The Right Path – A short story

I’ve talked about writing tools before, and the fun I have with prompts. When I’m struggling to focus on a work in progress, I often find ways to flex those writing muscles. A good sentence starter is a great way to do that. This time, the sentence was provided to me by a friend (thanks, Mike), and there were a few hiccups along the way, like losing my work (no, Jacqui, I didn’t do a backup!) Hopefully it all turned out okay in the end! I hope you enjoy.

“So, look, I know this is going to sound cliche, but all the best stories start off this way, right?”

Veronica glanced my way, her brows pinched into a deep frown. “If the story involves losing the main player in the first act.” Her beady eyes squinted her disapproval. “But this isn’t a story, and this poor young man may very well lose his life. Clearly, my presence has been required for quite some time.”

I rolled my eyes at the self-righteous tone that matched her prissy attitude. “You’ve got to lighten up, V. ” Glancing down at Tristan, I stroked a hand across the top of his head as I’d done when he was a babe, only there was slightly less hair, emphasis on the slightly (the boy was born needing a haircut). “This isn’t the first bump in the road, and I’ve been with him every step of his journey. You get to see a snapshot, the closing chapter in this part of his life.” I scooted further back to make room for the paramedics, but I didn’t lose our connection. “If things go according to plan, this is a great place for you to start.”

“You can’t interfere,” Veronica snapped, hovering over me with a clipboard that matched her disapproving frown – it was big and foreboding. “That’s why you warranted an assessment in the first place. You take far too many risks.”

With one final caress across Tristan’s brow, I rose to my feet and watched as a police officer approached our little scene. “This whole job is about risks, my friend.” I grinned across at her. “Perhaps you’ll learn something while you’re here. The big guy knows you could use a sense of humour. It’s why they sent you to me.”

I didn’t give her time to respond, I barely gave her time to process the wink I threw in her direction before I vanished from sight. Unfortunately, Veronica was right on my heels and, given the nausea I’ve never been able to shake when transporting from one place to another, by the time I caught my breath she was back in her superior position.

Not that it mattered at that point. I was too busy taking in the new scene. Sarah-Ann was sitting alone at the centre of a busy restaurant, and she did not look happy. I spared a moment to get a read on her emotions before I glanced to the giant behind her chair. Not a literal giant, but Alexander made for an imposing figure wherever he went, with his dark skin and whiskey coloured eyes.

“You’d better dust off those pixie wings because it looks like you lost the bet,” he said, though his deep voice belied his concern.

A shudder ran through me at the thought of playing pixie. Not my choice, though it has to be said, I’d rock the character; a big, kick-ass gothic looking pixie with an axe to grind. “It isn’t over yet. How’s our girl doing? And more to the point, why doesn’t she already have her phone in her hand?”

“I don’t know how you can joke about this. There’s a lot on the line if your little scheme doesn’t work.” Veronica, ever the buzzkill reminded us.

“Joking about it is the only thing that keeps us sane,” I told her, shrugging because I wouldn’t apologise for it. “They’re ours. We’re with them during their highs and lows, we celebrate their victories and we feel every ounce of their pain.”

Being a Guide could be hell on a spirit. Having Alexander to torment was a perk I couldn’t live without. There were times I wanted to rub myself all over that smooth skin (it’s not difficult to guess my other form), and indeed I scratched that itch any chance I got.

“She’s dialled his number three times. I’m running out of arguments here.” Alexander’s grin was all kinds of wicked, but then he liked getting me into trouble. “Why don’t you give it a go?”

Why indeed? It could have something to do with the fact I was under review, and my actions often fell into the grey as far as my superiors were concerned. Then again, I’d never let it stop me before, so considering Tristan’s current plight, the big gorgeous idiot eyeing me with amusement knew exactly how I’d respond to the challenge.

“I’m going to get fired for this shit,” I mumbled as I sidled up to a nearby table and snatched a phone. It was merely a prop and the device would be back before the human making moon eyes at his date even noticed it was missing.

