Friday Fictioneers – The Price of Dream Endings

Copyright - Renee Heath

Copyright – Renee Heath

Please head to FF central to submit your own story.

My darling sweetheart, my love, my eternal light and guiding star,

I won’t be honest in this letter. I can’t tell you the truth because I suspect you know more of it than I do.

You are a stream of adjectives that begin with beautiful and end with perfect. You’ve shared so many things with me, but please, I beg you, don’t cast a light on what’s in between those words.

Don’t you see? We’re the Hollywood story come to life and that happy ending could be ours for the taking!

My sight for your silence, it’s up to you.

Friday Fictioneers – Treasure From Fairyland

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Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

To submit your own 100 word story about the photo prompt, click here. I value constructive criticism, so please feel free to be honest in your comments.

She was the size of two dragonflies and glowed like hot magnesium, so bright that Josie could never look straight at her. At night, Josie would hear things that nobody else could: The flutter of wings, tiny footsteps on her pillow, and the hum of magic. The fairy didn’t speak but she patiently listened to Josie’s tales of anguish. Occasionally, she would bring Josie trinkets and trophies from an imagined fairyland, which Josie would play with in secret.

When other children in the orphanage complained that their possessions were going missing, Josie wasn’t worried. The fairy would protect her treasure.

Friday Fictioneers – Homebird

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Copyright – Dawn M Miller

To take part in Friday Fictioneers, click here.

All her friends spoke about travelling as if it was a rite of passage, as if you couldn’t become an adult unless you’d been on a few aeroplanes or hitchhiked through Europe. Accordingly, Suzi saved her money, made plans, and spent six months travelling from city to foreign city. Her enthusiasm waned swiftly. Every town and every station felt the same. They weren’t hers. She persevered and smiled for photographs, unwilling to admit defeat. Even though they were separated by oceans, every time she stepped off a train, she hoped he would be waiting for her on the unfamiliar platform.

A Fairy Tale With No Fairies, Just A Mildly Disappointed Cleaner And A Guy That Looked A Bit Like Neil Gaiman

Once upon a time, there was a girl who worked as a temporary cleaner for her university. She was assigned to work for three days in a hall of residence that was much like the other halls of residence. It was neither grand nor squalid, it was just alright.

On the first day, she worked alone. It was a tiring job, but the time went by quickly so she didn’t mind too much. She cleaned bathrooms and mopped floors and dusted and hoovered, and she was very proud of how nice it looked when she had finished.

On the second day, she worked with one of the permanent cleaners, who was a very kind lady and let the girl take a coffee break at eleven. The girl wiped bathrooms and made beds, and the guests were quite pleased that their coffee sachets had been replaced.

On the third day, she came to work and noticed another temporary cleaner who she hadn’t met before. He was shy but handsome, and he looked a lot like a young Neil Gaiman. When the other cleaners asked if he had done this before, he mumbled, “Oh, erm, I’ve done some shifts on University Park…”

The girl laughed inside, because that is exactly what she told them when she first arrived, in the exact same apologetic tone of voice.

She only saw him once after that. He was carrying a heavy load of linen, and her cleaning trolley was in the way. She stammered and apologized as she tried to move the cart out of the way, but he just smiled at her, and she smiled back. She had hoped to see him again when they clocked out, but her hair was frizzy, her face was red, and she was quite sweaty in her ill-fitting blouse from Primark, so she probably wouldn’t have tried to talk to him anyway.

She got home, and was so (mildly) disappointed that she would never see him again, she wrote a whole blog post about it the next day, in fairy tale form.

And there wasn’t a happily ever after. (Not this time, anyway.)

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – What Goes Up, Must Come Down

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Copyright – Alastair Forbes

Looking forward to reading this week’s entries. I apologize in advance for the mood of this post. I was actually feeling pretty cheerful until I wrote it. I took advantage of the slightly longer word limit. This photo prompt comes from Alastair’s Photo Fiction Blog.

What goes up, must come down.

I could go hours, dancing and laughing. My smile would be wide but effortless. Everything was not only possible, but easy. I could run for miles, clean the house or rearrange the furniture. I could do some baking and then some more baking, because everyone loves my baking. My thoughts were disjointed, but that’s because each one was so unique, an epiphany in its own right.

And then I could go for weeks where everything hurt. I’ll sit in the shower, because standing is too painful. Stay there for as long as I can, try and let the water wash away the blackness of my mind. Somehow I’ll end up back on the bed, my wet hair soaking the covers, but the decision to leave the bathroom eludes my memory. I’ll lay naked, staring inwards for hours and trying to find what’s broken, so I can maybe fix it.

What goes up, must come down. Not just Physics, but Biology too.

Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Waiting For The Shadow

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Copyright – Alastair Forbes

This prompt is from Alastair’s Photo Fiction.

Time isn’t silent anymore.

My grandparents have a large, beautiful house in the South. When I was younger, we visited every other weekend. If it was sunny, I’d spend most of the day in their garden. It was like another world to me. I was fascinated by the exotic looking plants and well-placed rockery. Best of all, there was a sun dial placed in the centre.

I’d stare at it, waiting for the shadow to move. I knew it did slide across the dial, just never when I was watching.

I have a feeling, if I looked at it now, I’d see the shadow steadily marching across the stone. I wait in the hospital room, linked to numerous tubes and machines, and I can feel time passing. I can hear it roaring past me. Unlike the flow of water, time doesn’t slow as the supply runs low. The last drops run the fastest.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

There’s nothing wrong.

You’re not trapped here, you can go outside, she thought. In fact, that’s a great idea. Let’s go to Tesco and get some lemonade.

