This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is orchid. 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!
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.
My genre: Fantasy
Here’s my entry for this week:
A New Path
The path seemed never-ending, yet she seemed at the end of it all too soon. The doors opened before her, moved by two fairies in the Queen’s guard. The two men looked at her, one gave an encouraging smile, the other’s expression was unreadable. Winter couldn’t help but interpret that as a negative.
She looked past them to the Queen’s throne room. It wasn’t an overly large room, but it was big by fairy standards. It was lit by the magic lights, all attached to the ceiling, so the light glowed gently down to the ground, like a ceiling of stars. Some also hung on the walls, creating a well-lit room. The light wasn’t bright, but gentle.
The Queen herself sat on her throne of wood. It had been made from part of the tree roots, back when the tree was young, and intricately carved to show scenes from fairy tales. The Hollow had been the home of many fairy generations. Uncountable.
Other fairies stood at the Queen’s side. The elders. Her advisers.
She looked down on Winter, her face calm, her eyes kind but her intentions unreadable. Her dress was the colour of orchids – not just one, but many. It changed, sometimes even as you looked at it. The colour it showed depended on your mood, or what the Queen was thinking or feeling. No one was ever quite sure which, or indeed, if there were another explanation.
As Winter approached it glowed with a blue hue – the shade of ice.
“Welcome back to the Hollow,” the Queen said. Her voice was soft, but firm. It seemed to resonate with a slight echo, as if she were speaking in a much bigger, much emptier room.
Winter’s hands were clasped tightly at her waist. Her palms were sweating so much that she hoped no one wanted to take her hand. Her throat felt as dry as sand and had closed up. She opened her mouth, and somehow found some rough-sounding words, “Thank you, Your Highness.” She bowed, as one should before a Queen.
“Rose tells me that you have mastered your power,” the Queen said. “Is this true?”
“I-It is, Your Highness.”
“Can you show me?”
A leaf was brought from the back of the room somewhere, and placed before Winter. She summoned up images and feelings for Birch, and for Layla, felt the love flow through her, chasing away the fear and anxiety. Then crouched down and laid both hands on the supple green surface.
No ice appeared. She breathed out in relief, not even realising that she’d been holding her breath.
“Thank you, Winter,” the Queen said, and there was a smile on her face, as if she, too, were relieved.
Winter stood up and re-clasped her hands. She was afraid that if she didn’t they would shake, and she didn’t want anyone to know just how scared she was.
“Do you understand, Winter, why you were banished from here?”
“Because I was a danger to you all,” Winter said, the memory once more playing in her mind. She had stood there. right there in that spot, her heart breaking, the world coming to an end around her. She would never forget.
“That was the principle reason, yes. But I also wanted you to grow.” The Queen stood up, and floated down the few steps to the ground. She stood before Winter, in all her finery. Her dress turned an even paler shade of blue. “You have a special gift Winter, and that gift had to be given thee right conditions to grow. Just like when we plant a flower it needs sun and rain, your gift needed time and patience, and experiences you just couldn’t get inside the Hollow. You needed to learn about the world outside of here, and I believe you have.”
Winter swallowed against her dry throat.Her heart pounded hard in her ears, muffling the words, and her muddled brain struggled to comprehend them.
The Queen looked past Winter, and called out, “Birch, would you come forward?”
Winter turned and saw that all those who had been stood in the antechamber crowded around the open door, all trying to see and hear what was happening. Birch was at the front, He strode forward, until he was standing beside Winter, then bowed. “Your Highness.”
“Please take Winter to her home. She has a lot to comprehend, and I believe you have plans which need explaining.”
A voice in Winter’s head was screaming “what’s going on?” but the connection between mind and mouth didn’t seem to be working.
“Welcome back to the Hollow,” the Queen said again, this time with her warm smile, “welcome home.”
Then Birch took Winter’s hands and led her from the room.
How exactly were her legs still working?