Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Posts tagged ‘Fantasy’

Lucky stack

bike

I was very determined to do some fiction today, it seems.  Here’s a short fic which makes it obvious I’ve been working with RSPCA today.  If you’re familiar with Banjo Paterson’s ‘Mulgar Bill’ another influence will be quite clear.  If not I’ve added it as a quote for those non-australians who are interested. It’s not as well known as ‘Waltzing Matilda’ but still an interesting poem.  The photo is provided as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. *Edit Note on my usage of Stack/stacked: a more common aussie meaning means to stack is to crash. (Been back 4 months and I’ve gone native on you.) Okay, going to give up on coherency now.

Lucky Stack

Linda glowered at her Father. Their locked glares became an emotional battle which chipped away at her willpower. Then, with vision blurred by tears, Linda fled the room, grabbed her bike and sped off into the dusk with her Alsatian, Marco. The gentle whir of wheels counterpointed by panting of Marco as he raced joyfully alongside the bike could not calm her tonight. The wrong was too great, and her mind became a maze as she struggled to find a solution. Suburban terrain gave way to rougher bush track but the pair paid no heed; this was their realm, in it they were free. For the briefest of moments Linda forgot her worries. It was then, with a shriek and a yelp, that the pair came to grief on the twilight track. Bike crumpled, and lost in the dark, it was Marco whom found his way from where his mistress stacked. Though he nudged and licked, Linda did not stir. The worried dog let out a sing-song whine as he waited for her. As the temperature dropped he snuggled close to keep her warm, and kept the night life at bay. When Linda was rescued in the light of a new day, her Father uttered not a word of sending Marco away.

MULGA BILL’S BICYCLE by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896.

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Watching

cat

So much for a day off!  It somehow evolved into a week. Anyway, this one is for Visdare; I think it shows that a week only made me a little rusty.  I’m going to have to think about getting a posting schedule going – with post scheduled in advanced so I can take weeks off but keep this thing active.

“Is the cave safe?” The woman asked as she shushed her child; her spear aimed into the dark opening. Their leader nudged the pile of bones with his leather boot.

“Old scat and aged bones. Cave smells of dirt. Safe enough for the night.” The tribes-people nodded, and made camp; weary and starved from the winter trek south. Soon enough she perched by a small fire watching their meagre hunt roast while the others searched for more in the cold-stripped landscape. The nomads remained unaware of the ancient being watching from the dark. Only the mother felt the prickling of her neck, stealing suspicious glances into the cave. When she spotted the eyes reflecting firelight an unspoken agreement was forged: Safety for the child.

Tidbit of current WOP

I have had a bugger of a headache all day.  It’s almost 1am and I’ve only just found a prompt I may use.  So, instead, here’s a tidbit from my current Work in Progress. 🙂
The water’s were treacherous here. A lone figure stood upon a dark ocean surround by countless fox fires. Though the water lurched and broiled the woman remained unaffected; hovering inches above.  From her a net of silk unfurled; settling on each bonfire.  For a moment, she shone with the brightness of every fire. She could only savour the omnipotence.  Then, with a flick of her wrist, the net disconnected from the dimmer fires.  With the brighter ones, she was more thorough; disconnecting only from the familiar. This night none remained. Task complete, the net reeled back in, then for a split-second brushed against another. Instantly the net fanned out in that direction, closing in on… Nothing.  Perturbed, she stretched the net out as far as her strength allowed. Still nothing.  Imagination? Or another like her? The plane of the collective unconscious was a strange reality, at best.  Travelling back to her own dreams, the dreamer tripled her wards.

Bottled brumbies

tempest

This lovely photo prompt has been borrowed from VisDare. There are so many ways I could have take this prompt but I went with an Australian western.

Short Glossary:

Brumby – A wild horse

Stockmen – hired ranch hands; usually responsible for the driving of cattle.

Jillaroo – Usually an apprentice stock(wo)men; feminine version of Jackaroo

Bob and his jillaroo daughter, Denise, watched as the stockmen drove the brumbies into a makeshift corral. He tilted his hat against the shifting light; even from here he could see the foaming flanks of the panicked animals. Bob began loading darts into his trank-gun as he spoke. “Keeping brumbies corralled is like bottling a storm. You’ll keep ’em contained for a bit, but eventually the storm will break through, and… Well you best not been in their path when they do, understand?” Bob looked at Denise. Denise nodded, but he could tell from her gaze she was already making her pic from the horses. Bob sighed, rested his weapon and kneed his mount into a trot. When they were close he signalled for the stockmen to fire. “Remember, only the healthy looking beasts! Leave the little’uns.” With the explosive sound of tranquillisers hitting the air the tempest broke free. That day Denise learned that even the weediest of critters has a nasty bite. Bob would turn her into a rancher yet.

Blood treaties.

crystals

Finally,  wrote my flash fic for Friday Fictioneers.