Revealing myself in a public place was never a good idea, so I was relying on the fact everyone was too busy filling their faces to pay too close attention to the fact I kind of appeared out of nowhere.

I strode past Sarah-Ann’s table, phone to my ear, and praying the impromptu plan worked. “No! That’s terrible. A hit and run? That poor man.” I let the silence hang a moment as I stopped to clutch the back of an empty chair. Probably overdoing it, but I was desperate. “I wonder who he is? If someone is right now waiting for him? They’d have no idea what happened.”

The spark of relief when I noticed Sarah-Ann pick up her phone got me moving again. I walked until I reached a corner and then disappeared, returning to Tristan just in time to watch as the police officer answered his phone.

“Are you trying to lose your job?” Veronica asked from behind me, though I did notice some of the indignation had left her voice.

“No, V. I’m trying to guide two extraordinary people in the right direction.” I turned to look at her. “You can’t imagine what it feels like, knowing they’re meant to be together and having to watch as every opportunity pulls them further apart. What it was like to feel that link snap into place when they were five years old and see them floundering without it.” Reaching out a hand, I placed it on hers and let the experiences flow from my mind to hers; the emotions buzzing along my skin. “When I left that page for Tristan to find on his computer, I wasn’t cheating, he didn’t have to choose to contact her, no more than she had to accept his invitation to dinner. And right now, Sarah-Ann is hearing that there’s a reason he didn’t make it. She’s feeling that bond they share, and if we’re lucky, if they finally find the path that leads to one another, she’ll be by his side as he recovers from an accident that I would have prevented if I could. So, don’t come down here and tell me I’m not doing my job. If I was as reckless as you seem to think, I would have jumped in front of the car.”

“And what of your inappropriate relationship with Alexander?” she asked, her eyes gleaming from all I had shown her.

“Where does it say in the handbook that we have to do this alone. That we have to watch as day in and day out good souls suffer?”

Her face softened. “They don’t suffer alone. That’s why you’re here. They’re never alone.”

I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. “Yeah, well neither am I, not if I can help it. Come on, V. Can you blame me? I saw you drooling in that restaurant!”

Shaking her head, V stepped back. “Let’s finish up the evaluation so you get to see how the story ends.” I knew I had her when the edges of her mouth twitched.

By the time I returned to Tristan’s side, I’d even managed to make her laugh, which made it a really good day considering I arrived to witness Sarah-Ann leaning against the hospital bed, both her hands wrapped around one of Tristan’s.

Alexander, who was lounging against the door frame, was just icing on the cake. “It looks like we both won,” I said, enjoying the way his eyes lit up. “Do you want to change first, or shall I?”

I let the sweet energy from across the room wrap around me, coated with the sound of Alexander’s laughter as I carried through on my part of the bet. The pixie and the gladiator, an interesting choice, and a story for another time.


It’s a little longer than I wanted, though I did crop it as much as I could! And there is way too much ‘telling’. Still, it was fun and we learn every time we create something new.

Maybe you want to play along, or have examples of writing techniques you use. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21 – Fresh

I have to admit, when I saw the theme for Hugh’s photo challenge this week, I heard my nan’s voice in my head! She used to chastise my grandfather for being ‘fresh’ with her. Of course he did it on purpose, and teased her mercilessly.

Then I thought about how I could reflect the theme and, I have to be honest, I got a little carried away. There are so many possibilities: fresh air; snow; paint; cream; coffee; flowers; water – I could go on. Needless to say, I had trouble deciding, so I settled on a collection of random shots, which incorporate the theme – as far as I see it.

PicMonkey CollagePicMonkey Collage2

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My brother took these shots on a skiing trip, so he gets the credit 🙂

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I really enjoy taking part in the challenge. I try to contribute to others when I can, though it has not been easy of late. Sue has a pretty great photo challenge, which I’ve been meaning to take part in for a few weeks now. I’ll try my best to fit it in this week, when the next prompt is released on Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

The Sacrifice – FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #13

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes

Ronovan’s prompt this week:

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece. (REQUIRED)

 

I’ve been unable to participate in Ronovan’s challenge for the last few weeks, and I’ve missed taking part. When I saw the prompt, and given that I wanted to write something for Valentine’s, I decided to go with it. It’s a little rushed, so I apologise for that, and I’m nervous about using the line because I know I didn’t do it justice. Not even a little bit. Still, it was fun.

