Category: Pensive


15-minute Free-write Friday

Action_painting_1Hi there!

Bet you didn’t expect to see me on a Friday. I didn’t either. At least, not for a time. After a year of not posting any flash fiction, however, I decided I should at least do something.

I could regale you with a tale of how I came to decide upon 15-minute Free-write Friday, but, as Inigo Montoya put it: “That will take too long. I will sum up.”

I set a timer for 15 minutes and spewed words. Tada! I ran a spellcheck, but that’s it, my friends. I’m about to throw the rawest of the raw at you. I may use prompts in the future, but today’s word-vomit was promptless.

So, without further ado, an intimate look into the way my poor brain behaves.

Alright. let’s see what I get here. Once upon a time there was a little girl who spent her free time in the meadow near her home. It was a bright sunny meadow, with lovely tall grass, where one occasionally saw moose. But there were dangers lurking in the grass. Unbeknownst to the little girl or her mother, one of the nearby businesses used the field, as yet undeveloped land, as a dumping place for their scrap metal. Sharp pieces hid in the tall grass, waiting for their unsuspecting victims. The little girl was running about one day when she tripped and impaled herself on one of these sharp pieces. Ouch. Okay. New story.

Apparently this mama is in an anxious mood, though I’m not sure why. Um, um, um… Let’s see.

Dagger,_c._1700,_Safavid_dynasty,_Iran,_chiseled_steel_blade_with_silver-washed_steel_hilt_-_Sackler_Museum_-_DSC02542Lulubelle picked up her sword and swung it at the werewolf’s throat, hoping to chop off its head. Her blow, strong enough to fell an ordinary man bounced back. The force of the impact threw Lulubelle off balance. She stumbled backwards, missing having her throat torn out by an inch. Rolling to her side she scrambled to get at the silver dagger her boyfriend forged for her out of the silver she found while mining the week before. The werewolf’s sharp teeth delved into her shoulder.

Doomed. She was doomed. If she survived the attack, she would only turn to a werewolf herself the next time the full moon rose. She shoved the thought aside. Finish the task at hand, she told herself. Worry about the future later.

The werewolf’s weight on her back kept her from turning to get a better angle for her stab. Instead, she jabbed at it with flapping motions, like a bird trying to beat a cat off its back. Six times she jabbed before the beast let go. She rolled out from under it. It lunged before she got to her feet. Knife at the ready, she let the creature’s momentum drive the blade into its eye.

The monster’s claws scrabbled to get a grip on her tunic, shredding fabric and flesh with ease, but failing to keep  the dying creature upright. It fell at her feet, twitching, and succumbed to its death throws with an ear-piercing howl.

Lulubelle stared down at the creature. Her shoulder and chest burned where the teeth and claws dragged chunks of her away. It didn’t matter. It bit her. If she survived the night, which seemed unlikely without magical aid, she would wander these forests herself, killing whatever unfortunate creature stumbled across her path, hunting old friends when she caught their scents.

Her chest heaved in spite of the searing pain. With her foot on the werewolf’s head to brace herself, she yanked the dagger from its eye. She stared at the blade. Pure silver. The finest workmanship. Crafted by her lover, so she could kill him.

JimmyBob’s wolfish form faded away, leaving behind the man Lulubelle adored. With a quiet sob, she sunk to her knees beside him. Somehow, she needed to join him. She wrapped his hand around the handle of the dagger and held it with both her own hands. Closing her eyes, she slammed her heart onto the sharp point.

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Unsung Hero

Hi Everyone! Here’s a quick, little flash fiction for the cat-lovers among us. Or rat haters. Either or. Enjoy! ~ReGi

A familiar stench tainted the air, snapping Tom out of his pleasant nap on the hearth. The tip of his tail twitched involuntarily with mixed frustration and anticipation. A rat. An arrogant, filthy, disgusting, plague-carrying, affront-to-all-things-decent Rat.

Tom inhaled slowly, silently, through his nose, testing the air. Warm ash, old wood, fresh earth, molding porridge, unwashed man, his own musk, all familiar, all pleasant smells washed across his palate in tantalizing waves of belonging. The smell of vermin cut through them all, threatening his new-found security.

The Master’s deep breathing filled one end of the room, the wool blanket rustling a bit with the steady movement of his rib cage. A scratching outside the door caught his ear, but he quickly dismissed it as a night bird scrounging for lazy crickets. A slight breeze tickled the shutters, its fingers whistling quietly through the cracks. His ear twitched. There!

Tom opened one eye half-way to peer across the dark hut, his pupil dilating enough to hide the amber of his iris. The cocky rodent poked his nose through the ample space between the rickety door and the dirt floor. It sniffed, its nose bouncing ridiculously on its face. It peered across the room to Tom, then huffed its ratly laugh and squeezed into the room, heading straight for the leg of the table and starting its climb.

Tom watched silently, holding back a growl for the insult. His whiskers tingled, sensing dust disturbed by the rat’s entrance.

The rat stretched from table leg to table top and pulled himself up effortlessly. A twinge of envy over the rat’s dexterity touched the back of Tom’s thoughts, but he dismissed it, replacing it with a smile. The stupid appetizer thought it was going to finish off the Master’s porridge.

