The Scarecrow, part two (fiction)

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The Scarecrow, part one

 

The Scarecrow (part two)

 

Cindy stood in the kitchen watching the scarecrow in the darkness. For a time nothing happened, but then suddenly the scarecrow came to life. It awkwardly removed itself off the pole it was hanging on and then wandered away through the field heading towards the fence. Cindy stood there stunned, but then to her surprise she found herself opening the door and following the scarecrow through the field with her heart beating wildly.

She wandered after the scarecrow as though she was in a dream. She could see the scarecrow ahead of her in the dark slowly walking towards the fence. Then it climbed over the fence and laid down in the tall grasses. Cindy kept approaching and once she got to the fence she stopped and looked down at the scarecrow. It suddenly sat up startling Cindy and causing her to quickly back away from the fence.

“Sorry dijn’t mean ta startle yer.” The scarecrow said with a rough dry voice.

Cindy moved slowly towards the fence again. There was the scarecrow sitting up looking at her with a grass stalk in it’s mouth. Her grandma had always said the land around the farm was imbued with magic and that there was a gate to Faerie in the south field, but to be fair Cindy always thought her grandma was a little touched in the head, but now maybe she wasn’t so sure, or maybe she was a little touched too…

“Max?” She whispered.

“If it ijn’t one of ma makers.” Max said. “Why’d ya call ma Max?”

“Er, because we couldn’t decide on your gender and Max could either be short for Maxine, or Maxwell, or Maximilian, or some other name.” Cindy explained to Max, still trying to believe she was actually talking to their scarecrow.

“Is ma gender that important? There be nout tween ma legs cept hay.” Max responded.

‘You could say gender is in the head.” Cindy tried to explain.

“There be nout in ma head cept hay as well.”

“I could try to make you a brain of some sort.” Cindy offered.

“Wat do I need a brain fer? Na scarecrow ever went ta college. All I do is stand in the field.” Max replied.

“So why do you come to lie down in the grass?” Cindy asked.

“I need ta rest sometime. Ya have ma guarding the field all the long day from the bird folk. At night I need ta lie down. Nought at night except the rat an mice folk an the owls an the fairy folk an they not care about yer crops I guard. So I come here ta rest.” Max explained.

“Oh sorry I didn’t realise you needed to sleep as well.”

“Yeh, but don worry, once the sun come up I be guarding yer fields again.” Max stated.

“Well thanks for your help.” Cindy offered, as she always believed it was best to be polite to people who assisted you.

“You and yer pardner made me. I have ta help yer. I’m made from both of yer. You two be different tho. Jess be the doer and you be the dreamer. Jess be really sweet on yer.” Max revealed.

“Well yeah I had guessed that since Jess and I share a bed together and she helps manage my farm.” Cindy replied slightly sarcastically.

“I know her plans for yer.” Max said seemingly ignoring Cindy’s sarcasm.

“Her plans?” Cindy asked surprised.

“She want ta make an honest woman of yer. Mark ma words.” Max replied.

“Huh?”

“If yer gave ma real eyes I wud be rollin them now.” Max said shaking his head a little.

“I guess I should let you sleep, since you have a long day tomorrow.” Cindy said slightly bewildered by Max’s words.

“Much appresheated.” Max responded. “By the way the fairy folk watch yer. They knew yer granma or so they told ma.”

“The fairies watch me?” Cindy repeated.

Here she was standing in the field in the middle of the night talking to her scarecrow about fairies. Maybe she was losing it. Perhaps if she went to bed and slept she would wake up in the morning and realise this was just a dream. She hoped it was a dream.

“Yeh they help guard the land an yer. There be a vampire livin near, but the land be protected from them.” Max revealed.

“Good to know.” Cindy replied wondering what this all meant. Max began to stretch and yawn. “I guess I’ll leave you to rest.”

Max nodded at her and then lay down in the grass again. Cindy walked back to the farmhouse. When she got into bed Jess was already fast asleep and she curled up next to her in the warm bed and quickly nodded off.

When she awoke the next morning and thought of the events of the night before she assumed she must have dreamed it all, but when she got out of bed she noticed her feet were dirty and there was grass and hay stuck to them. She went to the kitchen. In the morning sun there was the scarecrow standing tall in the field again. Maybe it was the wind that made it look like it was waving to her…

 

Joanne Fisher

 

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How To Be A Pirate (flash fiction)

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How To Be A Pirate

 

In the mirror Jill practiced facial expressions to make herself look scary. If she was going to be a pirate she would have to know how to grimace, or so her mum had said.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 33 + prompt

 

This was written with the prompt grimace provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #114.

 

Because it was such a short post here some random pirate images:

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Jill the Pirate and the Koala King (flash fiction)

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Jill the Pirate and the Koala King

 

Jill the fearsome pirate girl landed on the island. All she could see was sand and palm trees.

“Who are you?” Asked a voice.

Jill looked up to see a koala in the palm tree.