To say I loved Deadpool is an understatement. It might just be my all time favourite movie, and I think Ryan Reynolds did a wonderful job of bringing Wade Wilson to life. I was tempted to write a story in which I broke the fourth wall, one of my favourite things about Deadpool, but I think I’ll save that until I’m feeling braver!

So, it’s obvious by now, but the line I chose is from Deadpool Enjoy 🙂

The Sacrifice

Sebastian turned away from his partner, who was heaving his breakfast, and possibly everything he’d eaten in the last two days, onto the pavement. Darren was beyond green, the poor kid looked ready to pass out. It wasn’t unusual; crime scenes were never pretty, so when you were human and dealing with a whole heap of supernatural nasty, well, puking went with the territory.

“Shit, man,” one of his officers ground out. “Who called Jeremiah’s posse?”

Sebastian followed the officer’s gaze to the two figures bearing down on them. The one in front, tall, built, and with hair prettier than his sister’s, wore a look Sebastian recognised. Ignatius Steele was an arrogant son of a bitch. Unfortunately, he was also the right person for the job, and they needed him.

“Look out, boys, here comes the elf squad.” Sebastian took in the berry-coloured suit, which shimmered like a second skin. “And they have a new uniform to boot.”

Ignatius gave a bow, immune to the jibe, as always.

“What the hell?” Darren straightened, one hand clamped around his waist as though trying to convince his stomach to stay put. “Did I miss the memo? Or are you wearing that for a bet?”

“How would you like to cough up more than the contents of your stomach?” Isabella snapped, stepping in front of Ignatius.

Darren rolled his eyes, whether to fight nausea or impatience, Sebastian couldn’t be sure. “How the hell did you hear about this so soon?”

Ignatius smiled, turning his distinguished features into the stuff of nightmares. Manic was too tame a word. “It’s Christmas day, and I’m after someone on my naughty list!”

“Actually,” Sebastian cut in. “You’re getting your festivals crossed. It’s Valentine’s, so you dug out the elf suit for nothing. And when I say this, I mean it with all due respect, but you should never wear that thing, not even at Christmas.”

To this, Ignatius reached forward and plucked Sebastian from the ground. Despite his formidable strength, Ignatius didn’t hurt him, except maybe his pride. He crushed Sebastian to his chest as he roared with what could have passed for laughter, though, again with the manic. This wasn’t typical behaviour for the elves, but then, there was nothing typical about Ignatius.

When Sebastian was back on terra firma, he quit with the pleasantries, and got down to business. “What happened in that warehouse is so beyond evil it isn’t funny. No more jokes about holidays because, that in there.” Sebastian pointed over his shoulder. “Is the kind of red you don’t want to see, and there’s nothing left of the poor guy’s heart.”

Ignatius and Isabella stepped forward without another word. They moved into the warehouse, through to the gruesome scene that, even now, was burned into Sebastian’s brain. He looked to Darren, who was back on his knees, cursing everything that had passed his lips, and then followed the pair back into a nightmare.

The moment he crossed the threshold, Sebastian felt the rage leaking from Ignatius like lifeblood. He had his forehead pressed tight against his partner’s, and Isabella was murmuring in a familiar language, Sebastian still found difficult to process.

“We have a problem,” Ignatius said, without looking at him. “You were right about the evil, but you haven’t seen anything yet. This was merely the beginning. A sacrifice and a warning of what is yet to come.”

“Shit.” Sebastian braced himself when he saw Ignatius move. He was glad he did because the elves’ eyes reflected the horror in the room. They were blood red.

“We are going to need the power of a saint,” Ignatius said. “To prevent the birth of a demon.”

Sebastian didn’t even hesitate. “Tell me what to do.”

