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.


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

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.

#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

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

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.


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?”


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.