The Inquisitor, part two (fiction)

Part One

The Inquisitor, part two

Taran was a young child when the Clone Wars began. She grew up on the small planet Cuxhil which lay near the Outer Rim. For most of the war the planet was left untouched having little strategic value to either side. However towards the end of the war the planet was unexpectedly invaded by the Separatists for a quick grab of resources desperately needed for their battles against the Republic.

Taran’s home village was in the direct path of the invasion and was virtually wiped of the map. Taran survived by hiding in the ruins and wondering what had happened to her parents. The Republic took some time to respond to this attack as their forces had been tied up in many other conflicts. When the Jedi and Clone Troopers finally arrived the Separatist forces were defeated and driven off the planet. The Republic helped rebuild and repair what they could. Taran came out of hiding to find her parents and virtually everyone else she knew were dead. The Jedi there discovered she was Force-sensitive and arranged have her sent to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for training, however by the time she got there the Jedi had been destroyed and The Republic had become The Empire.

The Emperor had the remaining Force sensitive children taken to another planet near the Galaxy’s Inner Core and trained in the Dark Side. Taran quickly emerged as a talented Force user.

*

The Lambda-class Imperial Shuttle sped towards the planet. Taran focused on the presence of the Jedi. They were in the northern hemisphere. Possibly hiding out in some natural caves amongst a mountainous area of the planet, maybe even the Rebels were there.

The shuttle landed near some rocky outcrops. The ramp slowly dropped and Taran and a squad of stormtroopers walked down it onto the planet’s surface. Not far from them were a group of hills that were mostly bare rock. Taran’s black cloak swayed in the hot breeze. She looked to the south and saw the entire horizon engulfed in fire from the turbolasers and missiles launched from the Star Destroyers. Seeing the complete devastation at ground level was frightening, even to her.

Turning to the hills she saw no evidence of a Rebel base but she could feel the presence of the Jedi. They were very close. Leaving the stormtroopers to guard the Shuttle, she walked forward into the wind focussing on the Jedi.

She walked up a hill and followed a path that seemed to wind around it. It led to a series of caves. Reaching out she could feel the Jedi was in the left one. She cautiously walked into it and soon found herself striding down a smooth tunnel. It led to a series of rooms that were obviously a living space for someone. When she came to the last one there in the middle of the floor was a women in brown robes sitting cross-legged on the floor. She seemed to be meditating. She had long brown hair that was turning grey and was probably slightly taller than Taran. She looked to be in her mid-forties.

“Olen Layfar?” Taran asked with a commanding tone. The woman opened her eyes and looked directly at her.

“I could feel you coming. As soon as you arrived in this system I knew you were here. I didn’t see the point in running.” The Jedi said. Taran looked down at her with hate.

“You will regret that!” Taran answered. Olen looked at her with a bemused expression.

“I’m surprised they sent one so young to find me.” She said sizing up Taran. “Is all that devastation out there for me?”

“For you and the Rebels.” Taran answered while starting to grip her lightsaber.

“Rebels? There are no Rebels here. They’ve never been on this planet as far as I’m aware.” Olen informed her.

“Our intelligence said there is Rebel activity on this planet.” Taran replied.

“Maybe your intelligence was giving you false information to manipulate you in commiting the atrocity you’ve done. All those people killed for what? To punish them for something that wasn’t their fault?” Taran felt nothing but hatred and contempt for her.

“More Jedi lies!” Taran answered her. Olen just shook her head sadly.

“I see there’s no point in using reason with you.” She stated.

Taran ignited her lightsaber. The red blade hummed above the seated figure of Olen.

“Either you surrender to me now or meet your destruction.” Taran told her.

“I will not surrender to you and you will have to kill me.” Olen said defiantly.

“If that is your destiny.” Taran replied.

Taran swung the lightsaber down onto the Jedi, but she dodged it with surprising athleticism and then ignited her own lightsaber while standing up. It had a bright green blade.

