Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/04/03

I looked at my hands once more, “Yeah. That didn’t work at all, did it.” The scales and thick, leather-like hide on my hands was disturbing enough, but, that my fingers looked more like absurdly long toes, and had claws on them that would put a grizzly bears to shame, was too much.

“Really?” I stared at the book of spells I’d been studying for a decade. Ten years. I’d found it on an archeology expedition, in Zambia. At the time, I was a budding archeologist, tagging along with my idol, trying to hone my skills to where I could one day lead expeditions of my own.

We’d been digging for three weeks. Mostly pottery, and a few bones. Building a good picture of a lost tribe from somewhere around 9000 years ago. It was stupidly late one night, and I was finishing up. Everyone had already given up, and returned to camp, resting in their tents. I was brushing away one last bit of loose dirt, when I noticed a metal edge.

Nothing had been metal in the dig until then. Curiosity had won, and I’d dug up what I’d found.

A book. In the middle of a dig from a time before humans were supposed to be writing. Surrounded by clay pottery, and animal bones, there it was. Fully in tact, too. I could open it, and turn the pages. I figured it had to be a plant. A fake. So, I hid it from everyone.

When the dig ended, and we all came home, I brought the book with me, hidden in my luggage. I was amazed no one spotted it, or asked about it. The first night I had it home, I had nightmares about some strange guy, dressed in purple, with green trim, and this funny shaped head, telling me the book was meant for me, and I had to learn what it contained.

Those nightmares happened every night until I opened the book, and took a long look at it. It was in a language I couldn’t identify. I searched the archives at the university, and at the Library of Congress. Nothing. I couldn’t find anything about that language.

It took me ten years to figure the text out. Ten years. It turned out to be a book of spells. I about died of laughter. “A book of spells? Bwahahahahaha!” So, for giggles, I’d read the spell to make a candle light up without a match, or any other source of flame. And damn, every candle in my house lit up. Every candle. I thought the place would burn down before I found them all and snuffed them out.

I spent a few weeks playing with the book contents, trying things. Until one night, after too much to drink with my buddies from the university, and a long discussion of how archeology had demonstrated there was no such thing as magic, or sorcery, and it had all been a show, and psychological games people had once played, I decided to scare everyone, and show them all there had been a time when magic was actually real.

I’d searched through the book, and found a safe spell. One to grow long fingernails on my hands, and make my eyes glow orange. I’d used it.

Boom.

I was a dragon.

After a few hours of panic, and another few of crying my eyes out, I decided I had to stay at home, and find the spell that undid what I’d done.

Have you ever tried to turn the pages of a book with dragon fingers and claws?

I figured this was going to take a while. And I wondered, “Do dragons use the toilet? And what do they eat?”

I hoped I found the reversing spell before I found out the answers to those questions.

638 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 100 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

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#FinishThatThought Week 2-7 : Two Vials

Two vials lay before me, the fate of humanity rested in my hands. I stared across the room, at the wall of computers, and the black dragon. It wasn’t a real dragon, like from fantasy books. It was a robot. The most advanced robot ever produced.

I was about to bring that robot to life. All I had to do was drink the contents of the red vial, and then connect the cable to the port on the back of my head. That would duplicate all my neural pathways in the dragons neural network, and I’d become the dragon.

If I drank the contents of the blue vial, I’d join my great-granddaughter beyond the veil of life.

I remembered my great-granddaughter. She’d been three, with curly red hair, and neon blue eyes. she was the love of my life, the last joy I’d ever known. On the day she was born, all the money in the world became meaningless.

On the day she died, I knew I’d extract the life from those who’d caused her death. They’d tried to kill me. They’d missed. I watched her race ahead of me, “Come on, Gray-Ganpa! Run!” She’d reached the car and pulled the door handle.

And she was gone.

It took ten days for me to wake up. I’d promised her no one would die that way again. I’d promised her I’d find those who killed her. But, I was too old. And too injured. And I was going to die. Six months, or six weeks, no one knew.

