tagged Elroy

Short Leave

Elroy recognised Kaya by the feel of her presence before he could see her, naturally. As they exchanged greetings and she slipped into the seat across of him, he noted the changes she had made: red-haired, pale and freckled rather than black haired and olive-skinned, and she was a good head shorter than she used to be. The butterfly tattoo near the corner of her left eye was also gone. She apparently liked changing vocations every couple of decades.

"What are you up to now?"

She showed him an anchor tattooed on the inside of her wrist and grinned.

"Klabauter?"

"Yes. I figured as a ship-spirit, I'd get around more than being assigned an area for psychopomping, or a charge as a muse or guardian. Maybe it'll hold my interest longer.” Her eyes flicked towards the faint shimmer of his wings. "How's your current charge?"

"Sleeping."

She chuckled. "Or you wouldn't be here?"

"Yes; he's not doing well at the moment, so I better pay attention." He caught himself before saying more than he should and dragging the mood down. "What about you? Do you already have a ship?"

"No, but I've been scouting for one." She grinned self-satisfied. It was more unusual than having one assigned. "There's an oceangoing freighter on keel that hasn't been claimed or assigned yet, and I put in my application early. Means I'll have to idle for a while, but it won't blur me."

"You could always read up on old cases."

"Not too old. The age of sail may look romantic in hindsight, doesn't help much with a modern ship, though. Besides, you just want to lure me to a date in a library."

"Not only."

She laughed, and Elroy felt himself unwind into comfort. Guarding meant little direct interaction with anyone, not even his charge. Taking a break had been a good idea.

tagged Plants

Too Much Water

When Eve came back from her holiday, her beloved bonsai had exactly one green leaf left.

The neighbour who’d been plant-sitting had meant well, but mistaken yellowing leaves as sign of it not having enough water, rather than the reverse, and overwatered it catastrophically.

After accepting profuse apologies, Eve went to work. She had taken care of that plant for fifteen years, and wasn’t going to stop now.

She carefully removed the sodden earth and pruned those roots that had started rotting, and the branches connected to them. It did not leave much, just one of the main branches.

After re-potting, Eve kept checking soil moisture several times a day, and waited.

The last leaf yellowed and fell.

Eve kept up the routine for weeks, occasionally bending the branch slightly to test if it was brittle.

Until a few new buds appeared.

Zenith

People think I’m crazy, usually even when I try to explain to them why I like getting shot out of a cannon. Sure, the rush of acceleration when the propellant explosion hits you is a huge rush of excitement, too. But the best part is the high point.

See, something shot from a cannon travels in an arc, and between the way up and the way down there is a moment of weightlessness. Everything just seems to stop, and I can take a long second to enjoy the view.

Bloody good aim is important, sure. Can’t miss the net once.

Combining the prompts "Zenith" from Aldersprig and "Zany" from Tara Tyler.

Yard

It was always the same. A new school class arrived at the youth hostel next door, and if the weather was good, some would gather in the yard and play football.

Calling out to each other, cheering, whooping, cursing, Charly wouldn’t mind much yet, but the sound of the ball hitting the wall of the room he worked in made him flinch every time.

When he opened the door for the florist, he went round to the hostel yard, and yelled, “Keep the noise down.” When he had the kids’ attention, he added, “We’re trying to prepare a funeral here.”

Combining the prompts "Yard" from Tara Tyler and "Yell" from Becca Stareyes.

Xenophobia

Gemma did not want to show that she was afraid, particularly of the flock of black-haired children talking among themselves and laughing.

She just wanted to find her parents again.

It felt like she had walked all day when she reached the waterfront. That was the right direction, but turn right or left?

One of the local children approached her, a fruit in an outstretched hand, as if she were a shy animal. She was hungry…

While she was distracted, one of the other children snuck up on her and tousled her red brown hair.

She ran off shrieking.

"Xenophobia" was a prompt by Becca Stareyes

Fiction tags: Third person Drabbles

Welcome

Tom put on his most charming smile. “Hello Clare. I’d like to talk to Marv. May I come in?”

“Yes. I mean no. Wait.” She raised her hand. “Dad’s not home. And I may not let anybody in.”

“Will he be back soon?”

“I guess.”

“I’d like to wait for him. It’s not like I’m a stranger.”

“Yeaahhh. I guess.”

When he was less than half a step inside, Clare said, “No, sorry, but they said ‘anybody’.”

He wanted to push in, but the refusal was stronger than he was.

He’d have to try again for that sweet little morsel.

Combining the prompts "Welcome" from Aldersprig and "Wibble" from Dev.

Viridian Vegetation

“What did you want to show me?”

“Come on in.” Henry picked up a potted plant and led Joanna to the living room.

She wondered if the avena grass was replacement for hers, that had caught a strange disease, turning all grey. Random gifts from Henry? Weird.

Odder still was the bat he retrieved from a cabinet. It was pale blue.

When Henry set the creature on the potted grass, it soon bit down close to the roots. Several blades started turning grey, while the bat turned viridian.

Henry shrugged. “I thought you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

Combining the prompts "vegetative" from Aldersprig, "viridian" from Becca Stareyes and "variable" from Tara Tyler. This follows the story Losing Colour

tagged Magic Eodea Yrn

Undertown

Dehrai crossed through the mountain, leaving light in his wake.

At the lowest point of his circuit, under sea level, Dehrai’s fingers lingered over runes keeping the tunnels unflooded. Those did not need weekly renewal, and no-one would teach him their workings.

On his climb back he fed more light-spells in the communal workshops and dwellings too deep under the city even for lightwells, letting thanks warm him.

As a mote grew to a glow too bright to look into, he smiled. Air and light had called him, not stone and metal. He would follow that call again

"under-" was another prompt by Aldersprig. :)

Theology

On the way from a far-flung field back to her home, a farmer met a young priest, and they exchanged greetings.

She said, “Looks like rain tomorrow.”

“Why do you say that?” asked the city-bred priest.

“Rain follows a red sunset quite often.”

“The Maker crafted the physical world in mystery. Faith in providence will easy your heart, not trying to understand.”

The farmer, unsurprised since she was used to the ways of young priests, paraphrased different scripture, “The Maker gave us eyes to see, and a mind to think.”

When they parted ways, the priest thought hard.

Aldersprig gave me the prompts "training" and "theocracy", which is where I started, though I wandered away a little.

Still

Maddie closed the door to her flat and leaned against it, grateful it locked out the traffic noise.

Close deadlines stressed her, turned the music and chatter, clatter of keyboards and humming of fans into tiny buzzsaws cutting into her spine.

After a few minutes of trying to unwind surfing the web, she switched the computer. Too loud. She paced, pulling plugs to kill humming power sources, switching off the heating to mute its shell-to-your-ear swoosh.

Wrapped in a blanket and feet up on the sofa, she sighed.

No noise, no moving. Just for a while.

The prompt "Still" came from Lyn Thorne-Alder.

Syndicate content