Some magical realism would be fantastic this week...Good luck!
Judge This Week: Sara
Word Count: 300 max
How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.
Deadline: Midnight tonight, PDT!
Results announced: Next Wednesday afternoon.
Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories, they're for inspiration (and sometimes our amusement)).
He found her at the base of a stone angel, almost appearing to be part of it.
Flower of the Ghosts
He found her at the base of a stone angel, almost appearing to be part of it. Her grey roots folded around the statue while one single pearl-white bloom turned its head towards the moon, seeking its silver light.
He wasn’t sure why he always thought of the ghost flower as a ‘she’ except that the bloom reminded him of a dancer in a white dress that swept and curled as she turned to the sound of faerie music. The flowers only grew in graveyards and only then, it was said, on the graves of those who had lived righteous lives worthy of remembering and emulating. He had believed that story until the day he found one on the grave of a murderer. Or perhaps he stopped believing because the questions he was left with became too many and too difficult to answer.
Technically he was a grave digger, but sometimes, just sometimes, his work required … other services. Like the removal of an old golden family heirloom that, by chance, happened to have slipped into a coffin before burial. Or making some more room in the cemetery by donating a fresh body or two to the student doctors. But his favourite job was seeking out the grave flowers. They only grew in the midwinter and then sprouted, bloomed, and died all in the space of one full-mooned-night.
He held the knife in one hand and carefully took the bloom in the other. Red sap seeped between his fingers when he severed the bloom - more questions he didn’t need answering - and carried it over to where the family was waiting.
“Will it cure him?” the mother asked, rocking her baby.
He nodded, handed her the flower.
Sometimes, just sometimes, he felt as if his work helped people.
Diminshing by Jeff Rowlands
He found her at the base of a stone angel, almost appearing to be part of it. The people passing by did not even notice that she was not part of the statue. One or two glanced, not quite sure what was different but unable to pinpoint the difference. Most went about their daily business, oblivious. She remained motionless but he had spotted the tiniest flicker of her eyelids when she saw him approaching. Did he detect reproach or gratitude?
Frozen in position, it was only him that could unlock her but this was going to be tricky. He could see that her energy was low.
He looked around, nobody noticed him. He placed both his hands on her head, summoning all his strength, he could not muster the energy needed to free her from the cruel spell. A harsh punishment but she had served her time, deserved to be free.
No response, no hint of movement. He did not want to turn to his last resort but he would have to. He had to suck in energy from the surroundings. Draining trees first, no need to be cruel unless he had to be. They fell. Still nothing.
He cast his net further, people toppled as he sucked in all the energy they had ever exerted. People started fading, he drained and drained until there was nothing left. No trace of them ever having existed. As buildings fell, crumbled, he felt energy flow from her head into his fingertips. One final push. The statue crumbled, she stood up, stretching after a good sleep. She smiled, he winked back. They touched fingertips. Vanished, returned to home with the gentlest of touches.
Nothing more than a crater remained, a cruel reminder of a lost city. Nobody would mention the place again.
He found her at the base of a stone angel, almost appearing to be part of it. How she had managed to get there confounded him. Her legs were no longer as strong as they had been those many years before when he had first caught sight of her, twenty feet below his line of sight, chipping away at the earth, revealing, in painstakingly slow relief, the Statue of the Goddess Mondadore.
The expedition to the dig had taken two days once the riverboat had discharged him at the demarcation point where the two rivers merged.
“Caroline will likely be standoffish, Frank,” Waterbury had warned. “But she’ll warm up to you. Just let her have her own way and scrape out whatever else needs doing. It’s a hell of a discovery. Lots of glory to go around.”
So the hike, the heat, the possibly aggravated head of the expedition were all behind him. He had arrived.
“Hello,” he’d announced, “Francis Gardner. Cal Waterbury sent me up to give you an assist. You’re expecting me, I hope?”
Caroline had looked up, blinded by the splash of sun at his back. Then she’d shaded her eyes with her gloved hand to get a better look at him. “You’re not going to be much help from up there,” she’d smiled. “Down here’s where the real work is. Join me.”
And that had been that. An unexpectedly warm, efficient, collegial welcome, a brief embrace once he’d scrambled down the ladder, followed, in very short order, by thirty years of love.
When the diagnosis had struck home, she had one request. “Frank, take me to Mondadore.”
The statue had remained.
A heritage site.
She had laboriously crawled to the base.
Slowly, Mondadore completed the absorption of her frail body.
She was now at eternal rest.
300 excavations later
Devil's got his tongue
He found her at the base of a stone Angel, almost appearing to be part of it.
It had rained that night. Moisture hung in the air like gloom. It smelled of danger and evil. He hid his talons inside his long sleeved raincoat. His wild red eyes well hooded by his hat. It was always uncomfortable concealing his horns, but that night he didn't mind. He was on the prowl. If the prophecy was true then it was the night he'd find his mate.
Rain was now a slight drizzle as he sloshed through puddles on the cobbled street. The witch's words still rang in his ears-
"She will lie at the feet of an angel,
her heart as black as the night,
don't be fooled by her gentle beauty,
she can be a frightening sight."
He had come upon a stone Angel just round the corner of the street. He saw a figure slumped across the base of the statue. The grey clothes almost made it look a part of it.
He cleared his throat. The figure didn't move. Shuffling his feet uncomfortably he brought up the courage to put a hand on the figure and shake it gently.
"Are you okay?"
The figure rose with a jerk. Red eyes pierced into him.
"Better than you think," she rasped.
He stood there unsure.
How the hell does one woo his future wife, the Devil had no clue.
Okay so I stumbled upon the tweet late so I just wrote a story for the heck of it. I'm not in the competition.ReplyDelete
He found her at the base of the stone angel, almost appearing to be part of it.
She hadn’t been totally affected yet, thank God! Reaching for her still fleshy parts underneath her arms, he pulled her away. Almost immediately, the solidification caused by the stone angel receded like thawing ice, and her skin which had been turning gritty and rock-hard eased back into plump soft flesh once again. He hated to think what would have happened if he hadn’t gotten here in time. or worse, if she had strayed and gone to the water angel, or the fire angel or even the air angel.
The angel of stone turned his head slowly to look at Daniel, its neck creaking loudly, sounding like a boulder of giant rock of granite grating on equally heavy stone. Daniel looked up reproachfully back at it, his anger obliterating his fear.
These beings of power did not belong here! Daniel wished they would return to wherever the hell it was that they came from. The angel probably had no inkling of what it had almost done. Men were as much as mystery to them, as they were to mankind when they first appeared and ever since.
Daniel picked his limp, unconscious but breathing little daughter, and turned and walked back to the camp without a word, or waiting to hear what words would come from the giant maw of a mouth. As he walked towards the direction where the music and reverie was coming from, with the huge bonfire steadily growing larger, he knew he would likely be back at his tent before the first words come out. It was that slow.
“We come in peace, my foot!” he mumbled to himself