Hilda was the picture of a pampered royal. Her wine dripped down King Alfred’s face. “I refused to marry him!” Hilda stormed out of the room. Her father, Raymond, stammered an apology before looking beseechingly at his court advisor, Ilvay. Ilvay shrugged, and twirled his goatee. “Hilda’s impetuous nature can be remedied. Her ruby necklace, Alfred’s blood and a simple enchantment; your treaty will be affirmed by nightfall.” The Royals shared a look, then nodded in unison. “Very well, but… There will be Consequences beyond my knowledge.” Raymond drained his goblet; slamming it down.

“Damn the consequences!” Ilvay bowed; victorious grin hidden.

Disputes with zombies

swords

I’ve borrowed this prompt from Red Lettering.  The artwork is by Laura Hollingsworth.  I think it’s pretty clear I’ve been watching ‘The Walking Dead’ entirely too much.

“See! I told you my sword collection was worth it!! And you said it was a waste of money,” Jake yelled, as he slashed through the skull of a zombie. Sam sunk her sword into the brains of another before her testy response. “That was before the bleedin’ ZOMBIE apocalypse. And do you really think this is the time to have a marital disagreement?!” Jake watched her dispatch three more zombies while arguing with him. Better not rile her up further. “No, you’re righ-Crap!” He narrowly avoided gnashing teeth by plunging his secondary weapon, a dagger, through the desiccated chin of a zombie that was entirely too close. Sam flicked him an irritated look as she helped him fend off the rest. “What did I tell you about talking in battle,” she nagged. Jake bite his tongue, and focused on skill-less sword work. “And why the hell did you never sharpen these things,” she continued. Jake channelled his rising tension into beating the crap out of the last of the zombies. He finally responded as they stood panting over the motionless corpses. “It was illegal to keep them sharpened!” Jake cleaned the gore off the blade with cleanest piece of zombie attire he could find. “That never stopped you pirating movies!” Jake bit his tongue. This was going to be a looong apocalypse.

Answered prayers

Prompts borrowed from Mayhem Monday. I had a little fun with this one.

Swimming in the ocean at night, you feel something large scrape along your leg. What do you do?

oceanMmmphmm!” Ilika covered her mouth with a slap as the scales scraped her thigh. She allowed herself to bob with the waves in the centre a circular altar carved of driftwood. Between gulping breaths Ilika chanted, “I am the offering to ‘Ellaan, honoured water-king of Shallaa. Recede the tides and restore our- mmmph- shores.” Ilika cringed as the creature brushed past a second time. Off to her right she heard a chortle. Ilika strained to see from the corner of her eye. The water had sculpted into the shape of a man. The opaque figure glistened unnervingly in the moonlight; she knew instantly that she was in the company of ‘Ellan. “’y L-lord,” Ilika snapped herself forward. It was impossible to bow in the ocean. She settled for bowing her head while treading water. The aqua man chortled again. “I never understand why your species puts so much stock in formalites. Raise your head.” Ilika’s eye could not have gotten any wider as she met the water god’s gaze. “That’s better. Now the first, what do you call yourselves… priests? Yes, Priest. The first priest, all he did was ask me to divert the water a little, we shook hands on it then we went for a quick drink at the ‘Divine Dive’. There was a human you could have a good time with,” he nattered on while scratching at aquatic chin whiskers. Shock trapped the vomit of words in Ilika’s throat. Actual vomit was forced out as a scaly, reptilian head rested on her shoulder. ‘Ellaan slide over too her side and thumped her on the back. The force of air leaving her lungs sucessfully knocked out her fear. “Sorry, my dragon form seems to bother you. I can drop you off at the Mountain god’s pit, if you want to ask her for help instead. However, the last priestess didn’t seem agreeable to the lava…” ‘Ellaan was crestfallen. Puzzle pieces clicked into place. Ilika gasped in a breath and shakily raised a hand to stroke reptilian cheeks. “’Ellaan, could you please recede the flood waters for us?” ‘Ellaan’s aquatic avatar perked up, dragon nuzzling her cheek.

Only if you buy me a drink!”

Aer-Currum

chariot

Here’s a belated piece for Sunday Photo fiction. I finally managed to cut it back to near 150 words.  It was originally 3 times longer. I had sooo much detail I wanted to put in; completely forgetting the word count!!

Avid’s pre-flight check was meticulous. The maiden voyage of ‘Aer-Currrum’ was nigh. Time and money had been poured into the construction of a chariot designed to be drawn by Pegasi. It was unique – a y-shaped yoke for wing-span, wings; light-weight construction with safety harness, patient training of flighty Pegasi. Today would decide Avid’s fame or infamy.

There was a moment of pure exhilaration as they graced the skies. Then the unknown laws of aerodynamics made themselves felt. The Pegasi faltered as vicious winds buffeted the non-streamlined body of Aer-Currum. Avid whistled, but his signal attempt was ripped away from the panicked Pegasi. The chariot begun an unsettling descent. Avid griped the reins between his teeth. Ripping himself free, he leapt overboard; clutching the yoke in a death grip. Quashing his fear, he released the mechanisms that attached the yoke to the axle. Unburdened, the Pegasi righted their flight-path. Avid tugged them back to solid ground, vowing never again. “I’m not an innovator… I’m a bleedin’ madman!”

