Flash Fiction Friday:Dawson and the Pierian Guards

Dawson ducked back into the shadows. The sound of marching feet too close for safety. He had to hold himself back as he saw Princess Nala in the center of the Pierian guards. His information was correct, but how would he get past all of those guards?

He tore a button from his shirtsleeve and tossed it onto the tiled floor behind the right read guard. The guard turned, stepped back a few paces.

Come on, just a few more strides.

Yes, the guard moved, and Dawson grabbed him from behind, applying a sleeper hold. The guard’s body went limp in his arms. He pulled the guard into the shadows and did a quick clothing exchange. Then, he slipped the guard’s helmet over his head, grabbed the immobilizer that hung at the guard’s waist and took the laser rifle from the guard’s shoulder.

Dawson marched down the corridor and soon took up the position of right rear guard. The left rear guard turned toward him, Dawson gave a thumbs up and faced forward.

Flash Fiction Friday: Overcome Defeat

Orwynne stood with her head hung low, tears dripping from the tip  of her nose creating a puddle on the ground around the broken pieces of her heart. A warm wind blows, and she feels his presence but he cannot be seen.

One by one he picks up the pieces of her heart. He meticulously reassembles them, then he breathes on them and hands her heart back to her, good as new. She clutches it to her chest and it enters the empty place where it belongs.

He whispers, “You are never alone.” Then he is gone, but the fire burns inside Orwynne. She lifts her head, brushes away the tears, straightens her shoulders, marches on to fight another day.

Flash Fiction Friday: Lila’s Quest

NOTE: For you diehard Flash Fictionalists, I warn you that this story is long. In my way of thinking it is still Flash Fiction because it does come in under 1,500 words; it is 1,488 words. It is longer than any of my other Flash Fiction works, but I just couldn’t tell this story in fewer words. I hope you will still be able to enjoy it.  🙂

 

Lila trekked through the woods and climbed Prodigious Mountain. She killed a bear along the way. She stood at the top of the mountain gazing down upon her destination, the golden city of Rema.

Lila began a long, steady climb down the face of Prodigious, placing her fingers and toes in small crevices along the way. About a quarter of the way down, she stopped on a small ledge, drank from her canteen, and ate from her pouch of jerky.

By the time she reached the halfway point, light was waning so she found another ledge and lay to sleep.

At the end of the next day, she reached the bottom of Prodigious Mountain and raised her hands in praise when she found a stream of cool, clean water. She dipped her bloody toes and fingers into the water, sighed at the welcome numbness the cold water effected. She ate the last of her jerky, drank her water and slept.

When she woke, she bathed in the stream, caught a fish she cooked over a fire, ate, filled her canteen and began the hike to Rema. She ran some distance in the morning before the heat of the day, and again when the day began to cool. She had to get to Rema soon. She may already be too late.

Lila reached the outskirts of the golden city as the sun was setting. She heard many voices, loud noises, saw many people. Lila hung back. She would rather face ten bears than a multitude of humans. She decided to stay among the trees outside the city until morning.

As she arose, she found the sun fairly high in the sky. I cannot get what I need and make it back before dark. I shall be forced to spend one more night near Rema.

She hurried into the city. Many people did not notice her. Those who did, stared at the strange barefoot girl in fringed buckskin dress and kept their distance. She wandered the streets but didn’t know where to find what she was looking for. Finally, she saw a window filled with bottles and jars. She looked in the door, saw more bottles and jars on shelves behind a long counter.

She cautiously opened the door, stepped inside. As she padded to the counter, her eyes had to adjust to the dimness, deeper in the shop. At the counter, she looked up into the watery blue eyes of a tall, man with white hair and a white mustache.

The man cleared his throat, leaned toward her. “May I help you?”

Lila was too frightened to speak. She simply unfolded the paper she had taken from her pocket, laid it before him. He picked up a pair of spectacles, sniffed and read the word on the paper. His eyes grew round. His lower jaw dropped.

He regained his composure. “Young lady, are you a doctor?”

Lila shook her head.

“Then I’m afraid I cannot help you.”

The sting of tears threatened at the backs of Lila’s eyes. “Oh, please, but you must. It has taken me eight days to get here. The Father needs this medicine or he will die. I pray that I am not already too late.”

————————————————————————–

The curtain behind the man parted. A young man with pale, white skin peeked into the room. His eyes locked onto Lila’s long, silky black hair, her sun bronzed skin and her chocolate eyes. He saw fear and hurt in the chocolate pools.

“Edgar, is there a problem here?”

“Declan, you should not show yourself here.” The old man tried to usher the younger back behind the curtain.

“Edgar, I see a beautiful, young woman in distress.” The young man couldn’t seem to tear his eyes from Lila.