“My name is Jill the Pirate and I’m searching for treasure!” Jill declared holding up a piece of paper. “And who are you?”

“I’m Jack. The king of this island.” Jack replied.

“I didn’t know this island had a king.” Jill replied.

“Jill where are you? Lunch is ready!” Jill’s mother called out.

Jill quickly grabbed her stuffed toy koala and ran for home.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the prompt to write a story about a koala in a kingdom provided by the Carrot Ranch July 11 Flash Fiction Challenge.

 

It’s actually my birthday today and an awesome flatmate bought me a cake:

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Also I managed to save some money this week so I could go out for dinner tonight. I was going to go out by myself but a friend asked if they could come along, so I will have some company.

Please buy me some chocolates! 🙂

 

 

My Life In Darkness, part 23 (fiction)

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previous episode

 

My Life In Darkness

 

23. The Mark

 

I could feel the needle puncturing my skin and there was a drilling sound like I was at a dentist. It hurt more than I thought it would. I had never had a tattoo before, but I had thought about getting one in the past. And I was happy that I wasn’t being branded instead. The tattooist slowly guided the needle along the pattern Astrid had given him. I had seen it before we started. It looked like a snowflake design with blades on the outside and a liquid dripping off the blades, that I supposed was meant to be blood. That was Astrid’s mark.

When I had awoken this morning Astrid announced that we were heading into the city, so after a quick breakfast we got in the car, along with Cass, and headed off for New Kingsport which was around two hours drive away westwards. I hadn’t been back there since I had fled from that city and returned to live in Lawrence. Going back there now brought back some bad memories. As we drove down the streets I found myself looking out for Nicola, in case she was wandering around. I knew it was unlikely to see her, but I still kept watch.

Astrid took us to a tattoo artist she knew in the back streets. It was a seedy place littered with beer cans and cigarette butts and there was continuous loud music playing. Apparently the tattooist had experience with doing vampire marks on people. His name was Jordan and he had long dark unkempt hair, wore khaki pants and a black singlet and looked to be in his mid-thirties. He had quite a few tattoos on his arms and shoulders. As soon as we arrived Astrid handed him the design and I had to remove my top, but I insisted on keeping my bra on. The tattoo was done just below the back of my neck on my right side, which was the side Astrid favoured when she fed on me.

“There all done.” Jordan said after a couple of hours.

He put a bandage over the new tattoo. The area stung, but I seemed to be getting better at dealing with physical pain now. Astrid paid him and then we all got back into the car again.

“How about I take you somewhere nice for lunch?” Astrid asked me.

“That would be good.” I replied with little feeling while looking out the window. I still wasn’t happy about any of this.

“Do you mind if I go and do my own thing? I’ll meet up with you two later on.” Cass asked.

“Of course.” Astrid replied.

When we got to the restaurant Cass wandered off and we went in.

“So when is the ceremony?” I asked Astrid while eating some steak. As usual she hadn’t ordered anything.

“Tonight. Once it is dark.” Astrid replied.

“I don’t understand. I’ve got your mark now, so why do we have to have a ceremony?” I inquired.

“Because it will make you officially my property in the eyes of the Council. The Council likes to be seen approving of such dealings. It won’t be very long or much of an ordeal. So there is nothing to worry about. I know you don’t like it, but I’m only doing this so it will keep you safe. If you’re going to be mixing with vampires now, they will need to know you are mine.” Astrid informed me.

I wondered how long was “very long” in the minds of vampires who were seemingly immortal. They probably didn’t think a year was very long.

“Melissa?” A voice called out.

Surprised I looked around to see Jen, a friend from College, dressed as a waitress. Her long dark hair was tied back and she was a lot thinner than when I knew her, but it was definitely her.

“Jen? How are you?” I replied enthusiastically. She smiled and came over.

“I’ve wondered what happened to you. Who’s your friend?” She asked me looking over at Astrid. I saw Astrid sizing her up.

“This is Astrid. My girlfriend.” I replied. Astrid smiled at me. “Astrid, this is Jen. I knew her in college.”

“Hi Jen.” Astrid said to her gently.

“Hi Astrid! So Melissa, where have you been?” Jen asked me. “It’s like you completely disappeared off the face of the Earth.”

“I returned home to Lawrence, which is much the same thing I guess.” I replied. Jen laughed. “After everything sort of fell apart here I went back to live with Dad.”

“And how is your dad?” She asked.

“He died not long after I returned sadly.” I told her.

“Oh no! How did you cope with that?” She asked horrified.

“Not well at the time, but I’m getting better now.” I answered. “Though I still really miss him.”

Jen nodded and smiled at me. Astrid just sat back, seemingly content with watching the two of us interact.

“That’s good. I’m sorry he’s passed on. I met him once. He seemed really nice.” Jen said.

“Anyway how are you?” I asked her.

“I’m good. I’ve been working here for a while now, though only part time as I’m also doing my doctorate in History.” She revealed.