Lady of Fool’s lake

foolHere’s one for Monday’s finish the story. Yes, I know. It’s friday. 🙂 That’s how long it took me to get all the humour orientated plots that I could not get to work out of my mind.  It seem that writing the haikus earlier forced my brain out of stubborn mode on what it wanted to write based on this prompt.

Dropping her line into Fool’s Lake, she patiently waited for something to bite.”

There was a legend about Fool’s lake. It was once Loch Caitlin; named for Caitlin GilleChrìost, her love for the Loch renowned. Count Calum’s marriage to Caitlin, whose origins were mysterious, had been met with titillation and ire. The woman remained a dutiful wife despite subtle intimidation by her peers; becoming an elegant hostess while she raised heirs. One eve of their anniversary Caitlin disappeared and the bodies of Calum and a servant were found in his chamber. When her gown was fished out of the Loch it was assumed she had drowned out of grief. Caitlin was labelled the Fool by those responsible for her despair.

Sandra Gilchrist, alone, knew the real story of Caitlin. She waited for her brethren, the Selkies, to claim her as they had reclaimed her ancestor. For now, she fished.

Mr. Right

mayhemmonday-captive_love

Yay. A Story! Today is officially productive.  (Nevermind the housework I did or job interview I had.)  The first prompt,  dictating the scenario, has been borrowed from Mayhem Monday. The second has been borrowed from Picture It and Write. This one’s gone to a dark, dark place again.  Feel free to comment/leave con-crit ect.

It had been a quick, competent snatch-and-run. Eleanor just wished she hadn’t been on the receiving end. The fabric restraints were rubbing her raw. The chair was becoming highly uncomfortable.  “Hel…lo?” Eleanor tried to peek from under her blindfold. All she could distinguish were faint ridges of concrete. There was an irritating scent that clung; much like the dankness of a damp basement. The chair creaked as she tested the joints. Hmmm, one collective tug and I can pull this to pieces. Thank you, God, for flat-pack furniture! “Please don’t wreck my furniture.” Eleanor started, uselessly turning her head towards the speaker. Damn, all she could see was barely lit stairs and nylon socks. “If you untie me, I won’t have too.” That’s it, keep calm. Figure out what he wants and look for an opportunity to escape. There was a soft chuckle as the mystery man flipped the lights on, followed by muffled footfalls as he circled her and tugged the blindfold loose. It fell limply around her neck; his hands still holding the ends. Eleanor could not repress the shudder that rippled through her shoulders. It would be too easy for the stranger to strangle her with the former blindfold.

“I will untie you. Once you’re calm, that is.”

“I am calm,” Eleanor replied, proud that her inflection hid the dread. She caught his eye as he came into view and held her gaze as he towered over her.suit “Are you?” He asked, caressing her cheek with a nicely toned hand. Eleanor’s dread grew with a sense of foreboding that traced through her, much like his hand had her cheek. She was immediately aware of his frame; beneath the moderately expensive suit she detected muscle tone. Oh, god, let me be faster! She thought as she took in surprisingly well-designed features. “Ye-es…” There was that chuckle again. It did nothing to sooth the rising dread. He knelt in front of Eleanor, elbows pressing into her thighs, cupping her cheeks with a firm grip. “I’ve always loved the confident way you carry yourself, but this look isn’t bad either.” Eleanor froze. She would remember such a face, if they had met. This was stalker talk. The panic began to needle her gut. “Flattery is more effective without restraints,” Eleanor replied, in a flat quip. A thumb now traced her features; her flesh burning in it’s wake. “Sorry. This was the only way to get your attention,” he replied; his expression an innocent contrast to his actions. Eleanor clamped down on an influx of bile. “With a face like that you only had to approach me. Preferably in public. You currently have me riveted; why am I here?” She replied, with a thinly veiled pretence towards composure.

“Because I love you.” As her brain froze she felt the burning of hysteria bubble up beside the needles of panic and for a moment she was completely still. Pouncing, he took advantage of her moment of paralysis; pulling her into a deep kiss. There was bile in Eleanor’s mouth again. He shot back retching. The hysteria burnt through her shock and chair was pulled to pieces before he could react. Somehow a chair leg made it’s way into her hands. “Crazy bastard!” -Whap- “You’re good looking!” -Whap- “You clearly have money!” -Whap- “Why the HELL did you not just come up to me like a normal person?!” Eleanor returned to the present. Her kidnapper was now guarding his face with a very confused expression. Eleanor took her chance. She bolted up the stairs, slamming the door shut. Brilliant! He’s left the key in the lock! Eleanor turned the key and made a break to freedom. The last words she heard: “Do you know how hard it is to get blood out of a suit?!” Accompanied by violent thumping.

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