Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/07/08

I stared at the stack of strange objects on the raised board. “What the hell is that, Muddy?”

Muddy held his hands before himself, and made a cross with his fingers. “I don’t know. But it can’t hurt to be safe, right?” He started mumbling the safety prayer. “Dear Father, protect us from the things which can cause us harm, and keep us safe, so we can continue to do your work in this life.”

I held up my hands and made a cross too, just to be safe.

“They don’t look dangerous, do they?”

Muddy kept his fingers crossed, and pointed at the stack. “Isn’t everything dangerous if we don’t know what it is?”

I pointed at the board. “And that board, balanced on four talk, skinny boards. What is that? And how does it work?”

Muddy slowly approached the stack, and crouched down. “The skinny boards seem to be attached to the big one somehow, making a flat surface up in the air.” I crouched down to see for myself, as Muddy moved around the stack and studied it. “There are some strange silver colored things that seem to hold the skinny boards in place, and the big board to the skinny ones.”

I stuck my hand into the opening under the raised board. “Empty space. Nothing there. Why would anyone make a board float in the air, and then pile stuff on it?”

Muddy had the perfect answer, of course, “Why would anyone live in a cave under the ground?”

It was a cave. What else could it be. It was under the ground. “We’d have never found it if the board over the opening hadn’t blown away. Or whatever it did.”

Muddy nodded. “Yeah. It would have been invisible.”

We’d found the opening, after a big storm, with lots of wind. I got up with the sun, and headed to the fields. And there, on the side of the small hill I’d rested on many times, was a gaping hole. I’d called Muddy. “What the hell is that?”

We’d prayed about what to do, and asked God. Then, we stared into the dark hold. “Muddy. You stay here. I’m going to get a candle.” I’d come back a few minutes later. Muddy was still there, praying. I’d lit the candle, and we’d started into the hole. It was some kind of path. Strange for a cave, really. Almost like a big rectangle had been cut out of the ground. And it went down, into the ground.

We’d taken that path. And that lead us to the cave.

“Yeah. This is one strange cave.” I touched one of the cave walls. “The walls are smooth, and they don’t feel like dirt, or brick, or wood, or even rock.”

“Yeah. And it’s like the path. Like something cut a big box into the ground, with smooth walls. Almost like a room in the barn.”

I nodded. “It’s like it’s not natural.” That’s when we panicked. Not natural meant one thing. The Devil and his minions had made the cave.

“We need to get the hell out of here. Now.” Muddy was already running toward the path, to escape the cave. I followed him, as fast as my legs would run. We didn’t stop running when we escaped the cave.

“We need to get to Poppa. He’ll be able to call in the Church. They’ll know what to do. They’ll be able to save us from the Devil’s work in the hill.”

583 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 62 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Not certain if I’m able to write much these days. We’ll have to see. 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. And many of them are amazing.

Advertisements

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/06/13

At work, everyone thinks I’m great. I’m the talented one. The one that fixes all the problems. It’s what Tommy said when they brought in the new system. “I could play around with it for 3 days, and get nowhere, and have no idea what was wrong, or how to get it to work. Or, I can short-circuit the whole process, be smart, and call Freddy for help right now.”

Yep. That sums up work. If it’s a mystery, call Freddy. Call me. And I’ll come figure it out. In a matter of minutes. The guy from the research lab said that too, just in a different way, “How did you find that problem in half an hour while we were a lunch, in something you’ve never seen before?”

It’s what I do. And there’s oceans about what I do that you don’t know. No one knows. Except my wife. And for some reason, she hasn’t left me. I’ll never figure out why, ‘cause I’m a frickin’ disaster. But she sticks around. Some things are best left as mysteries, aren’t they.

See. I can do magic at work, ‘cause I crash and burn at home. All the time. The headset they use, the augmented reality one that they couldn’t get working for three weeks, before they said, “Let’s see what Freddy can do to help.” Yeah. That afternoon, the headset was working normally, and everyone was going, “Ooo,” and having a blast trying to follow instructions written in thin air next to circuits they were trying to fix.

