This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is worm. 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:
An Awful Truth
Winter suppressed a yawn. It was the middle of the night but she couldn’t ignore her curiosity about what Birch and Flame were up to.
She crept up to the door, looking for them.
“Ready?” Birch’s voice hissed out of the darkness.
She jumped a little, but said, “Yes. What’s going on?” She spoke quietly, knowing that they weren’t supposed to be there.
A small light flickered into life, revealing the two of them stood in a small nook just to the side of the door.
“You have to come with us,” Flame said, quietly, “and don’t draw any attention to yourself.”
She nodded, her curiosity growing.
Birch pushed the door open. It made a bit of a noise, and Flame and Birch both grimaced at it, hoping it wasn’t going to draw any attention.
They got outside without any problems. Winter looked up and noticed the black Guardian bird perched on a branch of the tree, watching them, but he stayed silent. She silently thanked him for that. Maybe he knew they were trying to help the River Clan. Guardians were funny. You never could work them out.
Flame took off into the air, Birch followed, and then Winter. In the darkness it was hard to see where they were going, but she kept up.
They flew upstream. Winter began to think that maybe Flame and Birch had worked out what was wrong with the river, why it had lost its life, its spark.
By the light of Flame’s little dancing fire, she saw a shadowy outline on the horizon. At times it looked a bit like a fallen tree, then it seemed to change shape and become like some monstrous figure that had scared her on Layla’s television.
She shuddered, and hoped it wasn’t anything too scary. She didn’t like scary.
They drew closer, and Flame took them off to the side to land by the river.
“We found this earlier today,” Birch said. “While you were dealing with the Queen, we thought we would take a look at the river.”
Flame looked sad. “It’s awful, Winter.”
He let his light grow a little larger, and they walked a bit further along the river’s edge. It was muddy, and Winter had to lift herself free using her wings a couple of times. There were quite a few worms as well, which she avoided in the same way.
A round tube ran out of the forest on her right, discharging something dark and stinky into the water. “We thought you might know what it is,” Flame said, “because you know about human things.”
Horror struck her. It was human, it had to be. Nature didn’t produce such things as this. “I don’t know,” she said, her stomach churning from the smell. Tears burned in her eyes, from sadness and the thick air around them. “I don’t…” She couldn’t explain it, but she knew that this was a really bad thing. This was the cause of the river losing its life.
She fluttered her wings, preparing to take off, but Birch stopped her with a gentle hand on her arm. “You can’t fly this close. Magic’s not strong enough.”
So they walked back to where they had landed, and took off. Instead of flying back the way she had come, Winter flew up higher and over the awful tube. On the other side of it, the water ran cleanly and easily, full of life and sparkle. Her sadness almost weighed her down to the ground.
She rejoined Birch and Flame, and they flew back to the River Clan in silence.
The Guardian looked down on her again at the entrance. He made a small sad noise. He knew. She looked up at him, blinked, and the tears fell. She couldn’t undo this. How could she ever fix this?