Tom uncurled slowly while the rat scrambled less easily into the blackened pot. When the rat fell inside, Tom sprinted lightly across the room. He pressed his feet firmly down to make the jump from floor to chair, then chair to table.

He landed on the table top in a crouch and froze, watching and listening for signs the rat heard him or sensed his approach. The room grew still. Tom pulled every sense into a narrow line, all focused intently on the rat in the pot. The faintest whiff of fear caught in his nose. Tom wriggled his haunches, adjusting his muscles and bones into the best position for pouncing.

The rat peeked above the pot. Tom launched himself into the air, his leg muscles extended against the contraction of his back muscles, his  back feet shoving the table for leverage, his front claws reaching toward the startled vermin.

The rat stared wide-eyed at Tom, frozen in surprise, until the tips of Tom’s claws passed over the edge of the pot. Fear-stench exploded into Tom’s face as the rat turned and scrambled for the opposite edge of the pot, but too late. Tom landed with his hind feet on the pot edge, teeth wrapped around the rat’s backbone, fore-claws stabbing its belly.

The metallic twinge of iron-rich blood and the savory taste of his natural prey danced across Tom’s tongue, eliciting an impatient rumble from his belly. He dared not keep it in the Master’s hut, though. He knew what the rats were bringing to the humans. He scrambled backwards out of the pot, leaped through the air to the nearest window ledge, then jumped down into the night, carrying his deadly prize across the Master’s small garden and out of the village.

He needed to go quickly. His sleek black fur camouflaged him in the dark, but also condemned both him and his kind Master to a terrible death if he were caught. As quickly as he dared and as silently as haste allowed, he jogged into a nearby moor. He regretfully buried his catch instead of eating eat. With that done, he rolled in the dust, hoping to discourage any of the rat’s passengers from hitching a ride back into the village on him, before slipping quietly back into the Master’s hut and settling once again into his comfortable nap on the hearth.

A_Black_Cat_by_Jahn_Henne

And here it is, the conclusion to The Legend of Alperan & Lorianna. If you haven’t read Part One with the introduction, you really should go back and read it here. Since most stories make more sense when read in order, you should probably read Part Two as well. =0) Please let me know what you think. There are links to comments at both the top and bottom of the page. Thanks! ~ReGi

Lorianna mourned over being married without her parents, but felt it a worse fate to be separated from Boy. On the morning of her wedding, she left the farm-house before anyone awoke. She climbed into the mountains, ever thinking of her Beloved’s words, “Meet me on the highest mountain.” She climbed all that day until her legs ached and refused to go further, then she stopped and waited for Boy, but he did not come. Lorianna spent a cold, lonely night wondering what became of him.

The next day she awoke cold and stiff, thinking perhaps she must climb higher. So she climbed higher into the mountains. All that day she climbed, fearing that her Beloved met with an accident. He did not come that night and nightmares plagued her sleep.

The next morning she awoke again, sure she simply must climb higher, so higher still she climbed, but he came not that day too. Lorianna began to wonder if her mother was correct in trying to dissuade her, but his words echoed in her ears, “Meet me on the highest mountain.” So the next day she climbed further, and the next.

Each day, Lorianna’s journey grew more difficult. For a week she climbed into the mountains, until finally she came to the top of a very high one. There she sat and cried bitterly because she could go no further. She wept until she fell asleep. When she awoke, Boy sat beside her, his own eyes filled with tears of joy. Lorianna’s heart leapt for joy at the sight of her Beloved. She threw herself into his arms and their happy tears mingled as her cheek touched his.

“My lovely Lorianna,” he whispered, “I proved my love for you by working so many years as your father’s farmhand. Now you have proven your  love by climbing my mountain.”

“But, my Beloved, how can we be married with no one else around? And please, my Love, what is your name?”

At this, Boy smiled warmly on Lorianna. “Some of my servants shall be here anon, Sweet One, to see that we are properly married. I left many with your father that they may serve him in my stead until our honeymoon is over. As for my name, I am Alperan.”

Lorianna withdrew sharply in fear, but when she saw the hurt in his eyes, she understood that he never deceived her in any way, save that which was necessary to be among her people. Alperan’s servants came presently and saw to their weeding, as part of her vows, Lorianna promised never to reveal Alperan’s true identity until the day she died.

When they finished their honeymoon, they returned to the valley and lived out their lives as ordinary people, running Lorianna’s father’s farm and raising many children. They were content and never failed to make up after a quarrel. On the day she knew she would die, Lorianna gathered her children and grandchildren to her and told them the true identity of their father. He mourned deeply for her that day, but when the children gathered to bury her the next day, they found her body gone, and their father also.

“The legend goes on to say that their children believed that Alperan took his wife back to the mountain on which they were married to make her immortal so they would never have be separated again. Such was the devotion of Alperan to his beloved Lorianna.”

So that’s that. What do you think? Please leave a comment! 🙂

Detail of Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova, 1786-93

Detail of Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova, 1786-93

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