I made a plan. Money didn’t matter. I had more money than I’d ever need. I bought the best. And had the dragon put together. I pretended I was doing something good. Providing a way for people to live almost forever. To escape the bounds of their mortal bodies, by copying their essence into the computers in robots.

I’d be the first. A human heart and soul moved into a robot made of replaceable, repairable, upgradable parts. As long as I could afford to repair myself, I’d keep living. And I’d have the chance to bring death to those who’d brought it to my great-granddaughter.

I would change all the rules of life and death.

I drank from the red, and reached for the plug. I would become a dragon. And change everything.

Revenge would be mine.

395 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 2-7 (Year 2, week 7) of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

The Sky Was Torn Apart

“There is someone who will care for you.” The black dragon easily carried her through the alleyways of the kingdom, to a small building. “He lives within.” The dragon used a claw to slice through the locks on the door, then carried her inside.

A man came charging out of the back, carrying a sword. He was big. A warrior. With an air, a presence, that took Ivy’s breath. When the man saw the black dragon, he dropped his sword, and fell to his knees.

“Stephan. Former Captain of the Royal Guard of Princess Eyela. This child needs your protection, and care.”

“Who are you?”

The dragon made no sound.

Ivy saw terror in the man’s eyes. “Merlin?”

The black dragon handed her to Stephan. “Take care of her. I’ll be watching over both of you.” Then, it stepped outside into the darkness, and vanished.

The last thing Ivy heard that night was the sky being torn apart.


This is a little clip from something I’m working on. A project of mine, I’ve named “The White Witch”.

#FinishThatThought 9 : Dessert

If I had know he would be there again, I would’ve brought my dragon. Instead, I found myself pondering the idea of reshaping a certain part of his anatomy with my boot heel, which was clearly not a polite thing to do to a wizard.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to hide a pair of six feet tall butterfly wings coming out of your back, and a pair of six-inch tall ears shaped like a Star Trek Vulcan’s, just to go out for apple pie and vanilla ice cream one night a month?

He’d been there last month. “Karen! So good to see you!” The man told endless stories of fixing things the humans screwed up every day. “I had to turn on the brakes in Tom’s car so he didn’t plow into the side of some lady’s mini-van, and boot her munchkins out the other side. I swear that idiot can’t drive!” He’d rambled on and on. “Frank went to the meeting yesterday, and left his presentation on his desk. I transferred it to his briefcase, so he would have it when he got there. He’s always doing things.”

I’d tried to concentrate on my pie and ice cream. It was Häagen-Dazs vanilla. I’d looked forward to it all month. A quiet evening, watching humans interact, while I relished mixing the flavors of two of their most amazing creations. Even with all my fairy magic, I couldn’t bake apples, let alone get the mix of cinnamon and sugar right. I’d tried. My apple pies came out more like scorched black frisbees.

And there he sat, at my table, drinking glasses of water, rambling on about how screwed up the humans were. “I cry every time I see them put another 500 sheets of paper in a printer. When I think of all the trees they’ve destroyed to print 50 copies of a report no one ever reads, I cry.”

Oh, I knew about that. You try caring for forests when the humans are chopping down trees left and right to make paper. Wizards. I’d tried to block him out, ignore him. I’d failed. He’d wrecked my peaceful evening. I’d had to fly to the oceanfront, and watch the sunrise to calm down.

And there he was, going to ruin my apple pie and ice cream again. I tried so hard to ignore him as he marched right up to my table. “Karen.” He didn’t sit down. “It has occurred to me, I owe you an apology.” He frowned. “I interrupted your desert last month.”

I just stared at him. He pulled his right hand from behind his back, and set a dish of apple pie and ice cream on my table. “I’m sorry.”

As he started to leave, I asked him to have a seat, and ordered apple pie and ice cream for him.

I wonder what will happen when I go out for dessert next month.