“Call on Orion. This is a job for the Collective.”

***

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Chicken: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes #3

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes

Created for Ronovan’s weekly writing prompt challenge. For more details click here.

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“Jesus Christ, you can’t play chicken with a plane. For god’s sake, Sadie. Have you lost your mind?”

This from a girl who races the Snaefell Mountain Course for kicks. Seriously, the deadliest racetrack in the world or, if not the deadliest, certainly up there in the top ten, and she accuses me of being crazy. At least I had two extra wheels and an obstacle free track. If you didn’t count the private jet in our path, and the fact we were on a runway facing a relative giant. Okay, so maybe she had a point.

I didn’t tell her that. Instead I turned to the passenger seat with raised brows and sweetness in my tone. “You know Mother doesn’t like it when you use the Lord’s name in vain,” I told her, well aware Mother could hear our conversation and was probably laughing her ass off. “And you did that shit…twice.”

Anna threw her arms in the air, gesticulating her frustration – as is her way. “I tell you what. As you’re so determined to get us killed, why don’t I apologise personally when we meet her at the god damned pearly gates.”

To hide my smile, I dipped my head and worked the gears. “I’m pretty sure that’s blasphemous too.”

“Oh, give it a rest. The pair of you,” Mother snapped, her voice filling the car through the on-board navigation system; a sweet little upgrade from yours truly. What can I say? I’m a woman of many talents.

Julie Keesh, code name Mother because of her tough love and organisational prowess, is a woman you listen to. Everyone I know is afraid of her, and I mean everyone. Whoever you are, and whatever the assignment, when Julie is the voice in your ear, you pay attention. Incidentally, she’s also our biological mother; Anna and I are in the family business.

“And, when I said stop the plane, Sadie. I did not mean put yourself in its path.” Mother’s voice had dropped low, which scared me a lot more than the prospect of being flipped off the runway like a bug in an expensive Italian car. “This is not an episode of Fast and Furious, so get your head out of your ass and back in the game.”

Did I mention the scary part? The Keeshter, as some of our team call her, rarely minces her words.

“Copy that,” I said, aiming off the track to execute an emergency stop. “But just so we’re clear,” I continued, throwing open the driver door as I turned to grab the extrapolator; one of my all-time favourite weapons (yes, I designed it). “This is more Mission Impossible than Fast and Furious. I have much better tech.”

I heard Anna groan. “Guys, those movies are like a million years old. You’re killing me.”

This was a slight exaggeration, something else Anna is prone to do. The films are no more than thirty years old and they still rock. In my humble opinion. Not that I corrected my sister. I was too busy lining up my moving target, setting the parameters and, bam, I let her rip.

The missile sailed through the air, locked on and settled with a thud that was definitely in my head; like the sweet music of my invention. I couldn’t hear a thing over the roar of the engine, and Anna’s delayed whoop – which she yelled right in my ear.

A few seconds later, likely due to the fact all its systems had failed, the plane rumbled to a stop on the runway and I was back in the car.

“Go. Go. Go,” Anna screeched when we saw the plane door start to open.

“Are you going to tell us why we had to keep her grounded?” I asked Mother, then accelerated towards the elegant beast.

“That’s a need to know, my girl and, trust me, you do not need to know.”

Before I had the chance to respond, five modified SUV’s cut into our path and they were motoring. Whatever was in that plane, they didn’t want it getting out.

“Head back to central command. Your part is done,” Mother said with, it has to be said, a note of distraction. “Nice work.”

I turned to Anna, who shrugged in a non-verbal ‘don’t ask me,’ and turned the wheel to get the hell out of the there.

I couldn’t help looking back, the jet centred in my rear view mirror against a backdrop of clear, blue sky, and wondering what danger it contained within. Given that we were pulled from a major assignment, and given the barest minimum in terms of intel, it had to be bad.

“Next time, let me in on the plan before I start ranting like an idiot,” Anna said, pulling her feet up to rest on the dash.

“Oh, honey,” I replied, back to sickly sweet as I knocked her feet to the floor. “What would be the fun in that?”

