She inspects her callused, battered feet. Pretty shoes aren’t going to make a difference, are they? Not to mention that her feet have become so flat and wide she wouldn’t find a shoe that’d fit. She says no thanks but mentions she’s glad they invited her.
Not to mention she cannot go anywhere.
But everyone treats her as if she were still a member of the community. They visit her at the western edge to give her the opportunity to turn them down. She doesn’t have a choice, but she appreciates the charade.
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.
Ali decides it’s ready for Gwen to see. He’s waiting for the right kind of sky – thunderclouds in the distance, the promise of lightning with a hint of ozone.
If he’d mastered weather, he’d only need to inject some heat into this damp August. Since he didn’t, he has to settle for a cloudy evening.
When Gwen sees the circle, her face darkens.
‘Recite rule number one,’ her voice rumbles.
‘Do not speak of our magic.’
She points at Ali’s miniature Stonehenge.
‘Actions, Alistair, speak louder than words.’
It seems Ali has found a way to summon a thunder storm.
I wrote this a couple of months ago for the Luminous Creatures Summer of Super Short Stories, where it came third. I will get round to writing a sonnet (the tenth and final Writing 201 assignment) over the weekend, I hope – you see, I’ve moved again. If you’re a long-time reader, you may be thinking, ‘my, she moves a lot’. If you are, spot on. It looks like this might be the last move for the next twelve months, though.
I tell you all this because I’m behind on replying to comments. It may take a while, but I’ll get round to it.
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.
Shrouds of blue fog rise from the lake. The rowboat ploughs through the red, syrupy water, slowing down with every stroke. The slight rower dreads the lake monsters – slow creatures that make up in intelligence what they lack in speed. They’ll be calculating the best place to intercept the boat.
She’s known about them since she found a boatman training on a rowing machine.
‘Building strength. So the monsters won’t pull me under, Princess.’
The other thing he told her: ‘I zig-zag across. Throws them off course.’
She’s outwitted her monstrous father. She’ll fool the lake monsters, too.
It’s the second day of Writing 101, and I’ve combined today’s prompt with the MFtS prompts. It’s a lovely picture, and I’m looking forward to reading the other stories.