I cannot believe it is November already (even though I woke to a dusting of snow this morning), but there you have it. Cold notwithstanding, from my perspective there are two great things about this month. First, it will soon be Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Second, we Quills are coming to you this month with new flash fiction tales!
This time, I got to choose the pic. Here it is:
I first found these boots/moccasins on Pinterest, then tracked them down to a site for Turtle Island Moccasins. It seems you can actually order yourself a pair of these! What do you think of that?
When I chose our inspirational pic, I asked my fellow Quills if they wanted an added challenge (as if writing a flash fiction tale isn't challenge enough). I suggested the following for their consideration:
* Include in your story, something about The Forest of Infatuation, or the Temple of the Unknown Slave, or The Drum of Unbearable Silence ...
* Or … maybe your main character has an odd personality or behavioral quirk, like he or she is notoriously rude, or expresses emotion inappropriately, or is homesick, or is always looking for a fight …
* Or maybe your main character has a pet. Perhaps it’s a dog that steals keys and other small objects, or that never comes when called, or that commonly gets stuck in silly places ...
In the end, we decided we would each choose for o ourselves whether to take on an added challenge, and if so, what that challenge would be.
For my part, I chose a couple of items from the above list. First, I included the Forest of Infatuation. Second, I combined features of the second and third options. Namely, I added in a pet with an odd behavioral quirk.
Are you ready? Coming in at 815 words, title and all ... here goes!
Calico Dew and
the Boots of Ominous Delight
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019
The ramshackle hut sat in a damp tree-shaded hollow, deep in the Forest of Infatuation. An occasional bright green patch of mold stood out on its thatched roof and spotted its weathered, paint-crackled, windows.Their half-open shades looked like eyes peering down at the bed of poison ivy just outside the hut’s door, which hung slightly askew on its rusty hinges.
Nearby, Calico Dew hid. She patted Sneaker, her faithful canine companion, whose shaggy mottled coat helped him to meld into his surroundings. This well-served Calico’s purposes in carrying out her duties as an official retriever of stolen magic artifacts. However, Sneaker also came with a downside. That is, while his physical traits allowed him to rummage about stealthily, he also possessed a particularly annoying personality quirk. Specifically ...
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Well? What do you think? Please do, share your thoughts!
Lucky for you, there is more. Next up is Robin Lythgoe.
I can hardly wait, so take it away, Robin!
by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019
The autumn sun slid toward the horizon, gilding the moors and pulling twilight ever closer. Little streamers of fog drifted this way and that, half-formed fairy ribbons. Archibald Cumming laughed to himself. The old man was getting to him. Had already got to him, years ago, truth be told. And where was the old fool now? Shifting his backpack, he trudged up the sparse hill. Hands on hips, he stopped at the top to catch his breath before he had a look around. When he had his breathing under control again, he straightened and stood still and quiet, listening. Listening as he'd done dozens of times already just today. This wasn’t the first time the old codger had taken off on his own.
He was about to move on when he heard it ...
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Excellent! Thank you so much.
And now, for Parker.
What have you for us, Parker? Did you take on any of the added challenges?
by P.S. Broaddus
Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019
"I'll be requested by kings," said the shiny face of ambition, caught somewhere between a boy and a man. But the glint in his eye was ageless.
"You'll be an outcast."
"Princes will offer me untold wealth and honor," he continued, unhearing.
"You'll reject it all."
He rubbed his hands together unconsciously, unaware of how silly he looked, how small and unworthy. "My name will be known from the border of Darjil to the Jabob River and beyond."
"Where you will be unwelcome and hunted until the last of your days." The old man sighed. Ambition turned his head, the sigh finally catching his attention. Was the old one dying? Would he pass on the boots now?
Master Eli...are you well?"
The grizzled beard, streaked white and grey and sandy-desert brown, twitched. Eli looked full at his apprentice. Looked in his soul through the undisguised eyes.
The boots would instruct him.
"I must go." Eli struggled to his feet. He could not rest. Not yet.
The apprentice's long eager fingers grasped an elbow, half helping, half clinging. "I'm going with you."
Eli shrugged. "Do what you must."
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