|Deviant Login||Shop||Join deviantART for FREE||Take the Tour|
Wisdom on the MountainHala struggled up the mountain step by painful step, hunching her shoulders against the cold, but she would not give up. The Cursed Wisewoman’s advice was her last hope; if she could not find her, she might as well die here.
Sharp edges cut her fingers when she had to climb a steep outcrop.. Icy wind spooled her breath from her lungs - but the sight when she crested the obstacle took it away entirely. An old oak tree, more trunk than branches, huddled in the lee of a boulder. An old, lined face formed of craggy bark was too clearly visible to be a trick of the light.
When Hala approached the Wisewoman of legend, a creak announced the opening of her eyes. Yellow-brown and baleful they regarded the human woman.
Hala swallowed and took a few deep breaths, gathering thin air in her lungs. “Honoured Wisdom, I request your help.”
“Yeeeers, of course you do. And what do you have for me?”
“I…” This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. And the
Second ChildhoodMarco picked up his son and took him away from the wail-filled bedroom, so his wife could take care of her father. Over the last months the old man had deteriorated; by now he was so confused he could hardly speak, and threw tantrums like a toddler.
His little grandson at the same time had grown quiet, watching with wide eyes.
The boy knew his parents thought his grandfather’s behaviour disturbed him. That was all right.
He also knew quite soon they would be thrilled with how smart he would turn out.
The same had happened a lifetime ago.
EngrossedThe party boiled around Quentin, filling his ears with white noise. He had dived deep into a book and only surfaced to chat, and smile at someone else rather than himself, when someone addressed him directly. That person usually was Fay, but as the evening went on even she left him alone in favour of talking to friends she met rarely.
So late in the evening it was turning into early morning, her approaching laughter, much louder than usual, had him look up. Fay hung on the arm of a taller woman, face flushed and movements just a little erratic.
"Here, Quen, this is Eve. I told you about her, right?"
Nothing good, actually, but since Fay seemed to be having fun, he smiled, shook hands, and did smalltalk that quickly grew into goodbyes.
Fay snuggled into the passenger seat, seeming to nod off, but when they turned onto their street she said, "Sometimes I wish you'd enjoy these things mo
Falling Behind The Changing TimesThis story was written based on someone's prompt. I'm currently still looking for prompts to the theme "Law & Order". more info at my website
Don't you hate it when you sit in your favourite bar and just want a drink and some quiet and someone asks "what's up?" Fred was just the type to do that to me, and yesterday she followed it up with "Are you still chewing on that self-defence overkill thing from last week?"
"Nah, that's up to the courts now." I would rather not have thought about that one again. Imagine you come to a scene with one person with several broken bones, and another calmly waiting for the police, that is, me. There's way worse, sure, but it's damn creepy when the person waiting is full of bullet holes. Did they have to fold up a human to suitcase-size, if they don't mind being shot?
"So what's new?"
"I'll quit." Hadn't meant to blurt it out like that.
"I just can't t
Half A Life TakenThe Republic had decided the "werewolf" question. Reading the detailed account in the paper did not make me feel any less disgusted than the short version on the radio had.
How many of the people actually affected had the lawmakers listened to before signing their names to that bill? Three? Well, they had talked to three, but they obviously had not listened. Must have been hard to hear about the media clamour, granted. That rampage in Mearen apparently had been too good for sales to pass up.
Following a morbid impulse I looked up some websites of sensationalist papers. Yep, right there was the rant about the pressure from the League of Nations that had led to that ridiculous "compromise" of classifying werewolves and similar shapechangers as animals for two weeks a month. Only.
At least nobody in my town knew I was one of Them. That tiny taste of it-could-have-been-worse turned sour when I came across the "perfidy of monsters hiding among us, ready to strike". The rag had been crass en
That Which Hides In Light And SongThe candle lantern was a heirloom that woke bittersweet memories. It had belonged to Kat's grandmother, whom she loved. The loss still hurt, after all those years, but this little memento helped her remember the good times.
Kat would light a beeswax candle, its light still warmer through the yellow glass, its honey-fragrance mixing with the smell of hot metal and taking her back to evenings spent listening to her grandmother's stories.
She would sometimes nod off. It was those occasions upon which the spirit of the lamp entered her open mind, mining for memories of lullabies and embraces.
The spirit brought them forth into Kat's dreaming mind, rebuilding a shadow of the utter safety she had felt as a child.
It kept her seeking the lantern out for company, more when she was in need of support, vulnerable. Singing old songs no-one else would hear, the spirit took wisps of Kat's life for itself, feeding its own essence. Knowing there was a risk the lamp would disappear in an attic or wors
Lawyer Lunch"You don't look happy."
"And you know why. This is big. And messy. But mostly big."
"Your first serial killer, eh?"
