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.

Railroad

It had seemed a good idea, Maggie taking a trip, Henry staying home to tinker in his workshop. But then…

“What were you thinking?” Maggie’s voice and shoulders dropped as she took in the model train rails cutting through the hatch to the kitchen. “Does it even open still?”

“It doesn’t need to.” Henry pulled out a chair, twitching a smile. After she sagged on the offered seat, he turned a gauge, causing a train to enter. It stopped so the first wagon, with its load of triangular leaf packets was right in front of Maggie.

“Rice dumplings. Your favourite.”

Here we go starting on the rest of the alphabet. The prompt "railroad" came from Lyn Thorne-Alder, "rice dumplings" from Eliza Gebow

I'm still accepting prompts for letters after T, if you're so inclined. :)

Back?

Looks like it. A few things mostly to do with navigation got lost, I'll try to fix those soon.

But the content is there.

Hiatus

Let's keep this short.

Before I started the A to Z thing, I attempted to upgrade the CMS my website runs on.
Something went wrong.
Then something went wrong when I tried to restore it.

Since then I can't create new posts (everything posted since then is repurposed old drafts) or switch on the spam filter.

I had planned to keep going until after the A to Z Challenge was finished, but that was before I knew I'd get over a thousand spam comments a day. After accidentally deleting two legit comments when trying to clean up, I switched off comments, and without a chance of comments, posting's not so much fun.

I'll try to get the page working and updated in the course of the week(end), though I can't promise anything.

Quest

The outlander had agreed to the precautions Haisa wanted for their meeting. Satisfied, she retrieved the carved box that held what he sought, and opened it with a flourish.

His eyes, so far shining with excitement, went dull, and his shoulders sagged.

“It’s what you seek. Hair of Qilin!"

“Oh, I don’t doubt that, pardon me. It’s just that I need much more. To stuff a quilt.”

“Whatever for?” Haisa knew many uses for the potent ingredient; why waste it?

“If you slept under it, you would never get sick.”

Haisa wrinkled her nose. “Well, you buy? It’s a start.”

I'm way behind schedule in the April A to Z challenge, but I'm not stopping now. The prompt "quest" came from Lyn Thorne-Alder, "quilt" from Nita, and "Qilin", "Quantity", and "Quack" from Herm Baskerville.

Drabbles up to S are written; if you have prompts for later in the alphabet, please give them to me. :)

Fiction tags: Third person Drabbles Fantasy
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