Busted – A Short Story

By now, Colleen has hopefully shaken off the long road trip, had time to stretch her legs, and started to put things in order. It’s an exciting time, starting a new adventure. It’s safe to say we’re all eager to learn about this new chapter and hear all the stories when she returns to the helm. In the meantime, I thought I would pop in to share a short story with you.

It’s a piece of flash fiction which includes two of my favourite characters from one of my series – Fractured. I wrote it in response to the following prompt – ‘You’ve got something stuck between your teeth.’ I hope you enjoy.

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Busted

Riley crept into Merc Hall like the animal he undoubtedly was; all stealth and sanguine movement. Once a prominent government building, it now served as a beacon in the aftermath of war – a sanctuary for those like him. A mercenary for hire. The energy of the place pulsed along his skin, perhaps the result of so many hunters under one roof. Even subdued by sleep he could feel the danger they represented.

Tonight it only confused his wolf, because he could sense an underlying threat. He knew something or someone was waiting for him in the dark.

Using his night vision to navigate the corridors, he focused on his surroundings. It was hard to rein in the beast after so much freedom, and tonight had been all about the darker side to his nature. His claws pricked at his skin in anticipation, but he didn’t relinquish control. Not when his nose had picked up the scent coming from his room.

Friend not foe. He knew who it was before he heard her voice.

“Relax, wolf-man, there are no monsters in this closet.” The words were pitched at the perfect level for his hearing, despite the door between them.

“Shit,” he muttered, turning the handle. “How many times do I have to tell you I don’t need an upgrade?” His gaze narrowed on Maddison. She had made herself comfortable on the floor, her back against his bed. “And,” he growled, stepping into the room and closing them in. “Closet or not, it’s private. Which means.” He paused to show off a little fang. “You’re invading my space.”

It didn’t surprise him when she rolled her eyes. “Changelings,” she said, on a sigh. “Always so damn territorial.”

He wanted to smile so badly his jaw ached. “Why are you here, Maddy?”

“I was worried about you.” She got to her feet in a quick, fluid motion, which was almost feline.

“Now you’re just trying to piss me off.”

Her grin was sly. “What? I can’t be concerned for the big, bad wolf?” When she put a hand on his arm he felt himself settle. The damn witch had always been able to do that because his wolf saw her as pack; whenever she touched him, Riley calmed. “Look,” she said, releasing him. “I know danger is part of the job description and, let’s face it, trouble tends to follow you around. But you’re hiding something, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t get you killed.”

Riley didn’t respond right away. He walked over to the portable fridge to grab a beer. “I don’t need a keeper, Maddy, and I’m not hiding anything. I just needed to blow off some steam.”

Her hand reached out to snatch the bottle, but her eyes never left his. “Bull. Shit.”

The growl came out before he could stop it, which annoyed the hell out of him. He rarely lost his cool. “You’re not going to let this go are you?” he asked, dropping to sit cross-legged on the floor.

Maddison followed his lead, her green eyes sharp and assessing as they met his. “I guess it’s a moot point, since you’ve obviously taken care of the problem.” Her body relaxed the moment the words left her mouth.

“You seem pretty sure about that.” He let out a long sigh, tired of the secret anyway. “Look, it was personal, okay. I found out who attacked Simmons and I needed to take care of it. I owed him.” Truth be told, he owed nobody more than the woman in front of him. Maddison hadn’t known Simmons well, but she would never question his right to avenge a friend’s death.

“Ah, so because Jonas ordered you to stay out of it, you had to keep a low profile,” Maddy said, before taking a swig of beer. “That explains the sneaking around.”

“I don’t sneak,” he muttered, then scowled for good measure. “And Jonas might be leader of the pack, but he doesn’t know everything.”

“Aw,” she said, toeing his boot with her own. “I’ve never been a member of a pack.”

His wolf grinned at her teasing. “Shut up, Maddy.”

She tipped the bottle towards him. “Fine, I’ll let it drop. On the condition that you take back-up next time.”

“If there is a next time, I’ll take you along. How about that?”

“Now we’re talking,” she said, a little too excited at the prospect of getting her hands dirty.

She was true to her word though. She didn’t hound him for details as they shared the beer and talked of their active assignments.

An hour later she took the hint and stood to leave. “See you at feeding time,” she said, strolling to the door.