***

Thanks for reading.

Mel

Mel’s Midweek Writing Menagerie #17

Mel's Midweek Writing MenagerieWelcome to my biweekly writing prompt series. The rules of the challenge are simple. Paste a link to your story in the comments or create a pingback so I can read and share your contribution. You have until the 28th of October to submit, before the next round begins. Here is the hashtag, should you wish to use it – #MelsWritingMenagerie. This month the theme will be centred around Halloween.

All entries are shared on Featured Fiction.

So, on to the next set of prompts. Grab the badge and write a post based on either of the following:

Option 1: Sentence Starter –

I’ve never known true evil, not like that, not until I looked it in the face and saw my destiny.

Option 2: Fanfiction –

Write a scene from your favourite show, film or book, which incorporates Halloween as a theme.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Mel’s Midweek Writing Menagerie #16

Mel's Midweek Writing Menagerie

Welcome to my biweekly writing prompt series. The rules of the challenge are simple. I’ve provided two options below, and there’s a handy link-up button at the end of the post, so you can upload your contribution and share it with others. You have until the 14th of October to submit, before the next round begins. If you prefer to use the pingback method, I’ll check out each link I receive. Here is the hashtag, should you wish to use it – #MelsWritingMenagerie. This month the theme will be centred around Halloween.

Before I get to the prompts, I’d like to share a link with you to a fanfiction piece written by Louise Findlay – a piece all you Doctor Who fans will definitely appreciate. You can find it by clicking on the following title:

The Gallifreyan Tearheart: Chapter 1 by Louise Findlay

All entries are shared on Featured Fiction.

So, on to the next set of prompts. Grab the badge and write a post based on either of the following:

Option 1: Sentence Starter –

Blood seeped from the wound; it snaked along the blade, dripped from the hilt and landed with a sickening plop on his shiny, black shoes.

Option 2: Fanfiction –

Write a scene from your favourite show, film or book, which incorporates Halloween as a theme.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

A Life Less Ordinary (Part 2): Day 30 – A Story A Day

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This is the final day of the Story A Day Challenge for September. Thanks for all your patience – there have been a lot of stories this month! I’ll leave you with part two of the story I began yesterday. A story from two different perspectives – that of father and son. I hope you enjoy.

A Life Less Ordinary – Part Two

Monty Fielding watched his son’s small frame pound against the glass of his bedroom window. For a moment he feared his boy would come exploding through the pane. Cursing, he rushed back into the house and took the stairs two at a time. He knew Michael couldn’t appreciate that Doug Jefferson was probably responding to an emergency at the hospital. During an episode, what he needed was routine and discipline. They were the only things Michael could accept.

With a heavy heart, Monty pushed into his son’s room. He was the only person who could reach Michael now. It wouldn’t be easy, but he had to try. When he caught sight of Michael, he froze in his tracks. He was rocking to and fro on the small window seat; Abigail beside him, wringing her hands in despair.

“It should be green, it should be green, it should be green.” Michael repeated the words like a chant, the words echoing around the room like a stuck record.

“Look at me Michael,” Monty said, crouching beside him.

The authority in his voice seemed to do the trick, because Michael met his eyes. Briefly. “Mrs Jacobs?” was all he said.

Monty frowned, wondering how to respond. There was concern in Michael’s voice, but there was something more. An eerie kind of knowing. He stood to peer out onto the street, and was surprised to see the green VW beetle still parked in the drive. Sandra Jacobs ran her own business, and she hadn’t missed a day of work in over three years.

Everyone’s entitled to a sick day.

The thought gave him pause. Sandra was a tough old bird, long past retiring age, but she had a strength of will; a stubbornness which meant nothing could keep her down. Michael was right about that. She was always the first to leave, and she would have called him if something was wrong.

Monty squinted, a tingle running down his spine when he saw that her curtains were still closed. Sandra had caught a bout of pneumonia the year before, and still made sure her curtains and door were open so the neighbours were free to call in.

