This week, Ronovan challenged us to write a story incorporating a minimum of three words from the following list: dog, cat, toy, fever, ski, fluffy, machete, purple drink. We were also encouraged to write a humour piece. To find out more, click here.
To keep the word count down, I decided to write a two-part story. The second part isn’t written yet, so I may be able to tie it in with the prompt next week (I’ll try my best).
I decided to use (as I often do) familiar characters for this tale, so here is a little background:
After the Demonic War, a battle which devastated the mortal realm, humans now stick to the world’s major cities. To even the score, and to protect those cities, hunters joined together to establish cells across the globe. Maddison Wood is part of an alpha cell within the north of England. Though a skilled fighter and powerful witch, Maddison can be brash, and unpredictable. She has a penchant for trouble, and is usually the first to volunteer in battle.
Feverish – Part One
Maddison was not having a good day. But then, truth be told, she wasn’t having a good week. It began with a virus, a virus with a ridiculous name – imp fever. She managed to burn the impish strain from her system, but not before she’d made a complete fool of herself. She had been nice. Nice. Some would say, even buoyant, like a teenager cursed with the happy vibe.
Granted, she’d been cured. Tobias Locke, on the other hand, had enough angry juice in him to start another war. If Maddison got the good mojo, the Hympe King drank from the wrong cup. His rage made him dangerous. So much so, his guards saw it necessary to keep him sedated until they found a cure. The fact imp fever was serious business to Tobias’ race, meant the Enchanted League were on high alert. It was the reason Maddison called a time out on her Watcher duties.
When it came to back up, Donovan, her sidekick extraordinaire, was as good as useless – given he was a hympe. The danger to her friend put a major crimp in their style. Donovan was so freaked out, in fact, he wouldn’t go near her, and that was after Maddison cleansed herself of the happy trip.
“Are you ready to do this thing or what?” Riley asked, stepping through the portal without waiting for a reply.
Riley was the best tracker Maddison knew, but he didn’t relish the thought of hunting in the Enchanted Forest when a third of the hympe population were dropping like flies and they had no idea what plethora of emotions would permeate the air.
Maddison stepped through after her surly friend, prepared now to see Aronmyre for the first time. Tobias’ kingdom was the jewel of the Enchanted Forest. Not that she would ever tell Tobias how much she loved his land. She would rather drink aiscline juice, which tasted as bad as it sounded.
Today she didn’t get to appreciate her surroundings. For one, she stepped into a potential minefield of teeth and testosterone. The sheer number of wolves and panthera in the same place, at the same time, had to equal trouble.
“What the hell is going on?” she demanded, when Fitz, a lieutenant and one of the feline changelings stepped forward.
“We’ve been summoned by the League,” Fitz said, holding out his hand.
Maddison rolled her eyes when Riley growled beside her. Based on the tension in Riley’s body, she knew she was pushing it, but Maddison didn’t care. Her hair whipped out and the braid wrapped around Fitz’s hand. He was a tactile creature and he needed the contact. It was the best she could give.
“Talk, cat,” Riley said, in a voice so low and rough, Maddison sensed he was losing control of the wolf.
“We need to find the original source of the virus, and to do that we need to track. Unfortunately there are so many contaminants in the air, due to the number of sick, the League figure they need all the help they can get.”
“You can all go home now. I’ll find the threat.”
Maddison had to bite down hard on her lip to prevent the grin. She turned to Riley with a blank expression. “Feeling confident, tiger?”
His eyes flashed at the provocation. “Really? In a valley full of cats, you’re going with that.”
She ignored him and turned back to Fitz. “How did you get the pack to-” Maddison sucked in breath as light exploded across the clearing. “You have got to be frigging kidding me.”
Orion Reece appeared with his usual fanfare and, apparently, he didn’t have time for games. All in the clearing had frozen in their last position, making them temporary statues. All except Maddison and Riley.
“Hmm.” Orion turned in a full circle, taking in his surroundings. “It really can rain cats and dogs!”
Maddison stifled a laugh, and Riley growled. Understandably, he took issue; it was not the first time Orion labelled him a dog. “Easy, wolf-man,” she whispered. Then turned on Orion. He might be a god, but he didn’t impress her. Much. “If you’re here to ask a favour, we’re kind of busy.”
“Woody.” His tone was conciliatory, and this time Maddison wanted to growl. He used the name to get a rise out of her. “I’m here to help. Why must you be so defensive?”
She narrowed her eyes. “What’s it going to cost?”
Orion’s smile was slow and cunning. “I haven’t decided yet. But you need my help, and it’s a price you can pay, so stop with the bitching.” He waved his hand with a sorcerer’s flourish. A glass appeared in his hand. “Drink this,” he said, holding it out to Riley.
“You expect me to consume an unidentified…” Riley’s gaze dropped to the glass. “Purple drink, a concoction which you plucked from the air?”
“If you don’t accept my help, the king won’t make it. Another two hours and his current mood swings will be permanent.” Orion shrugged. “Personally, I think it’s funny to watch him rage out, but I’m guessing others don’t agree with me.” His eyes were on Maddison now.
“I’ll drink it,” she said, bored of the game. Maddison knew Orion would never harm her, and if Tobias’ life was truly in danger, she would take the risk.
“You can’t.” Orion sighed with exaggerated patience. “This is a onetime deal, so decide. The magic requires an…adequate tracker.”
Before Maddison could argue the point, Riley grabbed the glass and downed the liquid. She watched with unconcealed fascination as her friend exploded into wolf form and took off across the clearing.
When she turned back to Orion he was gone, and the world around her came unstuck. Maddison ignored the confused look on Fitz’s face, but touched a hand to his arm. “Riley has a lead. Let’s go.”
She didn’t wait for an answer, she ran after Riley and hoped Orion wasn’t playing one of his sick games.
Thanks for stopping by.