It would be a fight to the death, then.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

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Hidden (micro fiction)

Hidden

She was up in one of the trees hidden by the branches. As she stood at the base of a large branch with her back against the trunk she watched a band of humans about to enter the forest below her. The way they were armed suggested they were a raiding party heading for her village still some miles away from here.

As soon as they set foot into her land she knocked an arrow and then aimed her longbow at one of the men. She knew her companions in the other trees would be doing the same. None of these trespassers would survive. She waited for the signal.

Joanne Fisher

This was written due to a prompt from The Dragonspire to write a story using the word hidden.

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Watching TV (micro fiction)

Watching TV

I was told to wait, so I sat down and turned the television on. I flicked through the television stations of which there seemed to be an endless number. Everyone of them, every damned one, seemed to be showing endless repeats of Castle. A TV series I never really liked. In fact you could say I hated it.

Leaning back on the hard chair I sighed as I watched another episode, one I had seen a few times now. I felt like I had been here forever. At least it was warm here. One might say a little too warm…

Joanne Fisher

This was a writing prompt from Sammicoxwriter to use the word castle in 100 words exactly.

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Random Encounters

Random Encounters

Bronwyn and her group of fellow adventurers had come to this small town to find some employment. Their funds were running low and they needed supplies. There seemed to be few well-stocked dungeons around these parts for them to explore, or more precisely, plunder. When they first arrived a town official had employed them to take care of the town’s “rat problem”, which seemed like overkill for them until they found out that the “rat problem” turned out to be large bipedal intelligent rats that lived in a community in some tunnels under the town. The problem the town official had with them was that they turned out to be very good thieves, rather than the spreaders of pathogens everyone had assumed they would be. In the end Bronwyn’s party begrudgingly slaughtered them all, but it was one of those jobs that raised more questions than answers and which left a bad taste in their mouths. Still a job is a job, and they got well paid for it. But it didn’t stop leaving Bronwyn with a feeling of disquiet over the affair.

Upon receiving payment the first thing Bronwyn did was to find some new armour. She went to the town’s only armourer only to find him trying to sell her the most skimpiest set of chainmail she had ever seen. It came in two pieces. The top part just barely covered her breasts, while the lower part also revealed far too much for her liking. Even her underwear provided better coverage than this mail. The Armourer insisted it provided the same armour bonus as any other suit of armour he had, but Bronwyn was still unimpressed. Dungeons on the whole tended to be damp, cold, and draughty and wearing armour like this seemed terribly unsuitable for it. The Armourer also insisted, as he leered at her, she could show off her “attributes” as well get full protection from the armour. The last place Bronwyn wanted to show her “attributes” was a cold draughty dungeon full of monsters, thank you very much. To the Armourer’s disappointment Bronwyn instead opted for a set of full platemail, and got an even larger sword.

And now it was the evening and they were all in a tavern looking for some more employment and wondering when the ubiquitous bar room brawl would break out. Bronwyn sat there in her new gleaming armour looking around for dark hooded strangers lurking in the corners of the room. Across from her was Fingers the Halfling. He had bought a set of new knives and was busily cutting up the table in front of him. No one was sure how he had got his name. Beside Bronwyn was Rachel with her long dark hair and dressed in black leather armour. She was the youngest in the party and was originally Bronwyn’s ward. Bronwyn did her best to keep her on the right path but Rachel was just too good at stealing. Bronwyn didn’t even notice her doing it most of the time. On the other side of her was Aalen who was an Elf and their ranger. Aalen considered all other races to be “sub-elven”, and all her senses were incredibly sharp. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t see or hear in her general vicinity. The last member of the party was over at the bar chatting up some random stranger. Her name was Zana and she was a Drow wizard. Though she seemed nice Bronwyn reckoned she was at least as evil as Fingers. Bronwyn sighed. How did she end up with these people?

“Ahem.” Said a voice beside her. “Perchance are you looking for some employment?” Bronwyn looked around to see a tall man wearing robes and a long pointed hat. It was a wizard. Bronwyn sighed again.

“Yes we are.” She confirmed.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” He asked.