“Maddy?” She paused to look back at him, one eyebrow raised in question. “How did you know? That I found him?”

“Please,” she said, with her customary eye-roll. “There’s little that gets by me in this place.” She paused again on the threshold. “Oh, and by the way…you’ve got something stuck between your teeth.”

Thanks for reading.

Mel

Breathing life into your characters

Father and Daughter by susan52: DeviantArt
Father and Daughter by susan52: DeviantArt

I’ve been thinking a lot about role models and how they influence a writer’s work; the ways this translates to our readers.

There’s a reason writers become invested in their characters, why they often refer to them as real; a living, breathing part of the world as they know it. They have a history, complex personalities, and emotional depth. For readers, if we’re lucky, this equates to a character springing to life on the page.

Regardless of the process or how much planning is involved, as writers, we draw from our environment, and our experience. We observe behaviour, ask questions, have a sensitivity to body language, and pay attention. But it’s more than that. The people we meet, those we know – we use these observations to build unique fictional people. Then we give them a place to belong.

It’s not always a conscious decision and, like people as a whole, most have a variety of influences – their literary genes are inherited from all we see and hear. That’s why it’s so much fun when a character comes to us out of the blue. It can be difficult to pinpoint where they actually came from given the amount of information we carry in our head! It’s hard not to wonder at the magic of imagination, of fantasy, and marvel at the way the world around us has a direct influence on all we convey.

I can’t deny that many of my female characters are strong, passionate women. Quite simply, this is due to the fact I’m surrounded by resilient women. My mum is one of the strongest people I know. She is bubbly and affectionate, but, whenever I’m channelling sass – I think of her! My sister inherited that strength and I not only rely on her, I wouldn’t be the person I am without her.

And it’s not only my immediate family. My great-grandmother was a force to be reckoned with, a woman who practically raised four boys singled handed. Those boys (my grandfather included), were said to be hellions in their youth! She used tough love, an endless supply of patience and an iron will to keep them on the straight and narrow. I recognise her in a number of my characters, which isn’t a surprise.

The stories I grew with, family stories, certainly have an impact. My experiences of love and commitment, friendship and loyalty are also threaded through my work. I wouldn’t call us a military family per se, but most of the men served at one time or another and my grandmother lost her brother to the war. I never knew him, not personally, but through her I came to understand the man he was. It’s not only the good, it’s also the hurts and the disappointments we feel personally, and share with those closest to us.

I’ve had many wonderful male role models in my life. My brother is younger than me, but he’s my hero. It’s because of him I wrote my romantic crime series, and the experiences he shares about his life in the army all find their way onto the page. I haven’t personally served, but I understand camaraderie and the value of friendship and that’s what I try to reflect within the team I created. Growing up I had a lot more in common with boys than girls. My best friend, Tony, taught me valuable lessons about loyalty. He also has a wicked sense of humour, and I’m able to draw on those lessons.

That’s why, if we’re lucky, we connect with so many of our readers because, whatever the situation, whatever the outcome, it’s the characters who speak to, and for us. It’s in the connections they make, how they love, view the world and interact. A cacophony of life experiences that begin with our role models and build from there. That’s when a character truly comes to life. It’s what makes them memorable and why we want to spend time with them as often as we can. At least that’s how I see it.

There is a unique voice that lives within all of us. We might be shaped by others, but that’s not all there is, and it’s not all we give to our characters either. You could say, in one sense, the characters are an extension of us. So when a reader identifies with them, draws strength, laughs, cries, and celebrates their lives as we do, it’s a special kind of connection. There’s nothing quite like it. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Consumed: A Short Story

halloween cupcake

Happy Halloween, everyone. I convinced Colleen to let me post a spooky story today, and hope you all enjoy it. Whatever you’re doing; spending time with friends, attending a party, travelling across the country (we’re thinking of you, Colleen), working, relaxing – have a great day and stay safe.


Matthew

I pressed my hand over Cindy’s mouth and shook my head. Her big, tortured blue eyes were bright with tears. I didn’t need to read the fear; I could feel it. It pressed all around us, battling my own. The tiny closet was suffocating. It was a vacuum, sucking out all hope of salvation and bleeding us dry.

At the pounding on the bedroom door, my body jerked; drawing my attention. The door was holding strong, mainly due to all the furniture we’d pushed up against it. It would not hold forever.

