This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is flake. 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:
Winter listened to Tango explain about the curse. She sat down on the wall around the pool and silence hung over them. “Really?” she finally asked. Then wished she hadn’t. It was a dumb thing to say.
Tango pulled her legs up, so that she sat with them crossed, balancing on the wall. “Yes. Nothing’s been the same since that year.” She hung her head. “The year I was born.”
“You’re really all stuck in here, all the time?”
“Yes. If we try to go outside, the river starts to dry up. And if the river runs dry, then nothing will grow. If nothing grows, we starve, and the animals do as well.”
“And this is all the work of-”
“I’ve told you all of this once already,” Tango snapped. Her brow wrinkled in annoyance.
“Sorry,” Winter said. “I’m just trying to understand it properly.”
Tango sighed overdramatically. “It was done by the fairy who lives in the short trees on the other side of the river. She made our tree shrink and become like it is now. She stopped magic flowing to the land around it and said that we all have to stay inside the Birch tree forever. The river makes sure we do.” She sighed again.
Winter replayed the story yet again. “Why? Why did she curse you?”
“The adults are a bit sketchy on that one. Apparently there was a disagreement over something. Nobody talks about it much.”
“Oh. So, if magic doesn’t flow to you anymore, then what can’t you do?” She understood that magic was integral to a fairy’s life. But not exactly how.
“We can’t fly. And we can only grow things slowly, like we’re told the humans have to. The only magic that can be done here is what I can do. That’s one of the reasons my parents are so scared about the rest of the Clan finding me out.”
Winter could see their reasoning. She still remembered her experience. And that was in a better situation than this.
Suddenly, a barrage of shouts filled the quiet.
Winter turned her head, and saw two fairies running for them, followed by some other men. Tango’s parents, she assumed, but the others she didn’t know.
Tango looked afraid. “I’m sorry,” she said, standing. “I know I shouldn’t have-”
Her mother wrapped her in her arms. “It’s okay.”
“An alarm was raised by the guests,” one of the other male fairies said, and his eyes alighted on her. He must have been a guard fairy. “Your friends were worried about where you were. They said they couldn’t find you.”
Winter looked around, perplexed. “Where are they?”
The guards looked at each other, opened their mouths as if to answer, then realised they couldn’t, and closed them again.
Winter moved past them, back towards the passageway that led to their borrowed rooms. Something didn’t feel right about this. Why would Birch or Flame have gone to the Guards instead of coming looking for her themselves? It wasn’t like either of them.
When she reached their rooms, both doors were closed. She knocked on Birch’s first, and after a moment, got a groggy, “Coming.”
The door opened and he looked at her through bloodshot eyes. “What’s wrong?”
She shook her head at him, then moved to Flame’s door. He opened his with a rather similar look.
“Neither of you told the Guards to come looking for me?” she questioned them.
Both shook their heads. Something strange was definitely going on.
Over breakfast Winter explained what had happened. They sat out by the pool. While the boys talked about the strange happenings, Winter wondered about Tango and her family. She finally said to Birch, “Can we go outside for a moment? I want to see something.”
He nodded. “Sure.” They put down the remains of their nutty breakfasts and went to the opening at the base of the tree. Birch pushed aside the stone, and fresh air flew at them. They stepped out and quickly closed it again. It had started to snow.
A small flake drifted down before Winter’s face and landed on the ground, melting as it hit. Soon it would settle, she could feel it. The ground beneath her feet was cold, colder than she had noticed before. Maybe her Gift was giving her a better perception of it this year.
“What are we looking at?” Birch asked. He was wrapped up warmly, but still shivered.
She pointed to the nearby river. “Over there.”
They flew over to it. Winter looked down at the slow-moving water, then up at the small trees Tango had referenced. They looked dark and menacing. “Those trees don’t look very healthy, do they?” she said.
“No,” Birch said. “Oh, I see what you’re getting at. You think the fairy over there is diverting water to try to keep her home alive.”
“Maybe.” She wanted to, but she daren’t fly any closer. She did drop down to get a better look at the river though. It seemed sluggish, and not clear. Like it was missing something. Its spark.
“Come on,” she said, “let’s get back.” She was starting to get too cold. And she was still worried about Tango.
She needed more information.