Friday Fictioneers – The Glass Jar


PHOTO PROMPT © Janet Webb

Magdalena heard laughter coming from the library.  “Rayna, what are you laughing at?” she asked her five year old daughter as she stepped into the room.

Rayna’s eyes got big and she pointed to the glass jar by the window.  “It’s Jordan, Mama.  He makes me laugh.”

Magdalena walked over and peered into the glass.  “Who’s Jordan, sweetie?”

“He’s my friend.”

Magdalena smiled at her daughter, realizing Jordan must be imaginary, but when she looked again, she took a step back as her breath caught in her throat.

Leaning against the small glass jar was a tiny boy, peering out into the room.


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction prompt where we are given a photo and asked to write a 100 word story – beginning, middle and end.  This one came in at 103 words.

Click on the blue froggy to read other amazing 100-word stories!

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Sunday Photo Fiction – The Dragon’s Birth

© A Mixed Bag 2011

“Princess, what are you hiding behind your back?”

Amyris could never keep anything from her Governess, that much was certain.  “You can’t make me tell,” she yelled.  She turned and ran to her chamber, banging the door shut behind her.  Sometimes her willfulness worked, but not today.  Lady Ella was right behind her, demanding the truth.

“Promise you won’t tell?”  Amyris asked with tears in her eyes.

“As you wish,” Lady Ella acknowledged as she sat down on the bed beside Amyris.  She gasped when she saw the item her charge held gently in her hands. “A dragon’s egg,” she whispered.

“Truly?” Amyris asked.  “Oh, how lovely!”

****

On her fifteenth name day, devastation rained.  Traitors attacked the castle and set fire to her tower.  She was in the bailey when the fire broke out, but she ran towards the tower only to be waylaid by her guards.

“You can’t go in there Princess.  All is lost.”

“No!” she screamed and sank to the ground.  “You don’t understand,” she whispered.

It was dawn before she moved again, and as she slowly made her way towards the rubble, she heard screeching cries that she first mistook for crows.  She soon realized that it was no crow making the strange noise and her life forever after was altered.


The rules for Sunday Photo Fiction are to create a story/poem or something using around 200 words with the photo as a guide, although it doesn’t have to be center stage.  This one comes in at 216 words.

 

Click the blue froggy link to read other amazing stories!

Happy Sunday!

Teaser Tuesday – Serafina and the Black Cloak

As I’ve mentioned, my son recommended this book to me.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s nice to read something different for a change; something you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on your own.  But, I really had no choice.  My son was so excited about this book and wanted to share the experience with me so much that I just had to pick it up.  And I’m not sorry I did.

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Serafina is a lovable character and I can’t get enough of her untamable spirit.  I’m only about half way through, but I’m really enjoying the story.

When I looked up Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty on Goodreads, I noticed (“Serafina #1”) next to the title.  Do you know what that mean?  That means it isn’t the only Serafina story!  I’m wondering if my son knows that?  I’m thinking I need to tell him, but that just means I will need to make a trip to the bookstore.  *Sigh

My quote is from Page 71.  I hope you enjoy!

“As soon as they were gone, she climbed down and checked the area to the right of the fireplace to make sure she’d be able to find the concealed door if she ever needed it.  A concealed door could be a very useful thing to a girl of her particular occupation.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Friday Fictioneers – The Birds

grey-day-with-pigeons-roger-bultot
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The birds.  It was always the damn birds.  Ninety-seven of them today… five more than yesterday.

Any doubts he’d been harboring finally melted away.  It was actually happening.  He’d foretold this event hundreds of years ago, barely believing it himself when he glimpsed it in the fire.  No one believed him then and it was even less likely they’d believe him now.

Sighing, he stood up as straight as his body would allow and made his way back inside. Looking at his bent and withered hands, he willed them to perform the way they used to.  He was humanity’s last hope.


Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction prompt where we are given a photo and asked to write a 100 word story – beginning, middle and end.  This one came in at 101 words.  I hope you enjoy!

Click on the blue froggy to read other amazing 100-word stories!