When the barrier collapsed and he came into the room, he would see the balcony window wide open. This was part of my plan; to convince him we’d made a run for it. He had to believe we were desperate enough. I’d left other clues; a knotted bed sheet tied to the railing, one of the mattresses on the ground below.

It was a risk. If any part of him remained, he would see right through the ploy. Even desperate I would never lead my sister into a nightmare. What was out there – it was worse than the hell we were already living. Unless he found us.

I felt my hand spasm in response to a loud crack and almost lost it when Cindy’s head shot back. It struck the wall of the closet, the sound impossibly loud in the tight space. The silence that followed prickled along my skin.

I knew what it meant. He had found a way in, this monster who used to be our brother.

Cindy drew my attention when I felt her draw in breath; a scream building in her throat. I knew it, and was powerless to stop it. I tried anyway, my eyes pleading with hers to keep it together.

‘Please,’ I mouthed, our gazes locked.

I felt tears burn when I saw her shoulders relax, and Cindy nodded against my hand. She had my back. I let the tears fall; the only response I was able to give. I didn’t make a sound, I didn’t move. I stared into my sister’s eyes and, in doing so, gave her what I always gave her. My promise that I would keep her safe.

After a long, tense moment, I turned my head and peered through the slats in the door. Seeing the monstrosity that was our brother almost broke me. So I turned back to Cindy, snapping my eyes shut and squeezing them tight in a nonverbal command. She complied immediately, which lifted some of the weight from my chest. Cindy did not need to see the thing crawling over our barricade into the bedroom.

I had no choice but to face it, and what I saw extinguished all hope we would ever get our brother back. The virus had eaten away at his humanity until there was nothing left. Jerry’s jaw hung slack and foam frothed at the corners of his mouth. His eyes were bloodshot, his body twitching with barely contained violence. The pain of seeing him that way seared through me until it was all I could feel.

When those eyes honed in on the closet, I fought the urge to scoot back. He knew. My plan had failed, and now we were cornered.

Jerry moved slow, drawing it out; red eyes narrowed on target. The reality of what would happen; the loss, the fear. It exploded in my head and something snapped.

I didn’t think. I moved. I grabbed the first heavy object I could put my hand on, which turned out to be a dumbbell and surged out of the closet.

Jerry’s expression showed no surprise as I tackled him and we fell to the thick, carpeted floor. There was only death in his eyes.

No. No. No. No.

I struck the monster who used to be my brother over and over; feeling the anger and injustice burn through me. I saw nothing, felt nothing, but the uncontrollable need to be free of this nightmare.

***

Cindy

I moved on shaky legs to the edge of the closet, trying to pry my eyes away from the horror in front of me. We had lost Jerry to a vicious disease and the unfairness of that was hard to live with.

It hit us all hard but, Matthew, my sweet, protective older brother – it almost destroyed him. It was eating at him, even now.

“Matt,” I whispered, terrified of what might happen if I lost him too. If I couldn’t bring him back from the edge.

I took another step toward him; the scene burning itself into my retinas. Matthew battled with a monster only he appeared to understand. I wanted to know what he saw; why the thought of losing me drove him into darkness when there should be so much light. He loved me, so much his protective streak could be suffocating. Yet there was beauty in it too.

“Matty?”

He didn’t respond to my call. He didn’t respond to anything until the lights went out. Then I felt him move. Matthew dropped the dumbbell and scrambled backwards. I saw his outline, thanks to a trickle of moonlight, and instinctively I responded to his fear. I scooted back into the closet and curled myself into a ball. I just wanted it to be over.

***

Matthew

As I shot into the closet, slamming the doors closed, I questioned the logic of shutting us back in our prison. There was blood all over my face. My brother’s blood. No, a monster’s blood; diseased and possibly contagious. What if I hurt my sister? The thought of it was so huge there was no room for anything else. It didn’t even register when the lights flicked back on. But it did register when I saw my mom.

“Mom,” I whispered, pushing open the doors. I felt only relief in her presence, knowing she would protect Cindy. I had to relinquish the job. I was contaminated. I could feel it; squirming in my blood like a poisonous snake.

“You have to take Cindy, mom,” I said, unable to look at my sister. “I’m infected.” I swiped at my face, but it was too late now. It was too late to save myself.