"That is the question, isn't it?"
"She killed people and ate them. No wonder you're losing your appetite."
"Tch. Be serious, will you? Laws on murder predate the emergence of supernaturals. My client targeted vampires exclusively. They were already dead. That meets the definition of corpse mutilation."
"Oh. Yes. Very messy You might end up with being a vampire being a case of interfering with one's own funeral..."
"The hell with it. It must be cleared up some time."
Signs of Confidence"Morning, Kim."
Out of breath from the climb up the stairs from the parking lot to the university entrance, Kim waved a greeting, smiling at the one friend who cared about her.
He held open the door and asked, "You look tired?"
Tucking her hair behind her ears gave her a bit more time to catch her breath. "Those antidepressants are messing up my sleep rhythm. Seems to be the only thing they do."
"You sure about that?"
"This week I haven't seen you run back to your car to check if it's locked or if you forgot something. Guess it might be a sign that you're too tired to care, but looked to me like you being not so anxious any more."
That gave Kim pause. "Maybe. I'll pay attention." As she saw him smile, she thought she might more often be looking at people rather than the floor, too. There were worse thoughts to start the day on.
Mirrors and DoorsThe witch queen was satisfied with her newest work. She smiled at the master artisan as she handed him the heavy purse he had earned for delivering a working basis. Creating a truly perfect duplicate of a door in the Empress's palace was impossible - if for no other reason, then for the wood grain - but the fifth attempt had been close enough to link them.
Nodding and smiling as the artisan bowed, the witch queen considered rumours about herself. A mirror that could take her wherever she wanted if she stepped through it... would that things were so easy.
CursedWhen I was five I told my teacher that my mother magically appeared whenever I was doing something wrong.
Miss Jones laughed. “All mothers do that, Jill.”
So it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I realised that my mother was unusual in this respect. Picking my nose, yelling at a friend, trying to copy someone else’s homework—no matter how far apart we were, if I did something bad my mother would abruptly appear at my side glaring at me.
And she still does.
Mum doesn’t talk that much about my curse. I only know that it came from my father. Well, he was Mum’s husband—he wasn’t actually my father. Hence the curse, I suppose. I’ve never met him but he’s some kind of natural magician. Very rare.
The situation felt bearable as a child. I didn’t know any different and I was reassured by it, to be honest. But as a teenager going through a rebellious phase… Smoking, bit of graffiti, kissing boys. And more. My mot
Sky Sapphire (FFM Day 18)In a field of cool, damp grass and bright dandelions, she watches the sky shift and breathe above her. A comet blazes a trail across the blue-purple expanse, her eyes swimming with specks and circles. She closes them tight, clears her mind, and clears her throat. "I wish I was prettier. I wish I could shine."
A sharp, icy pain washes over her skin. Her muscles tighten and contort. Her bones creak, crackle, and pop out of place at odd angles. Her breathing tightens. Slows. Stops as the world goes dark, the moon fading from gaze.
A week later, she is on display in a local museum--heavily guarded and under lock and key. Her picture goes viral, then national. People swarm the fields of Tennessee, hoping to stumble across their own sapphire fallen from the sky.
The Winds of Lunar ChangeThe Winds of Lunar Change: A Future Tale on a Part of the Solar Neighborhood
Retired Col. Franklin Liebnitz coughed as he waited for the technicians to ready his pressurized car, loosening his necktie. And I’m pressed for time, the aging man groaned impatiently. It should be done by now! Officially, he was here as part of the American delegation for the lunar festivities surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Apollo 11's landing. But that was still a few days away.
“There is someone I am eager to meet,” he sighed at the chief technician at main hangar. “Is it finished yet?”
“Da,” the man nodded before sliding into a thickly accented English. “It is done. Is there anything else you need, sir?”
“Nothing. Just – finish what you need to do.”
Franklin bit back a cringe. The Moon’s was formally international territory and open to all mankind. But aside from a handful of scatte
FFM 2014: The Selkie He watched the waves and waited, every night, bringing only a blanket and the shuttered lantern with one side left open to light the way. And every night she came, stepping onto the shore and slipping out of her second skin, shivering and wet, her dark hair in dripping tangles about her shoulders. Still as lithe and moon-pale as the first day he’d seen her so many years before. Still as remote and unfathomable as the sea.
He never asked questions, never tried to speak at first, just handed her the blanket and wrapped one arm around her as they made their way up the shore to the Lighthouse. Still dripping she would visit the children’s room, and watch them sleeping as the first blush of dawn touched the horizon.
He’d make her breakfast; pancakes were the favourite, and by the time the kids were ready to get up she would be herself again, loud and smiling and present, and the wildness o
FFM21: Fairies in SpaceRoseblight tugged the cover off the control panel, grateful the last idiot hadn't tightened the screws. After a moment, it came free. The multicolored wires threaded through countless, complicated looking bits of plastic and metal. It was like a sad little garden, choking on weeds and garbage.
