Monthly Archives: February 2017

61. Bewildered

“How did I manage to get a girl like you?”

“Oh just lucky I guess. Now get out of here. The office can’t very well run itself. The computers haven’t gotten that good yet.”

Melissa smiled as her husband leaned down and kissed her once, standing on her toes. She watched as he grabbed his briefcase from its place on the kitchen table, waving as he finally stepped out the door.

Once she heard the click of the door locking she let out a sigh, sitting back down in front of her breakfast. She’s barely touched the omelette and toast, stomach roaring as she instead sipped her tea. A heavy, herbal thing, it always made the kitchen smell like a garden. She gave up on eating, leaving the plate to deal with later. Fingers curled around the mug, she walked back up the stairs. Why she continued to wake up to see David off she had no idea. She hardly needed to, after all.

Going into the bedroom, she set her mug on top of one of the dressers. Melissa whistled as she went about getting ready, the shrill noise cutting through the otherwise silent home. As she reached for a bottle of perfume on her vanity, she frowned as she found not a drop of it left.

“Guess that settles plans for today.” she tucked the bottle into her pocket. “Should have what I need to make more of it…”

The tea was ice cold by the time she grabbed for the cup. Shaking her head she walked out without it. Still whistling her off key little song, she sauntered down the hall. The door she stopped in front of was quite helpfully labeled as “Melissa’s Craft Room” in sparkling, purple letters. She removed a small, silver key from the chain around her neck, fitting it into the locked knob. Out of habit, she immediately closed the door behind her as she stepped in.

If the tea made the kitchen smell like a garden, the room here smelled like a warm, densely-packed greenhouse. Herbs were hanging and drying in the windowsills, and potted plants of various sizes and shapes all bent towards the sun as well. And the crystals…Shelf upon shelf in the room were covered in stone, bone, and a number of things inbetween.

“It’s about time for me to renew the spell as well. It’s been almost 30 nights of sleep.” she tapped her shin, setting the bottle from her vanity down on the small work table. “Let’s get that started first.”

She walked to a closed cabinet, tossing open the roods. A host of jars and small glass vials filled with unknown things rattled against one another as she did so. Her fingers brushed against each container as she searched.

“Now where on Earth did I put that batch of heartstrings?”

 

Dinner was always on the table promptly at 6:15, so it was cool enough to eat when David walked in at 6:27. Every night, right on the dot.

“It smells fantastic in here.” His voice was followed by the thudding of his dress shoes hitting the hardwood floors.

“I was feeling crafty today. New recipe I found on Pinterest.”     “You’re the best.” he kissed her on the cheek as he walked into the small dining room.

“I try. Oh! I forgot the wine.” She walked past him, back into the kitchen.

Two glasses of red wine, and the bottle, sat on the counter. Humming absently to herself, she withdrew a black vial from her pocket. She tipped the contents into one of the two glasses and gave it a stir with her finger.

“Thanks Babe.” David had already started to fill his plate before she set the glass in front of him.

“Of course.” she took hers to her seat and took a long drink.

“I really am the luckiest.”

“Oh sweetie, I’m the luckiest.” She watched as he took a drink. For a moment, his pretty blue eyes turned as dark as the glass in Melissa’s pocket. “I’m just the luckiest to have you.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Flash Fiction, Stories, Uncategorized

95. Life

There was so much ash, it was hard to believe that there were ever trees in this place at all. Once the elementals had begun, there had been no stopping their assault until they had run out of kindling. Even then, it had proven costly to send them back to the Eternal Flame from which they had come.

“Are there any left, Peri?”

“Some of the old growth at the outer rim, Lady Shana. But not much.”

“I see.” The blonde elf woman shook her head in dismay as the dryad beside her pawed at the ground with one hoof. “I don’t see what the council thinks we can do here. Too much of it was raised.”

“Don’t talk like that, Lady Shana.” As the dryad tossed her head, charms in her hair tinkled and struck one another. “It may look dire, but I am sure there is something that can be done.”

The elf shook her head again in return, stooping down to pick up a handful of ash. Even months after the final fire burned its way out, the fine granules were still warm to the touch.

“The soil is baked. Saturated with the negative energy.”

“That isn’t a surprise.” Peri picked up a branch that crumbled in her nimble fingers. “It just needs a little more work that normal, that’s all.”

“These trees were older than the two of us put together, Periwinkle. We will be lucky to coax weeds to grow here now.”

“Always such a pessimist.”