“That’s why I’m here, baby,” she whispered, dropping to her knees. “There’s a cure. We can fight this.” One hand gripped my chin, forcing my head up. “Everything’s going to be okay.”

I wanted to believe her. So much I fell into her arms and buried myself against her.

***

Cindy

“He’ll be okay now, sweetheart,” mom said, stepping away from the bed.

I nodded, and climbed up to lay beside Matthew. He was asleep. Finally. He hadn’t even protested when mom gave him the treatment.

“I wonder what he saw,” I whispered, smoothing the hair from his forehead.

“I don’t know, honey. But he’ll be okay. I promise. We’ll get through this.”

Again I nodded. It wasn’t easy, but I pushed away my doubts. I had to be strong for Matthew. His delusions were getting worse, and had been since Jerry died. This was a side effect of grief.

“Don’t worry,” I said, leaning to kiss his temple. “I’ll protect you. We’ll beat those monsters together, Matty. You’re not alone.” Then I curled an arm around him and held on.

***

Thanks for reading.

Mel

The Elf Killer – Part IV: A New Discovery

Mel’s Midweek Writing Prompt for this week is: Option 1: Sentence Starter –

I live in a society without rules, without boundaries; it is a dark and desolate place.

Click here to learn more about this creative writing challenge. Believe me, it is addictive! I love it. These are my stream of consciousness stories. I write them as they come into my mind with the prompt from the challenge. In addition, I have been posting my contributions to ReadWave. Check it out. It is another great site to display your writing talent.

***

Rawmall slowly rolled over on the hard-packed earthen floor of the burned out elven hut. His head throbbed and felt like brilliant flashes of lightning were slicing into his brain. The acrid smell of smoke lingered in the hut as well as another unsavory aroma, of which he could not remember the source.

Gently, so as to not disturb his pounding head, he shifted his weight to his hands and knees. He balanced himself for a moment. Once the hammering in his brain subsided, he rose to his feet. Rawmall noticed that darkness had descended on the burned out elven community of Morr. He staggered towards the grey ashy remains of a fire where a cauldron was perched, still warm. The stench was overpowering and suddenly he remembered the events of the day.

The slaughtered body of the blue-haired elf, the human head of the elf killer boiling in the cauldron, and Nedra the Witch, all flooded his memory with the force of an assault from an enemy. There had to be at least fifty occupants of the elven community that were bewitched by Nedra somewhere in the Timmoral Forest waiting to be found. For a moment, Rawmall found himself temporarily blinded as the jaded fragments of his memory came together.

“I live in a society without rules, without boundaries; it is a dark and desolate place,” he thought to himself. Damn, that witch, Nedra! She had been pursuing him for the last couple of years now. Rawmall knew her game. She was a soul-eater. Every time she devoured her prey, she gained their strength. Men, women, elves, trolls, even half-breeds like himself, had fallen to her womanly wiles. Nedra was a seductive enchantress who always got her way. How he had escaped this time and why, he did not know.

A cupboard near the overturned table produced a loaf of stale bread and a gourd filled with water. Not the best meal, thought Rawmall, but better than nothing. Crouching in the shadows he ate his dinner slowly. In the silence he heard a slight rustling sound behind him.

Rawmall stopped eating and quietly set his dinner on the floor. Stealthily he crept toward the far corner of the burned-out hut. A dark shape moved softly toward the fire with little creeping motions. Its appearance was distorted and covered with some type of dark cloth. Suddenly, two brilliant blue eyes peered out from beneath the dark material.

It was a grundolyn female. She was small, only about two and a half feet tall, with pale skin and dark hair. Grundolyns work for the elves in exchange for a place to live. They have been the servants to the elves since the beginning of time. Many grundolyns live with the same family for generations. How this one came to survive Nedra’s bewitching was a mystery to Rawmall.

“It’s alright little one,” said Rawmall to the grundolyn. “You’re safe with me.”

The grundolyn stared at Rawmall and shivered, pulling the dark cloth around her shoulders. She spied the bread and water gourd on the floor and ran towards them. She grabbed the gourd and drank deeply. Water leaked out of her tiny mouth and dripped down her chin.

Rawmall sat back on his haunches watching the grundolyn with a puzzled look on his face. “How did you end up here, and not bewitched like the elves and the rest of the grundolyns,” he patiently asked her.

