He was a lurker, they weren’t supposed to see him. But it’d been so long since anyone had reacted to his presence, he couldn’t help but wave back. The children smiled and hollered at him.
From that day on, he lurked closer to at the edge of visibility. At first, most hikers didn’t notice. But soon word spread.
He has become an attraction in his own right and he never disappoints his audience. At the first sign of a hand raised in greeting, the waving ghost of the creek fades into view and responds. He’s the local tourist office’s dream.
It’s been a while since my first MFtS catch-up story, hasn’t it? It didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but I’m writing with a massive headache today and that never leads to noteworthy prose.
The team headed toward the island not sure what they would find when they arrived.
Let me put it this way: If they’d been told, they wouldn’t have believed it, anyway. So it was just as well that we left them in the dark. But I’ll admit that it made for a nasty surprise.
Give them credit, they handled the mutants well once they got over the initial shock. Shame they couldn’t wipe all of them out, isn’t it? They put quite a dent in the population, though – a good start.
And credit to you. You put together an almost perfect team. Do it again – same level of smarts and tenacity but with better aim.
Mondays Finish the Story has been one of my favourite flash fiction challenges, and I was sad to hear that Barbara, the host, had lost her fight against cancer last weekend. I’ve decided to go back and use all the prompts I missed – that will make me think of her once a week. This is the first one.
I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured.
Why did I keep trying? I’d shouted myself hoarse hours ago; I knew nobody would save me. I’d been warned. I didn’t believe the tales. The zoo animals I remembered from before the collapse had taken over the park and NW1? Pu-lease.
But I’d seen proof that animals were much better at adapting to circumstances humans found challenging. If I made it back – unlikely, given the state of my leg wound – I’d report the beast that had attacked me must have been a cross between wolf and labrador.
No, chances were I’d make this bird a handsome dinner.
If you’re a regular reader, this might remind you of The Zoologist’s Favourite Tiger. Same world, a bit later, I reckon. I love this idea but I’ll have to forget about this world. It’s only six days until NaNoWriMo and I’ve Scarlett to rewrite, so I cannot run with any plot bunnies this year…
Raise your hand if you’re nanoing – I think I’ve lost count.
Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.
The instant he stepped in, the sun went away; the forest was all dimness and cool. He held his hands out – it seemed important not to run into a tree – and walked on. He specialised in making a fool of himself, but he’d come here to change that. No matter the price.
While he snailed into the trees, he listened. The old, fir-green-eyed woman had said that if he couldn’t hear the bells, he would never find them. He checked his pocket for candle and matchbox. At the first tinkling of bells, he lit the candle to summon a faerie.
Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.
He thought too many knew, but what was an underground king to do? He needed supplies. His army, if not out raiding, would eat round the clock; if they went on too many raids, their enemies might track them here.
His queen, despite the lack of occasion to show off her tailor’s skills, demanded more silk and velvet; she had to keep up with the fashion, should he ever changed his mind and allowed her to host a ball.
Each supply run cost extra to buy the ferrymen’s silence. Bribes meant more raids, raids meant more worry. It never stopped.
A rather week story for MFtS this week, but it seems this is the best I can do.
That means I have to choose my favourite three September stories. I knew what my no. 1 would be when I published it because I think it’s by far the best thing I’ve written in yonks; the rest of the list was much harder.
She’d been here for over a century. Sometimes she still missed her apple tree on the small island. Yet only when the tree blossomed and the buzzers’ inelegant wings annoyed her would she wish for her magic. Losing it had been the price for her escape; she hardly found herself summoning a spell that wouldn’t work these days.
When the Englishmen with whom she’d arrived left, she wondered if she ought to return, too. She’d left home for a reason. There was no guarantee she’d have her magic back. And the mangoes were ripe.