This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is arrival. 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!
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.State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
7.Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
8.Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
My genre: Fantasy
Here’s my entry for this week:
Muffled up, and stood beside Birch, Winter stared out into the world. Flame climbed up from inside the Stump to stand with them. “Okay,” he said, “I’m ready.”
Birch took Winter’s hand, glove to glove. “Then I suppose it’s time to go.”
Flame glanced down at their hands, then up at Winter,his eyebrows slightly arched.
Embarrassed, she took her hand from Birch’s.
“Time to fly, then,” Flame said.
Birch pointed to the trees at the bottom of the garden. “That’s our direction. Beyond that, we see what we find.”
Flame gave a terse nod. “On three then.”
Together, they counted down, then took off into the cold air.
Winter’s shivers dissipated as she flew, movement spreading warmth around her body.
They passed the Garden’s trees and fence. Winter glanced at Flame’s face, to see if any of her trepidation at leaving her Garden for the first time was reflected there.
But what was he feeling inside?
Beyond the fence were more fields, meaning they surrounded the house. The grass was covered with frost, sparkling where the sun caught the ice.
A line of trees ran along the horizon, their branches almost bare – just a few stubborn leaves clinging on, refusing to give in to winter’s call.
They headed towards them.
The sun was high in the sky when they arrived at the first outlying tree.
This one had no leaves left, stripped bare by the icy wind.
Winter landed on a branch, followed by Birch and Flame. Her stomach rumbled, and her wings ached. “I need a rest and something to eat,” she said.
Flame and Birch both agreed.
They took some dried fruit and nuts from their bags and started to eat.
“So, how are you feeling?” Winter asked Flame. “This is the furthest you’ve flown, right?”
He nodded. “It’s strange. The world’s larger than I thought it would be.”
In a rare show of agreement, Birch said, “I thought the same thing when I first flew beyond the wall.”
“Me too,” Winter said. “It’s full of so much that’s unknown. But I think,” she looked to Birch, because he was the one who’d helped her to think this way, “that’s it’s going to be worth it I’m really starting to like this adventure thing.”
Birch smiled. “Glad to hear it.”
Flame wrinkled his nose. “I’ll decide on that when I’ve seen more if it.”
A slightly smug look passed over Birch’s face. But was soon gone.
Winter spoke up before an argument could erupt. “Maybe we should keep going.”
“Good idea.” Flame shot a sideways glance at Birch.
Winter took off before anything else could be said, hoping they would just follow.
They flew into the trees. The winter was truly marking its arrival here. As she breathed out, Winter’s breath misted before her face. There was no sign of any small animals – they had probably gone into hibernation. She imagined Nutkin curled up in his nest, sleeping the cold away. And her family in the Hollow warm, their doors shut against the cold.
Just for a moment, she wished she were there, in the warm, surrounded by family.
The feeling passed when she saw a river up ahead, winding its way across the field. She had heard of fairy clans making their homes by rivers. The constant flow of water was full of magic to power the growth of plants.
The danger was the potential for flooding. Whole clans had been wiped out before.
From the look on Birch’s face, he thought the same. “Keep an eye out for any signs,” he said, and she nodded in agreement.
Flame looked afraid.
“Are you all right?” Winter said.
“I don’t like water,” he replied. “Since my gift appeared… I got wet once, and I was ill for a week.”
Winter hadn’t realised the Gifts could tie into the elements in that way. “We’ll be careful then,” she said to him.
They flew down the river for some way, and eventually spotted a patch of flowers and thorns surrounding a small, possibly stunted, tree.
“There?” Winter asked.
“Maybe, let’s check it out.” Birch led the way down, closer to the ground and the plants.
Flame followed, trepidation on his face and in his movements.
Winter made a lap of the tree, looking for any possible entry point for a Clan.
A bird perched on a branch na squawked at her, making her jump back.
Birch and Flame were at her side in the blink of an eye.
The bird eyed them, its body tense, as if ready to attack.
Winter was shaking with fear and shock, but she moved forward, and spoke up. “Excuse me, are there fairies living here?”
The black bird leaned its head slightly forward. “And who’s asking exactly?”
Birch answered. “We are from the Rose Clan, and the Thorn Clan. We come to speak with any fairy who will listen about something very important.”
The bird squawked again, softer this time. “I have heard of these Clans. I will tell the River Clan that you wish to speak with them.” He spread his wings and flew down to the ground, before pecking on the base of the small tree three times.
A few moments passed, and then two small stones shifted and a fairy appeared in the hole.
“Three fairies are here from the Rose and Thorn Clans. Do you wish to speak with them? They say they have something important to say to you.”
The fairy looked past the bird to Winter, Birch, and Flame. He considered them, in the way that only a fairy can, and said, “Okay, let them in. Thank you Kalak.”
The bird moved away from the opening and Winter flew down to the ground. “Thank you,” she said to him. He must have been a Guardian, and they deserved thanks for all the hard work they did.
The stones were closed again behind them.
They had arrived at the next stage of their adventure.