“Yes, well, she’s requesting a medication she is not authorized to purchase.”

“Oh, please, sir. I have money.” Lila held out two gold coins.

Declan moved forward. “Where did you get those?” He looked at Lila, eyebrow raised.

“From the Father. Please, I must return with this medicine soon. Time is running out.” The plea in her chocolate eyes gripped Declan’s heart. The ancient gold coins intrigued his mind.

“What is your name, my dear?” His voice, like velvet.

“Lila.”

“A beautiful name for a beautiful woman. Where are you from, Lila?” He leaned so close to her, she could feel his breath on her skin.

“I have traveled a long way by foot, sir. Eight days.”

“Don’t worry, my pet. We can help you. Edgar will get the medicine. You return just after dark and I will get you home with the medicine quickly and safely.” He took the coins from her hand, kissed her palm.

“Thank you, sir. I shall return after dark.”

————————————————————————–

Lila wondered at having to wait until dark. That would put her farther behind schedule, but she couldn’t bring herself to question the pale, young man. His kiss to her palm had made her stomach quiver, sent a shiver up her arm. There was something about him, something beckoned her.

The minute all light fled from the sky, Lila entered the shop, lit by a single candle. She tapped the little bell on the counter and Declan appeared.

“Lovely to see you again, Lila.” He held up a bottle, gave it a little shake.

She heard the pills move inside the bottle. She took the bottle from him and placed it carefully in the pocket of her buckskin dress. She turned to go, but Declan caught her wrist.

“This way.” He pulled her toward the curtained doorway.

When she tried to resist, he stopped, leaned close and spoke softly near her ear, “Remember I promised to get you home quickly and safely? Trust me.”

Lila trembled, but whether from fear or attraction, she did not know. She continued to follow him. They climbed a long, narrow, winding staircase, walked through a door onto a roof.

Lila froze at the sight of something she had never seen before. It was some kind of machine.

Declan wrapped an arm around her, drew her near. “Trust me, remember?”

She looked into his shining green eyes, nodded and allowed him to lead her to the machine.

They climbed inside a glass bubble. He showed her a strap to hold her into the seat, attached his own and flipped a few switches. A long arm began to spin noisily over their heads, he pulled a lever and the machine lifted. They were flying.

Lila hung on to the edges of her seat, her knuckles white, her body tense, but after a while, she looked at Declan, calm and in control of the machine, and allowed herself to relax a little. She looked down, squealed, pointed.

Declan saw the clearing she pointed to and set the chopper down. They got out and ran out from under the propeller, holding hands.

As Lila moved to step beyond the clearing, she felt the pull on her arm. Declan had stopped. She looked at him.

“You go on. Save your father.”

“Will you wait for me?” She didn’t want to say goodbye to him.

Declan shook his head.

Lila ran into his arms, kissed his lips.

————————————————————————–

His lips returned her kiss hungrily. He longed for her. When their lips parted, he trailed kisses down her throat to that vulnerable spot at the base of one side of her neck and his mouth lingered there for a long moment. He inhaled the earthy smell of her, then he pushed her to arms length and released his grip.

“Go!”

She looked at him long enough for him to see the tears form in her chocolate eyes in the moonlight, then she turned and ran.

Declan climbed back into the helicopter, bereft and wishing, with every part of his being, that he could be merely human.

————————————————————————–

Lila ran all the way to the community of cabins in the woods with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard the whir of the long arm of the machine. A sob escaped her lips.

She brushed her tears away and rushed into the Father’s cabin. Raelin was by his side. She looked up when the door burst open.

“Is he . . .?” Lila couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence.

Raelin looked down at the form of the man in the bed. “Lila has returned.”

The Father reached a hand toward Lila. She ran to him, dropped to her knees, and lay her head on his chest. Then she handed the bottle of pills to Raelin, who retrieved a glass of water from a nearby table. She placed a tablet between the old man’s lips and held his head up to drink. He swallowed.

Lila smiled and left the cabin. She ran all the way back to the clearing, hope urging her forward, but when she got there, the chopper was gone, and with it, her love, her heart.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the last line of Declan’s POV (before the last break). I’d also love to hear your thoughts on Lila’s community. Leave your comments below.

Flash Fiction Friday: Love Across Time

She sat reading a book.  When she turned the page, a slip of paper floated to the floor.

What could that be?

She bent to pick it up.  The edges were yellow and the paper was thin, fragile.

My Darling,

If you have found this note,
it means we have been separated and my heart is yearning for you.
Remember how we pledged each other our love?
I’ll never stop loving you as long as I live.  