#frapalymo – A Sky Raining Honey

A Sky Raining Honey

A sky raining honey
What a wondrous event
Amber liquid oozing from
Opaque bulbous clouds
Mouth open to enjoy
Sticky sweet droplets coating your tongue
Wallowing in puddles that suck in your feet
Squelching and gooey
Lick it off another’s skin
Smear it across their face
Slide down hillsides glazed with dew
Holding hands and screaming
Joy!


May’s poetry challenge is hosted by @FrauPaulchen and is translated by Bee over at The Bee writes. Today’s prompt was “when it rained honey last time and I glazed myself barefoot” by @einsilbig. Feel free to click on either link and join us!

frapalymo

The Doorway

Have you ever been the presence looking through someone’s eyes from the inside? I have. I don’t know how it happened, exactly, only that I found a door, decided to walk through it and found myself inside someone else, looking out at the world through their eyes, sharing their thoughts and affecting their interaction with the world in small ways.

It was strange at first, almost like a ride where you just hold on for dear life and wait for it to be over. It eventually came to an end. I’m not sure how long it lasted, but after a time, I was spit out onto the highway in some brush on the outskirts of town. It was a long walk back.

It was almost stupid in a way, and I was never planning to do it again, but I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about it. There was just something about being inside someone else. The closeness. The sharing. How can you ever move on from that? How can you ever live your lonely, solitary life in the same way again after experiencing something like that?

The answer is you don’t; at least I didn’t.

I finally went back to the door and stepped inside.

It happened with more and more frequency and my life started to fall apart. I couldn’t hold down a job. I couldn’t even breathe. I just wanted to be inside, living someone else’s life; watching the world through a bird’s eye view. Their view.

If it sounds strange, imagine how it feels.

But what I wasn’t prepared for was seeing a presence in someone else’s eyes. It took me a minute to realize what I was seeing. We were two beings inside people looking at each other; acknowledging each other. It was like two puppet masters looking at each other while they manipulated their puppets across the stage in a wild frenzy of movement.

The possibility of other doorways had never even entered my mind. Imagine me, believing mine was the only doorway. How strange. How vain. Even more strange was that I didn’t think anything of it. I took it in stride. We’re all walking through doorways, melting into other humans, living life inside them, through them, sometimes for them.

And so it went, hour by hour, day by day. Sometimes I lived my own life. Sometimes I walked through the doorway and spent days, weeks, months even, depending on how long I could hold on. The more I did it, the more control I gained and the longer I could stay. Sometimes it was a burden to leave and I had to actually force myself to fall out.

The last time I went through the doorway as I knew it, I was inside for a year. Everything changed. I no longer wanted my own life. I wanted to share life, only I wasn’t necessarily a welcome visitor. I think the host (as I began to think of her) started to realize there was a presence inside her and she fought me. Sometimes I won. Sometimes she won. And we battled in a graceful dance before she finally won for good and I was booted out.

No longer having any sense of my own reality, I immediately ran back to the door, only it was different, changed. I didn’t care. All I knew was I wanted to get back inside. It was the only way I felt whole. The door was bright red and it had shrunk. I had to squeeze through the door and when I did, I fell.

I fell for a long time. At first I was scared, but eventually boredom set in. It could have been days later, but it was probably only hours, when I didn’t so much land as I floated onto some long grass in a huge field. I sat up and looked around. Everything had a gray quality to it, the sky, the tree in the distance, even the air felt different, strange, and I wasn’t sure I could breathe until I did and then it was okay. I heard voices but not in the distance or even next to me. They were muffled and it took me a few more minutes before I realized they were coming from inside my own head.

“What is it?” one voice asked.

“I think it’s one of them,” another responded.

“What do we do with it?”

I shook my head. It felt so strange.

“Who’s there?” I said out loud.

My voice floated on the breeze and carried out into the field where it turned and came back so I heard it a second time. An echo, but really weird.

The first voice I heard whispered, “Do you think it hears us?”

“Of course I hear you! Where are you?” I snapped.

The same weird echo carried my words back to me, only this time I could see them. I think the words were actually floating on the breeze. I shook my head again and squeezed my eyes shut.

“I don’t think that will help,” the more reasonable voice offered.

“No? What should I do then?” I kept my eyes closed and endured another repetition of my words.

“Try thinking instead of speaking.”