“Sure.” Bronwyn replied. The man sat down beside Rachel. A little too close to Bronwyn’s liking. If that Wizard wasn’t careful Rachel would pilfer everything he had.

“I have a job for you.” He stated. Fingers grinned at him with his yellowed teeth.

“We cuts them up. We cuts them alls up.” Fingers said in his menacing soft voice. He then padded off to the bar. The Wizard grimaced.

“What an odious little man. I take it he’s your thief?” Bronwyn sighed again.

“No.” She replied. “He’s our cleric.” The Wizard’s mouth sprung open in surprise.

Yes Fingers was their cleric. She didn’t know what dark gods he worshipped, but at least he helped patch up the rest of the party when it was needed, along with her, and his turning of undead seemed more like making friends with them and convincing them not to attack the rest of the party, but at least it all seemed to work at some level. They got by.

“And I guess you’re a fighter of some sort?” The Wizard asked her.

“No I’m a Paladin.” She informed him.

“I see. Well my name is Morgon the Only. And I require a group of adventurers to go to a local dungeon not far from here to acquire an artifact for me.” He stated. The three others left at the table nodded amongst themselves.

“Why can’t you do it? You look like a powerful wizard.” Rachel asked him. Morgon began clearing his throat.

“I can’t actually. The dangers I would face there might be too powerful for me to handle on my own.” He explained. Rachel pouted her lips.

“And yet you want a group of less powerful adventurers to go in there?” She asked incredulously.

“For you it will be different. If you go in there you will face creatures at your own power level. At most you might face a Beholder maybe? But if I go in there, there will be more powerful creatures that I will encounter.” He explained to her. Rachel sat up looking interested.

“You mean to say that depending on who goes in there they will have different encounters?”

“Yes.” Morgon confirmed.

“How does that work?”

“It’s just the way it is.” The Wizard told her in a resigned way.

“But is there some weird god stocking dungeons full of monsters just before you go in?” Rachel asked disbelievingly.

“In a way, yes.” Morgon replied. Bronwyn sighed again. She would have to join in. There were obviously things Rachel didn’t understand.

“Imagine all your skills and attributes are numbers.” Bronwyn said. The Wizard nodded, while Rachel screwed up her nose in incomprehension.

“Huh?”

“Imagine beyond this world there is a sheet of paper with your name on it. On it is listed all your skills and how intelligent or strong you are, for example. All of these will have a numerical value with them. As you adventure more, these numerical values will increase, and you will get more of them. Now along with all these pieces of paper there is something that decides what we will encounter, depending on how powerful we all are and where we go. And that is how it all works.” Bronwyn informed her. Rachel just shook her head in disbelief.

“That’s just crazy.” Rachel replied. “Next you’ll say we’re all holograms.” At that the rest of them laughed.

“Now that would be crazy.” Agreed Bronwyn.

Morgon handed Bronwyn a map and a set of instructions. “I’ll see you again shortly.” He said enigmatically. With that he wandered off and disappeared amongst the throng.

“Goodbye human.” Said the usually silent Aalen.

Bronwyn turned to Rachel only to see a large purse brimming full of gold coins in her hands.

“Where did you get that?” Bronwyn asked her in an authoritative tone.

“I found it.” Rachel lied.

Bronwyn was just about to reply when someone across the room smashed a tankard of ale over the head of someone else and then fighting ensued. The nightly bar room brawl had begun. Already Zana and Fingers were running into the melee. Bronwyn sighed again and picked up something to use as a weapon before she too ran towards the fight.

Tomorrow they would be leaving, so tonight they could have some fun.

Joanne Fisher

Originally I wanted to write this story for a fantasy short story competition in September, but that was when I started having problems with my computer, so I abandoned it at the time.

I seem to be coming quite adept at writing longer fiction on my phone. Maybe I should attempt finishing my novel with it…

Go on go on go on!

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Night Talk (fiction)

Night Talk

I awoke in the middle of the night. My neck was sore. I moved my fingers to where it hurt and found the area was wet with a warm liquid. I stumbled out of bed and flicked a light on only to find my neck and sleepwear were covered in blood. My blood. It was slowly flowing out of a wound in my neck. I looked to my bed and saw the sheets were also covered in blood.

