“I can see clearly now the rain has gone…” Sofia sang along to the car radio. Phillipa, who was driving, joined in.
Sofia’s father had beaten her when he found out she was gay and had a girlfriend. He forbade her to see Phillipa again. Social workers intervened once the bruises became obvious and she ended up in foster care.
Now that school was over, Sofia and Phillipa packed all their things and headed to the city where they would live together. It would take time for Sofia’s scars to heal, but she was in a better place now.
Word count: 99
When I’m in a deep depression I do like listening to the song I Can See Clearly Now as it helps remind me the darkness will clear eventually.
I was lucky, my family has always been supportive, but I have friends who weren’t so fortunate…
This was written with the prompt of writing a story with optimism provided by the Carrot Ranch January 23 Story Challenge.
“There’s a pair of knickers up on that tree.” Cindy said pointing upwards. So far all their missing clothes had been spotted hanging on the tops of trees, as they wandered around naked looking for them.
“Well you did say: “Let’s go hiking in Faerie, it could be interesting.” Well you were right there.” Jess stated. Cindy shrugged her shoulders.
“Well that’s the thing with Faerie, anything can happen.”
“Great.” Jess replied. “You have fae blood. Do you have any powers?”
“Of course I don’t. I’m not Melissa.” Cindy blurted out.
“Melissa? Melissa has powers?” Jess asked surprised. Cindy’s face went red.
“I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Melissa has powers?” Jess repeated.
“Yes, she’s a sorceress.” Cindy admitted.
“A sorceress? How do you know?”
“One of the last times I was in Faerie. I sold that letter of hers for the silver bell at the Faerie Market. The seller took it as payment as it was “a letter of apology from a sorceress”. Thinking back on it now, I may have been ripped off. Later I got trapped on a spider’s web in-between the worlds, and Melissa helped me escape.”
“Huh! Were you ever going to tell me about any of this?” Jess asked.
“I didn’t want to tell you about it. I’m always scared I’m going to lose you to Melissa.” Cindy admitted. Jess sighed, put her hands on Cindy’s shoulders and looked into her eyes.
“I want you to listen to me Cindy. I like Melissa, but I don’t love her. I love you. That’s why I married you. I really wish we could get beyond this.” Cindy nodded at her words.
“So do I.” Cindy agreed.
“Well… we could climb the trees.” Jess said changing the subject.
“It would take a long time to retrieve all our clothing. Besides some are on pine trees and we would get covered in resin.”
“Do you have any ideas? I’m not doing the rest of the hike naked.” Jess stated.
“Maybe if we go find help from someone.” Cindy suggested.
“From whom? We haven’t seen anyone since we went through the portal.”
“If we go down the path, we might find a homestead or something.” Cindy said. Jess sighed again.
“Well it’s better than nothing I guess. Lead on.”
They walked down the path. They hadn’t gone very far when they saw a small figure walking towards them. It was a gnome with a long grey beard. He wore grey robes and had a little walking stick in his right hand.
“Hi.” Cindy said once he got nearer to them. The gnome stopped and looked up at them quizzically.
“Hello.” He said. “I don’t mean to pry, but do you always wander around Faerie naked? I think I should warn you there are certain places I wouldn’t advise you to go without clothing.”
“This isn’t a choice. We went swimming and now all our clothes are at the tops of trees. I suspect pixies are to blame.” Cindy told him.
“I see.” The gnome replied while scanning the treetops. “It does sound like pixie mischief.”
“Do you know anyone who can help us?” Cindy asked. The gnome nodded.
“One moment.” He replied. Dropping his walking stick, he fished out a small flute and then played a few notes. A few minutes later a fairy appeared fluttering it’s butterfly wings. The gnome spoke a few words to it in a language Cindy and Jess didn’t know. The fairy then fluttered off. They stood there waiting. A short while later fairies began appearing carrying Jess and Cindy’s clothes in their hands. The fairies began dropping the clothes at their feet. Within an hour, all of Jess and Cindy’s clothes lay in a pile before them, as far as they could tell.
“Thank you.” Jess said. The gnome looked over their clothes.
“Another word of advice: if you ever plan on meeting the Queen, wear something less mundane.”
“Well I don’t think our plans include meeting the Queen.” Jess replied.
“Thank you for your help.” Cindy said. The gnome bowed low.
