Category Archives: #blogbattle

The Gutter Sprite’s Oasis, #BlogBattle Week#23

This is a continuation of the adventures of Etoile the fairy and the Gutter Sprite.
Here’s the beginning of my flash fairy tale. I’m combining two flash fiction challenges today #BlogBattle and Sunday Photo Fiction. It isn’t Ground Hog Day, I did post the Sunday Photo Fiction story but I felt that Etoile needed a few more words to really bring out her sparkling, mischievous personality. Enjoy

Sunday Photo Fiction

Etoile urgently traced a pattern of stays and sheets with her willowy hand. The indentured firefly was bound to her index finger being made one with the artist and her masterpiece. She outlined the rigging of the great frigate, bringing it alive with sparks of luminescence, creating a mirage that appeared to sway against the rough sea.
The mural would cost Etoile dearly, for the tiny gossamer fairy had bartered with the moon and coerced the wind, risking the currency of her soul in order to raise the life-sized ship from the thin night air. With a finishing touch she spun the sounds of clanking halyards and the snap of sails.

“Let the Gutter Sprite top that,” she threw down a challenge vowing to win this year’s top prize at the Annual Fae Arts Festival. Careless to a fault, her debts would come due, but she refused to accept a hundredth defeat at this her last competition.

The Gutter Sprite’s Oasis
By Tracey Delaplain
Genre: Flash Fairy Tale

I shall pixelate you, Etoile” shouted Luna as she sunk beneath the horizon, yielding the day to the sun in defeat. “You promised,” her voice being swallowed by the mountains. “I didn’t actually promise, fairies can’t lie, I just implied that I would pay for the extra illumination,” Etoile answered and flitted beneath a rose petal where the last moonbeams couldn’t reach her. “No one will make a pixie out of me,” the tiny shimmering fairy announced with a huff of bravado.

“Firefly, come, we have but fourteen hours of sunlight and we must find a way to repay the moon. She did not much like my fairy gold and she can be so crabby at moonset. Pixelate indeed!  She wouldn’t do it, would she?” The firefly lazily buzzed out of the amulet at Etoile’s waist, “Hmm? Yes, I believe she will. You are broke and you seem to be confused as to what constitutes a truth versus a lie. I’m afraid you are the Gutter Sprite now and you’re a sore loser too.” Etiole frowned remembering her defeat at the hands of her frenemy. Not only had she lost the outdoor illumination division but she had borrowed the moonlight to fuel the illusion without permission, leaving the moon in a snit.

“You have to admit that Fleur’s art project was stunning this year. She deserved to win, again,” Firefly continued adding fuel to the fire. He loved to see Etoile seethe. Her wings would pucker and her tiny brows would furrow giving her the look of a water nymph.

“Any fairy can conjure up an oasis; a couple of palm trees, a bit of blue water and a few fish. I created a Man o’ War out of sea air.”
“Your ship sunk!”
“It was the winds fault. He promised a fresh breeze last night and delivered a squall.”
“His word is apparently at least as good as yours. Even fairies can’t control the wind. You should have adjusted your sails.”
“Whatever,” she fumed remembering Fleur’s winning entry.

The oasis had been surrounded by a legion of humans wearing swirling silk gowns and bejeweled turbans. Some sat astride strange golden animals with humped backs while others lounged on the backs of snarling ebony colored cats. Waterfalls spilled from thin air into a pool of shimmering silver. There were fish in every color of the rainbow.