Shana sighed, dusting off her knees as she righted herself once more. A sudden breeze kicked up clouds of the ash and soil, forcing the woman and foal to cover their mouths.

“Gods it tastes like death!” The poor dryad gagged as the wind howled a moan of pain across the barren landscape.

“There, while we wait for the wind to pass.” Shana pointed to two husks of tree that, while were long dead of anything green, were solid enough to hide beneath to block the worst of it.

 

“There were no survivors from your clan’s settlements, you are certain?” Periwinkle didn’t risk speaking again until they were safely under their make-shift cover.

“None. They were taken by complete surprise. Too deep in the heart of the trees for anyone to get word before the Candles made it to them.”

“How many?”

“Fifty-three. Ten are…Were…Children. We did not even have bodies to give their families back in the capital.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“As am I.” Shana leaned slightly against the badly damaged trunk. “But, sorry doesn’t break the dead back to us.”

“Perhaps that is a good thing. They are never quite the same the second time around.”

 

When the wind finally died down, it seemed to have taken at least some of the clouds with it. The midday sun peaked through , making the ground a little too warm.

“We’ll need to leave soon and come back. With the clouds going, I’d rather not get heat stroke out here.”

Periwinkle nodded to agree, starting to turn back to the circle they used to arrive. Her bright eyes widened as she paused in her turn, suddenly beaming.

“Shana wait!” she sprinted off to the west as quickly as her four legs would take her.

“Peri quit-” the elf groaned, running after her. “You do know how much faster you are, right?”

“I see green.”

“I think that the heat has made you delusional.” Shana shook her head. “Let’s just go back. We can return with a green mage and a few water skins tomorrow and-”

The dryad kicked up more and more dirt and ash as she dug in with her hooves. Shana coughed and covered her mouth again. She rolled her eyes but stayed put, waiting until the rhythmic pounding stopped before she lowered her arm.

In the space that Periwinkle hand cleared away, a small sprig of a plant stood. Probably a weed. Or likely something parasitic that was feeding off the latent magical energy…But it was a start.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flash Fiction, Stories

27. Sword

“It’s only a little further now. Come on, keep up.”

“You said that almost an hour ago, Absinthe. You will have to forgive me if I do not believe you.”

“You’re just upset that you got mud on your boots.”

“Yes, a warning would have been appreciated.”

“It’s called The Temple of Black Waters. What on Earth were you expecting?”

“Water. Not mud.”

The man named Absinthe laughed, stepping over yet another puddle of mud that was deceptively deeper than it looked. His companion’s growl made it that much sweeter.”

“You had better hope that it is here, Absinthe.”

“Or what, Alnyx?”

“You know exactly what.”

“Oh baby, don’t tease me like that.”

Alnyx rolled his eyes, pushing past the other man and towards the tree line, where it finally began to thin out just a little. Absinthe followed behind him, fingers glowing violet as they stepped forward.

“Ancient crumbling stone and ominous clouds? Looks like the place.”

“Good. Let us get your toy and get out.”

“You’re so fiery today. I like it.”

“Shut. Up.”

 

“There it is. Have you ever seen anything so perfect before in your life?”

“You’re kidding me, right?”

Alnyx was covered in mud from outside, a spike from a trap had torn his cloak, and a skeleton managed to sink its teeth into his left forearm. Murder was more present than usual in his almond shaped eyes.

“It glows, look at it! It’s going to be fantastic. Formerly owned by a Chaos lord…You can’t tell me it’s not the most beautiful-Oww!” The almond-eyed man rammed a dagger into Absinthe’s thigh, pulling it back out only once he was silenced. “You’re not mad at me are you? Seriously?”

“You dragged me through a swamp. For a stupid glowing sword.” the elf wiped the blood off of the blade onto his torn cloak. “Yes, I am mad at you.”

“You know that I don’t-”

“No no. Go on. Get your stupid sword. Clearly you need it.” Alnyx moved his hand in a shooing motion.

Absinthe growled, placing a hand against the fresh wound as he stepped forward. He’d have to do something to placate his moody elf later. First, there was treasure to-

He shouted as the ground fell from under him, revealing the six foot deep pit full of asps that had been under it. Removing his hand from his leg, the glow from before began to surrounded the beasts.

“You knew that was there, didn’t you.”

“Yes.” Alnyx smirked, pleased with himself as he walked to the edge of the pit and looked down as the asps began to explode into goo one by one.

“And you aren’t going to help me out of this, are you?”