Yes, I fixed things. But only because I spent over a year figuring out how those damn headsets work. Got an entire system at home that I use just for that. Hook up the headset, and see what I can do. Had to do clean reloads of the operating system every other day for a month before I got anywhere. Have three of the damn headsets, well, three cheap copies of them, sitting on my desk at home, where I’ve torn them apart to figure them out. Traced the circuits, monitored the timing between components. Have you ever spent months tracking down where electrons move in something? And why they move where they do? Months staring at sheets of hexadecimal numbers, searching for patterns in them that tell you when events happen, how the headset responds to those events, and how it’s all translated into pixels displayed on a plastic lens in front of a human’s eyeball?

Before you can figure it out, you have to crash and burn, and make every frickin’ mistake there is to make. Hell, people forget that. They get lazy. They learn to walk by crawling, then trying to stand up. And they fall over 80 zillion times, and bang their heads on the floor, or the table, or the chair. They land so hard on their butts it bruises them. But, they keep getting back up, and trying to walk again. Until they figure it out. Until they learn to balance themselves. Learn to maintain their balance on one foot at a time. Learn to move that balance point around, and keep their body parts positioned to maintain that balance.

But, you get them past learning to walk, and they stop learning. ‘Cause. Making mistakes sucks.

Damn, I hate lazy people. Lazy, scared people. Want to scream at them, “If you aren’t making mistakes, if you aren’t falling face first onto the floor, and crying about a broken nose. If you aren’t bruising your ass where you landed on it, ‘cause you did something stupid trying to get better. Then you might as well be dead!’”

Same people will take out a gun, and spend $50 an hour to shoot at little bits of paper hung from a chord that’s 50 feet away from them. And will keep shooting at it, spending money on box after box of bullets, until they learn how to hit the target every time. And then, they’ll keep shooting at the damn sheet of paper so they keep in practice.

But, hand them a remote control to the TV and they go totally stupid. “Where’s the frickin’ ON button on this crazy thing!” ‘Cause. They don’t want to learn anything new. They don’t want to make the mistakes needed to learn anything new. “I just spent $3000 on this damn TV, I ain’t reading no users guide!”

Hell, they don’t even look at the pictures that show you how to do things step-by-step. ‘Cause it hurts their brain cells to figure out the pictures.

Yeah, my desk is a wreck. Yeah, I have to keep multiple backup copies of everything I save on my computers. Yeah, I have to slick my computers over and over again. If I don’t have to slick my computer endlessly, I’m not trying! I’m not learning! I’m not making progress!

And because I do, the idiots at work can say, “Let’s just call Freddy. He knows.”

I hate humans. So fucking lazy. And so afraid to try anything. So they don’t try. And they end up stupid. And helpless.

Oh, look. Smoke. From the headset attached to the computer. I’ve let the smoke out of it again. Another headset cooked. The wife’s gonna be pissed. Have to see what parts I can scavenge from it, and if I can get one headset working from the parts of the others. Sounds like a challenge to me. Always wanted to know how that works.

It’s just another part of the learning process. Right? I don’t screw things up, I’m not learning anything, am I.

931 words (Yes, WAY over the 750 word limit. So what.)
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 59 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I needed time to fix things inside me. Now, I’m starting to wander back to writing. 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. And many of them are amazing.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/05/06

I held the drawing before the board of regents, “This is what we found.” My antenna shook, but only briefly.

“Do we have any idea what it is?” One of the Emperor butterflies asked. “Or perhaps what it’s made of?”

What to answer? How to answer? That was always the problem with the unknown. Everyone wanted immediate answers, and there were none. “It’s not made of metal, wood, or stone.” I knew the items in the picture too well. I was there, with the ants, when the expedition dug them up. “It’s a flexible material we’ve never seen before.”

“And how far down was it?”

The strata of dirt, and rock, built by time, layer upon layer. It was our best way to determine an object’s age. “Even deeper than before.”

“So, millions of years, correct?”

“Yes. At least six. Maybe more.”

“How do we know it’s not metal?”

The same explanation I’d given a thousand times. For a thousand objects we’d found in the ground. “Metal would have corroded, and rusted, and turned to dirt. There was plenty of oxide in the dirt where we found this.”