“I need to go check on something,” he said to Abigail, turning from the window.

“Monty, what is it?”

“Sandra’s car is still in the drive. It might be nothing, but…”

Abigail nodded, and then sat beside their son. She didn’t touch him, not yet. But Monty knew the worst was over. They had been lucky this time.

As he crossed the small street, Monty hated the ominous feeling that settled in the pit of his stomach. It made him shiver and, irrational or not, he couldn’t shake it. He knocked brusquely when he reached the house, and jiggled the doorknob. It was locked.

He tried calling through the letterbox, but got no response. Feeling foolish now, Monty walked around the side of the house. He let out a relieved breath when he discovered the curtains in the dining room had been drawn back. That was until he saw Sandra through the patio window and his blood froze in his veins.

She was laying on the floor, the phone next to her outstretched hand, and her face obscured by her silvery mane of hair. He didn’t stop to think then, he whirled and grabbed the first thing to hand – a garden chair. Monty swung it at the glass, jolting as the glass exploded.

Stepping through the debris, he walked directly to Sandra and bent to feel for a pulse. His breath came out in a rush when he detected the faint rhythm. “Hang on, Sandy,” he whispered as he grabbed the phone and dialled.

A few minutes later he gently moved her into the recovery position, and sat on the floor, his hand in hers, waiting for the ambulance to arrive. As he did, he began to talk. He told her about his morning, about rising early and upsetting his family’s routine. About the odd feeling he couldn’t shake, even though he’d told his son everything was going to be okay. Monty told her about Michael, and how he had been able to communicate his fear for Sandra in just a few words. And only then did it hit him how calm Michael had been as he left the house. How he had found a way out of the nightmare all on his own.

When the ambulance arrived, he allowed the paramedics to take over. They reassured Monty that Sandra’s pulse was steady and strong. What they didn’t communicate, not in so many words, was that he had gotten to her just in time.

He waited until they had loaded her into the ambulance, and then walked back across the street toward home. It surprised him when he saw Michael staring out into the street. Their eyes met briefly through the glass, and his son’s gaze was sure and strong. For the first time in a long time, Monty was grateful that their lives were a little less ordinary than most.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

A Life Less Ordinary (Part 1): Day 29 – A Story A Day

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As there are only two days left in the Story A Day Challenge for September, I decided to finish on a two part story – told from two different perspectives. A father and son. I hope you enjoy.

A Life Less Ordinary – Part One

The day started ordinarily enough. The house was silent and solid in its job of protecting the sleeping occupants. Right on cue, the alarm clock broke through the tranquillity of the household with the subtlety of a sledge hammer. The DJ’s dulcet tones echoed through the upstairs living quarters and masked the sound of the coffee percolator set on timer to welcome the sleeping figures back into the land of the living.

As if given permission, the birds, who were housed within the conservatory, began their morning call. The central heating system came to life, echoing through the walls and bringing warmth into the tiny structure. All was as it should be.

The next few minutes passed with the same precision they had every morning. Monty slammed the palm of his hand on top of the alarm, managing as usual to hit the snooze button.

“Time to get up,” came the muffled voice of his wife. They were the same words she uttered every morning. She said them, whilst knowing that her husband would not stir until he no longer had an excuse to stay under the covers. It equated to twenty minutes, and a heavy reliance on the snooze facility.

In the bedroom adjacent to theirs lay their son, Michael. His eyes were fixed on the ceiling. Routine was his ally. He could count the seconds, and knew with absolute certainty that his father would poke his head around the door in exactly nineteen minutes. He would smile and mutter a, ‘Good morning, son,’ to which he would reply, ‘Good morning, father,’ – all without taking his eyes from the roof. In twenty-two minutes his father would make it back upstairs, after fetching his mother her morning cup of coffee. Michael could see it playing out in his head like a moving picture.

By the time he was up and in his position by the window, his father would be groomed and ready for work. Michael would count his steps down the stairs, across the hall and towards the door, before his father would call out.

“See you tonight, Abigail. Have a good day, Michael, I’ll miss you.”

