. Two metal bunk beds jutted from one wall of each room, with a small basin, and toilet in each tiny room. There was no room for anything else.

I studied several rooms. Each had the same layout. In many, the bunks had fallen through, their springs rusted to dust. In some, there was nothing left, just filthy walls, covered in dust, and God only knew what else. No one had been in the building for years, and it showed.

Down the center of the hallway, the sun shined through arched windows. I wondered why they’d let the sunlight into such a place, given who had once been kept there. Some of the worst of the worst. Right up there with that movie character, what was his name? Hannibal?

But, the building was in the right place. The perfect place. Two blocks from where the university was building an engineering center. They needed space for students to live, to study, to work. And they needed it cheap. And quickly.

The old jail was perfect. Tear down the remaining parts of the barred door system, put in real doors, fix all the bunks and put privacy walls around the tiny toilets. Presto. Dorm rooms for cheap.

It would take a bit of paint. And a bit of drywall. A bunch of cheap tiles for the floors, and a bunch of new glass and frames for the windows in the hallway. But it was easily doable.

The best part was I could pitch the entire thing as a historical experience. Put up a small display in the entrance about the history of the place. The list of the worst crooks who’d stayed there, and died there.

I wondered if there were ghost stories tied to the place. That would make it better. The kids would fight to get into the place. The school would be happy to get a cheap dorm. The state would finally have a use for a long abandoned building. And I’d make a small fortune.

“Maybe we could have one of those ghost TV shows visit the place.” That would only drive the value of the idea up.

I took a few pictures, so I could edit them, show what the place would look like cleaned up, and ready for college students to fill it. How just enough privacy could be added to the place to make it work.

It was going to be a hell of a sales pitch. If I did it right, how could anyone say no?

443 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 11th week. You can read about the challenge here. I continue to enjoy writing for it every week so far. And every week I wonder where the words came from. Seems I just have to get out of my way, and let each story happen. Please, go read her short tale this week, and any others that show up.


#MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest

They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

“Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

“Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

Rose nodded.

“My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”


“What a pretty name!”

Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

Rose nodded, “OK.”

Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

683 Words

Welcome to year 3, week 2 (Week 3.02) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “A Forest” by The Cure. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#5SF : Abandoned

He lives under the abandoned bridge on Route 631, in a big cardboard box with Samsung logos on its sides. Like the bridge, he’s abandoned, falling apart, rotting. Some day both of them will be gone. I’ve spoken with him, and he says life abandoned him. But I wonder if the truth is something happened in his life that caused him to abandon it.

Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Abandoned.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

Chapter 29 Of JuNoWriMo 2012

Chapter 29 – I Don’t Have A Name

Scream pushed himself. As hard as he could. He flew, streaking across the sky. He spoke to Mystica as he flew. “Mystica. It’s time. I have heard another child. I have to help her. Please take care of Musica for me.”

And he flew. He had to get there in time. He had to. His wings grabbed oceans of air, and hurled them behind him. A black stream in the black sky. He’d heard a little girl. Maybe only 2 years old. Crying. “Mommy? Daddy?” He’d heard her, “Where am I?”

He’d spoken with her. “Hi, little one. Are you lost?”

“I’m lost.”

“Where are you?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know.”

“Who are you?”


“Do you have a name?”


“What does everyone call you?”

“Bad girl.”

“Why do they call you that?”

“I don’t know.”

Scream pushed himself. He had to get there. He had to. “I’ll find you. OK? I’ll find you.” He wished he could fly even faster. Faster than Merlin. So he could get there. So he could find the little girl. So he could help her. Take care of her.

“I’ll bring her to the lake.” He told Mystica. “I’ll bring her to the lake, so she will be safe.”

But first, he had to get to her. Find her.

“Are you hurt?”


“Can you walk?”


Scream knew where she was. He could tell tat as he spoke with her. The Black Mountains. He knew she was in all kinds of danger. She could fall off a cliff. Trip and fall down the side of a mountain. Cause a rock slide. Get caught in a mountain scream, and drown. So many things that could go wrong. So many things that could hurt her.

He had to get there. He had to.

He kept speaking with the girl as he streaked along. “Are you OK?”

“I’m scared.”

“I know, little one. I know. I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon.”

“I’m scared.”

“Would you like to know who I am?”


“My name is Scream.”


“Yes. Scream. I’m a dragon.”

The girl sounded nervous, scared, and excited all at t same time. “A dragon? I’ve never seen a dragon before. What’s a dragon?”

She was so young. “How old are you?”


“2? That’s a good number.”

“I just turned 2.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I missed your birthday.”

“That’s OK, Mr. Scream. No body celebrated my birthday this year.”

“Do you have a mommy and a daddy.”

“No. I don’t.”

Scream tore through the sky. He’d never flown so fast. As the sun came up, he screamed. A scream that carried for miles in all directions. A warning scream. A warning that a dragon was coming. To protect something. And would do whatever he had to.