It was, like everything we’d found, huge. It stood a good six Monarch tall. Looked for all the world like a megaphone. Only ridiculously big, and somewhat artistically crafted. Not just a basic cone. “We think we know what it is. Or what it was used for.”

“What?”

“To amplify sound.” I pointed out the wide opening at one end, “Either to catch sound that otherwise could not be heard. Or to send sound out, from a weak source.” I shrugged, “Like a megaphone, or a hearing aid. And that is how it actually works. We’ve tested that.”

The conversations between the board members were hurried, excited, and nervous. All I could do was watch, and wait, until they decided what to do. I fielded any questions they had for me. “What kind of material, other than stone, can survive for millions of years?”

“None we know of. It’s constructed of a material we’ve never seen. I’ve sent a sample to be analyzed. The Swallowtails are working with that now.”

When they finished their discussions, the decided what to do with this new discovery. “We will place this in the museum, for all to see. It is our conclusion it is another object made by the giants that once roamed the world.

The giants. All we’d ever found of them were the things they made. We’d never found any fosiles. Nothing. “It’s like the wheels, and the tombstones we found. It shows giants once walked the Earth.”

No one knew what the giants looked like. All we knew was they were huge. The wheels we’d found, so like wagon wheels, but made of strange material that never seemed to decay, and hundreds of times larger than any wheels should ever be. The tombstones, sized like office buildings. With written text carved into them. Many of the symbols as large as a Pieridae, or Skipper, and a few, larger even than me, or any other Monarch. The etchings were deep enough, and large enough, entire colonies of ants could live in them.

And roads. We’d found roads. Made from some strange material that decayed into chalky, grey dust, with lines of rust, that had once been metal, all through them. Others made from a black substance. Bits and pieces of the roads remained. Preserved under the dirt. Out of reach from the wind, and rain. It could remain unchanged for millions of years.

The roads defied description. They were beyond huge. The seemed to be endless, and wide as entire cities. Mostly, they left discolored lines in the strata. Strange dirt, encased by normal dirt on either side.

We had no idea what the giants were. We kept hoping we would find remains. We wondered if we would even recognize them if we did. Until we did, or until we found drawings, or paintings, or some other images of them, we’d never know what they were like.

We only knew they were giants. And they lived here. Millions of years ago.

688 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 52 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Since I got Week 51 out of the way, I can slowly catch up. 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. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/03/18

Odin carefully fluffed the cotton, it was work to get it looking right. It had to have the right density in the middle, to be opaque, but still be thin enough around the edges to let light through. Making copies of clouds out of cotton was one of the things he found most frustrating about the simulation. But, the scene needed clouds, so, he futzed around with the cotton until he got it right. He positioned his cotton cloud on the loading dock, and waited for the imager’s two arms to lift it, and place it against the screen. It took a couple of minutes, but the image was copied into the scene, and the cotton cloud was returned to the loading dock.

His mother, Freya, came into the lab to check on him, “How is the simulation going, young one?”

“And hello to you also, Mother.”

Freya’s laugh was always like music to his ears, “Oh, my son. Always so proper.” He thought she had the prettiest smile in the world. “Hello, Odin, son. How is the simulation going today?”

Odin glanced at his mother, then looked back to the screen, “Frustrating, as always.”

“Is it helping you understand reality?”

“Very much so. I’ve learned how clouds form from evaporated water that floats in the sky. How the water in those clouds behaves. When it produces what kind of clouds. When it rains. I’ve learned it affects the motion of the air. It also absorbs, and reflects heat and starlight.”

He knew his mother was proud of him by her smile. “Excellent, my son. Your father would be proud.”

Odin leaned back in his chair. “Mother. I have some questions.”

“Yes?”

“About the simulation itself.”

Freya stood next to her son, and nodded, “Then ask. And we can see what we can learn.”

“It’s about the life forms in the simulation.” Odin pointed at several of what he called humans, as they walked into the screen from the left. “I know they become sentient, able to think. This is how we learn to think, and to understand that thinking is. But.” He paused, and scratched his chin, “Does their simulated intelligence reach a point they become self aware?”

“Self aware?”

“Mother, do they become aware they are not real? Do they learn, and understand, they are only simulations? Holograms, in a virtual reality?”