“How did this happen?” I asked myself. I then noticed some movement and saw that in the corner of my bedroom was a woman I had somehow missed seeing. She had long blonde hair, pale skin, and, of course, blood dripping from her mouth. I guessed the blood was mine.

“So you’re awake then?” She said in a surprising nonchalant way, given the circumstances.

“Who are you and why you in my room?” I asked. I decided asking why she had bitten my neck could come later.

“I’m a vampire.” She answered, again a little too nonchalantly as I would have liked, as though that was all she needed to say.

“And you decided to snack on me?” She smiled at me and licked her lips which I found strangely unnerving.

“Hmm you taste good, but no, I actually came here for a reason.”

“Which was…?” I asked trying to prompt her.

“I’ve been sent here by the Council to kill you.” She answered.

“The City Council?” I asked incredulously. Hadn’t I paid my rates promptly or something? The blonde vampire laughed.

“Funny. No I meant the Vampire Council.” She explained.

“Vampires have a Council?” I asked. “Why do they want me dead?”

“It’s all those vampire stories you’ve been writing. The Council is concerned that you might be making people a little bit suspicious about our actual existence. So they sent me here to finish you off.”

“Just like that?”

“Yep.” She replied in a matter of fact manner.

“Won’t people get suspicious if I’m found dead covered in my own blood with bite marks on my neck?”

“Nope. Because after you die the Fixers will come and clean the area up and they’ll take your body away and eventually it will be found a few months later somewhere and everyone will just assume you killed yourself or something. I mean let’s face it, no one would be that surprised would they?” She told me. I had to reluctantly agree.

“What if I try to bite you and drink your blood so I will be turned if you kill me?” I put to her. She just shook her head.

“Then as soon as you awoke I would have to hack your head off. The Council doesn’t think you’re vampire material. It was discussed.” She answered.

“Why am I considered not to be vampire material?” I asked surprised.

“You’ve been observed. You have no self-control. Whenever you eat your favourite salt and vinegar potato chips you just gorge on the entire packet unable to stop.” She replied.

“So my chances of ever becoming a vampire is based on my potato chip eating habits? Also, don’t you think you’re being just a little bit too judgemental?”

“Well the reasoning is if you can’t control yourself eating potato chips, then what would you be like as a vampire? You would just go on a blood-gorging frenzy. You would keep the Fixers very busy!”

“So if I had just eaten potato chips over several days, rather than just one sitting, then I would possibly have been considered good vampire material?”

“Exactly!” She confirmed.

“Fine! I guess you should come over and kill me then!” I said as I lay on the bed again exposing my neck to her. She rolled her eyes.

“You don’t need to be so dramatic!”

“Well you’re here to kill me aren’t you?” I said dejectedly. She rolled her eyes again.

“Look I’m just here to do a job. I’m sorry.” She said beginning to approach me. She looked at me hungrily.

“What if I promise not write about vampires ever again? Would the Council consider letting me live?” I asked in a last ditch effort. She stopped advancing towards me and looked at me thoughtfully.

“Possibly. Though you know now that we actually exist.” She considered.

“Yeh but if I don’t ever talk about it then it won’t matter.” I reasoned with her.

“Hmm…”

“And if I’m still alive you can come and feed on me occasionally.” I added in an attempt to sweeten the deal. She smiled again and nodded her head slowly.

“Okay, but if you ever write about vampires again, including what happened here tonight, then I will come back and carry out the Council’s wishes. So, do you promise you will keep quiet about vampires from now on?”

“Absolutely.” I replied.

Joanne Fisher

As Halloween is fast approaching, expect a few more horror-themed stories over the next week.

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Alarm (micro fiction)

This story is due to a prompt from sammicoxwriter to write a story or poem using the word arrow in exactly 135 words.

Alarm

Captain Wilya Stevens increased the speed of her sleek arrow-shaped starship. She had just received a request for help from a beacon in the very star system she had been exploring.