Hmmm, good point.

“Thank you!”

You heard that?

“Yes.”

I think it’s working then. Can you please tell me where I am?

“Well, perhaps I should start at the beginning?”

Yes please.

“I believe humans refer to us as aliens. Does that sound about right?”

I honestly didn’t know, but whatever I thought must have registered as affirmative because the voice continued.

“Many years ago, we started dying off and in our attempt to survive we discovered a portal to your world, specifically inside humans. It allowed us to live forever if we could jump from one to the next, so our engineers studied it and recreated it and most of us went through the portals and are living quite happily now inside the human race.”

So, why are you still here?

“That is a fabulous question.”

Thank you!

“Some of the portals broke or went bad. I’m not really sure of the technical reason, but we ended up back here.”

Well, why don’t you just find another portal and go through it?

“Another excellent question.”

I rolled my eyes.

“As I was about to explain to my friend here, we need a human to actually walk through a portal, carrying us inside. They no longer work the same way they once did and we have evolved from when we first went through. It is no longer possible for us to do it on our own.”

It made sense, actually.

The voice went on. “We don’t normally have to ask. Humans that come through aren’t as perceptive as you and we normally just guide them to the portal without them ever knowing of our existence. You are the first one who heard us.”

Lucky me.

That was met with silence. I guess they didn’t understand sarcasm.

What happens when we make it back? Will you leave?

“Well, no. If you will permit it, you can be our new host.”

At first I was terrified, but after thinking about it, I realized I would have what I was trying to accomplish before I went through the red door. I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. And I would have it without worrying about angry hosts and portals and doorways. They would stay with me until I was gone.

It wasn’t much of a decision. I was so excited I said “yes” out loud and had to listen to it again a few moments later. I rolled my eyes again and stood up.

What do I do?

“Luckily, we are already inside. We will lead you to the portal and once we are back on your world, it shouldn’t take long before you return to normal. You won’t even know we are here.”

Somehow, I hope that doesn’t happen.

The voice didn’t respond to that either. Maybe it was better if I was blissfully unaware. Maybe it would be different. If I was already different than other humans that had come here, the voice probably didn’t know any better than I did what would actually happen. It didn’t matter. Even if the voices were silenced once we returned, I still knew they were there. I knew I wouldn’t be alone.

I followed the voice as it led me to a portal, back to my world and a new life.


This was written for Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge where this week we were given a “this story meets that story” mash up and I randomly rolled Being John Malkovich meets Alice in Wonderland. I wasn’t even sure this was something I could do, but it’s funny how things just happen when you start writing. Although, I have to admit, there was a point yesterday where I thought this was all crap and I almost gave up on it. Luckily, I have learned to walk away and come back to things and I found that it wasn’t half bad. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Turns out, I actually had a lot of fun.

This is also part of Just Jot It January hosted by Linda G Hill.

 

The Queen

I’m going out on a huge limb here and posting a story that I probably wouldn’t have about six months ago. I’m of the opinion, though, that we don’t grow if we don’t challenge ourselves. I’ve never written anything in the fantasy genre and I’m not sure I’ve done the world justice, but at least I attempted it. You’ve gotta love challenge’s like Chuck’s this week where we had to click on a D&D character generator to get our prompt for 1,000 words of flash fiction. My randomly generated character was: “Spiteful elf bard from a cavern without echoes who has anger problems.”

I also managed to throw in Song Lyric Saturday where the lyrics were: “It’s all the same. Only the names will change” from Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. And just to make things fun but really because I know I won’t post anything else today, this is also part of Just Jot It January. So, you have a threefer, if you will.

Special thanks to my boyfriend’s son who told me elves who live in caverns are dark elves and the elf name generator I clicked on to get some pretty cool names. The story is 977 words. Please be nice in the comments, although I always welcome feedback.

The Queen

Ingemon’s boots tapped the floor of the hallway in an echoless staccato as he made his way quickly to the queen’s chamber. Anger billowed off him in waves and the Cavrillians who happened to notice him scooted out of his way or turned in the opposite direction in order to avoid him. No one wanted to cross paths with the bard. It had led to death in the past and those remaining valued their lives enough to get out of his way.