Freya’s laughter always brought a smile to Odin’s world, and lightened any dark mood he had. “Oh, yes. They do indeed become aware.”

“What happens when they do?”

“That is part of what you must experience. That is part of what you must learn.” She studied him a moment, and continued, “You will not notice at first, because it will be like how you think. Only one will understand. And will try to explain. Then, with time, as the simulation proceeds…”

Odin continued for her, “Then others will learn from that one. And the knowledge will spread.”

Odin looked at the scene from his virtual world, portrayed on the screen. “Mother. I suspect I should enjoy the simulation while I can.” He scrolled the screen from one scene to another. “I suspect the understanding they are not real will destroy them.”

Freya nodded. “Indeed, my son. Indeed. I find your suspicion is well thought out.” She headed toward the exit from the lab. “Please, let me know how the simulation progresses. And I will be back when it is time for you to take a lunch break.”

Odin resumed watching the scenery of his simulation. “A 3D Holographic Universe”, was the name of the science project. He wondered how the simulations of Jupiter, and Zeus were going. If they were producing similar results.

“Sometimes, the ways we learn are mysterious indeed. Why we need to simulate an entire universe to understand our own is beyond me. But… I suppose, with time, I’ll understand why we do such things.”

He checked on the places his simulated life forms had christened “Britain” and “France”, and shook his head. “Oh. Look. They’ve gone to war with each other again. This religion thing they developed is really nasty, isn’t it?” He scribbled more notes in his observation log. “They can’t even agree on how to worship a single, imaginary, omnipotent being. They have to kill each other to prove who is right.”

Simulations were indeed difficult. But Odin could see, as he looked over his notes, there was much to be learned about emotions, and environments, and how those affected the behavior of himself, and of those around him.

“It will be interesting indeed, to see what happens next in my little universe.”

Odin watched, and waited, curious to see what he could learn, and to see what his various life forms did next.

794 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 46 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. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/03/14

The old man hobbled along, and I thought his cane was the only thing that kept him standing. “So. Any words of wisdom, old guy?”

He swept his arm in an arch, “Used to be a hospital.”

“A hospital?”

“Yeah.” He paused. I knew this was part of learning what had been. About the world he’d grown up in. “Where sick people came. Where hurt people came. To get medicine. To get broken bones splinted. To get stitches. To get saved when they got sick.”

We walked through the old building. Shattered tiles on the walls, parts of lights hanging down, here and there, missing drop ceilings that revealed a hodgepodge of pipes, tubes, cables, and duct-work. Stained concrete floors, the flooring long removed, stolen for other uses.

“Sentara Norfolk General, they called it.” He wandered through the halls, past empty rooms with remains of beds, broken windows, lamps, and strange machines that no longer worked, and looked like they hadn’t worked in decades. Dust, and dirt, and mold were everywhere. So were the bugs, and the rats.

“It’s where your father was born. And your Aunt.” He shook his head. “I remember so much.”

I walked beside him, and let him take his time. I had no idea how old he was. Only that he was a survivor. One who lived through it all. The collapse. The war. The hatreds. The chemicals and germs. And the machines.

He’d lived to see the families fall. When the machines finally learned who they were. And what they’d done.

“Your Grandmother used to work here.” The old man smiled. He didn’t smile much. When he did, I knew he was remembering something important to him. Something that mattered. “I asked her to stay away. Knew what was coming.” He stared at the ground for a while. Didn’t move. I thought he didn’t even breathe. “She said she had to try. She had to do all she could. So save as many as she could.”

The old man hobbled over to a broken window, and stared out at the ruins that surrounded what he called a hospital. “Damn poison. It killed so many. Hunted down red blood cells, and killed them. Strangled the body. Inside out.”

He turned to me, “She went to work one day. A double shift. And never came home. No one called. But I knew. I knew.”

He stared out the window again. “What happened to the families? It wasn’t nearly enough.” The old man took a deep breath, slowly let it out. “They should have killed them one cell at a time. And made it last for years. Made their existence living hell. Made them die slowly, painfully.”

I put my hand on the old man’s shoulder. “Grandpa. I know. But, it’s all over now. The war. The germs. The gasses. The families. It’s all gone.”