494 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for week 9 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought flash fiction challenge. It’s a fun challenge. Now, go read all the other entries in week 9.

#NaNoWriMo 2012 – Week 4 Clip – Dragon Knight

[My father wrote to me, after reading the chapter this clip came from. “I like Scream best of all.” How can I argue with that? So, I’m sharing a little clip with Scream in it. The last clip I’ll put up from NaNoWriMo 2012. Enjoy it in all its unedited glory.]

Scream heard Merlin’s words. “It’s time.” He knew what Merlin meant. The dragons had spread the word of the fairy Fauna’s death. Every dragon knew what the invaders had done. Every dragon knew of the loss of one of the White Witch’s daughters. Every dragon knew the end of the war was approaching. The White Witch would soon strike.

Every dragon knew it was time. Dragons everywhere turned away from defending towns and villages. They turned, and attacked the invaders and their landing ships. Dragons would fall in battle. It was the way of war. No dragon would fall without honor.

Scream looked to the sky. He screamed. His scream echoed across the Southern Plains. Before the echo faded, Scream took to the sky. His wings fully spread. Every fairy in the kingdom saw him leave. Every fairy  knew where he was headed.

Straight at the enemy. A dark gray streak across the pale blue sky. Before Scream reached the horizon, the fairies of the Castle Guard all stood, as one. Took up their swords, shields, bows and arrows. And lifted to the sky. They followed after Scream.

Scream was the Dragon Knight. He was one of them. He would not face the enemy alone.

Captain Of A Shipwreck

I’m trying my hand at another Flash Fiction challenge. This one is the #FridayNightWrite, hosted at Sweet Banana Ink. This is my entry…

She stopped at my desk one day, an hour before lunch. “Walk with me.” She didn’t ask. She knew I would. I remember so clearly the tone of her voice. The tension in it. The fear. The confusion. I took a good look into her eyes. The pretty blue that I normally saw was gone. Replaced by an intense, panic-stricken blue.

I got up, and took a walk with her. Would have gone anywhere she asked. My heart told me too. Told me something was horribly wrong. We walked through the halls of the building. A path we’d walked before. No one watching us would have thought anything was wrong. Somehow, I knew that’s what she wanted.

I opened the door to the stairs, and let her through. Then followed. As we walked down the stairs, she told me what was wrong. “That doctor’s appointment, Friday? That was a mammogram. I got the results last night.” She stopped walking and held on to the stair rail. She closed her eyes, briefly, and took a breath. “It’s breast cancer.”

I stood there, next to her. On the stairs. “I knew something was wrong. When you told me you were going to the doctor’s on Friday, everything went black.”

“I’m scared,” She resumed our descent down the stairs. “Really scared.”

I didn’t say anything. She knew how I felt. Knew I considered her to be my friend. I understood she was trusting me with information she didn’t want others to know. As we reached the foot of the stairs, she paused again. “I need you here. I need you to be here. For me. Can you be here? For me?”

If I were a knight on a horse, I would have drawn my sword, and fought any dragon she asked me to. If she was surrounded by a fire, I would have burned in the flames, trying to rescue her. If she were the captain of a sinking ship, I would have put her on the last lifeboat, in my place.

I was none of those things. I was just me. Another person she worked with five days a week. A friend who took pictures of flowers and shared them with her. Someone that tried to write poetry every now and then. She always asked to read everything I wrote.

“Yes.”

There was nothing else I could have said.

I wish I could tell you how things ended. I wish I could tell you how she’s doing. That it all worked out OK. That I walked through hell with her. But I can’t. The simple truth is 12 weeks after her first surgery, I was sent out on medical leave. All contact between myself, and the people I worked with was banned. That was two years ago. And in that two years, I have never heard from any of the people that I used to know.