“Oh wow! I sometimes wonder if I should have done some post-graduate studies.” I replied. “But I just wanted to leave once Nicola and I broke up.” Jen nodded.

“Yes that was sad.” She commiserated.

“Do you ever see Nicola anywhere?” I asked. There was a silence.

“Don’t you know?” She asked surprised.

“Know what?” A feeling of trepidation arose in me. Had something happened to her?

“She died.” Jen informed me.

My mouth dropped open. No one I knew had ever mentioned it to me. The woman who was once my girlfriend was dead.  I had no idea. I felt my heart almost lurch to a stop.

“How long ago?” I managed to get out.

“Just over six months now. It was suicide. It’s thought she jumped off a bridge. She was found floating in the river.” Jen said.

I tried to picture Nicola floating lifeless in the water, but I couldn’t do it. I suddenly felt sick and began trembling. Death was still following me around.

“She never seemed suicidal when I was with her.” I said. I felt confused. She was always the strong one. She didn’t seem the type that would throw it all away like that.

“After you two broke up she went through a really rough time. I know she was in therapy, but obviously it didn’t help in the end.” Jen told me.

“I wish I had known.” I replied. “I didn’t realise what she was going through. I was dealing with my own pain and didn’t realise she was struggling too.” I could feel tears begin to fall down my cheeks.

“I know she regretted what happened between you two, but she didn’t really talk about it much.” Jen said. “I’m not even sure what caused you two to break up, as she never mentioned it to me.”

“Maybe if I had tried to reach out to her more, I might have saved her.” I wondered.

“I think she felt it was better the two of you were apart. No one is blaming you for what happened. After all it was a long time after you two split up.” Jen replied.

“Okay.” I said nodding solemnly while wiping the tears off my face. I was doing my best trying to hold it together and not have a complete meltdown in the restaurant.

“Anyway it looks like you’re doing alright..” Jen said eyeing up Astrid who sat there silently taking in our conversation.

“I know.” I replied feeling guilty.

“Anyway I gotta go back to work. It’s good seeing you again. If you need to talk feel free to get in touch with me sometime.” Jen said beginning to move away.

“It’s good to see you.” I said. Jen gave me a smile, though it was touched with sadness.

“I guess I’ll hopefully see you again sometime. I’m really sorry about the bad news. I had no idea no one had told you about it all.” With that she was quickly gone.

I sat there bewildered. Astrid regarded me.

“How are you feeling?” She asked me concerned.

“I don’t know.” I replied truthfully while wiping more tears off my face and then burying my face in my hands.

 

 

Next episode: The Binding

 

 

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CCC#35: Riding to Elfland (flash fiction)

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Riding to Elfland

 

“Don’t you see on bonny bonny road

That lies across the ferny brae?

That is the road to fair Elfland

Where you and I this night must go.”

Thomas the Rhymer*

 

“I would have thought the road in Elfland would be more captivating.” Thomas said as he clung to the back of the Queen of Elfland’s milk-white steed.

“True Thomas we are not yet in Elfland. The road will be broader when we do and you will see the true beauty of Faerie.” The Elf Queen replied. “This is still the road to fair Elfland. You will know when we pass the gate.”

The Queen’s steed continued jingling on with the silver bells on it’s mane as it flew swifter than the wind. Thomas knew he was leaving the mortal lands behind and that he may never see them again. He had no regrets.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 144 words.

 

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #35.

 

*The ballad Thomas The Rhymer, or True Thomas as it is also known, is one of my favourite ballads. The quote above is from the version that the folk group Steeleye Span sing. It’s the Queen of Elfland showing True Thomas the road to Elfland. The version I have in my Penguin Book of Ballads is like this:

“And see not ye that bonny road,

Which winds about the fernie brae?

That is the road to fair Elfland,

Where you and I this night maun gae.”**

 

** The Penguin Book of Ballads (Penguin Books, 1975).

 

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Sweet Thing (poem)

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Sweet Thing

 

 

From the moment I first met you

you always managed to enthral me

your smell, your exquisite taste

the way you melt in my hands

 

I cherish it when I have you all

to myself, in anticipation I unwrap you

to feel your silky texture in my mouth

I love you so much, chocolate

 

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written with the prompt enthral provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #113.

 

Please buy me some chocolate! 🙂

 

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Blood Money – Terrible Poetry Competition

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Blood Money

 

 

When I yet again start running out of money

To the blood bank I go to sell off my red honey

It’s a rare type so they’re always in need of some

If only I could produce more I wouldn’t have to be a bum

 

I even offered to sell my mucus dripping out of my nose

Or the copious earwax or what I find between my toes

Or any other of my bodily secretions I would quite happily sell

But they weren’t so interested in those as far as I could tell

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This was written for Chelsea Owens’s Weekly Terrible Poetry Competition #33. This week was  the theme of unusual ways to make money.

 

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