Flash Fiction Month 2016, Day 2
Mrs. Withers didn’t say anything. She didn’t frown. She just tutted, and that was the worst possible thing.
“Is…is there something wrong?” asked Lucy, not sure she really wanted to hear the answer.
Mrs. Withers shifted her pear drop from one side of her mouth to the other. “Well,” she said, speaking around it, “it’s your story, Lucy. Your spelling is improving, and your handwriting is excellent as always, but a proper story really needs to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.”
“But it does!” Lucy leaned over the page on the desk. “Amanda finds a magic door in the cupboard under the stairs that leads to the mythical fairy world. That’s the beginning. She discovers that the fairy world has been overtaken by a wicked Goblin King, and sets out to defeat him. That’s the middle. After a long and perilous journey, she reaches the Goblin King’s fortress but—”
“You can’t just end a story with ‘She woke up. It was all a dream.’ It’s not the done thing!”
“I…” Lucy had always heard that a story was what you made it and that there weren’t really any solid rules. Then again, she had also heard a lot of solid rules. “I sort of ran out of time,” she said, meekly. “But that’s how Alice in Wonderland ends!” Continue reading
Chapter One: The Watchtower
It was a marvel to see the White Queen paint. Marcia watched as the brush drifted across the surface of the paper, leaving no mark: its bristles held only water.
There was a knock at the door.
Marcia looked to the queen, and was answered by an almost imperceptible nod. Stepping neatly over to the door, she opened it.
“Your Majesty,” said the general, bowing deeply as he stepped inside. “We have repelled an attack at Hobnail Pass, but the lines will not hold.”
The White Queen traced the brush across the paper with extreme care. Marcia closed the door, then once again took up her place by the queen’s side, examining the paper with silent interest. There was no hint of her mistress’ work but a faint glistening of water in the light.
The general took no more notice of the queen than she did of him. Marcia observed him in one of the queen’s three grand mirrors as he strode over to a map laid out on a nearby table, cluttered with painted wooden models representing various companies and legions. The general scowled, removing a few dusty pieces and rearranging several more.
The queen dipped her brush in the little cup of water and dragged it back and forth quickly across the top of the paper, catching the little beads of liquid as they formed. She stared out of the window at the garden below, comparing this scene to the one she had formed. With a quick flick of the brush, she made an adjustment.
“It is my opinion that we must give up Wieseberg.” The general proceeded to shove a line of figures into place with a straight edge, then formed them into a swooping curve with a pudgy hand. “The city is of little strategic value, but eliminating this salient would shorten our lines considerably. The surplus troops here could be…”
“Give up the pass,” said the queen, dabbing carelessly at the paper.
“Give up the pass.” The White Queen folded her hands on her lap and turned to the general. “Our foe is determined to have that ground no matter what the cost. We will not be so foolish.” Continue reading
In ancient days when the island was new, there lived a hunter like none who lives today. KaloKa was this hunter’s name. He walked with footsteps silent as still water, and his arrows could snatch the stars from the sky. Born beneath a warlock’s moon, he understood the words of the wild beasts, and when he wore the skin of an animal he took its shape upon him. His hunting spear brought death like sleep, and at its approach no prey would flee, for its point brought no pain and the creatures of the forest had not learned to fear it.
But though the hunter brought no pain, no fear, there was one who came to hate him: his only brother, LokeRo. Though born beneath the same moon, LokeRo had a cruel spirit and no magic was bestowed upon him. All beasts had come to fear his scent, and even insects shied away at his approach. Still KaloKa honoured him as kin, and often let him join the hunt, though it meant both would be without a meal.
One day, overcome with envy, LokeRo drove his spear into his brother’s back and threw him in the sea. He told the tribe that KaloKa had fallen and been taken by the sharks. From the white island, KaloKa watched him tell this lie, and the ancestors that stood around him watched it too. KaloKa knew that when his brother’s time came, and his spirit made the journey to the white island, he would be scorned for all the days of time. But this was not enough. From the white island, watching the lie, KaloKa’s spirit grew cruel too.