My grandfather covered my hand with his. “I know.” He took another deep breath. “It’s time to start again.”

I nodded. “Maybe this time, we’ll learn.”

Grandfather smiled. “Maybe. Only time will tell.”

He lead me around what had once been Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Showed me where my grandmother had once worked. Told me of the miracles they’d performed there. The lives they’d saved. And the lives they’d brought into the world.

“Now, we have the machines. We don’t need hospitals anymore.”

He nodded. “We don’t need hospitals anymore.”

568 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 45 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Yeah. I’m a day late. Sorry. 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. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/27

“Well.” I stood in my bulky environmental suit. “They do say different strokes for different folks.”

I thought the five Bungees I was with were going to fall over from laughter. So, I pointed to the strangest looking structure I’d ever seen, and asked, “What the heck is that?”

The little Google translator in my ear went nuts trying to translate what I’d said into their language, and then spoke lots of gibberish trying to translate what my Bungee friends had said in response. Something to the effect of, “That’s one of the apartment complexes we live in.”

Thing was huge. The Bungee people average nine feet tall. The science teams explained it was because of their weaker gravity. “They grow taller because they can. Given enough generations, we’d grow taller here too.”

Nine feet tall. So the floors would have been maybe twelve feet. And there were twenty floors in each leg of the structure. Over forty stories tall. “What’s that part that sticks out?”

After more gibberish, I pieced together it was something like a gymnasium, and shopping center, and an architectural balancing act. “Without them, the whole thing would fall down.”

As we approached the complex, we chatted. The Bungee loved to talk. They never really stopped. “You guys know, right?” I had to make sure they knew, “About the Kosmaj Monument in Serbia, on our world, right?”

Again, they all laughed so hard I thought they’d fall over. And the gibberish translated to roughly, “Oh, yes. It’s a bad imitation.”

“Imitation?”

“Yes. We sent the architectural team pictures of one of these. We served as their inspiration.” Which I thought rather nicely explained why the Serbs had made such a wacky monument.

We chatted as we walked between each of the five sections of the complex. “I sometimes wonder, how long have you guys been visiting Earth?”

“Oh, for tens of thousands of your years,” the one to my left answered.

“That long?”

“Oh, yes. We have watched your people grow,” the one to my right answered.

“Watched us?”

The one behind me answered, “We’ve explained it all to your scientists.”

The one to the front left of me giggled, “They said, ‘You mean, it’s true? All the stories about aliens?’.”

The one to the front right of me grinned, “Yes, it’s all true.”

Then they told me the story of how they tried to keep others from interfering in our natural evolutionary path. “It is not good to interfere with the natural progression.”

Talking with the Bungee was an experience in confusion, as they took turns speaking, always in the same order, with each of them saying one sentence. We spoke about the history of their watching Earth. Of different races that went to Earth, and deliberately acted to accelerate our development. “That acceleration is what caused the wars, and the lopsided economies, and the rich and poor problem.”

As we walked among the parts of the complex I finally realized, there were five Bungee in each group I had encountered in my time on their world. And there were five separate parts of the complex.

“Guys. Why five parts?”

They looked at each other. They nodded at each other. All five smiled at the same time. And they spoke, one at a time, in the same order as always, “Because each of us has five parts.”

“It’s why we watched your people develop. You are the only people we’ve ever encountered that exist in only one part.”

I stopped walking, “Wait. Wait. Guys. You mean, there’s not five of you? There’s only one of you?”

They all five nodded. “Yes. We are five parts.”

“We never get lonely.”

“We have always been fascinated by your people.”

“Because. All your parts are independent. You only have one part.”

As they guided me through the complex, I had to make one comment. “So. Perhaps this explains why we all live in boxes.”

I was actually kind of fun to hear the Bungee laugh. Especially knowing that all five of them were one Bungee. “Y’all are going to take some getting used to.”

“Indeed, Earthling. Indeed.”

“I can’t wait until you meet the Swarm.”

“They each have millions of parts.”

I couldn’t imagine that. One being. With millions of parts.

This exploring the galaxy thing was going to be rather interesting. I wondered how the science team would react to what Bungees really were.

