Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/05/28

I walked to the end of my backyard boat dock, and waited. “She always comes after dark,” I knew those words well. It had taken time, but I’d learned them.

Her name was Lyria, and she was every bit as magical, and beautiful as her name. “Lyria,” I mumbled her name, and sighed, as I waited for sunset. I knew she’d arrive soon enough. She’d promised.

As I waited, I closed my eyes, and tried to paint her face in my mind. I found I couldn’t. No image I could conjure, no matter how simple, no matter how detailed, could capture what I saw when I looked at her. I sighed, then took a deep breath. “I keep trying, though I know it’s futile.”

The sun touched the horizon on the far side of the lake, and I felt my pulse rising. I felt everything in those moments. The soft breeze from the land, back to the lake, as the ground cooled more rapidly than the lake. A cool breeze. Just enough for my skin to sense it. Just enough for me to shudder at the exquisite sensation. I closed my eyes, and let my arms, shoulders, sides feel the breeze.

After a few moments, I opened my eyes, and found the sun. More of it was hidden now. The light of the sky was changing. Reds, pinks, oranges, and golds, started to paint the sky. It was all reflected on the surface of the lake. Such a still surface, no waves, no ripples. Like a mirror.

The clouds changed from white, cotton candy, to orange and gold cotton. The finest cotton of all, perfect puffs, each with feathered edges, pillowed puffs, and trails of fibers tying them together. The filled the sky, as far as I could see. I sat down, hung my feet off the end of the doc, let my toes touch the water.

“Lyria.”

I waited, as I watched the sun fall behind the horizon. Like a curtain being drawn upward, instead of lowered. The day was drawing to an end.

“She always comes after dark.”

I watched as more of the sun disappeared, with a brilliant flash of gold that lit the sky. The day had ended. It was dark, except for the light reflected and refracted by the clouds. So many shades of gold, yellow, orange. I couldn’t have painted a better sunset had I tried. I knew, no one could ever capture such a sunset, even with a camera. Any camera. It would be a small glimpse, a small sliver of the real image. And image I could remember. One I could paint in my mind, even if I didn’t close my eyes.

It was almost time.

I waited. My toes rested on the water’s surface. I didn’t move. I felt the water, let it talk to my toes, my skin, me. Touch can be so wonderful. Can express so much. Can say so much words can never capture.

Lyria came to me. Across the water of the lake, she walked, like it was solid ground. She stopped just out of my reach. She always did. I knew not to follow her. Not to reach for her. There are beings in this world we are not meant to hold. To touch them is to corrupt them. To ruin them.

I would not, could not ruin her.

She stood, on the water, and smiled at me, as she placed the tips of her fingers on my cheek. I cried. I always cried.

Then, Lyria sang.

And my heart was free.

When the dawn arrived, I stirred. I would be stiff. I was always stiff after I slept on the dock. But I did not care.

Lyria had come. As she’d promised. As she’s promised again, after she sang that night. A song she’s meant only for me. I heard her words. “When the time is right, I would see you again.”

I would be there, on the end of the dock. Waiting. When the time was right. Watching as the sun set. And the sky was transformed once again. For I knew.

Lyria would come.

And I knew, as did she. So long as she came, and sang for me, and touched my face, and held me while I slept.

My heart would find the will to keep going in a world I never made.

731 words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 12th 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.

#FinishThatThought Week 2-11 : A Tale Of Wrath

Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. We’d spread a tablecloth on the ground, set our basket down, and made ourselves comfortable. Elizabeth took out our drinks, a Sprite for me, a Diet Lime Coke for her.

“It’s beautiful here,” she smiled.

The lakeside field was a popular picnic ground. Thomas and his wife were next to the old oak. Sally and her two daughters were beside the lake, feeding the ducks. Young Bobby and his girl friend, Mary, were off to the side, excitedly learning how to kiss.

Everything was good. Until that moment, when a strange man walked into the field. I’d never seen him. He wore a trench coat, which struck me as strange. He didn’t speak to anyone. Looked like he had earphones in his ears, and was listening to music. He was talking to himself, but too far away for me to hear him.

The strange man stopped in the middle of the field. He looked around like he was making sure he knew where we all were. He pulled out a silver cross, kissed it, and opened his trench coat.

I saw guns. I saw him pulling them out. I saw him point the guns at people. I saw him shoot. Sally fell face first into the lake. The ducks scattered, flapping their wings. I knew they were noisey, but somehow, my ears weren’t working. Instead, I studied the details of their flapping wings as they moved in slow motion.

Sally’s two daughters fell, in slow motion, joining their mother in the water at the edge of the lake.

Bobby stood up, Mary’s mouth opened in a scream I couldn’t hear, and Bobby’s chest started changing color, as he collapsed to his knees, and fell backwards. Mary’s face changed, and she fell, the back of her head an ugly mess.

Thomas threw himself at his wife, knocking her to the ground. The strange man stepped toward them as the gun he held made several sharp, sudden motions. Thomas and his wife stopped moving.