A Clip From Chapter 28 Of JuNoWriMo 2012

Then Merlin came out of the trees. One moment he was not there. The next moment he was. It surprised the girls. Both Musica and Sunshine jumped, and let out little squeals of surprise. “Merlin! Where did you come from?”

Merlin laughed. It sounded like metal plates bouncing off of a stone floor. “I have been watching from the trees.”

Mystica had to laugh herself. “Merlin is invisible in shadow.”

Merlin cut in, “Except to you, of course. You’ve learned how to find me.”

“Just because I can feel your black magic. And that tells me where you are.” She looked at her daughters. “But you can’t feel his magic, so you can’t tell where he is.” She looked at Merlin, “But that’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To play hide and seek. So they girls can start tl learn how to find you?”

“Yes.”

The girls spent hours playing hide-and-seek with Merlin. He would hide in the shadows, and they would try to find him. Then, they would hide in the shadows, and he would find them. Merlin took his time finding the girls. He knew exactly where they were. Mystica knew that. She knew where they were too. Even without watching them. She knew Merlin could see them in the shadows. He could hear them breathing. He could smell them.

She knew that Sunshine and Musica could not find Merlin. Unless he let them. They couldn’t see him. They couldn’t hear him. And she watched as they walked right past him many times. Merlin had fun hiding for a while, and then he started leaving clues for them to find that would guide them to him.

With each round of the game, Merlin made it more difficult for them to find him.

Eventually, Sunshine and Musica grew tired of playing. And the sun was getting low. Mystica helped the girls bathe in the lake. Neither of them knew how to swim. So Mystica had to keep them in shallow water.

After they were clean, they went to their houses for the night, and went to bed.

But before they went to sleep, Musica took her flute, and she played. It was a beautiful song. Merlin had come out to listen. He’d curled up like some big kitten on the ground next to Mystica. And listened. “She has musical talent that is beyond someone her age. That’s part of her gift of wild magic. That she can play like she does.”

Sunshine fell asleep that night, listening to beautiful flute music. That night, she had wonderful dreams. Of playing with Musica. Singing songs. Chasing butterflies. All of it things she never thought she’d do. But now. All of her dreams were coming true.

And she loved Musica. Her sister. She’d always wanted a sister. Now she had one.

And she loved Mystica, her Mommy. She’s always wanted a mother that loved her. And took care of her. And could protect her. And help her learn all about who she was. And what she could do. And now she had one.

Sunshine slept very well that night.

JuNoWriMo 2012 Continues On…

“Eyela. It’s too late for that. The warning I get from the white magic,” Mystica reached out, placing a hand on Eyela’s shoulder. “It’s at best a day in advance. Come tomorrow, the villagers will have acted.”

Eyela was no longer peaceful. She was visible disturbed. Gentle Breeze was frozen with fear. Both knew that if a dragon came, there would be many deaths among the fairies. They were so disturbed, and so upset that Verdant Green woke. And when she woke, she cried.

And the sky began to fill with black clouds. Soon, it would rain.

That’s when Mystica surprised them. Mystica had reached out, and rested a hand on Verdant Green’s back, and hummed a happy little tune. Then she whispered, “Don’t be afraid, little one. Don’t worry. It will all be OK. I will never let them call you, Rain.” And with those words, Verdant Green had smiled, placing her head on Eyela’s shoulder once again. And as she did, the gathering clouds had faded away.

Mystica had looked at Eyela one last time, “Please, Eyela. Don’t get in Scream’s way. I don’t want any of your warriors to die.”

And then, she was gone.

Fairies : White Witch

Mystica had come to the foothills of the mountains as quickly as she could. Using white magic to power her flight. The white magic had shown her a tiny fairy girl in the foothills. Abandoned by her village. The child could have been no more than two years old. The magic had told Mystica that she was lost. And alone. And frightened. And very hurt. One of her wings was damaged. She’d fallen down a small cliff. Maybe ten feet high. And she’d landed badly. Damaging a wing. And breaking her left leg.The little fairy could not walk. She’d been unconscious for a while. But had woken up. And when she did wake up, she tried to move. And howled in pain. And cried. Poor child. Hurt, and in pain, and all alone in the foothills. Either she would slowly starve to death, because she couldn’t get food, or die of thirst, because she had now water to drink, or die by the actions of the predators of the foothills.

