Tuesday, June 26, 2018

100 Words a Day 1223

Thick bark covered the massive tree. The radiating limbs were so enormous that many lay upon the ground, too large to be supported in the air. The countless small leaves let a dappling of sunlight fall upon the earth beneath the tree. Despite its age, the great oak was free of both moss and lichen.

Whenever the wind picked up, the branches still suspended in the air swayed slowly and their leaves made a soft hissing. The people in the village said was the old tree grumbling that his rest was being disturbed and avoided the tree on windy days.

Friday, June 22, 2018

100 Words a Day 1222

The two men walked across the dry field, so sunbaked that not even weeds could survive. The older one knelt down and sifted a handful of dirt between his fingers.

“Too late to plant crops this year, even if they rebuilt the irrigation canal.”

He stood and brushed his hands off.

“We’d better keep moving.”

They continued. Unlike the fields they had crossed closer to the battle lines, there were no artifacts of the ongoing conflict. Doubtless, this farm had been depopulated by the wave of total conscription that had rolled across the country, and not by sword or flame.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

100 Words a Day 1221

The tiny bird had a pair of legs that resembled twigs in both shape and hue. Its body was the color of dirty snow, with a chest of salt and pepper feathers. The curves of its little claws matched that of its black beak. It had brown and black patterned wings that were perfect for blending into the autumn shadows. A solid, dark brown swoosh was painted above the pure, white cheeks on either side of its round head. Its grey crown began at the point where its beak met its face and ran to the back of its skull.

Monday, June 18, 2018

100 Words a Day 1220

When the high priestess found the neophyte, the girl was in an out of the way corner of the temple, breaking the place’s silence with her soft sobbing.

“What’s wrong, girl?”

The girl turned. Her face was red and puffy. She wiped her nose.

“What’s wrong?” the elderly priestess rubbed the girl’s back and cooed softly.

The girl sniffled. “I miss him, Priestess.”

The woman sat straight and yanked her hand away. She fell silent and her eyes filled with angry fire.

“He is in a better place. You need to be happy for him.”

“I’m trying,” the tears reappeared.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

100 Words a Day 1219

Do it

I tried to ignore the whispering of the midnight splotch on my back. When I woke this morning, it had spread up my back and was starting to peek over my shoulder. I thought I could feel its soft, cool breath on the side of my neck.

Who knows? Maybe I could.

There was a knock at my wagon door.

“Just a second!”

I yanked a shirt over my head, and swore when I realized it was backwards. After I’d turned my shirt around, I took a deep breath and tried to compose myself.

I opened the door.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

100 Words a Day 1218

The most terrifying thing about the marauding sailors of the Tar Kingdom was their lack of aversion to eating human flesh. They had been, in ages past, pioneers of many navigational and shipbuilding techniques presently in common use.

While sea travel was in its infancy, the problems of hunger and thirst were of an even greater concern than today. And as is often the case, what began as a sometimes-necessity became an accepted practice. And while by no means eager to consume the flesh of men, it was rare now for a sailor to go mad after eating his fellow.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

100 Words a Day 1217

With a final twist of the iron wheel, they sealed the bulkhead and collapsed in a heap. A moment later, a wall of water crashed against the door. They could hear the corridor filling with a soft sloshing.

It took a brave man to climb into submersible, plumb the depths of the Black Sea, and descend deep into the Boreal Trench. But as James looked into the faces trapped in that small room, he saw fear. There were no tears, no wails. Just a few wide eyes and lips pressed tightly together. They stared back at him.

“Well, now what?”

Thursday, June 7, 2018

100 Words a Day 1216

They sat on the bed, on opposite sides. His face was in his hands and she wiped tears from her eyes.

“I can’t do this,” she said.

He turned towards her. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying,” she exhaled. “Something needs to change.”

“You always do this!” he shot up and stormed out of the bedroom.

She just stared at the floor.

There was a crash. She rushed into the kitchen. Broken plates covered the floor. She looked in his eyes, expecting anger, but saw pain.

“The plates. They landed on my foot.”

A red stain spread across the floor.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

100 Words a Day 1215

“Sister, is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me,” Arawel said.

The frail, blind woman smiled. “You’ve been gone so long. I was worried something’d happened.”

“No, sister. Everything’s fine.”

“Will you stay?”

Arawel shook her head. “I can’t,” she said when she remembered Yag Tsim’s blindess.

“Why not?” The blind woman crawled towards Arawel’s voice, but quickly reached the end of her chain.

Arawel turned and left the rough cave that had been the sisters’ home. Now it was home to only one sister.

“I’ll be back,” she said.

The plaintive cry of the deceived sister followed her to the surface.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

100 Words a Day 1214

The high priestess led the congregation on the slow circumnavigation of the House of the Lord of Eternity that preceded the funeral. Unlike the mourners, her shroud was dirty, gray, and torn. She had received it upon taking her vows fifty years ago and countless hours of frenzied supplication had left it stained with sweat and the dirt of the world. By her side walked a freshly-ordained priestess, shroud the color of sun-bleached bone. The crone smiled as the girl stumbled on the corner of her garment; it would take her a little while to learn to fold it correctly.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

100 Words a Day 1213

The crash of the sub striking the floor of the Black Sea reverberated throughout the ship. The lights flickered.

“Everyone alright? Damage report!” someone screamed over the PA.

“You okay?” Kitteridge called to James, head ringing from hitting the wall.

James didn’t answer.



“James?” Kitteridge called again, stumbling towards the front of the torpedo room.

“Here,” James croaked. He was trapped underneath a torpedo that had slipped its chain.

“Shit,” Kitteridge said. He rushed towards James, then stopped and scrambled back towards the horn.

“I need help down here!”

“What’s wrong Kitteridge?”

“It’s James. He’s under a torpedo.”

Friday, June 1, 2018

100 Words a Day 1212

“Rats. It’s always rats.” Geraldina grumbled.

“Huh?” Susie asked, turning her smooth face towards the older girl.

“They always send you to kill rats.” She leaned on her spear and wiped her brow. “I applied to the University of Adventurers because I wanted to plumb the depths of forgotten tombs. Instead I’m in some brewery cellar killing rats.”

“Do you have your twenty rats yet?” Came call from the top of the cellar stairs.”

Geraldina rolled her eyes. “Yes.”

“Not yet,” Susie responded.

“Well hurry it up. We still need to collect the wildflowers after this.”

Geraldina shook her head.