The sun had been up for an hour.

“I’m tired, Mr. Scream.”

“Why don’t you lie down. And take a little nap.”

“I’m scared.”

An eagle spoke. “I found her.”

“Where is she?”

The eagle explained. Then said, “I’ll circle here. Above her. So you can find her.”

“Will you protect her?”

“As much as I can.”

“Thank you. Little one. An eagle friend of mine is flying nearby. He will watch over you as you sleep. He’ll protect you. You can take a nap. And I’ll get there soon.”

“I’m scared, Mr. Scream. And I’m hungry. So hungry.”

A bear spoke with Scream. “I have found some berries. I’ll take them to the child. So she can eat something.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s so very wrong, what those people have done to her.”

“They abandoned her, didn’t they?”

“Yes. They did.”

Scream tore the sky in half, as he raced along.  Racing across the Grey Hills. Into the Black Mountains. Getting higher, and higher. Until he saw the eagle, circling. He slowed. And looked carefully for the child on the ground.

There. On the ground. Asleep. Next to a bear. It was the little girl.

Scream landed. The bear nodded at him. “She’s resting.”

“Thank you for taking care of her.”

“I couldn’t let her go hungry. What they did to her is just so wrong.”

“I know.”

“What will you do with her, Sir Scream?”

“I will take her to the White Witch. The White Witch will know what to do.”

The bear got up, “That she will. That she will.” Then he headed off into the bushes, and the grasses, and the weeds.

Scream watched over the child. She was the cutest little child he’d ever seen. With curly, flowing silver and gray hair. When she finally woke up, Scream got to she her silvery gray eyes. And the nubs of wings on her back. Her wings had just started to come in.

“Are you Mr. Scream?”

“Yes. I am.”

“Where did Mr. Bear go?”

“He watched over you until I got here. Then he went home to his family.”

Scream looked at the little girl. “I know where two other girls are. And their mommy. I’m sure they would love to see you.”

“But I’m a bad girl. Remember? Who would want to see me.”

“I did. Remember. I came to find you.”

“Oh.” The little girl looked confused.

“You don’t have a name?”


“Well.” Scream fought to control his anger. He wanted to go find the village  Totally destroy it. They’d abandoned this little girl. Only 2 years old! They’d even refused to give her a name. Calling her “bad girl.” And her parents had even declared they weren’t her parents. They’d disowned her.

He shook his head. He knew that wouldn’t accomplish anything. It would only cause the fairies to continue to fight the dragons. And to fight change. And that’s not what he wanted. He wanted the fairies to change. To learn to accept their special children. Like the one he was talking with.

Scream placed a hand on the ground. “If you climb into my hand, I can take you to see Mystica, and her children.”

“Do the children have names?”

“Yes, little one. They are Musica and Sunshine.”

“Can I have a name too?”

“Yes, little one. I’m sure Mystica will give you a name.”

The little girl climbed up into Scream’s hand. It wasn’t easy for her. She was little. She was tired. She was hungry. She struggled. She lost her footing several times. But she always held on, and found a way to regain her footing, and start climbing again. Scream held perfectly still. And that helped the little girl a lot.

When the little girl had made it into Scream’s hand, he gently picked her up. “I promise not to drop you. And to keep you safe. OK?”

“Yes, Mr. Scream.”

Then he flexed his wings, and took to the sky. Scream flew at a much slower pace. He wanted to be careful with the child. To make sure she was safe. He spoke to Mystica along the way. “I’ve found the child. I’m bringing her to the lake. She’s alive. And she seems to be OK. I’ll get her there as quickly as I can.”

He flew through the mountains. Toward the north, and the forest. He came upon a river that flowed toward the forest. So he followed it. Knowing it would flow into the lake. It took several hours, and Scream watched the little child very carefully. The little girl fell asleep.

Scream listened to hear heart beat. He listened to her breathe. He stayed very careful. For he knew of her gift. So he didn’t believe everything he saw while she was asleep. He simply followed the river.

The little girl woke up. And she cried.

“Why do you cry, little one?”

“I’m sad.”

“Oh.” Scream wished they were already at the lake. So Mystica could help with the girl. He considered going faster. But he didn’t want to scare the little girl. And he didn’t want to risk hurting her.

“We’re almost there, little one. It will take a little while longer.”

The little girl sniffed, and wiped her eyes. “I cry all the time. But I’m OK.”

“Are you looking forward to meeting the other girls?” he asked.

“Yes. But I’m scared.”

“Why are you scared, little one?”

“‘Cause people don’t like me.”

Scream heard the words she’d said earlier. “They call me bad girl.” He wanted to scream. But he couldn’t. It would have scared the little girl. And he couldn’t do that. So, he did not scream. He remained quiet, knowing it was less than one hour to the lake.

He hoped Mystica would know what to do.