This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is musk. This is run by Rachael Ritchey over on her blog Writing Rachael Ritchey. I encourage you to check out her blog, and this challenge.
1. 1000 words max
2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly! (this week will be difficult, I know. That’s a somewhat violent word! Remember, use your imagination. 🙂 )
4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
5. Go for the entertainment value!
6. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this post, and/or include a link to this post in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)7. Have fun!
As I said I would do in a comment to a reader, I have added an option to the menu above to a page that lists all the Winter #blogbattle story.
Here’s my entry for this week:
Layla dropped the flowers into the vase. They were certainly an unconventional choice.
Winter landed on her shoulder, and wrinkled her nose. “What’s that funny smell?”
Layla sniffed at the air. “Do you mean the musky smell of the flowers?”
Winter fluttered down and hovered above the pink blooms. “Yes. That’s it.”
“You don’t like it?”
She flew back to Layla’s shoulder. “No. Do you? Where’d they come from anyway?”
“She just sent them as a friendly gesture. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“I think it means she doesn’t like you by that smell.”
“It’s not a bad smell. Not completely, anyway. It kind of reminds me of my grandparents.” Nostalgia came over her, remembering some of the warm parts of her childhood.
“Well,” Winter said, lifting off her shoulder again, “I don’t think that they’re very nice.” She hovered over the flowers and shook her head. “I don’t know why you’d want them.”
Layla watched her fly out of the window and into the garden.
No, they weren’t the best flowers in the world, but they meant something. And Emily knew that. And that was the point.
Nutkin sighed. “Winter, don’t you think you should talk to Layla about this?”
“No.” Winter rested her head on her folded arms, her knees tucked up against her chest. “She’s going to forget me and not need me and that’s that. And then when that nasty Emily leaves her for her job again, she’s going to be all hurt like she was before. And then she’ll want me again. But should she get me? Should I just watch it happen?”
Nutkin tapped at the ice on the floor of the birdhouse. “Getting worked up like this isn’t helping you, is it?”
Frustration welled up inside her. “How else am I supposed to feel?” she mumbled.
“Things change,” Nutkin said. “Look at you and Birch. People come in and out of our lives all the time, but it doesn’t mean we forget our old friends, does it? You haven’t forgotten Layla, have you?”
“No,” she shifted, looking up at Nutkin out of the top of her eyes, “but what if-”
“No. No what ifs. Talk to Layla if you’re really worried. But remember that she has a right to be friends, or otherwise, with who she wants to. Warn her, yes. But don’t try to tell her what to do. You wouldn’t like it.”
He was right. She wouldn’t.
She went back into the house and found Layla at the kitchen table, writing something on some pieces of paper. Winter landed on the table, thinking of her love for Birch, and for Layla. Ice didn’t form. She could feel something cold in her feet, but the warmth from her heart spread out and warmed it up.
Layla put her pen down.
“I’m sorry if I was rude about your flowers,” Winter said. “I don’t think they’re really horrible. Just not nice.” She didn’t think she’d really like them no matter where they came from. “I don’t want you to forget me.”
Layla’s eyes widened. “Why would I forget you?”
“If you care about Emily again, you won’t need me anymore.”
“Winter, why do you think I’m friends with you?”
“Because I helped you when you first moved here?”
“No, that’s how we met. I’m friends with you because I like you. You make me smile, and you make me feel good. I think you’re generous and caring and you have the biggest heart for such a small thing… Do you understand?”
“I do, but, if Emily were here…” She liked that Layla felt that way about her, although she didn’t see herself in the same way.
“Then I would spend time with her and you, and I would hope that you and her would get on and be friends as well.”
That thought wasn’t one Winter liked to think. “I don’t like Emily,” she said flatly.
She didn’t think that would ever change. Emily had hurt Layla, she wasn’t sure she could forgive her for that. But at the disappointed look on Layla’s face, she added,
“But I could try and get on with her for you. If you really wanted me to.”
A small smile. “Well, we haven’t got that far yet, but thank you Winter.”
“Okay.” Winter took off again. “Now that’s settled, I’ll go and find Nutkin. He’s going to show me how to find the best berries. It’s a reward for starting to control the ice.” With Layla’s assurances swimming round in her head, she left the house. Happier, but not satisfied.
And those flowers really didn’t smell nice.