This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is head. This is run by Rachael Ritchey over on her blog Writing Rachael Ritchey. I encourage you to check out her blog, and this challenge.
The rules: 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! (Excuse any formatting issues in the post. WordPress isn't playing nice tonight.)
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.
Apparently it’s six months since this started. I’ve participated since week 2, and I’ve loved every week. Some have been hard, and had me tearing my hair out. But it’s all been worth it. I’ve developed this story, and loved it. I probably wouldn’t have started it if #blogbattle hadn’t happened and been discovered. So thank you to Rachael Ritchey for creating it and doing a wonderful job of hosting. 🙂
And thank you to all who take part and entertain me with your wonderful stories every week. Long may it continue. 😀
My genre: Fantasy
Here’s my entry for this week:
A Small Victory
The rain had stopped, and all the puddles were drying up. Winter landed on top of the birdhouse. It was nice to see it dry, and not stand on wet wood. It smelled nicer too.
Only Birch had been out of the Hollow in the last few days, and he had had to dodge in between the showers. But now, now that the clouds had gone away and the sun was shining, the others might come out. Rose might come out. And then she could ask, and maybe get to see the Queen, and maybe even go home. Back to the Hollow.
A nervous flicker of excitement touched her. She didn’t want to hope. She didn’t want the disappointment if it all went wrong. But her heart didn’t understand that. It kept trying to to hope.
Down at the base of the big tree, next to a little overgrown building Layla called a gazebo (such a strange word, Winter thought), was the entrance to her home.
From the birdhouse she could just see it. It was covered with vines and leaves that had fallen from the tree above, but if you knew where to look, and looked hard enough, you could just see a dark patch on the wood. And that was the door. Nothing but fairies could get in – magic saw to that, but Layla could see it. She was too big to even try and enter though.
The sun was high in the sky when Winter saw movement at the entrance to the Hollow. Three fairies came out. Her heart shot into her mouth. One of them was Rose!
Rose led them up and onto the top of the gazebo, where a vine with berries grew. The berries were just starting to get big now. Juicy enough to start making the autumn treats, the sweet things that were only allowed in small amounts – Winter now knew why. She groaned thinking back to her icing experience and felt the shadow of that stomach ache.
Rose must have come out to start the Gathering.
The berries and nuts and roots and green things had to be gathered in a large enough quantity to take them through the cold weather of winter when food would be scarce.
It was strange to Winter that Layla didn’t have to do that. Food for humans was just there all the time, ready to go and get.
Winter screwed her courage up and took off from the birdhouse. She landed neatly on the edge of the vine-covered gazebo, and cleared her throat to announce her presence.
Rose looked up from the berries she and her friends were inspecting. Her eyes widened in surprise. “Oh! Winter! What are you doing here?”
She took a few steps forward. “I, well, I wanted to ask, and to tell you, well…” She closed her eyes and threw the words from her lips. “I’ve mastered my power and I want to speak to the Queen about coming home. Could you ask her please?”
A moment’s silence. Winter kept her eyes closed as Rose said, “If you can speak to her, you mean?”
She opened them to slits. “Yes?” She hadn’t meant it as a question, but it still managed to come out as one.
“And you’ve really mastered the ice thing?”
She opened her eyes wider and pointed down to her feet. She was stood on a patch of wood. But there was no ice. “Yes.”
Rose’s eyes, and those of her friends – Thorn and Gable – Winter realised, looked down at her feet too.
And Rose actually smiled. “I’m so glad Winter.” She flew forward and landed before Winter. “The Hollow just hasn’t been the same without you.”
“Really?” She couldn’t believe the words. “I didn’t think anyone would have noticed!”
“Of course we noticed!” Rose took her hands. “Even the Queen said how strange it was without you. Every presence is missed. How could you have lived your whole life in the Hollow and not know that?”
Winter shrugged one shoulder. “I suppose I just didn’t think it applied to me,” she mumbled.
“Of course it does,” Rose said. “Listen, I’ll finish this Gathering, and then head back into the Hollow and the first thing I’ll do is speak to the Queen. I’m sure she’ll be overjoyed that you’re ready to come home.”
“Okay.” Winter was too dumbstruck to say anything else. She watched as Rose, Thorn and Gable gathered two of the berries into baskets and flew them back into the Hollow.
She returned to the birdhouse and sat down to wait, Rose’s words still ringing in her ears.