“My name is Lemnas.”
“I’m Cindy, and this is Jess, who is my wife.” Cindy told him.
“You live in a farm next to a portal, don’t you?” Lemnas asked.
“Yes. How do you know?” Cindy asked.
“Let’s just say you are known.” Lemnas replied.
“Okay.” Cindy said confused.
“I’ll leave you ladies to get dressed.” Lemnas said. “You owe me a favour.”
“I guess we do.” Cindy replied.
“It will be getting dark soon. There is a good inn a few miles up the road. I have stayed there many a time, you might like it there.” Lemnas suggested.
“Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll check it out.” Cindy replied. Lemnas bowed low again, then turned and walked away.
“We’ve been here two days, and already we owe a favour.” Jess said as they got dressed.
“Can’t be helped.” Cindy answered.
“It’s strange he appeared just when we needed help.” Jess stated.
“Happenstance.” Cindy suggested.
Once they were ready, they continued their journey. They had been walking a few hours and it was getting dark once they came across the inn that Lemnas had told them about. It was a large wooden building with three storeys. There were lights in all the windows and it looked welcoming and inviting to both of them. They walked up the path to the main doors and opened them. Light spilled out along with the smell of ale and smoke, laughter and talk. They both looked at one another before going over the threshold.
The next morning, after a quick breakfast, Jess and Cindy packed up their belongings and continued on the path they were following. The day grew warm and the scents of flowers like roses and honeysuckle filled the air. It was a peaceful walk, and neither of them saw anyone else. It was as though they had the whole forest to themselves.
Around midday, when they were thinking of stopping for lunch, they heard in the distance the sound of a waterfall. They followed the sound (but kept on the path), and eventually came to a large cascading waterfall with a pool of water.
“I would so love a swim!” Jess stated.
“Yes, me too.” Cindy agreed. As the waterfall was only just off the path, they both agreed it would be okay to have a swim there, and then have some lunch. They both stripped off and dived into the pool. The water was cool and refreshing. Any weariness they may have felt in their limbs quickly ebbed away in the water. They spent the entire afternoon happily swimming, and only reluctantly got out of the water once their hunger pangs could no longer be ignored.
“Hey where are my clothes?” Jess asked looking around.
“I don’t know. Mine are gone too!” Cindy replied. The spot where they had stripped off was now bereft of any clothing. They both went to their packs and found all the clothes packed away in them were gone too.
Ginny kept several scripts in her bag, in case someone asked what she did. She would produce a script and say she was into acting. That usually satisfied them. The fact that she had been here for over two hundred years was only known by her. Sometimes she thought about moving to another town, but she liked it here. People seldom noticed she never aged, and if they did, they would forget.
The town was popular, as it never seemed to suffer any calamities and was a peaceful place to live. No one knew it was due to Ginny’s presence.
Call me Lady Shadow, for that is my name now. I was queen of a great elven kingdom, but my heart was rotten and the Shadow Lord ensnared me. I began working with him to undermine my kingdom and neighbouring lands. Once my schemes were found out my throne was taken, and so now I help rule the Shadow World instead.
We work to shroud the entire world in shadow. I will not rest until I have reclaimed my throne and spread darkness through the land and in the hearts of my subjects. That’s how the Shadow World wins.
Word count: 99
This was written with the prompt lady shadow provided by the Carrot Ranch January 16 Story Challenge.
I found her grave and started digging. Tonight I had decided to exhume the body of my dead girlfriend Amy. I had to know if her body was still in that wooden casket. I had serious doubts that she was…
Last night I had awoken in the middle of the night, and there she was staring at me through my bedroom window. She looked pale, but was smiling. I jumped out of my bed and ran outside, but there was no sign of her. I thought I could have been seeing things, having just come out of a dream, but a part of me was sure that she had been there, it wasn’t just wishful thinking from grief. The next morning I resolved to go to the cemetery and dig up her body. When the evening came I loaded the car up, drove to the cemetery, and waited until it was dark enough.
After what seemed an age of digging, I finally struck the lid of the coffin. I cleared away the dirt and slowly opened it, and found it was empty. I couldn’t believe it. If she wasn’t here, then where was she? I climbed back up to the ground and sat on the edge of the hole I had just dug. I was breathing heavily and felt more tired than I had ever been before.