If you have found this note,
I am searching for you.
I’ll never stop searching until I hold you in my arms again
and kiss your soft, sweet lips.

Forever Yours,

Alex

Oh, what a romantic, heart-wrenching note.  Who is Alex and who is his darling?  Oh, to be loved like that.  She closed her eyes and imagined a gentleman with black hair and deep blue eyes searching, calling.  She put her hand to her heart.

“Clarissa.  Clarissa.”

She opened her eyes with a start.

“Clarissa, are you all right?”

“Yes, Father, I am fine.  I was just lost in my thoughts for a while.”

“Well, it’s almost time we should be going.  Please go and prepare.”

“Yes, Father.”

She arose, tucked the fragile note into her pocket and went to her room to dress for the party, thoughts of a devoted Alex still on her mind.

*  * * * *

She and her father rode in the carriage.  She felt her father’s eyes upon her before he spoke.

“Clarissa, I do hope you will find one of the young men at this party to your liking.  You are quickly approaching the age where it will become harder for you to find someone suitable to marry.”

She sighed.  She hated these parties.  Her father paraded her around and introduced her to one young man after another, all from good quality stock, of course.

All so young and arrogant.

“I know, Father.  I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be difficult, but I don’t want to marry just to increase our fortune.”

“Clarissa, you must let go of your silly notion of romance.  If we find you a good match, you will learn to love him, and he, you.”

Clarissa turned to the window willing the burning tears not to spill over.  Her father didn’t understand.  Times like these she wished her mother was still here.  She was sure her mother would understand.  Oh, how she missed her.

The coach stopped, interrupting her thoughts.  She pulled herself together, took one last deep breath and smiled at her father.  “Well, maybe this time, we’ll both find what we’re looking for.”  Her voice sounded more confident than she felt.

*  * * * *

As Clarissa looked around, she saw no new faces in the crowd.  She tried not to show her disappointment.  Several young men approached and asked to put their name upon her dance card.  She smiled and allowed them to write their names.

It wasn’t that these young men weren’t attractive.  Many were even kind and polite, but they just saw her as a prize, a possession, and she wanted to be so much more than that.  She wanted to be a gentleman’s most valuable treasure.  She wanted to be cherished.

When there was a break on her dance card, she made her way to the veranda doors.  She looked around to be sure no one noticed and then slipped out for a breath of air.

She walked away from the doors to the railing and peered into the lovely garden below.  She could smell the magnolia and she breathed deeply of their heady aroma.

“Clarissa!”

She turned.

“Oh my darling, it is you!”

Her hand flew to her breast.  She could barely breathe.  It couldn’t be.  Before her stood a handsome man with black hair and deep blue eyes.  Was she about to faint?  Was she dreaming?

“Alex?” It was barely a whisper.

He closed the distance between them and took her in his arms.  She breathed in the  wood scent of his shirt.

“Oh my darling, I had begun to fear I’d never see you again, but I couldn’t give up.”  Then his mouth claimed hers in a tender kiss that spoke of his longing.

When their lips parted, she clung to him breathless and weak-kneed.  Had he released his grip on her she surely would have crumbled to the floor.

How could this be?  His arms felt like home, and his kiss. . . his kiss was familiar.  But that note.  It had been old.  How could she and this man be the couple the note spoke of?

“Oh, Alex, how long has it been?”

“My darling, don’t you remember?  We have been apart since the war.  Your father would not allow you to marry a man who’s family sided with the Yankees.”

The Yankees?  The Civil War?  But that was a hundred years ago.

“I will not lose you this time, Clarissa.  I cannot.  I will die if we part again.  Please say you’ll run away with me if your father will not give his blessing for us to be wed?”

Her head was spinning.  This couldn’t be real but it all felt so right and something inside her remembered him.  She took his hand.

“Come, we shall go inside and you can ask my father for my hand now.”

His eyes grew round.

“Don’t worry, my dear Alex, if he refuses, I will leave with you anyway.  I won’t lose you again.”

 

Flash Fiction Friday: Fairy Tale

Ametrine followed the sound of the voice.  Someone was singing in a voice so sweet, so musical it was almost mesmerizing.  She walked through the woods to a small clearing.

There Ametrine saw a beautiful girl with flowing waves of brown hair.  The girl had flawless sun gold skin.  She was dressed in a regal red gown.  She sat upon a rock by a small waterfall in a clear stream.  Birds flitted around her head.  Squirrels and rabbits sat by her feet.

Ametrine looked down at her own mottled skin.  She fingered the mole on her cheek, the bump on her nose.  A jealous rage filled her.  She ran back to her cottage.

A few minutes later Ametrine returned to find the girl still singing in the clearing.  Ametrine pulled the hood of her cloak over her head.  It helped to conceal her ugliness.  She approached the beautiful girl.