Merlin had been most concerned when Mystica had declared she was heading to the foothills. That there was a fairy child there that needed her help. He’d asked her to wait until dark, and the two of them would find the child, and bring her back safely. But she had refused. She could not let the child suffer any more than she already had.

Whisper had urged her to use great caution on her journey. He made this comment, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” as Mystica had prepared to leave. And as she’d taken to the sky, she heard Merlin. His voice thundering through the air, sounding like it always had. A solid sheet of metal being torn in half. But this time, it seemed to come from everywhere. As if the air itself were being torn in half.

And now, Mystica was approaching the place where the child was. To honor Whisper’s and Merlin’s requests, she called upon the white magic to protect her. And to protect the child as well. For the last little bit, she flew under her own power. So as not to frighten the child.

She found the child at the bottom of a steep hill. The poor girl had pulled herself along for a little distance. Trying to move. But now, she was lying on the ground. Exhausted. And in pain. The little one had no tears left to cry. Mystica was afraid she would not last much longer. Quickly, Mystica used her flying skills to land on the ground, next to the little girl.

“It’s OK, little one. I’ve found  you. I’m here now. I’ll help you. And I’ll take care of you.” She knelt beside the child. Barely two years old, and placed her hands on the child’s broken leg, calling forth the white magic. Using it to mend the broken bones. To heal the damaged muscles, and tissues. To put the child’s broken leg back together. As if it had never been broken. She kept going. Using the magic to heal the abrasions, cuts, and scraps on the little girl’s body. On her arms and legs.

When she was done, she hugged the little one so close. As a mother hugs her child. Mystica stood up, picking the child up with her. Letting the child rest her head on her shoulder. She reached to her waist belt, and pulled lose the flask of water that she carried. And she let the little girl have a drink. It was the first drink the child had had in several days. Mystica was very careful not to let her drink to much. Just a little bit at a time until she was better.

When she felt it was safe to move the child, she spread her wings.

TWHIP!

She heard the sound. She knew instantly what it was. The sound of a bow firing an arrow. It was followed by several more thwips. The white magic protection around both her and the child flashed brilliant white as arrows collided with it. And were stopped dead in their tracks. And burned instantly to ash.

And more arrows came. And even more. Followed by a group of men with swords. The surged toward Mystica. Their swords held high. Ready to strike. The white magic protected her, and the child. But still the men kept trying. They kept swinging their swords. They kept firing their arrows.

Mystica did not want to use the white magic any more than she had to. She did not want to say that single word, “burn”. She did not want to hurt these people in any way. She did not want to cause them to become enemies to her. “Stop!” she cried. “Please! I don’t want to hurt anyone!” And still they struck. “I just want to help the child!”

It was then that the air split with the voice of a scream. A scream that brought absolute terror to all the men. They froze in their tracks. A scream that struck to the very heart and soul of whoever heard it. A scream that spoke one single thought. Destruction.

Mystica knew it was the voice of Scream. She realized then that Merlin’s call, as she’d left the lake toward the child, was an order to Scream. And when Merlin, the black magic dragon, ruler of all the dragons, as he had been for over 10,000 years, ordered a dragon to act, that dragon acted. Without question. Without doubt. Without hesitation.

Following the scream, that shook the ground, and the trees, and the rocks, was heard the sound of great, powerful wings, pushing the air around. In an instant, Scream was there. One wing draped over Mystica and the little fairy child. The other folded away on his back. The talons of his front legs sweeping through the men. Many of them died instantly. Shredded by the talons. Large chunks of them simply gone.