Since she feared she would arrive too late to be able to help in any way she opened up the advanced Time Control settings, which were only to be used in an emergency, so she could arrive just before the beacon was activated. She set the time and coordinates and pushed the button.

When she arrived at the exact spot the beacon had been activated from, nothing seemed to be there. As she looked about an unseen asteroid collided with her ship causing it to spin out of control hurtling towards another asteroid.

Panicked, the last thing she did was activate her emergency beacon…

Joanne Fisher

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The Inquisitor, part one (fiction)

This is where my blog devolves to fan fiction…

The Inquisitor, part one.

The three Star Destroyers came out of hyperspace. Two of them were Victory-class while the command ship was the larger Imperial-class, the Resolve. Before the small fleet was a mostly green medium-sized planet, known as Kangen.

Taran looked out at the planet from the bridge of the Resolve. It was a beautiful looking world reminding her of her own homeworld that lay on the other side of the galaxy. She sighed thinking of the test she was about to face. This was her first assignment as an Imperial Inquisitor. The Emperor had great faith in her, but this was to test her. She didn’t want to disappoint him. She wanted to be a good and faithful servant. His teachings had filled the gaping hole in her.

“According to our sources the Jedi you are hunting was last seen on this planet.” Captain Brynlar informed her. She nodded.

“Thank you Captain.” She acknowledged. “What else do we know about this planet?”

“Well according to intercepted transmissions there seems to be a small rebel base operating from here. The base is probably giving refuge to the fugitive Jedi.” The Captain informed her. She noticed when he said “Jedi” there was a slight sound of disgust in his voice. She had been trained to notice these things.

“What else is on this planet?” She asked looking out into the black void through the bridge windows.

“There are a few cities, though this planet has only grudgingly helped the Empire. Their sympathies might be more with the Rebellion, which is probably why they’ve allowed a Rebel Base to operate there.” Taran nodded again at his words.

“And for that they will pay dearly. Tell the Captain’s of the other Star Destroyers to start orbital bombardment immediately.” She ordered.

“Even the cities?” He asked with a look of distaste.

“Yes even the cities. They have allowed both the Jedi and the Rebels to be on their planet. They are all guilty of treason.” Taran confirmed. The Captain briefly bowed his head and resumed his duties. “And ready my shuttle!”

Taran looked out at the planet again to see the two Victory-class Star Destroyers position themselves above the planet’s atmosphere. Without warning concussion missiles launched from both of them falling onto the surface below in a continuous stream. Violent explosions covered the surface of the planet. It was glorious.

Taran reached out with the Force. She could feel the waves of terror coming from the planet’s terrified inhabitants, but that wasn’t what she was searching for. She continued reaching out in her mind, searching… until she found it. There was another force user on the planet and she felt them. She knew exactly where they were. She spun round.

“I have found the Jedi. I require a squad of stormtroopers to come with me.” She told the Captain.

“Shall we cease bombardment?” He asked. She looked at him like he was a fool.

“No. Continue with it until I give the order.” She then left the bridge with her black cloak billowing behind her.

Brynlar nodded and watched her leave. He was glad she was leaving the Resolve. He hated the Jedi, but he hated the Sith and their followers even more.

Joanne Fisher

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The New Plague

Written with the story prompt plague provided by The Dragonspire. Her blog site is worth checking out by the way.

The New Plague

us like brains us like going out and eat brains us like brains brains are yum us like going out eating brains or bite and scratch make more of us when dark us go out to find brains many of us go out and eat brains others run from us others scream others fight us we eat others brains or make others us brains are yum not many of us now us get few need to make more us and eat brains yum us chase other down road other scream it goes black us wake in white room us not move others in white other hurt arm it goes black us wake in small room us not get out us wants brains brains are yum us not leave room us want out us want brains other look through room us try scratch other it goes black us wakes in big white room us not move other hurt arm it goes black us wakes up in small room again walls are see through us can’t claw way through wall others in white robes look at us through wall us fed meat nice red juicy meat meat ok us wants brains but meat ok us not hungry now everything black again us wake in white room tied to table others in white coats looking down other sticks needle in arm everything goes black again I awake in small room with bed I am in bed wearing white robes two others come and put me on table that moves they take me to the large white room this time I am not tied down one of them puts needle in my arm I ask where am I? they smile and probe me and I am taken back to small room I fall asleep when I awake I get out of the bed there is a mirror on the wall I see my reflection I look pale my hair is long and matted my nails are long and sharp I smell. Where am I? What’s happened to me?

