Where Am I? (flash fiction)

Where Am I?

Helena was lost. It was only a small forest, and yet she had no idea where she was. At the top of a hill she looked around. All she could see was endless forest in every direction. She felt confused.

When darkness fell, she saw a single light and made for that. To her surprise she came to an inn. When she walked in, there were strange creatures looking at her inquisitively.

“You lost miss?” asked the innkeeper.

“Yes.”

“Somehow you crossed a gate into Faerie. In the morning I’ll send someone with you to help get you home.”

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt to write a story that rephrases “‘the light at the end of a tunnel” provided by the Carrot Ranch January 21 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Cindy Gets Home (fiction)

Cindy Gets Home

Cindy landed on the ground with a thud. She sat up rubbing the back of her head. Babradon hadn’t warned her about the rough landing. She wondered where she was this time and spotted a middle-aged woman walking a fox terrier. Cindy walked up to her.

“Excuse me, where am I?” Cindy asked. The woman looked at her as though she was crazy.

“You’re just outside the town of Lawrence.” the woman told her before hurrying off and occasionally looking behind her. She was home! Finally! Now all she had to do was walk back to the farm…

Within half an hour she was at the front gate. She walked down the driveway to the homestead. As she approached Jess ran out the door and grabbed Cindy in her arms.

“Where have you been? You’ve been missing for days! People are out searching for you. I’ve been so worried.” Jess blurted out quickly as she hugged Cindy tightly.

“I can’t breathe!” Cindy got out. Jess relaxed her hold, and looked into Cindy’s eyes.

“Oh sorry! I’m just so relieved to see you. I really feared the worst. Let’s get you inside.” The two of them walked into their home with Jess leading the way. Cindy sat down on the couch in the living room while Jess kneeled in front of her. “Where have you been?”

“I got stuck.” Cindy replied.

“You got stuck?” Jess frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I got stuck in Faerie.” Cindy clarified. Jess sighed deeply and shook her head.

“Not this again.”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me so I brought you back something from the Faerie market.” Cindy dug into the pocket of her jeans and produced a delicate silver bell and handed it to Jess. She looked at it moving it around in her fingers.

“And what did you use to trade for this? Magic beans?” Jess asked.

“I had a letter from Melissa. They were quite happy to exchange it for that.”

“You exchanged a personal letter from a friend for this in some market stall? Why did Melissa write to you?”

“She wanted to apologise for sleeping with you.” Cindy replied.

“Melissa had no need to apologise to you. When we had sex, you and I weren’t back together. You were still in the city.”

“I know.”

“So why all this jealousy with Melissa? Surely when you were in the city you dated other woman?”

“Yes.” Cindy answered.

“And I did likewise when I was here on my own. Who I slept with then is not really your concern. I don’t ask who you slept with in the city do I?” Jess asked while searching Cindy’s face.

“No.”

“So why all this jealousy regarding Melissa? Are you afraid we’re going to hook up again?”

“I do worry about that.” Cindy admitted.

“She has her own girlfriend now, that tall pale blonde, and I’m sure they’re quite happy together. You have nothing to worry about.” Jess reassured her. “I think you should be more worried about your delusions.”

“My delusions?”

“Speaking to fairies and visiting fairyland.”

“My grandmother could see the fairies and speak to them. I’ve inherited her gift.” Cindy told her.

“Yes your grandmother told everyone that she spoke to the fairies, and she was nuts. Everyone knew that. I don’t want to see you go the same way.”

“I wish you’d believe me.” Cindy implored her, but Jess looked at her concerned.

“Your delusions are getting worse. Now you’re disappearing for days. What’s next? One day you don’t come back at all? You’re covered in dirt, your clothes are all ragged, and you really smell. It looks like you’ve been sleeping in a ditch for several days. For all I know that’s what you’ve been doing.” Jess informed her. “I want you to get help.” Cindy rolled her eyes.

“Okay.” Cindy replied, hoping this would appease her.

“We’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Right now you need to get out of those clothes and have a wash.” Jess told her softly. “I have some phone calls to make.” Jess gave her another long hug and left, Cindy slowly got up from the couch and walked to the bathroom. Maybe it would be better if she just kept quiet about Faerie from now on. If only Jess would believe her.

Joanne Fisher

This story follows The Other Portal.

This ends an 10 part story thread of Cindy’s adventures in Faerie, 11 if I ever write the Faerie market story…

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©️2020 Joanne Fisher

The Wishing Well (flash fiction)

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The Wishing Well

 

On the path to the Faerie Market, Cindy came across a small stone well with a stone serpent running along the lip. The pixie alighted on her shoulder.

