Flash Fiction: Mother (Part 1)

Our planet is in deep peril.

A great destroyer of worlds has found us.

We know not from which darkness she came. Everything green has become black and withered, and the very air we breathe has turned noxious. Our only hope is to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we may discover a way to defeat our tormentor.

To that end, the following serves as a record of the being known as “Mother”…

 

To be continued

 


 

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Japanese translation of “Broken Samurai”

Shun has translated my haiku Broken Samurai into Japanese. I thought it was a pretty cool thing to do, and I wanted to share it with you guys. So here it is:

In English:

broken samurai
glitter of your darkened eyes
makes the moon weep

 

In Japanese:

落ち武者や
きらめく夜目の
つきがなく

ochimusha ya
kirameku yome no
tsuki ga naku

pivot words.
ya: arrow, night. cutting by arrow or night.
yome: night eyes, yome(=yami): darkness, yome(=yame): stop, terminate, abort.
tsuki: moon, luck.
naku: cry, weep, howl, without, nothing.

 

Thanks Shun!

Flash Fiction: Blue Fire

She hated the blue fire in her eyes.

A mage had put it there a long time ago.

She’d worked as an assassin then. She was hired to find an elemental mage whose signature move was a burst of blue fire. When she found him he was sitting in the shade of an apple tree, poring over a tome that looked to be even older than he was.

He’d heard her coming, she was sure of it. And yet he didn’t raise his eyes from the script on his lap. His brow remained furrowed, his expression contemplative.

He didn’t put up a good fight – she was surprised by that. But just as she was about to kill him, he blasted her with his fire magic, searing half her left arm and decimating the tendons in her right leg.

She spent nine days in a healer’s room. On the tenth she was fully healed.

But when she held a mirror up to her face, her eyes were different.

There was a tiny blue flame flickering in each pupil.

With the mage dead, she went back to work. She was as swift as ever. But when she closed her eyes she saw things, memories that weren’t hers. They appeared in her mind as clearly as if they were her own.

There were books, lots of books. The text swam before her eyes, filling her with knowledge of dragons, ancient curses and relics from times forgotten.

There were people too. An old woman with greying burgundy hair, and a much younger woman. The younger woman was sick. She couldn’t move. The mage sat by her bedside every day. Her mournful lilac eyes haunted the assassin’s dreams.

The mage was searching for something. (Aphrael, she reminded herself. His name was Aphrael.) It was a pond of some kind, one whose waters could cure any ailment. The assassin’s mind filled with images of this pond. Every time she saw it the fire in her eyes burned.

She couldn’t stand it anymore.

She had to find the pond and bring back its waters for the mage’s daughter, the one with the lilac eyes. If she didn’t the torture would never end.

So the assassin set out to find the pond. The mage’s journey became hers. His memories were hers. His hopes, his dreams, his pain – they were all a part of her now.

Sometimes at night, when the stars were too silent for her liking, the assassin remembered the way she’d found the mage, reading under that apple tree. She remembered how he’d sighed when she showed herself. It was a weary sigh, but there had been no sadness in it.

And she wondered if he’d every truly died at all.

 

Note: Thanks to the lovely Ckye for her prompt Blue Fire. I couldn’t do the challenge, but why waste such a good prompt, eh?

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The Snake Queen #writephoto

enigma

The snake queen was no beauty.

Her scales were of a deep emerald, but they were rough to the touch, like sandpaper. Her amber eyes were set into coy slits that closed completely when she smiled. She dressed richly, in sequined gowns that shone brighter than the moon, but no amount of shimmer could disguise the reptilian form handed to her by fate.

Her subjects, nevertheless, were proud of their queen. She killed with ease. Her tongue shot out – slap! – and the human was done for. Their queen was an expert killer, like no other before her.

She could take on the burliest of human warriors, but she didn’t want them.

It was the maidens she craved.

She lay in the grass and watched them. She watched their golden tresses glimmer in the sunlight, licked her lips as their soft skin brushed against wild daisies fluttering in the breeze.

And, when the moment was right, she struck.

The commander of the human king’s army was one of the burly warriors she’d left behind. After the reptile kingdom had fallen to his men he entered her chambers, stepping over the bodies of her guards.

He wanted to see her one last time before the kingdom was burned to the ground. This was more out of curiosity than anything else. He’d heard that one of his mages had turned her to stone.

He found her still figure before an ornate mirror.

She was gazing into its depths, a wistful smile melting her lipless mouth.

But it was not her reflection in the mirror.

The queen in the mirror had golden tresses that glimmered in the soft light, and her face was human, soft and pink.

The commander wondered what kind of magic this was. It didn’t matter, he supposed. He’d have to burn the mirror along with everything else.

He looked back to the real queen.

She remained motionless, her gaze fixed on the reflection in the mirror.

There was happiness in her stone eyes.

 

(Image courtesy of Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)

Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto Prompt: Enigma

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The Other Side #writephoto

arch

I always wondered what was on the other side of the stone arch.

It had stood there for centuries, overlooking the ocean. My teacher said it had been there since the days when they burned witches at the stake. The grass around it was a rich green, even in winter when all else was bare.

Everyone else looked through the archway and saw pastel waves lapping at the shoreline.

But I saw something different.

I saw fire and magic.

I saw women in dark cloaks chanting beneath the moonlight.

I heard the songs too, songs of vengeance and reprise.

One day, when I was too young to know any better, I asked my mother about it.

“Mama, where did all the witches go?”

“They burned them.”

“All of them? Did some of them escape?”

My mother sighed. “I don’t know, Edith,” she said. “They weren’t real witches anyway. People only thought they were.”

With that she turned her back on me and went back to washing the dishes.

Over the years my fascination with witches grew. I studied their ancient practices, and filled my bookshelves with records of their persecution. I dyed my mousey hair to match the blackness of the night, and experimented with herbs that were believed to have magical properties.

People began to shun me.

I had no friends at school, and even the teachers grew wary of me. Some people even threw stones, like they did in the old days.

One night I stood before the arch and listened. I listened to the dark crackle of fire, to the harmony of voices rising into the night.

And I stepped through.

Through the arch, to the other side.

There was someone waiting for me. Her face was hidden in the shadows of her cloak, but I could see the wicked spark in her eyes. A sly smile curved her ruby lips.

“Welcome, sister,” she said.

 

Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto Prompt: Stones

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