She cursed quietly under her breath. So close! She’d been tracking the Darkchilde for weeks and making little progress, but now her quarry was within reach. She reached towards the door before her, and purple/white energy coalesced around her forearm, writhing and twisting before finally leaping forth to blast the door off its hinges. The Darkchilde was somewhere in this Manor, in search of a priceless relic of untold power. Not on my watch, she thought. She could sense her prey’s location in her mind’s eye – second floor, in what would be the Great Hall. Black energy played around her hand as she took the main stair three steps at a time, her empty hand suddenly holding her Watch Sword. She could sense the magic at work within as she raced to the massive double doors of the Great Hall and threw herself against them. Green energy coursed from her shoulder seconds before impact, and the huge doors parted as if pushed by a giant hand. At the far end of the room, a roiling mist was quickly growing into a cloud of fog. She knew the Darkchilde was within the cloud, and she also knew that cloud would mean her quarry’s escape if she didn’t act quickly. Thrusting her sword forward, she whispered an arcane phrase and blue energy crackled along the blade – then launched itself towards the fog. The energy began to eat away at the fog as she ran forward, sensing the capture of her prey was imminent. Before she could halve the distance, a snarling shadow-creature leapt from the fog and was on her in one bound. Instinctively she brought her sword up to defend, halting the work of the blue energy, and she knew she’d lost. The creature’s claws rang off the steel of her armor a dozen times before she could finally get her sword in position to hurt it, but once she did she was able to quickly turn on the beast and make short work of it. She cursed under her breath again, this time more emphatically. The magical fog was gone; The Darkchilde was gone; The relic was gone – And the Watch Commander would be looking for answers.
Mist drifted from her open palm, writhing around her, growing with each passing moment. All she needed was another few moments and there would be an obscuring fog to cover her escape. The chains on her clothing jingled softly, but she wasn’t worried about them giving away her position. Once within the mystic fog she’d be able to transport herself away before anyone could get close to her. She had her prize, one that would fetch a very handsome price, and her getaway was all but assured – until a crackling of blue energy lit up the mist. No! How could SHE be here! Evangeline could destroy the whole plan, deny her the prize. She needed to act quickly, even a minor distraction could keep Evangeline busy long enough for the fog to complete its growth. Reaching deep within her power, she slit the border between this world and the next and pried it open with her mind. A shadowy figure leapt through the gap, a mass of claws and fangs and darkness. With a thought the rift sealed shut again, and a sly grin crossed her lips. That should keep the bitch busy long enough, she thought. Already she could feel the power building in the fog, as the sounds of steel and claws met her ears. The sly grin turned into a full blown smile as the coalescing magic caused her ears to pop. It was time to get her prize to its destination. She flexed her will again and pictured the inner sanctum of her Mistress, focusing on her desire to be there instead of here. Better luck next time, Evangeline, she thought – and disappeared.
Over on Google+ I recently posted a 10 part novella-length story I called “The Sisterhood”. It was a gift from my muse, inspired by some more pictures posted by Shiera Hall, which started out as some simple flash fiction. One picture inspired a short narrative, and before that was done another picture inspired a companion piece. After a few more pics it took on a life of it’s own, and eventually topped out at over 10,000 words – the longest story I’ve ever written.
Starting today, I’m going to post one part a day until it’s all up here on the blog. If you read it, I’d love to hear your feedback on it – good or bad. I hope you enjoy it!
Another friend on G+, Raven Smith, posted this picture. It stuck with me for more than a month until finally I was compelled to write the following, which I called “Otherworld”. This is something I think I’ll end up coming back to later to expand on.
Wilamena fell to her knees, hands pressed against the cold surface of the mirror. Looking back at her was not a reflection, but the woman she was mere moments ago. Willa pleaded silently through the glass – you have the key, use the key! Tears began running down Wilamena’s face. “I can’t,” she sobbed. “I don’t know how!” Willa pulled her wings around her like a cloak, shivering. They’re coming, she mouthed, Kieran showed you how to use the key, you must use it and come back to Otherworld! Wilamena pressed her forehead gently against the mirror, her tears now running down the glass as well as her face. “They took it from me. They took the memory,” she whispered, her body shaking with her sobs. “I can never come back.”
My friend Shiera Hall on G+ posted this picture and asked if I could write something about it.
What I wrote became The Death of Joy:
His heart was torn asunder, as if it had been ripped from his chest. He wailed mournfully at the universe, cursing the Fates for their cruelty. What once gave him joy and happiness was gone, taken brutally from him while he watched in horror. There would be no more joy. There would be no more happiness. These things he now expelled from the world.
A fell mist crept from the ground, covering all the land with it’s eerie silence. Plants shriveled and died. Trees lost their leaves, their branches becoming twisted and grotesque. No animals could be seen or heard anywhere. The crescent moon hung perpetually low in a darkened sky. No sun would rise again, and all was deathly silent except for the wind. A wind that echoed his wailing, forever more.