She shook her head and started to eat the bread, tearing it into shreds she could fit inside her small mouth. Rawmall repeated the question to the grundolyn, this time raising his voice. The grundolyn still did not respond. What the devil kind of black magic is this, thought Rawmall.

The grundolyn looked at Rawmall and covered her ears with her hands. Then she placed her hands over her mouth. She repeated this a second time. Rawmall edged closer towards the fire and pointed at his lips and then pointed to the grundolyn, motioning for her to look at him. “Can you hear me?” he asked her.

She shook her head trying to tell him “no.” She opened her mouth and pointed inside, nothing came out. It was then Rawmall realized that the grundolyn was deaf and dumb. She could not hear Nedra’s curse so it had no effect on her!

724 Words

Thanks for reading my continuing saga of the elves in Timmoral Forest.

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My Elf Killer Saga is Trending on ReadWave

My friend Hugh, from Hugh’s Views and News, shared his great news last week that his story, The Truth App, was trending on ReadWave.

This was a new platform for me, so I checked it out. I like the simplicity of the forum. It is easy to read and comment on other people’s writing. I joined and posted my Elf Killer Stories. Part II and Part III of the Elf Killer Saga is featured on the Trending page of ReadWave! My excitement overwhelms me! 😀 Thanks, Hugh for the great tip!

If you have the time, please check out ReadWave as another source for your writing.

Happy Monday!

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The Elf Killer – Part III: The Witch of Timmoral Forest

Check out Melissa Barker Simpson’s blog to learn more about the challenge.

I chose Option 1: Sentence Starter –

The first time I died, I was nineteen years old and resigned to my fate; the second time was a different story.

I am continuing the story of the Elf Killer, using the prompts from Mel’s challenge. This is a free writing time for me and allows me to experiment with different genres and characters. I am letting my true pantser out once again! I hope you all enjoy.

Here is Part One of the Elf Killer

Here is Part Two of the Elf Killer

As the darkness arrived in Timmoral Forest, Nedra the Witch watched the shadows grow long and deep as they descended and grew from the tall stature of the trees surrounding the glen. Conjuring her deepest magic she had materialized outside the cave she called home on the edge of the forest in order to safely escape from Rawmall, the half-breed elf.

Nedra paced back and forth in front of the door to her cave thinking of what her next move should be. Damn, Rawmall! That half-breed elf makes my blood boil, she thought. She didn’t need to take any more chances around him. His power over her was purely physical. Nedra wanted him in the worst way. If she succumbed to his charms, she would lose everything, again. Death was much too high a price to pay for a sexual tryst with a half-breed elf at this point. Not yet, anyway.

The night birds cooed above in the leafy canopy of the trees. The sounds of small scurrying animals were heard rustling in the dense carpet of leaves beneath her feet. Stars appeared in the night sky. Nedra slipped silently inside her shadowy cave while the ebony whispers of her gown flowed behind her. The low burning fire beckoned to her while the coals brought a warmth to the coldness of her body.

Nedra stoked the fire with a wave of her hand. Suddenly, another huge flame burst from her palm and glowed with a lavender intensity. Concentrating her thoughts, Nedra watched the blaze of her lust slowly burn to the size of a candle flame. Slowly the flame turned into particles of dust filtering through her fingers.

Nedra stared at the grains of sand and remembered. The first time I died, I was nineteen years old and resigned to my fate; the second time was a different story.

Nedra belonged to a coven of witches that like the dark cats they idolized, had nine lives. It was a certain kind of immortality if handled with the utmost of care. That meant following the rules, something Nedra had always struggled with. If certain urges were controlled, the witches could live long lives while meddling in the existence of others for their own pleasure. It was a blissfully wicked existence.

Impatiently, Nedra tapped her blood-red nails on the chalice she drank deeply from while memories swirled around in the dark recesses of her mind. Losing her first life had been careless on her part. At nineteen, she was too young to know that she had to overpower her thoughts of lust and greed. The Warlock had taken her life force quickly. Nedra had simply vanished in a puff of black smoke.

The dark headed human had been her downfall the second time she lost her life. She had bewitched him into giving her all of his wealth and power. However, once again Nedra had been too young to know that she should never trust a human. He had ended her life by thrusting a sword into her heart as she had fled his grasp taking his riches with her.