“Roseblight to Muddywaters, Roseblight to Muddywaters, I'm in, do you hear me?” she asked. She had cast a communication spell earlier, but that was while she was out in the green. By nature, magic was persnickety. It had a tendency to falter around iron. This “space ship” wasn't made of iron, but there were traces of it everywhere.
“Muddywaters to Roseblight, I do hear you, mi'lady.”
She didn't have time to relax. The humans would be back soon. They had to be quick. She scanned the mess of wires. The red and blue configuration wasn't entirely unexpected, but it was unfortunate. It was one of three designs Muddywaters had been unable to study.
“We have a p
like so many times beforeShe always spoke to me in a rose-coloured voice.
Too busy day dreaming, and telling me about the stories in her head to notice the air between us changing. It was always changing; from the crisp morning air to something more gentle, a mist that went on for miles between us. I wondered about the distance too, we hadn't stopped walking in over a year. I sometimes tried to figure out where we were, where 'here' really was. But...
It didn't matter.
Really. It didn't matter, because she always had something new, something small held in those tiny palms of hers, wrists too frail to stand too much force I would think, but I'd seen that proven wrong. Those hands had more strength in them than I did in my entire body.
It was always something different too. Today, it was a miniature model of a butterfly.
She smiled, looked at me, and had a melancholy expression as she said:
"They never come near me, so I thought I'd bring this along."
It was true. The butterflies around the path had been followi
After the WarI have left the war behind me, but the war has never left me.
It's not just the scar on my arm – usually hidden by long-sleeved shirts, but huge and ugly, a reminder of the moment when it all ended (I lay sprawled on my back, bleeding heavily, looking up at the enemy standing triumphant over me and knowing there was nothing I could do to save myself)...
It's not just the old war-habits that die hard: start and end every day with stretches, work out every day, practice agility and swordplay; always keep a wall to my back, or better yet a corner; always watch entrances; always watch for sudden movements, for anything that looks out of place; never sleep without a weapon at my bedside...
It's not just the fact that I treat every obstacle as a battle to be fought, that everything is strategy and sacrifices and optimization. It's not just that I step naturally into a leader's role, that I must sometimes remember that my friends are that – friends – that they are not
Texts From Last Night Prompt 105(917):
Reason # 294827284949272 i could never be a cop. I would just shoot. All the time. Ppl. Animals. Inanimate objects. Air.
"PUT THE GUN DOWN!"
"I was within my rights!"
"PUT IT DOWN NOW!"
"But they said I was doing so well!"
Caleb's eye twitched as he held the broom over his head. "Put it down, or I'm going to smack you," he growled through clenched teeth. Gabriel just stared at him askance, the handgun still cradled in his fingers. "Don't you-"
The redhead screamed and began swinging the broom around madly, smashing the straw onto Gabriel's head as the younger android ran from him.
"They said I'd make a good officer! I was within my rights to shoot!"
"THEY DIDN'T SAY TO SHOOT EVERYTHING THAT'S IN SIGHT!!!"
FFM 23: Trophies“And this one, I got after I slayed the vampire of Gershon,” the Hunter announced, pointing at the two holes tattooed on his neck. “When I battled the Odd Ones in Goblith Forest, I got this one back here.” He turned to reveal chaotic black spirals twisting up his spine. “These ones--”
This had been going on too long.
Aloric stood from the bar, shrugging the furs off his shoulder. The tavern went silent as the audience’s gaze shifted. Ragged claw-marks tore down his chest, and his right bicep was encircled with a jagged ring that could only have been jaws. A cluster of arrow-sized dots marred his side, and a net a thin lines wound up one side of his face.
Leaning within inches of the hunter’s face, Aloric let out a low growl. “Anyone can buy tattoos. Scars are earned.”
Unplanned StoppoverCaor decided that as sorry sights went, a wet phoenix ranked pretty high. The specimen on his windowsill was soaked so badly its feathers had turned black, and puffed up to wait out the rain. The metal capsule on one long leg identified it as a messenger bird, and the fact that it had been employed during the rainy season identified its owner as someone with more pride than sense.
After spilling a handful of grains next to his uninvited guest, Caor went to the serious business of speculating who might have sent this bird to whom, and what it might be carrying. Deciding that it might be profitable to know, he caught the bird - who twisted its neck to continue eating, must have been underway a while - and removed the capsule. Deciding that trapping the bird in a basket was a bad idea, since, once dry, it might set the reed on fire to escape, he turned his full attention to the scroll. It was blank on both sides. Puzzling.
It could be an error. Or a very, very bad sign.
Caor put it back e
Keep in Touch!