Firefly interrupted her thoughts, “The fairy judges really enjoyed the feast of sugar threads spun into puffs. Kind of a dirty trick I’ll admit, but what a great idea; clouds of pink sugar.”
“You aren’t helping, Fly. I will get even with her but first we must deal with the moon.” Etoile declared.
The firefly yawned, “Let me sleep while you scheme.” Fireflies are known to lose interest quickly.
“Wake up. If I am pixelated then you, my sparkly friend, will be made a common house fly.”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“I have a mind to do it anyway.”
“Fine, I’ll help, what’s left in our stores?”
Etoile unzipped her tiny backpack and emptied the contents onto the dew speckled grass. She picked through the bits and bobs: goose fluff, one antenna, a mouse ear, pixie snot, a tiara and a kitchen sink. Her tiny fairy brain whirled and sputtered finding no simple solution. “Hmm, we may need to borrow a few elements,” scratching her fairly tiny nose.  “What does Luna want, besides my head on a pixie’s body?” she asked.
“What does any moon want, fame, fortune, love, beauty?” he suggested, flitting around Etoile’s left ear making it twitch. Etoile batted at the firefly making him laugh and buzz away.

“The moon is cold, aloof and….. VAIN!  That’s it. We will give her the illusion of beauty, she’s so jealous of the Sun’s set. Tonight when she rises the sky will be red and we will weave the clouds, draping her in gossamer threads of gold and silver. We can borrow a few illusions from the Gutter Sprite’s oasis. She won’t notice, besides she will be off gloating at the Fairy Art Ball. The wind will help; he has a short memory and is easily fooled. We will adorn the evening sky with new constellations of panthers and camels, you can paint those.  Do you think lightening would be over the top? Does Lightening owe us any favors?”

“Uh, no but when has that every stopped you?”

“Oooh, I bet Luna would love those pink sugar clouds. I just know that all will be forgiven.”  Etoile laughed, her eyes shining with revenge, “The oasis will be destroyed and the Gutter Sprite will finally be defeated.”

Firefly sparked and sighed, “What could possibly go wrong with that plan?”

The Reluctant Prophet

Hill of Cashall

#BlogBattle brought to you by Rachael Ritchey, author of the Beauty Thief

The prompt this week is prophet.
Genre: Fantasy YA
Word Count: 1000

The Reluctant Profit
By Tracey Delaplain

Moiré lifted her cloak and stepped over the beckoning puddle, hesitating just long enough to catch her reflection. “Don’t look. Do not look,” she chided in the direction of her reflection. Failing to heed her own advice, her gaze locked on the water which was now swirling in the stagnant air, a vision taking hold against her will.

The small boy was ashen with rasping breath, sweat dripping from his brow and his life light fading. She had seen this child in the village but didn’t recognize the woman kneeling at his side wailing. The mother’s grief, however, was unmistakable and universal.

Moiré reached a hand toward the reflection but the vision cleared and the child disappeared leaving her spent and bereft. Falling to the damp ground Moiré begged, ” Why me Auntie? What good is a vision with half the pieces missing? Why?” The air was thick and fetid; Clara, cold in her grave, did not answer.

A fortnight had passed since her Aunt’s death and Moiré’s visions had increased in magnitude every day since. Thinking their time together would be endless, she had skipped out of her lessons with Clara more often than not. All the pleading in the world couldn’t compete with Moiré’s reluctance to carry the mantle, “I am no prophet,” she had insisted pushing back at her beloved Aunt.

The silence of the burial ground was breached by the snap of a twig and a vaguely familiar voice. “A vision was it?” the traveler extended his hand offering assistance, “May I?” Moiré shook her head no and rose from a crumpled heap of skirts and cloak with as much dignity as possible, swiping at a tear.

“Do I know you Sir?”

“Did you not see me coming?”

“You have me at a disadvantage I’m afraid, my head was down when you approached, I did not see you.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it. I have frequented your dreams many times, Moiré. “I am at your service ma’am,” not offering his name. He extended his hand palm up in the same manner he would approach a skittish horse. The man was dressed in a dusty black cloak, his boots scuffed and well-worn; a costume of sorts she sensed. He was too tall and broad for an ordinary traveler. He was out-of-place in space or time; she wasn’t sure which and was convinced that she could care less.