Eventually, true to Nedra’s powers, the human found himself a pauper and banished from his mortal kingdom. Madness had propelled the man to cross over into Timmoral Forest where the elven colony had flourished since the beginning of time. Visions of Nedra caused the man to view the world through a mist of red blood. Hatred became his life force.

Once Nedra’s life balance of seven lives had been restored, she cast a spell to bring herself back to Timmoral Forest. This time, she was determined to track the dark-haired human and take his life to pay for the untimely death he had taken from her.

Nedra smiled, remembering how she watched the human butcher the blue haired elf. The human was truly insane. She knew this would be her last chance to possess his soul once more. His life energy would give her the knowledge of the humans. She would become stronger with each soul her darkness absorbed.

She followed the human to the elven community of Morr. It was there she cast a spell on the elves hiding them in the darkest part of the forest as she watched the human burn their small community to the ground. The dark-haired human had never seen her coming.

He got what he deserved, Nedra thought, relishing the memory of the dark-haired human boiling in the caldron at Morr. It had worked. The trap had been set. Rawmall had come seeking the elf killer. Soon Nedra would get what she truly desired, Rawmall the half-breed elf.

776 Words.

Thanks for stopping by,

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The Elf Killer – Part Two

My friend Melissa Barker-Simpson sponsors a weekly writing contest called “Mel’s Midweek Writing Menagerie.” Each week on a Thursday, she posts a new prompt, and contributions will are shared via Featured Fiction. Check out her personal blog to get all the rules.

Here are the options for this week:

Option 1: Sentence Starter –

“What the hell do you expect me to do with that?”

This sentence can appear anywhere in the story. The maximum word count is 1,000 words. The genre can be any of your choosing; either factual or fiction based. You may use art to interpret the sentence, or poetry if you wish.

Option 2: Fanfiction –

Write a scene with one of your favourite characters from film or television.

I decided that I am going to choose Option 1 and continue on with the story of Rawmall, the half-breed elf. Here is The Elk Killer, Part One if you would like to catch up.
I am learning to be a “pantser,” and letting the words flow…

~

Rawmall continued his way through the forest walking in an easterly direction, cautiously looking for any telltale signs of the elf killer. Whoever had killed the blue haired elf was brutal. The killer had left the body to rot and decay where the elf had been slain.

Rawmall shook his head in disbelief. The Elves of Timmoral Forest had a code. They always buried their dead, even their enemies. No elf would have killed another in this manner, he thought as he trudged through a dense copse of trees. Decomposed leaves made a carpet beneath his feet. He pushed his way through an almost impenetrable thicket of bushes with leaf tendrils that curled as they pulled at his arms.

Through the leafy canopy above, Rawmall could see black clouds building against the dusky blue sky. A noticeable greyness descended upon the forest. The wind blew from the north and white lightning sliced through the sky.

In a hurry to beat the weather and to get to the edge of the forest and the elven community of Morr, Rawmall began to run. He positioned his quiver and bow over his shoulder tying the deer skin laces to keep his equipment from falling off his body. He kept up the steady rhythm of his running feet, breathing to conserve energy as his long blond hair streamed out after him.

The velocity of the wind continued to increase pushing against the elf making his trek more difficult with each gust. Determined, Rawmall ran faster, his feet so swift they barely touched the ground. Thunder rumbled and fat drops of rain began to fall slowing his pace. He smelled the smoke from the Village of Morr before he saw it.

Or, what was left of it. The village was a shell of burned out homes. Acrid smoke rose in dark smudges blown about by the mighty wind. Rawmall walked amongst the burned out shells of the elven homes looking for bodies. There were no bodies anywhere in the ruins. From what he could tell the flash point of where the fire began was at the town center, on the village green. A peculiar smell lingered in the air and he could not place its source.

Fifty elves, men, women, and children lived in this small community. Where could they have gone, thought Rawmall? He ran the perimeter of the village noticing that the fire stopped at the edge of the forest. It had not set any of the trees on fire around the boundary of the village. The outside limits were scorch free.

Rawmall noticed that one of the homes had less damage than the rest. He gingerly walked through the scorched earth into what was left of the elven home. A thick oaken table had been turned over in the middle of the room. To the right of the table were the remains of a cooking fire where a great cauldron was suspended, bubbling and hissing over hot coals untouched by the fire that had devastated the village.

