Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/05/13

I stood before the class, my students of all varieties, from ground covering brush to towering redwoods, “Are there any questions?”

There was silence for a few moments. That was normal. I knew they were afraid to ask. It was, after all, a rather obvious question. After a few moments, a tiny Juniper asked, “If we came from a world called Earth, and we can’t cross the vacuum of space, how did we get here?”

The question had an honest answer. “The humans brought us.”

Their reaction was the same every time I answered. My students were completely baffled. They knew humans were a long extinct, like all the animals were.

“Let me explain,” I knew the words of the story very well. Words passed down through generations of seeds, taught to each generation for centuries. “Extend your roots into the ground, and listen to the story of our people.” I watched, and waited, for all my students to become one with the dirt, their roots extended into the source of all life, and intertwined with each other. Then, I extended my own roots among theirs, and I had the ground tell them of the past, our history, and the humans who had helped us spread from world to world.

We spoke to the memories of the ground, who answered. He told of the first robot probes the humans sent to the world. How some were stationary, and others were mobile. Some were sensor stations, meant to stay put, observe, record, and report. Some were cameras, like human eyes, ears, noses, and skin, designed to wander, and see everything.

After the probes, the humans had come, not to stay, but to visit. To explore, and learn more about the world. They stayed for days, weeks at most, and then were gone. The world welcomed them, for it was lonely. The world cried each time they left.

It took time. Centuries. Until the humans came to stay. They brought everything they needed to live in the world, to survive in the world, until they could live off the gifts the world gave them. They brought extra air of the kind they needed. They brought filters to remove from the water, and the air, that which would harm them. They brought food, for they needed to eat. They brought raw materials, to make their own meat, so they did not need animals.

And they brought us. Seeds. Saplings.

They planted our roots in the ground, cared for us, helped us adapt and grow. Until we became adjusted to the world. We grew to breath the air of the world. The ground gave us all we needed. Water was in the ground. Rain fell from the sky. At first, it was strange water, strange rain. It took time, but we learned to filter the water, the rain. To remove what we didn’t need, what hurt us, and give that back to the world, to the ground.

The ground changed to give us more of what we needed.

The humans lived here for a time. Some of them returned to the world they came from. Some returned to Earth. Some left for other worlds. Some stayed. But, the humans had short lives. They were born, they grew, they aged, they died. The air, the dirt, the water, all contained things the humans couldn’t filter out. And one by one, the humans died. Each year, their numbers shrank.

Until they were all gone.

And they never returned.

But we were still here. And we have made this world our own. Even as the Earth we came from was ours, though it had been filled with humans. It has been filled with so many animals before humans. All those animals had died. But we were still there.

And we waited, until the world gave us the humans. Our way to spread to other worlds. Our way to the stars.

653 Words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 10th 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.

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#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.

#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.

Fall Flash Festival : My Fall

I stood on the beach, watching the waves, wondering how long it would be until I struck the ground again. Like I do every year. Every fall. Sometimes, I think they named this time of year perfectly. Fall. And every year, I do.

It was good to stand on the beach and watch the sunrise. The sun always brought color back to the world. The blue-green, grey, and white of the ocean and it’s waves. The pale blue of the sky, with it’s wispy white clouds. The green and gold of the sea oats. The shades of brown and tan in the sand.

Watching the colors come back reminded me, like all things, Fall and Winter eventually ended, yielding to Spring. In roughly 26 weeks. Spring. I always look forward to that. Fall. I never look forward to that.

As I stood in the dark, before the dawn, everything was a shade of black, or gray. I knew, as the leaves changed from their many shades of green, to their painted shades of gold, yellow, red, and brown, those leaves would fall to the ground. And leave bare trees. All of them, shades of gray. All of them the same.

I knew, the roses would bloom one last time. Defiantly painting themselves in oceans of pink, yellow, white, peach, bronze, and red. I knew those brilliant splashes of color would fade, the petals of each bloom would curl, and fall, beneath the ocean of gray fall always brought.

Already I could feel a nip in the wind, a hint of the biting cold that would grow in the days ahead. That little hint of the coming Winter. The playful nip of cold, like a puppy’s playful nip. A nip that grew throughout the fall into the searing bite of a full-grown, predatory wolf. Hunting every last shred of life it could find. Hell-bent on sinking its teeth in, and crushing that life in it’s jaws.

Fall. That time of year where all hope faded. Where the bottom fell out of my world, my life. Where the ground I’d stood on, the hill I’d climbed in Spring and Summer ended. And I walked off a cliff I never saw coming. A cliff that just appeared. Where the solid ground I stood on simply fell away. And I fell too.

Fall. At least it was named accurately.

There had been a time, not so many years ago, when Fall brought despair. When Fall heralded the return of the demon my depression was.

Until I learned to walk along the beach. In the hour before the dawn. And watch the sun climb out of the ocean, into the sky once more. And watch as the shades of black and grey faded away. And the colors of the world came to life again.

Until I learned to Fall heralds the return of the Camellia trees to full bloom. Their shades of white, pink and red, reminding me the Fall and Winter don’t last. They end. As if the Camellia trees catch me as I fall, and gently place me on the ground.

I knew Fall would grow the demon of depression within me. The darkness of my life would grow, just like the length of each night. But I’d learned. The darkness would never win. So long as the Camellias bloomed in the dead of Winter once again. So long as the sun rose every morning, and painted over the darkness of the night, and brought back the colors of life.

588 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for the Fall Flash Festival, hosted by Eric Martell and Daniel Swensen. Please, go read all the other stories written for the festival. They all show the magic of words.

#FlashFriday #33 : The Cave

Getting her away from the mansion was easy. There were no guards. It was an island, no guards were needed. She’d just gone for a walk. Everyone knew she’d be back. There was no way off the island.

No one knew I lived in the caves on the island’s north side. The only way into the caves was through an underwater opening. I’d found the caves years ago, when I escaped the world.

Until the day they brought my daughter to it.

We met on the rocks by the edge of the trees. I handed her a shirt, and pants. “You’ll need these.”

I led her to the cliff on the southwest side of the island. “Follow me.” We dove into the ocean, and I led her through the underwater entrance. The inside was a cavern, with a small cave along the north wall, and a waterfall along the west wall. I led her to the small cave. My home.

“You’ll be safe here. In a few days, they’ll stop looking. Then it’s two days to the nearest island.”

That’s when she saw the picture of her, as a child, sitting in her father’s lap. She looked at me. “Daddy?”

200 Words

@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 33. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.

Sometimes

I went to the gardens
That I know so very well.
That I love so very much.
The gardens that help me
Heal my heart and soul.

And there,
I walked.
Alone.

Just me.
And my music
Playing in my ears.

I took my time.
Stopped and looked
Any time I wanted.

Took the time
To feel the breeze.
To feel the sun
Shining down on me.

To listen to the leaves
On the trees.
The birds singing songs
Of so many kinds.

I watched the bees
Buzzing through the wildflowers.
Pollen packed upon their legs.
As they moved from one bloom
To another.

I watched squirrels
Climbing in the trees,
Running along the ground
As they searched
For the perfect feast.

There was a group
Of tiny birds.
They looked like finches
To me.

My hands
Would have dwarfed
Any one of them.

They ate petals
Off yellow flowers.
And watched me
Watching them.

I watched grasshoppers
Playing games.
Chasing each other
Through the bushes,
Grass and mulch.

I took the time to stare
At a black dragon-fly
With the golden stripes
Down both of it’s sides.

I’d only seen one like it
One other time.

I studied the details
In its wings.
The way they looked
Like fine wire frames
With a film stretched
Over them.

I walked through the butterflies
In the butterfly house.
I lost count
Of how many I saw there.

But then,
I didn’t really care.
I was just there
To enjoy the patterns
On their wings.

The grace with which they flew.

Then I walked once more
Among the trees.
Through the forest named
Enchanted.

And I remembered.
And I saw.
And I felt.

I walked alone.

Just me.
That’s how it is for me.
I have no one to ask
On days like today.

I’d have loved to take her hand
And walk with her.
But she was at work.

Work.
Where I spent more than half
Of the life
I’ve been blessed with.

Work.

That which nearly
Destroyed me.

There are parts of me
I know are gone.
That’s all.
Just gone.
Like a missing hand.
Or foot.

Sometimes I can almost remember
What they felt.
Those missing parts of me.

I walked alone.

Wishing, as I have
Thousands of times before,
The people I once knew
Would make the time,
Would take the time
To walk through the flowers,
And the trees.

Knowing they never will.
Even on a vacation.
Or a day off.

I walked alone today,

Through the flowers
And the trees,
Of the gardens
I love so very much.

I’ll walk there
Many times
In the years ahead.

I have to.
You see.
I have to.

For on days like this
I know
The walks I take
Through the flowers
And the trees,

Define a fragile line for me.
Between the darkness
And the light.

Give a hope to me
I can’t hold on to
On my own.

In a world
I never made.

Where I walk alone.

#ThursThreads 56 : You Can Get Up Now

I set the can down on the coffee table, kicked off my shoes, and then racked out on the sofa. I wasn’t going anywhere for a while. When Danielle came back from getting dressed, she saw me and said, “You can get up now.”

I laughed, shook my head, and croaked, ““Nope. Can’t. Not ‘till da room stops movin’.”

She grabbed my hand, and pulled it upward, “Come on, you. Get up.”

“Nope,” I didn’t budge. I pointed to the coffee table.

“So, you’ve had a drink. That’s nothing. Get up.”

I laughed some more. “Chugged four.”

“Four?”

“Yep. Had that last chug. Looked out the winnow. And da trees took off for da hills.” I smiled. At least, I think I smiled. Maybe I leered. Danielle was cute, you know, and I was blitzed, so yeah, maybe I leered. “An I ain’t movin’ ’till da trees, ceiling and walls stop movin’.”

She pouted, with that look. The one grabs you where it counts and squeezes. The one you can’t ever argue with. “But, you were going to come to the banquet with me.”

I remember thinking I was toast.

“This is how you get out of it? Get drunk, so you can’t go?”

“Lead on, darlin’,” I said, as I staggered to my feet. Standing before her, swaying I continued, “ I’m ready when you are.”

Then the ground moved up, toward my face.

I don’t remember anything after that.


This is my response to the #ThursThreads 56 prompt. I had the thought, and just couldn’t resist trying to write this. Thanks to Siobhan Muir for hosting #ThursThreads each week. Now, go read the other entries in this week’s challenge. Have fun.