This week’s #blogbattle word prompt is trace. 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 Ending and Beginning
The door to the River Clan’s home rolled back, letting in a stream of weak evening light. Winter’s shadow preceded her inside, and her companions followed.
The door closed again, shutting out the cold.
Winter shivered and rubbed at the cloth over her arms, but she didn’t feel much better for it.
“Come on,” Birch said, his voice gentle and quiet, “let’s see if everyone is all right.”
She nodded, and let him take her hand. In all their adventures so far, their special friendship had gotten a bit lost.
They moved further into the Clan’s home. It wasn’t as light as before, or as warm, but it felt different. The magic was cleaner, and building, bringing light and warmth with it.
There was a trace of the river’s magic in the air, proving it really was a part of this place.
The Queen’s voice came out of the dusk light. “You have restored the river, I can feel it. Thank you.”
“I am glad we could,” Winter said.
Farah stepped closer and took Winter’s hands. “I mean it. I am truly grateful for what you have done for this Clan.” A slight pause. “We all are.”
The light continued to build, and several fairies emerged into the hall. Then more. And more. All looked at Winter and her friends with kindness, and a murmur of thanks rippled throughout them all.
Winter wished the ground would open up and swallow her.
Flame stepped forward. “You are all quite welcome,” he said, loudly enough for everyone to hear. “The River has been cleaned, and you all can no doubt feel the return of the magic. Please go back to living how you wish. The curse has been lifted, and in the springtime you will be able to go outside again and enjoy nature as you wish. That is all the thanks we need.”
Birch rolled his eyes, and Winter couldn’t help but smile. Flame was such an attention-seeker sometimes.
Farah defused the situation. She cleared her throat and said, “Please all go to your beds. It has been a long trying day.”
The crowd dispersed, and Winter turned back to Farah, who said to her, “You may all stay one more night, then I assume you’ll be off on your travels again?”
“Yes,” Winter said. “We will.”
“Then we will talk in the morning. For now, sleep.”
Winter didn’t take twice inviting. She was exhausted now she had stopped. She wanted nothing more than to head straight to her bed and drop into it, but as everyone turned away, she noticed Indian looking lost and realised she had nowhere to go. “You can sleep with me in my room, if you like?” Winter offered. She didn’t want to push her luck with the Queen’s hospitality.
Indian gave her a grateful look. “Thank you. But are you sure it’s okay?”
Winter looked over at the Queen, who nodded sharply. “You will watch her.”
“Then I consent.” She turned away.
Winter looked again at Indian .”Come on, let’s go to bed.”
It was a squeeze to get them both into the bed, but Winter didn’t care. It was warm and comfortable, that was all that mattered.
Morning came around far too soon. The Queen brought them all to her room for breakfast. In her typical fashion, the first thing she said was, “Indian, as you know I don’t believe in letting crimes go unpunished, but as you risked your life and put your wrongs right I am willing to overlook what you did.”
Relief drained the tension from Indian’s shoulders, and she ate a little more freely after that.
“And as for you Tango, am I correct in assuming that you will be wanting to go with Winter and her friends?”
All eyes turned to the young fairy and she shrank back under the attention. “I-I suppose…” She looked to Winter. “Do you want me to?”
“I think it’s a good idea if we all stick together,” Winter said, looking at Indian as well.
“We are stronger that way, I think.”
“And safer,” Birch added.
“Then yes,” Tango said, her eyes lighting up with the prospect of adventure and seeing the world. “I think I would.”
“I thought as much. You will have to tell your parents of course, but if they consent, then so do I.” She turned her attention on Winter once more. “I want to tell you that I have heard rumours of a fairy Clan to the east of us, past the Great Wood, who have a fairy with an unusual talent. I don’t know what, before you ask,” she said, cutting any questions off.
At least they had somewhere to aim for this time. “Thank you,” Winter said, “that’s really helpful.”
Farah held a hand up. “I am just playing my part, and you have done greater than that for me.”
Winter smiled, and let that be an end to the subject.
After breakfast, Tango went to ask her parents permission to go, while Winter, Birch, Flame, and Indian, got themselves prepared. Birch found Winter in her room, and leaned on the doorframe, saying, “Is it okay for me to come in?”
She smiled. “Yes.” She was sat on the bed, savouring the warmth while she could.
He sat beside her. “How are you?”
“All right, I think. Things have gotten hectic lately, haven’t they?”
He took her hand. “They have. But we’re still, you know, like we were, right?”
Heat rose into her cheeks. “Of course.”
He kissed her cheek, making her blush harder. “I’m glad.”
A small noise from outside disturbed them. Indian appeared in the doorway. “Time to go,” she said innocently.