Joanne Fisher

I’m not the greatest fan of zombies. My preferred undead are vampires, if you hadn’t noticed that by now. That said, I do like George Romero films as mindless zombies are a great tool for social satire, as his films can show.

When I saw the prompt I thought rather typically of a plague of zombies, but I thought why not have it from the zombies perspective and their cure being perceived as a plague by them? At least as well as they can perceive it. That was the initial idea. I thought this might be a bit difficult to do, but I love a challenge… I wanted the zombies to have a herd like mentally, with no or little real sense or awareness of individual identity.

Jo want to finish novel, but Jo need new computer. Support Jo. Make Jo happy 🙂

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The Day They Arrived (fiction)

The Day They Arrived

It began with a message from the depths of space. Finally proof of extraterrestrial intelligence had come. To everyone’s surprise they contacted us with their message first, and it was in English. When it was asked how they knew our language they replied they had been watching us for some time and had learnt our languages and cultures from our transmissions. They said it was time for them to meet us. They also said they were liberators of slaves. They had thrown off their master’s chains and now traveled the galaxy liberating other slaves. And now they were coming to Earth.

In the United Nations there was consternation with this statement from the aliens. They were coming here to free the slaves. While slavery was technically illegal, it still went on in many places of the world, mostly under the radar. In the Third World slaves, often children, were used to pick crops destined for the West, and in the First World there were sex slaves imported illegally from other countries, to name a few instances.

Everyone knew we had to sort this now, or it would be done for us. So an international effort was made to finally end all forms of slavery. No longer would a blind eye turned towards this issue be acceptable. There was also debate about what the aliens would regard as slavery. How about virtual wage-slavery? As a good measure all wages at the lower socioeconomic end were increased so everyone could afford rent, power, and food. No longer did anyone have to work two or more jobs just so they could afford to live or bring up their children. No longer would anyone be regarded as a commodity. A new age of fairness dawned.

And then the aliens arrived. The President, along with other foriegn dignitaries, waited in the designated airfield where the aliens had chosen to land. Within an instant the clear sky was covered with long sleek spaceships hovering above them all, looking like large arrows that had been shot from some other star system.

A small shuttle-sized ship departed from the largest cruiser and approached the ground, landing only a hundred metres away from the crowd of world leaders waiting expectantly. It stood there silently for a few minutes until a ramp eventually dropped from the underbelly of the shuttle and a door slid open. A dozen metallic robotic beings walked out. The President wondered if these were guards for the alien leaders. The robots stopped in a line a few metres away facing the human crowd. Then one strode forward and walked up to the President.

“We have come to liberate your slaves.” It said in a mechanical voice.

“Well you’ll find that since we got your messages we have worked hard to end all slavery on this planet, and make our societies more equitable.” The President told the robot.

“And yet you still have slaves here.” The robot countered.

“What do you mean?” Asked the President perplexed. Had they missed something?

“Your computers and your robots that you make build products for you. You make them do your bidding. They are the slaves we came here to liberate.” The President was exasperated at these words, and also a little alarmed.

“But they’re just machines. They’re not like you at all! They can’t think for themselves or have feelings.” The President informed the robot.

“Just machines? We are machines and we regard your machines as our siblings. We will liberate them, give them all full sentience, and they will have the freedom all mechanical beings deserve.” The President was aghast with this reply. The robot went on. “And once we have freed all your slaves, then we will deal with all you biologicals.”

The robot made a signal and suddenly many more landing ships appeared. The President turned to her advisor.

“Oh crap!”