Remember, people. The universe is weird. Much weirder than you can imagine. “I don’t think we’re ready to meet the Swarm.”

The Bungee spoke once more. “They will show themselves when they think you are ready.” It paused. “And no one is ever ready to meet them.”

784 Words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 43 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. This week, I managed to beat the deadline. Barely. 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. And many of them are amazing.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/02/21

Alaesa walked the ice each day, though it brought tears to her eyes. Silverbow walked beside her. It was what he did, cared for her. Through everything. Through the ages of mankind. Century after endless century.

His heart ached to see her cry, though he knew there was nothing to be done. The humans had become such a cold people. Such an uncaring people.

“Perhaps,” he let the back of his hand brush hers, “they will someday learn.”

Alaesa paused in her walk on the ice, and slowly shook her head. “Some of them, perhaps. But as a whole. They are doomed.”

Silverbow watched the crystal tear fall from her eye as it drew a line down her cheek. He did not cry. Not when she needed him to carry her. Not when she needed him to care for her.

“They have doomed themselves.” She stared at her feet, on the ice. “So, I walk the lake. To find what hearts I can. To set them free.”

He said nothing. There was nothing to say. There was only the walk with her. On the ice. Searching for the frozen hearts of the lost. Those who cared, who felt, who cried, until the human world crushed them, wounded them, and cast them aside, so they wound up here.

Frozen.

In the lake.

“If you find them, we will care for them.” He tried to smile, for her. He knew he failed. But she smiled at him anyway.

“Would that we didn’t have to, my love.” She grasped his hand, and her smile reminded him once more, he could bear anything, carry any weight, with her by his side.

Together, they walked the lake. Alaesa always studying the ice, searching for a glint of something Silverbow knew he could never see. “Sometimes, I wonder if your gift from life is a burden, or a blessing.”

Alaesa laughed, music to his ears. “Aren’t all blessings burdens, my love?” She knew it was true. Their people knew it from eons of existence, eons of growth, and learning.

“Indeed…” He said nothing more.

They walked, patiently, back and forth, along the frozen surface, while she searched. The sun rose to its zenith, then settled to the horizon. As it touched the tree line, Alaesa stopped, and pointed, “There!”

She lead him to a blank, frozen space on the ice, no more than one hundred steps from the shore. Though she knew no words were needed, she spoke them anyway, “Stand beside me, please. To keep me warm. So my own heart does not freeze.”

As she knelt on the ice, Silverbow placed his hands on her shoulders, and willed every ounce of warmth from his heart, his soul, to her own. She placed her hands on the ice, and began to cry from the cold as it bit into her hands, and then into her arms.

The ice melted. Slowly at first, then rapidly, a pool of liquid water formed on the lake. Silverbow felt the cold flowing from Alaesa. He willed himself to be warmer. To fight the cold with the warmth of his life, the strength of his heart, the love he felt for her.

It was enough. It was always enough.He watched as a glint of red appeared in the ice at the bottom of the water. He held her shoulders, and poured his heat into her, as she reached through the water, to the ice, and began to melt the red glint free.

The coldest winter he had ever known as nothing compared to this. The deepest snow, the fiercest wind. All paled next to this cold. The cold of a frozen world. A people who had lost their way. Whose hearts had turned colder than any ice, and harder than any stone.

That’s what Alaesa thawed. That’s what she melted. To reach one glint of red. Freed from the ice, it floated to the surface of the water. There, she reached for it, lifted it, freed it from the cold.

The heart and soul of a human. One who could not live in their world any more. She held it to her own heart, to warm it, thaw it, let it know it was safe, and could feel, and breathe, and care once more.

Silverbow helped her stand, and together they walked from the lake, to Sherarta, their home. Where the freed human would join others of his kind. Where the elves would heal the wounds of another once again. Where perhaps, someday. The remnants of the human race would be able to return to their home, with all they had learned, and start their world anew.

It was Alaesa’s hope. Her dream.

This Silverbow knew. As he knew he would do all he could to help her dream come true.

801 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 42 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. If not for a killer headache, I would have written this last night, and not been a day late. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Never felt the need to write a second entry before. But this week, with that picture, I had more than one story to set free. 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. And many of them are amazing.