Scream screamed a second time. Looking toward the rocks and boulders, and the underbrush where the arrows had come from. As he screamed, blue-orange flames arched from his mouth and nose. Easily breaching the distance between Mystica and the men with bows and arrows. Setting fire to everything they touched. Even the rocks and boulders burned.

Mystica knew no one was left alive, save for her, and the little fairy child.

Scream turned to her, raising his protective wing. And then he spoke quite softly. In the tongue of dragons, yes, but still. So softly. In the way of a fairy, or a human. “I have done as Merlin asked.” Then he lowered himself until he was on the ground, his neck extended. “You have expended much tonight. I will carry you and the young one back to the lake.”

Mystica had climbed up on Scream’s dragon neck. Right behind his head, with it’s dragon horns, and dragon ears. She still carried the little girl. The little one was very scared indeed. “It’s OK, young one. It is. I promised I would take care of you. And I will.”

Scream then took flight. It was on the journey back to the lake that Mystica spoke with the child. “I’m the fairy Mystica. I have a small family of fairies that I take care of. We live in tree houses by a pretty lake. Would you like to live with us?”

The little child nodded her head, yes. And then she’d almost cried. “You’re Mystica? They call you White Witch. They want to kill you. I don’t know why. They told me I was evil. And had to die. And you were evil too.”

Mystica shook her head, “No. Child. No. We are neither of us evil.”

“But you have dragons as your friends! How can you not be evil?”

“In time, you will learn that dragons are not evil. They are a strong, proud people. With very honorable ways. They do not think it is appropriate for villages to throw away little fairy girls that life gives the gift of wild magic to.”

“Wild magic?” The little girls eyes were the size of saucers. “Wild magic?”

“Yes, little one. You have wild magic. That’s why they wanted to kill you. Because they can’t help you learn to control the magic that is yours. Because you can hurt people with your magic until you learn to control it, and use it, like the gift it really is.”

Scream landed in the clearing of the lake. The sun was rising. And the colors of the world were coming back to life. The fairy Dream was standing by the edge of the lake, holding hands with Musica. Rose was flying over the lake, letting her toes trace little lines on its surface as she flew.

Dream spoke first, “You’re back! I had a dream last night. I saw you, and Scream, and watched as you rescued the little one.”

“Sunshine’s sleeping in. She was really tired last night, you know,” Musica declared. Then she asked, “What is her name?” as she walked up to Scream, and reached up with her little fairy hands, and tried her best to scratch behind his ears.

“What do they call you?” Mystica asked the little girl.

“I haven’t got a name.”

The little girl looked very sad. As if she were going to cry again. Musica and Dream looked so sad too. And Rose had landed, next to them. “They never even named you?”

“I haven’t got a name.”

Mystica looked into the eyes of the little girl. And then she hugged her neck.  “That will never do.” She smiled, as she hugged the little girl. “Is there anything you like? Something you are very fond of?”

The little girl nodded once again. “Yes! Yes! I like frogs!”

“Frogs?”

“Yes! Frogs!”

Mystica smiled, “Do you like other animals too?”

“Yes! I love to watch deers. And birdies! And rabbits!”

Mystica’s smile grew, and her eyes glowed with a happy light. “Then your name is Fauna, she who loves, and cares for the animals of the forest.”

“And I won’t call you White Witch, like everybody did. I’ll call you Mystica.”

And so it was that Fauna became the newest member of Mystica and Merlin’s fairy family. It would take time, but Mystica knew that in the weeks ahead, they would all learn what Fauna’s wild magic gift was.

Mystica also knew, as did Merlin, Scream, and Whisper, that it would not be long before the people of the villages turned against them, and their fairy family. She wished very much that such a thing would not happen. But she knew it would. That somehow, she’d become the White Witch to them. And they would reach a point where they would try to rid themselves of the White Witch of the Northern Forest.

With Merlin and Scream, and the wild magic of the little children, Mystica hoped very much that any of the villagers would survive.