“Hello my love.” Said a familiar voice behind me. I turned around and there she was looking exactly how I saw her the night before. I felt lost in both bewilderment and wonder.
“Amy.” I eventually said.
“Katie.” She replied, smiling again.
“How did you survive? I thought you were dead.” I asked her.
“I didn’t survive, my love. I am dead.” She told me.
“I can’t live without you.” Once I said that she smiled again and started advancing on me.
“Then join me in death, and we’ll be together forever.” She sat down beside me.
“Okay.” I consented. She put her arms around me and bit my neck. It hurt more than I thought it would. She sat there drinking my blood and I felt my life ebbing away until everything went black.
“What do you make of it?” One investigator asked.
“It seems as though last night she dug up the body of her dead partner and then killed herself with a self-inflicted neck wound.” Said the other.
“That must have been a horrible way to go.”
“That’s grief for you.” The other investigator nodded in agreement as they both watched the woman’s body being wheeled away in a body bag.
I have stood tall for many years. My trunk has grown thick and wide, my branches have spread out, and my roots are long and deep. The flying folk live in my branches, singing all day, and I’m happy to provide them a home, other creatures use me for shade when the sun is hot, again I’m happy to oblige. There is one thing that bothers me, however.
It puzzles me why the creatures that move upright on their two trunks use me the way they do. Sometimes a group of them assemble and one them is lifted up and I am required to take their weight. It breaks the heartwood and my sap runs cold to feel them struggle and then go still, just hanging there off one of my branches. I don’t know why I have to endure this weight. Death is not something I wish to bring to any living thing, so why do they require this?
I prefer to feel them running happy and free minding their own business or seeking shade under my boughs, but not hanging limply from my limbs. Can’t they let me be instead of making me carry the weight of their dead? I did not want this, so why do they ask this of me?
I was watching a documentary on folk horror and it was mentioned how trees were sometimes used to hang people and I suddenly wondered how the trees felt about that. So I wrote this about a tree who wasn’t happy about the situation…
I smacked him in the head with the baseball bat I had found. He fell over and dropped his axe. His mask, however, stayed in place. I so wanted to lift that mask off to see who it was, but I was also terrified to get nearer to him. So I dropped my bat and ran to the fence instead, then started to climb up. I knew I had to get out of here.
That thing had already killed most of my friends, and I wondered whether I was the final girl who defeats him in the end and lives to fight another day, or was I the one who almost escapes, but doesn’t? It was raining heavily now with occasional bursts of lightning and thunder in the distance. My hands and feet slipped on the chain link fence as I tried to climb up, and then suddenly, I felt his vice-like ice cold hands on my right leg as he pulled me back down. I landed abruptly on the ground, and before I could get up, I saw he was now towering over me with his axe ready to swing…
This was a piece of flash fiction I wrote a while ago. I decided to rewrite some of it and republish it, as I thought it could have been done slightly better. I do have a liking for slasher films….
Katherine arrived home to find the living room was covered in decorations. There was a tree covered in lights and baubles with a stack of gift wrapped presents under it in the corner, as well as sparkly decorations on the mantelpiece and the walls. She briefly wondered if she was in the right house.
“Happy Solstice!” said a voice behind her. She turned around to see Sylvia in a Santa hat smiling.
“Happy Solstice? It looks like you’re celebrating Christmas. I was only away a couple of hours. It looks like you’ve been busy.” Katherine replied.
“Don’t be silly! It would be weird if vampires celebrated Christmas. Anyway, Christmas is celebrated at this time of year because it was when the pagans celebrated the Solstice. Even the Christmas tree was originally a pagan tradition.” Sylvia informed her.
“Yes I know this, though it was originally the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, but to me it looks you’re really wanting to celebrate Christmas. Look it’s okay if you want to celebrate it. Many people of different faiths celebrate Christmas because they like it, even those without any beliefs.” Katherine answered.
“Look where you’re standing!” Sylvia pointed out excitedly. Katherine looked around confused.
“What do you mean?” She asked. Sylvia walked right up to her and kissed her on the lips.
“You’re right under the mistletoe.” Sylvia told her. They wrapped their arms around each other and kissed.
“Happy holidays!” Katherine said before they kissed again.
I’m not sure I’ll be doing another post before Christmas. In case I don’t, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (if you’re celebrating). 🥳