The girl looked up.  Her eyes met Ametrine’s.  She stopped singing.  She gasped.  She rose to her feet.

“Don’t be afraid,”  Ametrine cooed, looking into the girl’s emerald green eyes.  “I’ve come with a special treat for you.  I heard you singing like music to my ears.”

The young girl smiled.  Her cheeks turned pink.

“What is your name, child?”  Ametrine said.

“Isadora Calliwell.  I’m afraid I wandered too deep into the woods.  I’m not sure which way to go to get home.”

Ametrine had sucked in a breath at the girl’s name.  Surely she couldn’t be the Princess Calliwell of Lockridge Kingdom.  What on earth was she doing alone in the woods?  

A smile passed quickly over Ametrine’s lips.

“My dear, won’t you accept a bit of this chocolate cake?”

Isadora took the cake.  Chocolate was her favorite.  She began to eat.

When there was but a bit of cake left Isadora said, “I’m feeling quite sleepy.  I really should get back.”

Isadora started as Ametrine began to cackle and thrust off her cloak.  “You will not return, for now I shall steal your beauty.  I will return to Lockridge Kingdom to take your place.  You shall remain asleep in these woods forever.  The only way the spell can be broken is if a lonely old woodsman finds you and places a kiss upon your lips before ten years have passed.  There haven’t been any woodsmen around her for thirty years.”  She cackled once more.

Isadora fell asleep.  Ametrine placed the palm of her right hand against the palm of Isadora’s left hand.  She closed her eyes as the changes took place.  When she felt the change was complete, she opened her eyes.

Lying before her, Isadora now had the mottled skin, the mole on her cheek and the bump on her nose.

Ametrine stretched out her arm and saw the flawless sun gold skin.  She reached up and ran her hand through her new wavy, brown tresses.  She laughed.  It was not a cackle.  She sang a line and goosebumps appeared on her arms at the sound of her now musical voice.

She ran out of the woods toward Lockridge Kingdom.

Flash Fiction Friday: Fairy Princess

She captured my attention in an instant.  She was unlike anyone I had ever met before.

She flitted about on tiptoe.  She greeted complete strangers with hugs.  Sweetness, kindness and gentleness radiated from her.  Innocence surrounded her.  In a matter of moments she was gone from sight.

She still haunts my thoughts.  I believe I met a Fairy Princess today.

Faeries/Fairies — Good or Bad

Last Thursday I got into a discussion about faeries with a writing friend.  I have always envisioned faeries as good, kind and friendly.  My friend, however, said that they were written about in Literature, in Victorian times, as good, kind and friendly, but that originally they were mean, ugly and evil.

That piece of information disturbed me because I have an idea for some short fiction pieces that involve a good, kind, friendly fairy.  My friend said that I could still create a fairy like that if I wanted to.

So last night I did a little research, for about two-and-a-half hours, and visited six different websites with information about the history of faeries/fairies.

Let’s start with the spelling —  faerie is the original spelling which derived from “Fe erie”, meaning the enchantment of the Fees, while Fe is derived from Fay, which is itself derived from Fatae, or the Fates.

The modern term “fairy” is linked to fairy tales, which in their modern form have little to do with actual faeries.

For the rest of this post, I will use the modern, more common spelling “fairy”.

Fairies are mythical creatures.  The myths began in Europe and eventually made their way to the United States and other countries.

According to the myths, not all fairies are bad, nor are all fairies good.  A common belief is that fairies are fallen angels who are not good enough for heaven nor bad enough for Hell.

Some of the myths talk about good, helpful fairies who interact with humans and help them around the house with things like sweeping and making bread rise.  It is said that they do not want humans to thank them and that they can be temperamental.  That is why people refer to them as “the little folk”, “the fair folk”, “the good neighbors”, etc.  People called them these things in order to avoid attracting their attention and to avoid insulting them.

There are two types of fairies — The Trooping Fairies and the Solitary Fairies.  The Trooping Fairies are the ones who don’t mind associating with humans a bit.  The Solitary Fairies prefer to be left alone.

All fairies have the power to bestow continual good fortune or continual bad luck upon humans, which is why humans try to avoid attracting their attention or insulting them.

To summarize, in all that I have read, there is information to support that there are both good and bad fairies.

Finally, since fairies are fictional characters, and I am a fiction writer, and since there is information to support both good and bad fairies, I feel quite comfortable writing some short fiction that includes at least one good fairy.  (You may even see some of my short fiction with the good fairy right here on this blog.)

*Note:  The information in Italics was taken from http://www.medbherenn.com/faerie-lore.html, one of the websites I visited during my research.