Their response was somewhat varied, but by that time Michael would be busily watching the street. He would see his father sat in his car. A bright blue Toyota Corolla, thumbing the engine and waiting for his cue.

It was all about order, and maintaining that order. To deviate would upset the fine balance of the universe, or at least that’s how Michael saw it. First it would be Mrs Jacobs at number 10, then Dr Jefferson and, just before his father, came Dorothy Stokes. On an ordinary day, in a life less ordinary than most, this is what happened.

Michael bolted upright in bed when he heard footsteps in the hall; he looked at the clock in horror. Only twelve minutes had passed since his father’s alarm had sounded. He shouldn’t be up yet, shouldn’t be on his way to Michael’s room with all those minutes to spare.

Pulling the cover over his head, Michael put a barrier between himself and his father. When the door opened he mouthed the words, even though he was terrified to hear them.

“Good morning, son,” his father said sleepily.

Michael could not bring himself to reply; his lips moved in their usual greeting, but he did not voice the words.

“Michael?”

There was a long silence, whilst his father tried to figure out what to do next. “Don’t worry, Michael, I know I’m early this morning, but everything will be okay.”

When Michael didn’t answer he closed the door again on a sigh.

For the next twenty minutes, Michael didn’t move from his position under the duvet. He needed that time to collect his thoughts, and to calm his beating heart. Something had gone horribly wrong. He could usually sense such things in the air, but today had seemed like such a good day when he opened his eyes.

It took a great deal of effort to move to his seat at the window, but he needed to do it. He needed to see this part through; this would re-set the balance and calm his jittering nerves.

He looked down at his father, sitting patiently in the car, and regretted the fact he couldn’t articulate his fear. But then he saw Dr Jefferson’s car moving out of the drive and his heart froze. It had to be Mrs Jacobs who left the cul de sac first. The order was simple; green, red, yellow and blue. That was the way it had been for over twelve months.

Michael couldn’t control the emotions wracking his body; he was lost in an attack he knew would rob all coherent thoughts from his mind.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Wizards & Warriors Part 2: Day 28 – A Story A Day

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This is part two of the story I wrote in response to the Writer’s Digest prompt (see below). It’s part of the Story A Day Challenge.

You’re playing a video game called Wizards & Warriors when, suddenly, lighten strikes the house, scaring you and causing you to black out. When you wake up, you’re trapped inside the game. The only items you have is a sword, a backpack and a note attached to your shirt that reads, “Beat me and I’ll send you home.”


I was saved from a major freak out when Ally stepped from behind a tree, looking like Zena, the fricking, Warrior Princess. I mean, come on. This was my scary dream. It didn’t matter that she was totally working the outfit and, okay, she did look amazing, but I was meant to be the one in control.

“How come you get to be the cool warrior chick in this little scenario?”

Ally dipped her head, raising her brows and giving me a glare that said, ‘really?’ And, fine, she had a point.

Then her eyes dropped to my hands. “Cool,” she said, striding over on long, long legs. “That’s just the kind of accessory my outfit needs.”

I glanced down at the sword, hugging it my chest like she wanted to take away my child. “Not a chance. I found it, and I’m calling the three second rule.”

She snorted. “The three second rule doesn’t count. It only counts when someone steals your seat.”

“It counts.”

Ally clearly read in my expression that I would fight her for the damn thing and, wisely, she backed off. “Fine. Whatever. Let me have the backpack.” She snapped her fingers. “It pays to be prepared and we don’t know what’s coming.”

“Get a grip, Ally. This is just my subconscious reminding me to stop wasting time on a stupid game.”

At my words a crack of lighting lit the sky.

“Seriously?” I said, glancing up.

“Ah oh. I think that might be-”

A roar cut through the rest of her words, shaking the ground with its strength and ferocity. When it came into view, the creature took my breath away. I might have been scared and, judging from the squeak from Ally, she was on board with that, but I was mesmerised by the sheer beauty of it. Really, it had to be forty feet, and I didn’t want to think about the wing span. It was way cooler than the dragon I’d seen Ally battle from the comfort of her living room.