The air outside seemed just as cloying and stale as the air in the house. She pushed her thumb through her keyring and twisted the keys round and round as she walked on the damp pavement. Dirt seemed the surround her. Abandoned plastic sacks of rubbish were strewn around like urban boulders. The grey sky hung above her, a great, unwashed bed sheet.

Despite the filth, she wanted to keep walking. She wanted to go past the shop and keep going, until she felt better. But she knew that she couldn’t walk forever.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy had taught her to treat her mind like a machine. Find the faulty thoughts and replace them, like they’re a worn out part. She searched and she searched and she could find the problem. It was between her breasts, a tight sensation that reached her throat and made her feel like she was choking.

She didn’t know what was causing that.

Sometimes there is no ‘why.’

Taking Back The Crown – Part Sixteen

“Do you think she’s any closer to waking up? It’s been weeks.” Sonya heard Orika’s voice, but couldn’t open her eyes. Her body seemed to be made of pain. She paid for every breath with agony.

 “She sustained serious internal injuries, especially on her brain. Even if she wakes up soon, it will be months before she fully recovers without a properly trained healer.” Linden replied. “We need to go. It’s time for another patrol.”

 After both Linden and Orika had left the room, Sonya finally managed to lift her eyelids. When she’d almost gotten used to her aching limbs, she pulled herself out of the bed she was in. Once stood, she felt heavy but delicate. Most of all she felt defeated, and she could think of only one place to go, of one person that she wanted to be with.

 Using energy she didn’t know she had, she warped to the Natetic training ground. She ended up in the upstairs corridor and stumbling towards Seta’s room. It was empty, so she went inside and ended up sitting on the floor, her back against the wall. She didn’t have to wait long. She heard voices outside in the corridor.

 “Elder, I don’t understand why you want to see my room, there’s nothing in-“ Seta’s voice suddenly stopped as they opened the door and saw her. Sonya had never seen an elder before. “Who are you?” he abruptly asked. Her heart sank. How could he not recognize her?

 “Seta, you must leave us alone while I talk to her.” the elder said. Seta reluctantly obeyed.  The elder watched him leave then turned back to Sonya. “I know who you are. I know why you’re here. We are not interested in your wars or agendas. We won’t tolerate you coming here ever again.” He turned on his heel and left.

Summoning all of her remaining strength and swallowing back tears, she warped back to the camp.

Taking Back The Crown – Part Twelve

Sonya visited Linden’s camp every night while she completed her training with Seta. As time ran only slightly slower in the Sprite World, she survived on very little sleep. Seta noticed her fatigue, but she gave him no hints as to why she was tired. To keep secrets from him, to put this emotional distance between herself and her mentor, saddened her. However, she had many distractions.

 Linden had been correct in his assumption that magicians would be more willing to fight with a member of the Royal Family at their side. The numbers grew quickly, and there was barely enough room for all of the recruits. Eventually, they created a concealed camp on Litia’s outskirts, one that was much larger. This made things much easier for Sonya, as the time difference meant she could get more rest.

 After weeks of patrolling Litia’s outer districts, they had not seen anyone, Rutilus or human. They came closer and closer to Litia’s capital, Helena. Only when they reached the edges of the capital did they come across small groups of Rutilus. Most of the time, they hid. When the time came to attack, they wanted to be prepared and they wanted the element of surprise. On one patrol though, they were seen by a female Rutilus. They captured and restrained her in an abandoned home.

 “Your efforts will be in vain!” she hissed. “We are all faithful to Magdalene. If she calls us you’ll have our entire race to contend with!” She spat in Orika’s face, broke her bonds and sent an attack flying across the room. Linden yelled out as it hit him in the face, cutting deeply across his cheek. Sonya quickly reacted, using her magic to trip the Rutilus before she could escape.

 Sonya executed the Rutilus that night. It was the first time she had killed anyone, and was shocked to find it so exhilarating. Having the power to rip someone’s life away was terrifying, but Sonya had no regrets. It needed to be done.

Taking Back The Crown: Part Six

Sonya landed on her back, in the main room of the training ground, panting. Seta must have already been inside the room. Within seconds he was standing over her, looking at her injury. He yelled to someone outside the room to get the medic.

“Seta?” Sonya’s voice was weak.

“Yes? What happened to you?” Seta was trying to sit her up so he could look at the laceration on her back.

“I don’t think my mother’s coming back.”

“Do you have any other family? A home to go back to?” He was now attempting to stem the blood pouring from her wound. Sonya shook her head.

“It’s not safe.”

When the medic had used his magic to treat Sonya’s wound, she was taken upstairs to a small room with a slightly thicker futon than the one she’d been sleeping on.

“Whose room is this?” Sonya asked.

“It’s yours now.” Seta explained. “You can stay in this training ground and learn our ways. I’ve seen you meditating and doing your exercises, you’re capable of graduating from this school.” He paused. “I… I thought the elders would resist. They don’t like strangers. But… they trust me. And they have a feeling about you, they said.”

Sonya sat, silent, for a few moments before responding. “Thank you. For everything. But why?”

Seta frowned. “You’re just a child. You shouldn’t be on your own.” He told her to get some rest, and then left.

Sonya buried her head in her pillow. Just a child! If he knew who she was, he wouldn’t say that! She was a Litian heir. She possessed magical power that other magicians could only dream of. No injury could kill her. She felt like a fraud, pretending to be defenceless when in reality she was just a coward who didn’t know where else to go. Ashamed, she cried until she finally fell asleep.