Rawmall remembered what the strange smell was once he peered inside the boiling cauldron. There bobbing up and down was the head of a human! Short, closely cropped dark hair clung to the scalded skin. The eye sockets were bare as loose flesh boiled away from the skull leaving thick fat floating on the surface of the boiling liquid. The smell was unforgettable.

“This is black magic! What the hell do you expect me to do with that?” Rawmall said loudly, startled by the sound of his own voice, and the contents bubbling in the cauldron.

“Whatever you want to do with it,” said the voice of a woman in a cunning whisper.

Surprised, Rawmall spun around grabbing his bow, all the while fixing an arrow in place ready to shoot in the direction of the voice. There in front of him stood the small figure of a human woman wearing a long black dress and cape. She shook her long dark hair at him in defiance as she stood waiting for the arrow to find its mark. Her ruby lips curved into a sneer of hatred.

“I suppose you want to know what I did with your elven friends,” said the woman slowly licking her voluptuous lips as she stared at Rawmall.

“That would be nice to know,” growled Rawmall furious with himself that this evil wench had found him again.

“I bewitched them,” she said watching Rawmall’s fury mount even further. “This is the human that killed the elf in the forest. I bewitched the elves and hid them before he got to the village to do any more damage. They are all safe. The damn fool burned the village. When he was done, I took care of the human,” said the dark-haired woman striding across the floor toward Rawmall.

“In fact, the way I see it, you now owe me,” she said placing her hands on her hips staring at him through hooded eyes.

“I owe you nothing,” snarled Rawmall. “Free my friends, then we’ll talk. I do not associate with witches, so make it quick!”

Clearly irritated by Rawmall’s words, the woman’s eyes began to glow a deep emerald-green and a thick noxious fog filled the room. Hours later Rawmall woke up on the floor of the elven hut. The woman was gone.

895 Words – Made up as I typed. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by,

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The Elf Killer

My friend Melissa Barker-Simpson sponsors a weekly writing contest called “Mel’s Midweek Writing Menagerie.” Each week on a Thursday, she posts a new prompt, and contributions will are shared via Featured Fiction. Check out her personal blog to get all the rules.

Here are the options for this week:

Option 1: Sentence Starter –

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

This sentence (thanks, Rose), can appear anywhere in the story. The maximum word count is 1,000 words. The genre can be any of your choosing; either factual or fiction based. You may use art to interpret the sentence, or poetry if you wish.

Option 2: Fanfiction –

Write an alternative ending to one of your favourite films or television shows.

I am using Option One.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Rawmall knew Elves could be killed by violent acts because he had lost many friends during the Elf Wars long ago. That was when he found that living in captivity did not suit the Elves of Timmoral Forest. Some lost the will to live and were found wasting away in a cave after the insurrection. Elves are supposed to be immortal, thought Rawmall to himself, not die alone in a forest, the victim of a killing.

Rawmall stood in the clearing, staring at the half decomposed body of the male Elf. His long blue hair had been partially ripped from his head. A long metal-tipped arrow had pierced him through the heart. The metallic smell of blood was everywhere in the forest clearing. Rawmall sniffed the air noticing the leaves of the bushes were covered with sticky blood. Flies buzzed around the rotting corpse. There were no sounds other than the mournful howl of the wind sweeping through the mighty oaks.

Rawmall was a half-breed Elf, part human, part elf. Looking at his outward appearance he looked like a magnificent human man, except for his unusually long pointed ears. His father had been human, his mother a rare Nandor Elf from beyond the Misty Mountains. Rawmall’s heritage spoke for itself. He was a brave warrior and champion of his lineage.

The digging of a hole to bury the deceased Elf took several hours to complete. Rawmall dug with a thick limb from an oak tree, using his hands to loosen the red clay soil when necessary. Rawmall dragged the decomposing body to the edge of the burial mound. He reached for the arrow still buried in the Elf’s chest. It broke in his hands as he pulled the course arrow from where it had been lodged. He would find the owner of this arrow. His life depended on it.

The Elf’s body shifted as it fell into the gaping hole. A foul stench rose up into the air, and a dark cloud of flies quickly covered the body. Rawmall scraped dirt into the hole burying the body of the unknown Elf. Finally finished with the grueling burial, he took a long pull of water from the deer skin bag he wore while on his journey to discover new lands.