“RUN!” Ally screamed and hightailed it into the trees.

My eyes were still skyward, my legs frozen in place. Even when the thing turned towards me, fire shooting from its magnificent jaws in a blinding display of power, I didn’t move. Instead of dodging out of the way, I held up the sword and deflected the fiery missile as though I was Shera herself. Energy shot through me. It travelled down to my toes, shot back up and lit the sky.

“Holy shit!” Ally said, beside me again. “Did you see that?” She looked from me to the sky and back again. “That was fricking awesome!”

I grinned in response, feeling immensely pleased with myself. It was a familiar feeling. It usually followed a scuffle with one or all of my siblings. I have five brothers, all of whom like their fights to get physical, and not with a games console. I’d learned to outmanoeuvre like a pro.

“Come on,” I said, shrugging out of the back pack and handing it over. “Let’s go and have some fun.”


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Wizards & Warriors Part 1: Day 27 – A Story A Day

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I’m using another Writer’s Digest prompt today for the Story A Day Challenge. I had so much fun with the prompt, the story will be in two parts.

You’re playing a video game called Wizards & Warriors when, suddenly, lighten strikes the house, scaring you and causing you to black out. When you wake up, you’re trapped inside the game. The only items you have is a sword, a backpack and a note attached to your shirt that reads, “Beat me and I’ll send you home.”


“You know, this borders on humiliating. I’m talking, find a new best friend level of humiliation and shame. You suck at this.”

Okay, so that was a little harsh.

But that’s Ally for you. She’s the undefeated champion of Wizards and Warriors. Me, not so much. It isn’t for want of trying. Ally’s been trying to clue me in to the world of video games since we were five years old. Her patience is wearing thin.

“Get a grip. It’s just a game.”

Ally gasped. Totally over the top, like I’d offended her fine sensibilities. Wait, no, she doesn’t have any fine sensibilities. She’s about as subtle as a rock.

I was about to respond when the lights went out. Ally made a choking sound, and I had visions of someone springing up from behind the sofa and wrapping their fingers around her throat. And, okay, I was annoyed about her comment, but she was my best friend, so I didn’t exactly relish the idea of someone choking the life out of her.

“Thank the gods for small mercies.” I muttered this, actually relieved I didn’t have to play the stupid game anymore. On the heel of that nasty thought I felt static run up my arms, followed by an almighty bang and then it was totally lights out.

I awoke to blue skies and a rather splendid looking forest. Not my first choice, but I figured I must be in heaven and was kind of relieved my ass wasn’t sat on burning coals. It took me a second to process, and then I’ll admit I panicked. I wasn’t ready to die, and whoever heard of being struck down for having blasphemous thoughts about a video game?

Of course that’s when I realised the pretty green forest was the exact replica of the one I’d been staring at all evening, which meant I was either in hell after all, or God had a really sick sense of humour.

It took me another few seconds to consider the facts, and then I decided I’d probably been knocked out by Ally’s evil death stare, a look she’s perfected over the years. She uses it when she’s pissed off with me – which is a lot. Deciding I liked that idea more than the alternatives, I settled in to enjoy the trip.

Standing, I felt twin straps pull tight across my shoulders and recognised the backpack all adventurers wear in Wizards and Warriors. It actually made me feel better, because you don’t get a backpack until Level 6 and I’ve never made it beyond Level 1.

I continued to look around, familiarising myself with my surroundings and caught the glint of steel.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about.” I snatched up the sword, a little surprised by how heavy the thing was, but too excited to care because I’d only ever seen Ally wielding such a kick-ass weapon. This dream world wasn’t so bad, especially since I was apparently cool here and got to play with all the best toys.

On that thought I began to test my skills with the blade, gripping the handle with both hands and swinging it with barely concealed glee. When my arm brushed against something stiff at the bottom of my top, I looked down to discover a note. Curious I pulled it loose and read aloud.

“Beat me and I’ll send you home.”

Oh crap!


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel