#MidweekMusings 1×05 : Fire

Flora paid for the drinks, then left the bar. She spoke with the grass, dirt, flowers, trees. “Where has Pahana gone?” A trail of white only Flora could see formed along the ground. She followed it.

Pahana stood before the remains of his house. Fauna felt the heartbreak in his veins, the aching of his heart, the tears of his soul. “Pahana?”

He turned as he wiped away his tears. “Flora?”

Flora’s fingers touched his cheek, his tears. “Show me where they rest, please.”

Pahana led Flora to a mass gravesite at the edge of town. A dozen fresh graves were there, unmarked. He stopped before three of the graves. “My daughter. My son. My wife.” He slowly sank to his knees. He didn’t cry. Flora knew he’d run out of tears in that place. All he could do was kneel before the graves, and pray someday he could feel anything other than empty.

She placed a hand on his shoulder, “Thank you.” She spoke with the ground, the grass, the trees, the flowers. Pahana watched as green grass sprouted around the graves. At the head of each, a rose-bush grew. Deep red for his wife, peach for his daughter, yellow for his son.

Pahana stood. “Thank you.”

Flora smiled, touched his cheek once more. “Tell me, my friend, are there still angels here?”

He nodded.

“Tell me where they are.”

He took her hand, and guided her through the town, to the home of the mayor. “They took over everything.”

She smiled, touched his cheek once more, “Go someplace safe. Tell everyone you can to hide someplace safe.”

“What are you going to do?”

Flora said nothing. Pahana looked at her, into her eyes. He saw fire. Burning, white-hot fire.

“Be safe, Flora. Please.” Pahana left, running from house to house, telling people the fairy Flora was here to save them from the angels. “Get somewhere safe!”

Flora called on the wild magic. She knew it was the machines of her world, of Cylinders. The ubiquitous machines flowing in the blood of everyone, in the air, the water, the trees. She still called it the wild magic. She couldn’t begin to understand the machines, their sciences, their technology. But she could understand wild magic. Especially her wild magic.

Vines grew, came alive, gathered around her. A vine crossed the ground to the door of the house. It grew between the door, and frame, unlocked the door. The door swung open, silently. Flora entered the house, the vines surrounded her, protected her.

She moved room to room, searching for the angels. They’d gathered the beds of the house, the chairs, the tables, in one room. They slept there, draped across everything. They had no guards. They were angels. No one would attack them.

Flora spoke to the wild magic. The vines spread rapidly through the room, twisting around each angel, binding hands, feet and wings. No angle was free. The vines trapped them all. She spoke to the wild magic again.

The vines erupted in flames.

The angels burned.

Flora watched them die. “For Pahana. For his family.” She walked among the dead angels. “For my sister.”

She walked from the home, still surrounded by vines. Outside, the vines spread until the house was no longer visible. She heard the sound of wooden beams splintering. The vines crushed the house, consumed it, turned it, and everything in it, back to dirt.

The fire in her eyes never wavered, never faded. “The angels want a war.” She spread her wings, “Then they shall have a war.” Her wings tore into the air as she took flight. She used the wild magic to guide her as she headed toward her mother’s side.

It was time to stop the angels.

Time to stop the madness.

“There must be no more families like Pahana’s.”

639 words
@LurchMunster


For week 1×05 of #MidweekMusings, another flash fiction adventure hosted by #FlashMobWrites (Ruth Long and Cara Michaels). Please, go read all the stories for this week’s prompt.

#MWBB Week 3.02 : A Forest

They left Rose at the northern edge of the Black Mountains with her hands and feet tied so she couldn’t walk. Her father never looked back. The other men nodded, and patted him on the back, and spoke of how it was best for everyone.

Rose sat with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles bound. She pulled her knees in, and wished she could figure out how to untie the ropes. “This is not what I wanted for my birthday party.” Her tummy growled, and her head hurt.

She watched the sun move through the sky, the clouds come and go, and birds as they flew by. She leaned back, and stared at the sky. “I hope Daddy comes back soon, and feeds me, and takes me home.”

It was hard, but Rose rolled to the top of the hill she was on. She sat up, and looked around. In one direction, the hills grew bigger and turned into mountains with black tops. To either side of her were hills. She’d never been so far from home she couldn’t see it. But she couldn’t see it anywhere. Her father, and the others were gone too. She couldn’t see them anywhere.

In the opposite direction from the mountains, the hills grew smaller, and she saw a big forest a long way off. It looked better than the mountains behind her. She rolled to her knees, and then managed to stand.

She started hopping toward the forest. She fell over a few times, but she got the hang of it, and before long was hopping along. It kept her busy, so she didn’t think about being hungry, or thirsty, or alone.

When it got dark, Rose sat down. Something was horribly wrong. “Why isn’t Daddy coming to get me?”

Rose cried. “This isn’t what I wanted for my birthday.” It was getting cold and her feet and hands hurt from being tied together. She was thirsty, and hungry. And scared. She heard noises. Scraping, rustling, chirping, popping, clicking, scratching noises. She cried, and cried. “Why did you leave me here, Daddy? Why?”

That’s when she saw the fairy. The fairy with a broken wing. That fairy smiled, “Did they leave you here? Alone?”

Rose nodded, “My Daddy left me here.” She wanted to wipe the tears from her cheeks and rub her tired eyes. “He told me to never talk to strangers.”

“Oh,” the fairy smiled and sat on the ground. “Is he coming back?”

Rose wanted to say yes. To jump up and down and say, “He’s coming back for me!” But her father hadn’t come back all day. He and the others had gone away. They’d left her, and somehow she knew, “He’s not coming back, is he?”

“Oh, little one,” the fairy frowned, “I’m so sorry.” The fairy held her and she cried for a long time.

When Rose stopped crying, the fairy untied Rose, then helped her clean up. The fairy even had clean clothes for Rose. “Look at you! Such a pretty girl!” Then, the fairy pulled a jar of water from her bag, and let Rose drink all she wanted.

Rose wasn’t afraid of the fairy anymore. The fairy held out her hand, “You need someplace to sleep, don’t you?”

Rose nodded.

“My name is Mystica. I live near here, in the forest, with my daughters, Sunshine, Musica, and Dream.” She held her hand out for Rose to take. “What’s your name?”

“Rose.”

“What a pretty name!”

Rose took Mystica’s hand. “I have an extra house you can stay in. And lots to eat. If you want to visit.”

Rose nodded, “OK.”

Mystica picked Rose up, carried her on her arm and stepped forward. Rose blinked. The hills were gone. They were beside a lake in the middle of a forest. Three other girls were playing by the edge of the lake. Mystica put Rose down. The other girls rushed over, and hugged her, and welcomed here. Before long, all four of them were playing.

Mystica smiled. She’d found Rose in time. Another child with the gift of wild magic was safe.

683 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 2 (Week 3.02) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “A Forest” by The Cure. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#FTT 31 : Fingers Trembling

Fingers trembling, he slowly unrolled the ancient document. His mother, Oceana, sealed the note centuries before he’d been born. He’d always known about it. “I’ll leave you a note one day. On that day, you will open this.”

When he woke that morning, the castle was in an uproar. Oceana was gone. “All she left was a note on her pillow, addressed to you!” He recognized her handwriting, signature, and seal on the note. “I’m leaving to find myself. You are king now. Please, don’t follow me. It’s time to read the note.”

Sword closed his eyes and took a deep breath, “Breathe in. Breathe out. Recognize your fears. Step past them.” He felt the tremors in his fingers fade, and managed a smile. “Mother, you told me this day would come. May I not fail you.”

He read the note she’d written so long ago.

My dear son.

Someday, I will leave the kingdom, and return to my home, the sea, to find myself, and remember who I am.

You will become King that day. It will be a big responsibility, but you will be ready.

The people of the ocean will be ready too. They will need you to lead them, to guide them, to protect them, as they take their next step into the future. I cannot see what that future will bring. I only know you are the one to lead our people into it.

It will be your turn then, to write a note for your child. Daughter or son, I cannot tell. And explain to them the day you will leave. The day they will become the ruler of the ocean kingdom. The day they will lead our people as they take the next step in their journey into the future.

Your loving mother,
Oceana.

Sword knew what to do. He called the captain of the kingdom’s guard. “The queen has declared we are not to follow her, or look for her. She has declared I am now king.” He ordered no one search for his mother. “The kingdom guard will spread the word of Queen Oceana’s abdication.”

He ordered a week of mourning for the departure of his mother. Followed by a week of celebration of the future. “It was always her wish the people of the kingdom be happy.”

Then, he invited emissaries from the machines to the kingdom, so the people of the kingdom would learn of the machines.

Lastly, he ordered the kingdom be searched for any fairies with wild magic, with any found brought to the castle, where he would teach them of their wild magic, and how to use it responsibly, and for the good of the kingdom.

At the end of his first day as king, Sword visited the surface. He stretched his wings, soaring into the sky, where he watched the moon, and the stars. Change was coming. It was time for he asked Rose to become his queen.

492 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 31 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 1)

Six months after Mystica, her daughters, and the dragons had returned Sword to Oceana and her ocean realm, Oceana knew it was time to ask. She knew from Sword’s behavior what was wrong with him. Why he lacked the focus he’d once had. Why he had been that way for the past six months.

Oceana sighed, in her room, and knew what she would do the next day.

When the sun rose above the horizon, the Oceana’s realm came to life again. The other ocean fairies and the mere-people woke from their rest, and began to carry out their day-to-day lives. That’s when Oceana spoke to her messenger. “Have Sword come before me.”

The messenger had raced from Oceana’s home beneath the ocean to Sword’s lands. Sword was the young prince. Son of Oceana. Heir to the kingdom of the seas. He had a special magic. The magic of the sword. With the ability to swing his arms, as if holding a sword. And the air, and sea both would cut what he swung at as if he’d struck it with a sword.

He was already among the greatest warriors of the ocean realm. And he was only a boy.

The messenger informed Sword of Oceana’s command. And Sword happily complied with his mother’s wish, visiting her in her home. When he arrived, Oceana embraced him, as a mother does her son. And then, she asked him, “Do you wish to visit Mystica and her daughters where they live by the lake in the woods?”

Sword almost leaped for joy. “Yes! I would love to visit them!”

Oceana wasn’t through with questions, though. “My son. Is there anyone there you especially wish to visit?”

Sword’s eyes shined in their brilliant ocean blue. “Yes, mother. There is.” And Sword, the brash prince that he was, actually looked at the floor, and stared at his feet. As if searching for words. As if afraid to speak. “I miss Rose.”

Oceana smiled. It was as she’d always known. Since the day he saw the little girl named Rose, and the way Sword behaved around her, she’d known. She’d also known that Sword and Rose were too young to know. But Oceana knew. She could see it in the way they two of them behaved when they were together. She knew each was the missing half of the other. That one day, each would make the other whole.

“Then, my son, it is time you began your journey from boy to man. We will contact Mystica, and let her know of your wish to visit. Then, you will make the journey to their home on your own. So that all will know this was your decision. And your wish. And all will know that I would not deny your wish to you.”

So it was that Oceana summoned her fairy magic, and called for Mystica. The water before Oceana shifted, and Mystica’s shape gradually appeared. Oceana smiled. “Mystica, of the White Magic.”

“Oceana, of the ocean realm. How may I help you on this day?” Even as she spoke with Mystica, she felt the white magic building. And in a few simple heartbeats, the image of Mystica became  Mystica herself. Mystica couldn’t help but notice the questioning look in Oceana’s eyes, and felt drawn to explain. “Yes, Oceana. I had this ability to travel great distances in mere moments when I traveled to the ocean realm to rescue Sword.”

“Yet, you did not use it. Why?”

“I have only used it rarely. And at those times, it left me nearly exhausted, and very weak. Merlin has explained to me that with time, I will grow stronger, and using the magic of travel will become easier. But for now, it’s difficult.”

Oceana smiled. “I understand. I can only imagine how much effort it takes to travel such distances in such short times.” And both laughed. They talked briefly, Oceana asking about Mystica’s adopted daughters, and Mystica sharing stories of her daughters, and how they had grown in the past six months. Especially tiny Dream. They also talked of the wild magic the girls possessed, and of the way they were learning to live with it. And control it.

Then the topic drifted to why Oceana had called Mystica. “Sword has asked to visit your home. He misses you and your daughters.”

Mystica smiled. “And we all miss him. Especially Rose.”

And so it was that Sword would make the journey from the ocean realm to Mystica’s home on his own. Scream and Merlin would talk with the dragons, and the dragons would watch over Sword on his journey. They would help Sword if he needed help. And Mystica would watch over him from the lake in the forest. If Sword needed help, and the dragons were not able to help, Mystica herself would help.

Mystica and Oceana embraced, as if they were sisters. And then, Mystica simply faded away.

The next morning, Sword started the six-day journey to the lake. As ordered by Oceana, he went alone. This was one more step as he grew from boy to man. The ocean kingdom was so proud that the prince was growing up, taking the next step toward becoming a man. They knew he would one day soon become the great warrior he was born to become.

Fairies : Sunshine Got To Say Good-Bye

Dream looked at her adopted sister, Sunshine.
“I know I promised
I would make a dream for you.
Any dream you wish.
But, sister,
Is that really
The story you wish?”

Sunshine smiled, “Yes.”

As Sunshine slept that night,
Dream came to visit her.
She placed her little hands
On Sunshine’s cheeks.
“Dream,” was all she said.

Sunshine had a dream that night
Of the night
Her Father died
Trying to save her sister
Musica.

She saw her sister Musica,
Broken and bleeding
On the floor.
A man was standing over her.
Beating her to death.

Sunshine’s father entered,
Breaking through the door.
His fairy wings were broken.
He could not fly right then.

The roof of the house
Just lifted up
And sailed away.
Leaving Scream the dragon
Standing there,
Looking into the room.

Scream picked up the man
Beating Musica.
And crushed him
Like he was a grape.

Then Scream screamed,
He gently lifted Musica.
To take her someplace safe.

As he left the village that night
He used his dragon breath
Setting everything on fire.

Sunshine’s father died that night.
In the fires Scream had set.
He couldn’t fly
To get away.

Sunshine never got the chance
To say good-bye to him.

But in her dream that night,
Sunshine got to speak
With her Father one last time.
In her dream that night,

Sunshine got to say good-bye.

A Clip From Chapter 26 of JuNoWriMo

Sunshine needed to get out and about. Mystica knew exactly what to do. She crossed the lake, and sat down in the rain, right next to Sunshine. “Let’s have a girl’s day out,” she said. “We’ll go to a village I know of, and we’ll find some new clothes for you. And a hair brush.” She smiled at Sunshine, “Is there anything you’d like to do while we are out?”

The rain began to fade, until it stopped. And Sunshine smiled. “Yes, Mommy! Yes! Let’s have a girl’s day out!”

Mystica picked Sunshine up, and called on her White Magic. “I’m going to try something different.” She winked at Sunshine. “Merlin said I can go anywhere I want to go, and get there very quickly. Let’s see if he was right. There are shops I know about at a village several days from here. Let’s see how long it takes us to get there.”

Sunshine thought that was a marvelous idea. “Let’s go, Mom! Let’s go!”

Musica called to the White Magic. It wrapped around them both. Then she spoke, “Let’s go!” There was a flash of white light. Everything just became a blur of swirling colors. It felt like they never really moved. But when the white light faded, and the colors stopped swirling around, they were standing on the outskirts of the village Mystica had spoken of.

It was the village Mystica had protected from the wolves.

She took Sunshine’s hand, and the two of them walked into the village. As the villagers saw Mystica, the word that they were being visited by the White Witch. And the White Witch had a little girl with her.

Mystica asked if everyone was OK. She healed those that were not feeling well. And she introduced Sunshine to everyone. “This is Sunshine. She’s my adopted daughter.” Everyone was happy to meet Sunshine. They made her feel welcome.

“Sunshine. What a beautiful name. She’s a beautiful little girl.”

The mothers of the village gathered up, and decided Sunshine needed a few things. They got her a little hand-held mirror, and a hairbrush. They helped her brush her hair. They picked out a couple of sun dresses and a pair of sandals for her.

Everyone ate lunch. The village had a picnic. Unplanned, and hap-hazard. But it was fun.There was singing, and dancing. Sandwiches made with chicken and turkey. And some of the best tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and green beans Sunshine had ever had.

Sunshine was happy. And of course, it was a beautiful day. And the more Sunshine smiled, and laughed, and played with the children in the village, the more beautiful the day became. The villagers asked Mystica about her daughter. Mystica explained that Sunshine was a special little girl. One blessed with wild magic.

Much to her surprise, the villagers accepted that. Several even told her, “We know you. And that you protect and help people. And we believe that if you say Sunshine is not dangerous, then she is not dangerous.”

Several of the mothers of the village sat with Mystica, as they watched the children play such games as tag, and tug-of-war, and hop-scotch.

Sunshine had never been a little girl. She’d never played with so many children all at once. She’d never had so much fun. Mystica watched her, and couldn’t help but smile. It was so wonderful to see Sunshine being a normal, happy, 4-year-old child.

Other children in the village asked her questions, “Are you a fairy?”, and “Did it hurt when your wings started to come out of your back?”, and “When will you learn to fly?” Sunshine answered all the questions. “Yes, I’m a fairy,” and “No. It didn’t. They just started coming out one day,” and “My wings have to grow a lot more before I can begin to learn to fly.”

Several of the girls in the village, and Sunshine, walked through a field of grasses. They picked little wild flowers. And braided them together. Making little headbands they could wear. They helped Sunshine pick the right kind of flowers, and braid them together, so that she had her own flower headband.

Sunshine’s favorite part was when the girls showed her how to brush her hair out, and put it in a pony tail. Sunshine loved that.

As with all good days, eventually, the sun begins to set. And when it did, Mystica and Sunshine knew it was time to leave. The girls of the village had all hugged their new friend Sunshine good-bye. And everyone thanked Mystica for coming to visit them. And for letting them meet her daughter, Sunshine. “Don’t be a stranger,” they told her.

The two of them walked from the village, and as they did, the white magic wrapped around them once again. And in no time at all, they were walking in the clearing by the lake.

A Clip From Chapter 20 of JuNoWriMo 2012…

As the sun began to set, the two girls grew tired. They pulled up some hay, and made a soft spot on the ground. Then they both curled up on it. And went to sleep. They both slept soundly on that night.

With five dragons watching over them.

That night, the fairies had attacked once more. This time the second pair of dragons had acted. The first dragon had blown wind. He took a deep breath, and looked at the fairies flying in the night, and he blew his breath out right at them. The flying fairies were caught in a tempest. Winds far stronger than any they had ever flown in. It blew them backwards in the air. Carrying them for miles. It was like they were little leaves from trees that had fallen on the surface of a mountain stream. And the stream carried them away.

The second dragon had looked at the fairies gathering at the wall to attack again. His eyes had glowed bright red. And fire had lanced out of them. Striking the wall. Knocking the fairies off of it.

The fairies had retreated. They didn’t try to attack again. Enough of them had been injured in the attacks they’d tried so far.

The dragons didn’t sleep that night. They didn’t need to. Dragons only had to sleep once in a while. They could go for days, and some of them for weeks, without sleep. They stayed awake, and watched over the girls all night.