Elizabeth had found her feet, and started running toward the trees, as something struck her back, causing her to move with a jerk, and she pitched face forward into the grass.

I never heard a thing, as I wondered why I was standing next to myself, looking at my blood leak from my body, discolor the ground.

The man stopped shooting. He put his guns back, knelt, bowed his head, and prayed, of all things, to God, then kissed his silver cross once more, and walked away, as if he’d done nothing.

That’s when I saw the demon in the man’s shadow. I watched the demon whisper in the man’s ear. “You’ve done well, child of God. Now, you must carry on the work I’ve given you. Cleanse the evil from the world.”

The man whispered, “In God’s name.”

Then everything was gone.

495 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 2-11 (Year 2, week 11) of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#ThursThreads Week 116 : We’ll See About That

Mystica watched the white flames play across the surface of the lake. She saw the Angels attack Merlin, and the dragons. She saw villages of fairies and humans burned to the ground. She spoke to the machines, “Are they coming here?”

“Yes.”

“Will you stop them?”

“No.”

“So, you will allow this war?”

“Yes.”

The flames shifted, showing her the Angels enter the Great Northern Forest. She knew they’d arrive any moment. She used white magic to float above the center of the lake, where she waited for the Angels to arrive.

She watched them float above the trees, surrounding the clearing, and the lake. A single Angel silently flew across the clearing, to the center of the lake. “Witch of white! For your use of magic, and protection of those cursed with wild magic, you shall die.”

“We’ll see about that.”

The Angel swung his arms, as if he had two swords, and was trying to cut Mystica to pieces. The white magic protected her. The Angel didn’t understand. “How are you still alive?”

She stared at him. “Burn.”

White fire leaped from the lake, grabbing the Angel’s ankles, yanking him from the sky, dragging him under the water. The trees around the lake and clearing launched their branches up, like spears, into the Angels by the lake.

That quickly, the Angels were gone.

Mystica shook her head. “The White Magic protects this world,” she declared, “And I am the White Magic.

242 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 116. It’s another little tale from the world of Cylinders. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#VisDare 46 : Silhouette

“Taran. I’m afraid of love.” I felt her hand tremble in mine. “I’m afraid of you.”

We walked to the lake. “There’s a statue in the cave. Of the monsters on the surface. Of a little girl controlling them.”

Alice nodded. “Jessica.”

“So they teach.”

“What do you mean?”

I looked across the lake. “I’m no longer in the caves. I’m on the surface.”

She leaned into me, drew my arm around her waist. “Taran. What are you afraid of?”

What was I afraid of? I didn’t know. I’d never thought about it. I’d never asked myself. I’d always tried to follow what I thought were the rules of life. The way I thought was right.

“Everything’s a lie.”

“No. It’s not.” Her fingers brushed my cheek. “It’s just bigger than you knew.”

“I’m afraid of me. Alice.” I closed my eyes. “I don’t know who I am.”

147 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 29 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.(And yes. I know I’m days late getting this one written and posted.)

The entire story, from part 29 to part 1, is located here.

#ThursThreads 107 : No Other Way Out

Chrissy and Lilly sat on the grass by the lake and waited for the humans to arrive. They held each other hand, like the sisters they were. “We could fly away. There’s nothing stopping us.”

Lilly smiled, “I know.”

Chrissy wiped away the tears on her cheeks. “I wish it did not come to this.”

Lilly ran her fingers gently down her sister’s cheek, “Oh, sister. I know.”

Chrissy could no longer hold back her tears. “I don’t want to fight! I don’t want to hurt anyone! Hasn’t there been enough death?”

Lilly held her sister close, feeling Chrissy’s tears on her shoulder. “Then don’t fight. Stay safe. And let me do this.”

Chrissy shook her head. “No.” She took her sister’s hands again. “We are one, sister. We are family.”

Lilly stood, “Then let’s get ready. They’re coming.”

“I know.” Chrissy looked at the carefully crafted chrysanthemums and lilies along the path to the south of the lake. “They warn us. The humans come.” She stood, “I wish there were another way.”

“There’s no other way out of this. We fight now. Or we run forever.”

Both fairies fluttered their wings, silently lifting off the ground, floating just above the surface of the lake, and waited for the humans. They hoped the humans learned. They hoped the humans fled. Both fairies knew the machines were part of them, and would act upon their wishes. None of the humans would survive.

Chrissy and Lillie waited for the humans to arrive.

250 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 107, the first week of the Month Of Love Challengs on #ThursThreads. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 24

“Leighla. Take Flint home.”

My sister grabbed my hand, and pulled me from the library. We walked a short distance from Old Phoenix to a boardwalk over a lake. There were houses among the trees of the hills by the lake. “I know this place.”

“You should.” Leighla pointed to one house. “Especially that one.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 24 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.

If you wish to read all the parts of the story, they are in order, from most recent to first, here.

#VisDare 38 : Chase

I did not sleep that night. I watched over Alice. Something wouldn’t let me sleep. Something told me I had to protect her.