“It’s a true wishing well.” the pixie told her.

“What does it do?” Cindy asked.

“You cast something personal into the water and make a wish.” the pixie replied.

“Cast something valuable in, you mean?”

“Maybe, or something deeply personal, or even a stone you’ve been carrying in your hand as you walked through the forest.” Cindy smiled at his words.

“Does it work?”

“Verily it does. You wish for something, but here’s the catch: you can never tell anyone what you wished for, even if it comes to pass, or the wish will become undone.” the pixie warned.

Cindy stood there wishing for something deep in the confines of her heart. Then she cast the stone into the water.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 148

 

This story follows on from Following the Pixie.

 

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #87.

 

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

 

Following the Pixie (flash fiction)

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Art by Anna Ignatieva

Following the Pixie

 

Cindy wasn’t sure where the pixie was leading her. If only she hadn’t walked off the path…

“Just pretend you’re an intrepid explorer,” she told herself.

“We’re here!” the pixie exclaimed.

Before Cindy was a marketplace with strange creatures looking at tables of wondrous items. She had never seen anything like this before.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 52 + prompt

 

This follows the story Straying From the Path.

 

This was written with the prompt intrepid provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt  #159.

 

Did you know you can see my blog posts on my Joanne the Geek Facebook page.

 

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

Chasing the Rabbit (flash fiction)

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Chasing the Rabbit

 

Mr Bunny had escaped out of his hutch. Cindy saw him running away and gave chase. He got to the tree with the hole in it and hopped down it. Cindy ran up to the tree and looked down, but couldn’t see him. She leaned too far and found herself falling down it headfirst. She landed in a bush and knew unmistakably she was in Faerie again.

“I think I found another portal.” She mumbled as she looked around. Only a few feet away Babradon was looking quizzically at her.

“You arrived here rather dramatically. You fell out of the sky into that bush.” He informed her.

“I was chasing after my rabbit.” Cindy explained.

“Chasing the white rabbit huh?”

“Well more of a grey one. He’s called Mr Bunny. Have you seen him?” Cindy asked.

“No.”

“Well he’s got to be somewhere.” Cindy said looking around and wandering off.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 150

 

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #76.

 

 

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©2020 Joanne Fisher

 

CCC#52:Straying From the Path (flash fiction)

 

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Straying From the Path

 

Cindy didn’t want to admit it, but she was lost. She had followed the path as Babradon had suggested, but then she had seen some beautiful flowers and left the path to have a closer look at them. When she went back, the pathway seemed to have disappeared. She walked for ages, but there was no sign of it.

“You’re lost!” said a voice. Cindy beheld a small figure sitting on a branch.

“I am.” She admitted. “I’ve lost the pathway.”

“Well you’re going the wrong way! For a small fee, I’ll take you back to it.” they volunteered.

“I’m not sure I have anything.” Cindy said searching her pockets. All she had was a letter from Melissa, and a quarter. She handed the coin to the figure.

“Ooh I’ve never seen one of these before! Okay follow me!” the figure sped off in a completely different direction. Cindy followed.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 150

 

The story follows on from The Gateway and The Importance of Names.

 

This was written with the photo prompt provided by Crimson’s Creative Challenge #52.

 

 

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©2019 Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

The Truce (flash fiction)

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Art by Cashile

The Truce

 

The Queen of Elfland and the Lord of the Shadow-world met in secret at the crossroads between their two realms. Their advisors knew they were discussing the delicate truce that lay between them.

They sat a table in a quiet corner. The Elf-Queen wore a cloak hiding her radiance, while her adversary had black leather armour that blended with his pitch-black skin.

“My Lady, it is good to see you.” The Lord said.

“Yes my Lord. Many leaves have fallen since I beheld you.” She replied looking into his dark face.

“The things we have to do to conceal our love.” He sighed.

The Queen smiled.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

Word count: 106

 

This was written with the prompt delicate provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #123.

 

Please donate! 🙂

 

©2019 Joanne Fisher

The Importance of Names (fiction)

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This story directly follows The Gateway.

 

The Importance of Names

 

Cindy looked down at the small figure of Babradon.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but what are you?” She asked him. He looked at her surprised.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“Well I’m human, but I don’t think you are.” Cindy stated. Babradon laughed.

“I keep forgetting in your world humans are mostly the only sentient race there. You’re probably not used to seeing other races like me. I’m what you would call a gnome.” He informed her.

” I see. What do you mean we’re mostly the only sentient race?” Cindy asked curiously.