“No.”

“Would it help if I said I was sorry?” Absinthe lowered his hand as the last snake popped.

“No.”

He groaned as he carefully pulled himself out, using his magic to make himself footholds in the stone. Once he was finally on the temple floor again, he took the last steps across to the black stone altar. He removed the longsword from the stand it was displayed in, unsheathing it from the scabbard. As he held it up, a deep red aura began to pulsate from it.

“Nothing to it.” he picked the scabbard up, inspecting the violet gems that it was inlaid with.

“Absinthe-”

“Oh now you want to speak?”

“Put it back in the scabbard. We need to go. Now.”

“I don’t know. I think I rather fancy this place.” Absinthe walked across the dias, swiping at the air with the blade. “We should clean it up. It would make a nice little base.”

“We need to go now.”

“Ugh, Alnyx stop. I’m sorry, okay? I should have told you that it was in a swamp, I get it.”

He blinked when he looked to the elf and saw that he had his longbow drawn, pointed upwards at the ceiling. Specifically, at the half spider-half woman that was descending from it.

“Oh now we HAVE to stay.”

“If you do not stop talking and start stabbing-” Alnyx snarled as the blood spatter hit him.

“Sorry!”

“No you are not.”

“Nope, I’m not!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Flash Fiction, Stories, The Blackbirds

39. Hunger

“Do you really have to hide under that ridiculous thing?”

“Do you really want to carry a pile of ash back to the apartment? I’d rather not come back missing a finger.”

Christopher laughed. It was hard not to with the way his fiance’s fingers tightened on the handle of the black umbrella. With the fact there was not a single cloud in the sky, it probably looked strange to anyone else walking down the street. After all, the messily cropped black hair and deep brown eyes meant that Erik wasn’t an albino or anything.

“I could deal with a missing finger or two. Though there is one appendage I’d rather not risk you losing…”

“Why did I let you drag me out here again? It’s so bright out.” Erik withdrew his sunglasses from his pocket, putting them on so he could stop squinting.

“Because I want ice cream, that’s why. And you love me. So quit your bitching and keep walking.”

Before Erik could groan back at him, Christopher leaned up and kissed him, faces hidden under the brim of the Umbrella. The taller man sighed, wrapping an arm around him while being careful not to poke it out from the shade.

“I hate you.”

“Liar. Ohh, Baskin Robbins!”

Christopher grabbed Erik’s hand, pulling him down the street to the store. The umbrella stayed up until they were fully inside, which got a few looks. Erik’s glare kept them quiet though.

“I’m gonna get a pint.” Christopher’s smile made Erik smile.

“Whatever you want, Love. Just make it quick.” he nudged him toward the counter.

 

Curled back up on the couch in their two bedroom apartment, Christopher tossed the lid of the ice cream at his dark haired partner who was headed into the kitchen.

“Babe, grab me a spoon!”

“After you throw things at me? Have you ever heard the saying you get more flies with honey than with vinegar?”

“Grab me a spoon please?”

“Better.”

He came back with the spoon and sat beside him before handing it over. Christopher curled up happily against his side as he dug the spoon into the container.

“Want some?”

“Seriously?”

“Sorry, habit. At least I offered.”

He pulled up a chunk of the green colored ice cream and slurped it off of the spoon. Erik looked down at the noise, licking as he watched Christopher suck the cream from the spoon. The next spoonful was accompanied by a moan that wasn’t normally reserved for eating. Erik licked his own lips as he watched the smaller man lick partially melted ice cream off of his hand that had dripped onto it.

His dark eyes flashed black, saliva building in his mouth and fangs extending as he watched Christopher’s eyes closed. Christopher paid no mind, continuing to moan and wriggle happily over the ice cream pint.

“I haven’t had mint chocolate chip in so long. I wish that you could-”

He opened his eyes and glanced up at Erik. The way the vampire licked his lips made him swallow what was still in his mouth. He set the spoon on his knee, putting the container on the coffee table in front of them.

“Hungry?”

“Thought you’d never ask.”

The spoon clattered to the ground as Erik pinned Christopher to the arm of the couch. The moan as fangs pierced skin was the same as when the mortal had his first taste of ice cream. The rumble of a laugh against his flesh caught Christopher off guard.

“What’s so funny?” He panted, trying to catch his breath as the fangs shifted under his skin.

Muffled through a mouth of blood that tripped across his chin, Erik managed to get out:

“You taste like mint chocolate chip.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Flash Fiction