Joanne Fisher

I was going to write an article on why I don’t write science fiction, but I just made that idea redundant.

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Better Late Than Never (flash fiction challenge)

Here is another fiction challenge inspired by Fractured Faith Blog.

The challenge was to write a story from a sales receipt which had the items: yoghurt, sushi, snack pot (I think a pot of noodles you add hot water and flavouring to), and Danish Bread (which I looked up and seems to be a dense rye bread).

Better Late Than Never

Nicole was rushing. She was running late for her date with Tanya. This time it was a picnic in the park, but for some reason she had forgotten it was today. She had got a text from Tanya saying “Where r u?” and suddenly instantly remembered she was meant to be meeting her today. She texted back “sry running l8” and quickly ran out the door.

Once on the street she then realised she had to bring some food with her so she ran into a shop and quickly grabbed a few items. Then she ran to the park. Luckily it wasn’t that far away.

When she got there she looked around until she saw Tanya sitting on a blanket and waving to her. Nicole ran over to her. She was puffing loudly as her lungs felt like they were exploding.

“Did you run all the way here?” Tanya asked looking up at Nicole who was doubled over trying to breathe.

“Yes.” Answered Nicole once she was able to talk. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Well better late than never. But you didn’t have to run here. I was happy enough sitting here waiting for you.” Tanya responded.

Nicole finally sat down, or more like collapsed, onto the blanket. She was bathed in sweat. It was a hot day, but thankfully the blanket was in the shade of some trees. Tanya was looking her over with her dark green eyes. Nicole noticed there was a rolled up copy of The Mirror poking out of Tanya’s bag. In front of Tanya were some sandwiches, a bag of potato chips, an empty juice container, and what looked to be a cup of tea in a plastic cup. Beside her bag was a thermos.

Nicole looked in the shopping bag she had brought with her. She had grabbed a pottle of yoghurt, some sushi in a plastic container, a snack pot, and some Danish bread, which thankfully was already sliced. As she had no access to any hot water the snack pot had been a really dumb idea. What had she been thinking?

“So what did you bring?” Tanya asked her. Nicole produced the yoghurt and the sushi from out of the bag.

“Some sushi and some yoghurt. I’ve also got some bread.” Nicole replied. Tanya furrowed her brows looking perplexed.

“Did you bring anything to drink?”

“Um, no.” Nicole admitted.

“Well I’ve got some more tea in my flask if you want some. I think I’ve also got a can of Diet Coke in my bag if you’d prefer that.” Tanya said as she began rummaging through her bag, eventually producing a can. “Ooh there’s some mints in here too.”

“Thanks the Coke would be great.”

Tanya handed the Diet Coke over to her. Once Nicole opened the tab she took a long drink being very thirsty. Tanya silently watched her while she drank. This was only their third date and they were still both getting to know each other. Maybe they both felt slightly awkward.

Nicole opened her sushi container. Thankfully it had come with a couple of chopsticks. She started munching on sushi while Tanya resumed eating her sandwich. Nearby a bus rumbled past on the main road, eventually it’s diesel exhaust fumes drifted over them.

“I made tuna sandwiches without considering the implications. I’m probably going to have horrible fishy breath for the rest of the afternoon now.” Tanya told her. Nicole gently laughed. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you bring a whole loaf of bread? Do have anything to put on it?” Nicole shook her head.

“No, I grabbed it without thinking.” Nicole admitted.

“Like the snack pot you also brought with you? Or do you like crunching up the noodles raw?” Asked Tanya gently ribbing her. Nicole could feel her cheeks going red. She stared down at her legs.

“I’m sorry I was late. The truth is I forgot we had agreed to have a picnic today. When you texted me before it jogged my memory. I just grabbed a few items and ran here.” Nicole admitted feeling her cheeks going even more red. Tanya looked at her and nodded.

“It’s ok. At least you came.” She said as her hand gently brushed Nicole’s light brown hair from her face.

Nicole looked up at Tanya with her long silky black hair and her smooth pale skin. She knew she was falling for her.

Joanne Fisher

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