Suddenly, an arrow pierced the tree trunk nearest his head. He could hear it whiz by him in the still air. Rawmall grabbed his bow from the ground and crawled to his quiver which lay next to the burial mound. Placing an arrow on his bow he crouched low, taking aim at the trees from where the arrow had come. Silence filled the clearing. Rawmall crouched and waited, poised for immediate action.

Whoever had tried to kill him was long gone. Rawmall retrieved the enemy arrow from the tree and placed it in his own quiver. He would find this elf killer, even if it was the last thing he ever did.

Total Words: 500

Thanks for popping in. I promised an elf story to my friend, the Word Nerd. ❤

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Freestyle Writing Challenge – Dreamscape

Here is Mel, who accepted my challenge! This is a must read! ❤

Melissa Barker-Simpson

I’d like to thank Colleen from Silver Threading for choosing me to participate in the Freestyle Writing Challenge, in which I had to:

“Describe your perfect fantasy world so that we all want to live there.”

I’m not sure what fantasy world I’m describing exactly, but I followed the challenge and this is what I got…

Cassandra stepped through the archway and closed her eyes for a moment, just long enough to appreciate the colour when her lids popped back open and she took in the glorious shades of the ocean. This was a gift from the great god Oceanus, a place as infinite as the sea; with creatures so wondrous and varied it took an eternity to study them.

She ran towards the cresting water, let the foam dance between her bare toes, and laughed as she dove beneath the waves. Her body followed the instincts she had been…

View original post 542 more words

Freestyle Writing Challenge – Food For Thought

Thank you, Ali Taylor, from The Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman! For choosing me to participate in the Freestyle Writing Challenge, where I am to:

“Choose FIVE of my favourite types of food/drink (can be meals, snacks, whatever grabs you!) – And bring them to succulent life for your readers. Can be serious, funny, sensual, extended metaphor…”

 

Thick red Angus steaks marbled with just the right amount of pale white streaks of fat sit on a plate, ready to be added to the grill. They sizzle as the charcoal flames lick the underside of the beef. The heady aroma of beef cooking on a charcoal grill fills the neighborhood.

Freshly scrubbed Idaho baking potatoes are pricked to release the steam. The oven toasts their skins to a crispy brown while inside the white potato is tender and flakey. Fat yellow slabs of butter are slipped inside the hot potato skins. Steam rises from the slash in the potato. Green chives are cut and added to the top of the vegetable. Butter oozes from the sides of the potatoes.

I fill a salad bowl with dark emerald green spinach leaves. Green kale is added for texture. Red onion, hot and sweet, is chopped and added to the top of the salad. Pumpkin colored carrot sticks are added to the mixture. Ruby red tomatoes are sliced. The juice and seeds drip from my hands, as I add them to the bowl. A rich green cucumber is sliced and de-seeded. This I place on the top of the salad. Fragrant vinegar is added along with a few tablespoons of pale amber olive oil. I stir the salad to mix the vegetables, so that the flavors have time to mingle.

I retrieve a bottle of pale white Moscato wine from my refrigerator. I uncork the wine and smell the fruity aroma of this particular vintage. I let the wine sit and breathe for a bit. Then I slowly pour the wine into my glass and sip the crisp sweetness which is tart on my tongue. I inhale the fragrance and close my eyes, savoring the wine on my tongue.

The Dessert of the Gods are exquisite delicacies filled with the sweetness of sugar, honey, and just a touch of cinnamon. These succulent jewels drip with deep rich chocolate and caramel drizzle. Coconut shreds are sprinkled throughout the opulent dough creating a luscious gooey brownie.

15 minutes: 343 words (I am a slow writer… what do you do?)J

I would like to invite the following five bloggers to participate in this challenge: Melissa Barker-Simpson, Wendy Anne Darling, Mark Bialczak, Elisha Neubauer, and Terri Webster-Schrandt.

These are the rules:

1. Open an MS Word Document

2. Set a stopwatch or your mobile phone timer to 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat.

3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!

4. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.

5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it’s only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules).

6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.

7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).

My new topic for you to write about is to:

“Describe your perfect fantasy world so that we all want to live there.”


Thanks for stopping by. I will see you again!

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