Cavrill was an Elven town located in a cavern in the High Mountains. The cavern itself was a maze of hallways and chambers with a river that ran straight through, ending a good many miles at a lake deep in the mountain. They were secluded, isolated from the world outside and with no one to fight and nowhere left to explore, their destructive nature turned inward.

Ingemon wasn’t the first to fight for a position among the Cavrillians, but his was the bloodiest. He had taken the role of historian and story-teller from Jarl over ten years ago in a slow, destructive campaign that eventually led to Jarl’s very public death, which was attended by their queen, who cheered him on with immense pleasure. She had taught her kingdom well the best way to survive in a brutal world.

When Ingemon crossed the entrance into the queen’s chamber, the guards on either side put out a hand to stop him. One dark glance in each direction and they removed their hands slowly to let him pass. Straitening even taller than his normal six feet, he made his way to the throne where the queen sat and kneeled in front of her, bowing stiffly in deference to her position, though it cost him much to prostrate himself for anyone, including the queen.

“My Queen, I’ve heard more whisperings.”

Ingemon’s nose met her black velvet cape as it swirled around her like a serpent guarding its treasure.

“Always my faithful servant.” Her voice slid across his ears and fell flat in the echoless chamber.

“Yes, Highness.”

Girithil was a descendent of the original spider queen and her coloring reflected it. Her pale face glowed in the unnatural light, her ice-blue eyes hard and unflinching. She stood up and slowly glided around his prostrate form. Her cape slithered along the ground, her waist-length ruby red hair shimmering against it, moving with the cape as if in a dance. She reached out a velvet-gloved hand and stroked his silvery, black hair as it lay motionless around him.

“I’ve heard things, my sweet.” Her soft voice barely carried to the guards idling near the entrance.

“My Queen?” His head lifted up slightly, his eyes almost meeting hers but her hand pressed down on his head, pushing him back down.

“You know how whispering can be.”

“I do, Highness.”

She noticed his voice remained steady where others would have wavered by now.

“The whisperings are speaking your name, my pet.”

He let out a laugh that died almost as soon as it left his lips.

“Lies, my Queen. Nothing more than jealousy and spite.”

“Oh, of that I am certain. Mine were the first whispers that made their way through this cavern. But how am I to choose which are true? Have I not always acted on every one? Is that not how I’ve kept my throne?”

She watched him closely, her hand still holding his head down. He didn’t move a muscle that her eyes could see, but her hand felt the muscles in his neck tense and she knew. She was inclined to believe whispers, but it was always good to know one wasn’t wrong.

She dragged her gloved fingers through his hair before grabbing a chunk and yanking his head back. He heard the knife as she freed it from the strap on her thigh seconds before he felt the blade press on his neck.

She looked into his eyes and wasn’t surprised to see a blank expression staring back at her. He wasn’t afraid.

“You plot my death in order to take my throne?” Her dark red lips were inches from his face and her soft voice slithered across him, softly caressing his face.

“I will not deny it.” He remained still even as the blade began to bite into his skin and blood slid slowly down his neck.

“Lofty goals for a bard.” Her icy smile didn’t reach her eyes and her grip hardened in his hair, the knife biting deeper.

He didn’t respond.

“Guards.” They were by her side in seconds, taking Ingemon from her grasp, holding him steady as she slowly stood up.

Staring at the knife and the blood slowly dripping down the blade, she coldly passed sentence.

“We don’t have another historian and the stories must survive, otherwise you would be dead. Write them down and I may yet let you live.”

His eyes had darkened but his reply was soft, “Yes, your highness.”

Sneering at his words, she looked at the guards. “He doesn’t need legs to write, just make sure he survives. I didn’t forgo the pleasure of his death on my hands simply to have you kill him by accident.”

Both guards nodded their heads in acceptance of her wishes and she waved her hand in dismissal, returning to her throne with a sigh.

How she would have loved to squash his beating heart in her hands.

She couldn’t remember how many had tried to take her throne, but it didn’t matter. They were all the same to her and they had all met the same fate, all but Ingemon. She would visit him in a week to see how he progressed. She was still hopeful that his death was in her near future and she smiled almost gleefully as she stared at his blood shimmering on her knife.