During the night I heard the cats of Old Phoenix, yowling. In my mind, they screamed. I reached for my knives, still in my boots. The door to the church opened, slowly, silently. Three men stood there.

The cats screamed, “The Horde!”

I didn’t wait. I threw my knives, and two of the three men died. The third turned, and ran. I chased him through the streets of Old Phoenix, to the lake. He didn’t take the boardwalk. He dove into the lake, going under the boardwalk. I followed as he race into the lake, where he reached a boat with more men. They pulled him aboard, and quickly left.

I returned to the church, where Alice waited for me.

143 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 24 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#MWBB 23 : Drunken Sailor

Oh, my achin’ head. I knew I shouldn’t have had that entire bottle of Wild I with Ginseng by myself. But after my girl dumped me, and I got fired for calling the boss a fuckin’ bastard, well, I had to do something stupid.

Waking up on a bench in Central Park at three in the morning with two police officers standing by me, one shining this billion candlepower flashlight into my eyes, wasn’t how I wanted to wake up. Especially from the dream I’d been havin’.

Damn,what a dream! I snuck into the boss’s office and pulled his keys out of his desk. He thought they were safely locked in the top right drawer. Didn’t know I could open that drawer with a paperclip. Idiot. So, I stole his Bentley.

I drove the Bentley to my girl’s apartment. I broke in, tied her up, stripped her, and said, “One last fling before I go, sweetheart!” And I did everything she’d never let me do. And I left her tied up, naked, on the floor, with the apartment door wide open.

Hell, I’d stolen a $200,000 Bentley. I was already going to jail. I figured, “Might as well go out with a bang!”

It was a grand dream, dude. I’m tellin’ ya. And it beat the hell out of the day I’d had.

I woke up that morning, to get ready for work, curled to my right, where she was supposed to be, to wrap my arms around her. But that morning, she wasn’t there. She’d left a note on the bed.

“I’m outta here, you selfish bastard!”

I sat there wondering what the fuck I’d done, then got ready for work. I went out for breakfast. ‘Cause don’t ask me how to scramble an egg. Last time I tried that, I set the range on fire. She’d been pissed about that too. “You can’t even boil water, you worthless son-of-a-bitch.” She always fixed breakfast. Made sure I had something to eat. So, with her gone, I had to go eat fast food.

Work had been hell. It always was. Answering the phone 5,000 times. “No mam. I can’t tell you how to setup your firewall on your WEB site. You have to contact our software team, and pay them to do that for you.” “Well, sir. Your e-mail server got hacked, ‘cause you set the password to 123456. That’s life. If you want us to secure it for you, we can, but that’s $75.”

WEB site tech support. Don’t ever do that for a livin’. Geeze, that’s a sucky job.

After the 856th phone call the boss came in, “For the past month, you haven’t been meeting your quota for 50 calls a day. If this keeps up, we’ll have to terminate you.”

I told him the truth. “Hey, I’m answering more phone calls than you can, you fuckin’ bastard.”

Bam! Fired. Just like that.

I went home and posted the Spaceballs video on all the WEB sites I knew about that had passwords like “password”, and “123456”. The one that says, “What kind of a password is that? That sounds like something an idiot puts on his luggage!”

Then, I decided I’d get ripped on the worst wine I could find, and sleep on a park bench in Central Park. Wound up with that bottle of Wild I. Got toasted. Whistled at every girl that walked by. “I’d like me some of that,” and “You lucky bastard!” I said those a lot. The sun went down, and I threw up in the lake. Wild I don’t taste so good coming back.

So, I finished the bottle. Hell, I didn’t have to go to work the next morning, why not?

When the cops woke me, they hauled my ass to jail. “You get one phone call.” I called my ex girl.

“I’m not coming to get you out. You can just sit there to you rot, asshole.” Yep. That was my one phone call.

Women.

I do wonder, though, when the headache that Wild I gave me will finally go away.

685 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 23 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 15

We rode for hours through the forest, then beside a lake. After sunset, we reached an ancient city. “Welcome to Old Phoenix,” the woman said.

We stopped outside a church, where an old, disheveled woman sat in the dark, backlit by light from a partly open door behind her.

“Meet Alice’s mother,” the man said.

55 words
@LurchMunster


This is part 15 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week. It’s flat amazing what gifted writers can say in just 55 words.

#VisDare 26 : Engraved

After Mastermind left, I took Alice’s hand, and we walked the streets of old Phoenix. The cats watched us for a time. Then, one stopped in front of me, “Please follow.” We did. The cat led us out of old Phoenix, down a quiet path to a small, old house next to the lake.

“I’ve never seen this,” Alice stepped closer to me, looking at the cat, “What is this place?”

The cat walked to the door of the house, and mewed. A few moments later, the door opened, revealing an old man. His face etched with his age. “Welcome, children.” He motioned us to come into his home.

“Who are you?”

The cat answered, “The ancient one. He was here at the beginning.”

Alice stared at the cat. “The beginning?”

The old man smiled. “Many centuries ago.” He walked back inside, and Alice and I followed.

147 Words
@LurchMunster


This is part 21 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.