Leanan Sidhe

100 words about a failing musician who enters into a deal with a faerie muse
photo via Unsplash 

He sprints off. Ignores the groupies. He needs to ponder the implications.

‘Nobody in my dressing room,’ he whispers to his bodyguard.

The number of notes he hit tonight were by far outnumbered by those he missed. His career, his dream is over.

‘Hello darling.’

She’s stunning. But he’s not in the mood.

‘Who let you in?’

‘Don’t blame your man, he isn’t meant to see me.’

She twirls her index finger. Is that magic?

‘You need my help.’

A statement.

He nods.

He’ll come to regret this, no doubt. Tonight, though, he’ll do anything to keep his dream alive.

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Microfiction Challenge 15: Freedom

100 words about transforming into seals and escaping
What Freedom! by Ilya Repin

‘You must take off your coat and dress.’

‘Pardon?’

Everyone had warned her to stay away from him. She’d insist he wasn’t bad, merely different. Yet as the icy water seeped into her boots, she wondered if she ought to have listened.

‘It won’t work if we’re dressed.’

He shrugged off his coat in a grand gesture.

‘Trust me?’

Her freezing fingers fumbled with the fastenings.

When they had shed their clothes, he touched her and turned into something else and so did she. Slipping into the water, she found it warm and breathable. Fin to fin, they swam away.

***

Written for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #15 – yep, I finally made it. Still on the Akismet naughty list, though, so I won’t even bother commenting this week…

Atlanta

100 words about a female contemporary Atlas
(c) momtheobscure

‘We’re off shoe shopping. Want to come?’

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.

***

(Story 3 of 31 for Story A Day, inspired by the week 64 FFfAW photo prompt)

What a Fool

100 words about summoning a faerie
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

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.

***

Show me a picture of a forest, like the one for this week’s MFtS, and I see faeries

Weather Magic

Stonehenge; 100 words about summoning a storm
(c) 2011, Sonya

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.

The Mangoes Were Ripe

mango tree, tree house
(c) 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

She lived in a mango tree.

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.

She still lives in the mango tree.

***

I’m feeling rather uninspired lately, so to kickstart ideas for today’s MFtS, I sort of used the Story A Day prompt, as well.

Into the Trees

The bassline of A Forest is playing on repeat in his head. The girl is there, though, he’s following her and she doesn’t need rescuing. He can’t quite say the same for himself.

‘This place is giving me the chills, Steph.’

‘They’re only trees, sweetie.’

With a deep green glint in her eyes that mirrors the canopy he has never seen before, she caresses low-hanging leaves like a long-lost lover. She seems taller, her arms branch-like.

The farther she leads him into the forest, the more she veers from the girl he knows.Without her, will he find his way back?

***

Another cracking prompt from Story A Day, this.

Early Morning Flight

Once upon a time in a land far, far away… 

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.

‘Why?’

‘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.

Top 3 Stories – March 2015

How is it April already? I suppose it means I’m still having fun…

Mind you, having to pick three stories out of the 31 I wrote in March was, again, not much fun. To limit the selection, I decided I wouldn’t consider any story I’d written for Mondays Finish the Story, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers or Friday Fictioneers.

  1. Morag
  2. Runaway (pt. II)
  3. The Hitman

Do you agree? Do you think other stories deserve to be here? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Morag

When James suggests a monster hunt, everyone cheers. Drunk, the lot of them – it would be a bad idea on any lake. I can’t allow it. I take Jim aside.

‘Chill, Mo, it’ll be a laugh.’

‘You ought to know better, Jimmy.’

‘Jimmy? The savages call you Jimmy,’ one of his new friends booms.

I wait for James to tell posh lad off. He doesn’t.

‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you.’

‘Don’t be so dour, Morag. You’re such a stereotype.’

I watch them row onto the Loch.

’All yours, but don’t hurt Jimmy too much,’ I whisper into the water.