“You have the look of a bard,” turning away dismissing him with the insult, “your tale does not ring true. Good day Sir.” His handsome face and piercing violet eyes were perhaps familiar but she did not dream. Dreams were pleasant escapes for other people, a charming manifestation of ordinary wishes. She had been cursed with visions. “You know nothing of my dreams,” her voice cracking with a deep sadness, for she had once dreamt of a normal life with ordinary thoughts and every day challenges.

He continued as if he’d read her mind, “You aren’t normal and it’ll do you little good to deny your destiny. You’ve scarcely learned anything, wallowing in your childish rebellion.” Moiré kept walking, her heart pounding, “How did he know my name, only Clara called me Moire?” she wondered.

His voice softened, “Are they not painful Little One, the visions?” Her steps stuttered and he knew she was listening, “The visions will keep coming, as will I. You can learn to control them.” Under his breath he whispered, “If you weren’t so pig-headed.”

“I heard that. Be gone,” she commanded and waved a hand in dismissal.

“Call me when you grow up, Sweetheart, if there’s still time. I fear your gift may well destroy you.” He could not walk away despite his anger. Clara had warned him that she would be his greatest opponent.

She will test your patience but you are the only Teacher who can reach her. Our people will be lost without a prophet. I have failed, my love was too protective. She needs your warrior’s strength to succeed.

He reached deep for a weapon she would understand, “Silence, let the lessons begin. You will learn or perish.” Showing no mercy for the willful Priestess, he bent his visions in her direction, firing in rapid sequence. As he suspected she was helpless against the onslaught.

Her neighbor, Mrs. Fitz, crying and rocking alone in silence where Mr. Fitz should be.

Mick lying face down in the mud, a hoof print on his back.

Her best friend, Kate, lying in a pool of blood, an empty baby blanket clutched to her breast.

Images of death and secrets and vile crimes whipped in and out of her head leaving her breathless.

“Stop, please make them stop,” grabbing her throbbing head she collapsed under the burden. “I can’t help them; I’m nothing in the face of their suffering.”

Her despair tugged at his heart. He reached for her and she accepted his hand in temporary surrender. “Moiré, we mortals suffer, it is known. You can’t stop the suffering but you can learn to control what and when you see. Together we will set boundaries. You were born to bridge the gap between man and the Gods. Without limits your visions will destroy you. We do not ask this of you.”

“You see things and invade my dreams. Why don’t you play the Prophet?”

The traveler lifted a brow, pleased, “So I have not broken your spirit, I see. You have a warrior’s blood and I will show you no mercy,” he promised.

“More fanciful tales, Bard?”

“Enough, Moiré. You must learn to close your mind to our people’s daily lives but open yourself to receive the messages from the ancient elders and to translate the prophecies of the stones. Our ordinary burdens are made lighter with guidance from the ancestors. You are the channel. I can not go where you go. You alone can save our people. Let me teach you, for it is written, you are The Prophet.”

“Pierre’s Secret” #BlogBattle, #FlashFiction

blogbattle-award-1
My first blog competition and I won, actually Piere won. It was his story.

A new writing challenge from Rachael Ritchey author of The Beauty Thief.
The theme is Musk. Fancy a challenge? Try writing a short story starring musk.

image

Pierre’s Secret

Pierre ducked beneath the ancient wooden counter as the beaker exploded, spewing its contents and shards of glass over his cowered head. The air was acrid with musk and bergamot. Head in hands he knelt in the wreckage, the fragrance assaulted his senses and the broken glass tore at his flesh; sharp reminders of his carelessness. He had taken a chance, pushing her past her flash point. Minette was lost in the wreckage. Her scent, rose, rich vanilla, musk and Earl Grey filled the air but she had taken the subtle top notes and lingering finish with her. The bergamot would soon disappear too, taking the promise of afternoon tea with it. He would never again sense the caress of soft rose pedals fresh from le jardin against his flesh, nor be enveloped by the swirl of warm vanilla as she entered la maison. The hint of lazy afternoons spent in warm embrace would recede as she faded, the musk being the last note to disappear from the pillow. A bolder more passionate combination had never existed. Continue reading