“It’s not important. There are others like us still living in the fringes of your world, if you know where to look. And being near a gateway means you get a few peoples going back and forth.”

“So what other races live here in Faerie?”

“Well aside from gnomes, there are also elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins, pixies, boggarts, to name a few.” Babradon said.

“A few?”

“There are all manner of strange creatures here, possibly countless numbers of them.” He revealed. Cindy gazed in wonder at the vibrant green landscape before her.

“How far does it go on?” She asked.

“Probably forever.” He told her. “This is your first time here isn’t it?”

“Yes.” Cindy admitted.

“There are some basic rules to Faerie you will need to know. Firstly don’t be so trusting with anyone you meet here and don’t accept everything you see at face value. Always look deeper. And be careful who you give your name out to. Give everyone your nickname or something similar.”

“Why?” Cindy asked him.

“Because if you give out your true name to someone, you give them power over you.”

“Okay.” Cindy replied. “What do you mean by true name?”

“What’s the name you give yourself?” He asked.

“Me.” Cindy replied. Babradon looked away for a moment.

“I mean what name do you think defines you? What name do you think is you?” He asked carefully.

“Well everyone calls me Cindy, and that’s the name I think of myself as.” She answered.

“Then don’t give that name to people here. Are there any other names people call you?”

“I was christened Cynthia, and a lot of people call me Cinders, and when I was at school some people used to call me Cinderella, but that was to annoy me.”

“Maybe use the name Cinders?” Babradon suggested.

“Okay.” Cindy replied. “So I guess Babradon isn’t your true name then?”

“No it’s my use name. My true name I keep to myself.” Babradon revealed.

“So do you live out here?” Cindy asked.

“I have a small house nearby. I help keep an eye on the gateway you came through.”

“It’s so lovely here.” Cindy said as she sat down on the ground with the sun on her.

“You’re very much like your grandmother. Did you know that?” Babradon told her. Cindy gave out a short laugh.

“Yeah some people have said that to me before. I think we have a similar temperament.”

“I’m sorry to hear she has died. I’ll miss her.”

“I miss her too. Me and Jess now have her farm.” Cindy revealed.

“Who is Jess? Tell me more Cindy” He asked.

“My girlfriend.” Cindy answered. “Does it bother you I’m in a same-sex relationship?”

“Following your heart and being with your True Love is what’s important, no matter who they are.” Babradon responded.

“We had to clear all the farmland as everything had become overgrown, and we also had to fix the farmstead, but now we are living there together and I’m very happy.” Cindy told him.

“That’s good to hear.”

“I’ve recently found out that Jess slept with a mutual friend when I was still living in the city. We weren’t together again at that point, but for some reason it’s made me feel very jealous. I just want Jess all to myself and I get very possessive over her, which I know isn’t a good thing. I worry she might have feelings for our friend.” Cindy told him.

“I’m not an expert when it comes to love, but if you fixed the farm together and now live there with each other, surely you’re the one she wants to be with.” Babradon advised her. Cindy sighed loudly.

“I know. It’s not like we both didn’t have affairs when we were apart, but for some reason I feel really threatened by this other person. I was really horrid to her at a friend’s funeral recently.”

“Jealousy is not an attractive trait in anyone. If you continue to be jealous your partner may always feel under pressure when socialising with others and that may end up pushing her away. Always remember if she is with you, she wants to be there. Trust in that.”

“Thanks for the advice.” Cindy replied. “Sorry about unloading my problems on you. I’m not sure why I told you all this.” Babradon shrugged his shoulders.

“When you’re the Warden of a gateway, people tell you all sorts of things.” he said.

Cindy looked at the path that led away and went beyond the trees.

“So where does that path go?” She asked.

“It goes on through the forest and eventually leads to towns and great cities. Just beyond those trees there I think there is a marketplace at the moment. That could be well worth a look, though I would advise you to be careful with everything you say or do there .” Babradon informed her.

“Ooh a marketplace! I would love to check that out! Maybe I’ll have a quick look at it.” Cindy enthused.

“Yes you’ll find it rather eye-opening I’m sure. Just be careful there! Faerie can be quite perilous. And remember what I told you about names.” Babradon warned.

“I will.” Cindy told him.

Cindy stood up and wandered down the path. As she looked behind her she saw Babradon had sat down again and was relighting his pipe. She turned around again and faced the trees. She took a deep breath and walked into the forest.

 

Joanne Fisher

 

I’m quite enjoying writing these Jess and Cindy stories.

 

 

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©2019 Joanne Fisher