Hunting Magic

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: Or that's what I thought

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Tremen tromped his way out of the sorceress’s tower. The green fields looked the same as when he had pushed his way into the tower, oblivious to the spells his presence had triggered. Or the plants where. The animals had fled.

Tremen barely noticed as he started his slow trek in pursuit of the sorceress’s magical trail. He couldn’t let her get away. His attention remained so focused he barely noticed Garental’s apprentice sitting on the steps.

Kernel hoped to his feet like a vine sprouting suddenly next to Tremen. Still, Tremen didn’t respond to him until he spoke, “Tremen, wait!”

Pausing, he turned toward the apprentice. He seemed older, more sharply defined than the last time Tremen had seen him. A word itched in his throat but his mind insisted on focusing on the trail.

Turning, he continued his plod. “Can’t talk. Must not lose her trail.”

Kernel stepped in front of him and raised his hands. He stepped backward as Tremen continued forward but did not move. “Mustn’t you”

Tremen shook his head. “Garental said only a sorceress can free me. I have to catch her. They all flee.”

“Is that what he said?” Kernel said still backing before him. He hadn’t used magic yet to halt Tremen he’d give him that.

“Yes…” Tremen scrunched his forehead trying to remember. “Or that’s what I thought.”

“Think harder.” Reaching forward, Kernel touched his forehead. The words clouded in his mind, and he tried to shove them back into order.

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Chasing Magic

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: You know the beginning

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Tremen followed the sorceress as she fled up the stairs. “Help me, please?” he cried. His voice echoed off stone.

She paused at a turning and scowled at him. “No.”

“What kind of answer is that?” Tremen tromped up the stairs. From the spells littering the path, they had to lead to her retreat. Sorceresses didn’t often invite others into them. The center of their magic. There she’d prepare her best spells.

He only needed one.

“A perfectly reasonable and complete answer.” Her voice hit him, and Tremen shuddered beneath the spell within them. A spell which shoved against him. Tremen stepped through as easily as the rest.

Round and round he went, growing dizzier with each turn until he found himself on a landing. The sorceress stood in the chamber beyond glowering.

Raising his hands, Tremen stomped forward. “Please, if you don’t no one can. You know the beginning.”

The sorceress sniffed. “I know what you think is the beginning, but Garental’s foolishness did not begin with blessing you protection from magic at birth.”

“See!” Tremen surged forward and she retreated pressing her back against a window. “You know. You can help me!”

“I know you’ve learned nothing.” The sorceress unlatched the window. “Including not to force a woman.”

Tremen realized a moment too late what she’d do and reached the window empty. The sorceress fell, twisted, and caught air to soar away as a bird. But he could still taste her magic and would follow.

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Stories Untold

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: Once there was a story

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

“Once there was a story,” the voice rumbled against her ear and deepest blank hair trailed over her pillow.

“I’ve heard this one before, mama.” Her voice sounded muffled by blanket pulled over her nose.

“How do you know? There are many stories.” Her mother’s cradled her closer.

“Because only one ever begins that way.” She sighed dramatically.

“Only one?” Her mother tickled her eliciting a giggle. “You’ve heard every story in the world?”

“Enough.” She ducked further into the blankets. “I’ve heard enough.”

“Ah then.” Her mother smoothed her hair. “I suppose you won’t want to hear about Nyrinn and Gustall.

She gasped. Her eyes widening at the names. Nyrinn and Gustall. She’d heard that story hinted at more times than days she’d lived, but never heard it.

Nyrinn of the raven hair which wrapped the stars within her locks. Gustall of the lowlands leading an invasion. A tale which ended with the wall, but why and how… She’d begged countless times for the tale.

“I want to hear it,” she said each word with quiet clarity. “I want to.”

“Very well then.” Her mother shifted, a settling she knew meant a story about to be told. She held her breath.

“Once there was a story–”

Knocking sounded on her door. Her mother squeezed her shoulder and rose.

A man entered. “You’re needed at the bulwark.”

Mother looked back to her. “Next time,” mother promised. Light caught silver sparkles in her hair as she turned to leave.

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Fame’s Master

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: Fame is his master

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

The wavering light of the candles covered the stage as Alathic strode out from behind the curtain. The crowd erupted into applause before he said his first word. He took long languid strides to the center of the stage.

Pausing, he glanced to the first box in the balcony. The light was faint there, but enough that it caught his eyes and sent them gleaming a deep red. Caught the beginning of a grin.

Yanking his attention away from the balcony, Alathic swallowed and tried to refocus on the room before him. On the crowd. On the role he was to assume.

Anything but the man cloistered and ever watching from the box.

His Tongue felt dry and his throat tight, but, opening his mouth, the words flowed out. Words he had heard through varied performances from the time he was a lad toddling about to his years studying beneath the troop.

Years when he’d despaired ever being noticed. A hard feat when shadowing the greatest of actors, the third sons with wealth to burn, and being nothing more than determined.

Alathic would give anything for those years back now. He’d been a fool then and now fame was his master.

A master with glowing red eyes and wicked fangs. He’d never realized how hard fame could bite until he’d first tried walking away. Alathic shuddered. He wouldn’t be trying that again soon. Turning, he continued his cursed performance.

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Bonus Story: Fanged Griffin

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt Bonus

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober! You didn’t think I had forgotten about the bonus prompt, did you?

Enjoy my bonus entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Demane rode Before the fall if the Traviane Empire. He knew he should stop. He knew he should rest his horse. Allow his men reprieve. They had travelled hard through the night fleeing from the city toward the King’s Sepulcher. He knew he should offer them a reprieve, but he knew he could not either. For the fall of the Traviane Empire was manifest within the armies of Kaleen hard on his heels. Glancing back, he could see the roiling line of once men close behind.

Kaleen changed those whom they absorbed, turning them from men to beasts. His father had fought hard trying to hold them back. His father had died.

Demane had barely escaped with his life and the few loyal guards he’d taken with him. And his brother, half-brother, Ian.

Glancing sideways, he saw the boy still clinging to Reagan’s back as they rode furiously forward. Somehow, he had managed not to slow them. Demane could at least give Ian that much. And the Sepulcher was minutes away, not even countable in a half hour anymore.

The stone building rose before them, gray brick towering out of the green forest. A spire soared from each corner. The Sepulcher. The last resting place of the kingdom’s greatest treasure and last hope.

Their horses’ hooves rang when they hit the stone surrounding the Sepulcher. This close the place looked even more crypt-like than from afar. A crypt whose only entrance was two stories up steep stairs. His horse skid to a halt and Demane threw himself from its back. Hitting the stairs, he surged up two steps before a hand grabbed him.

Reagan looked at Demane and then back at the armies of Kaleen, still pursuing them. “They’ll be here before you can find the sword.”

Demane glanced back and nodded. “Yes, we must hurry. Come.”

Reagan shook his head. “Hurrying is what you should do. We, however, will hold the stairs. We shall buy you the time you need.” Demane bowed his head in acknowledgement of Reagan’s sacrifice.

They would hold. They would keep the stairs as long as they could, but Demane knew that against the armies of Kaleen that would bear a heavy price. “I shall not forget.”

“No, you shall not.” Reagan grabbed Ian’s arm and thrust the boy toward Demane. “And you’ll take him with you. He will do us no good here.” Reagan raised a warning eyebrow before Demane could protest.

Ian was the last thing Demane needed with him. The boy would slow him. Wheezing and slow, but favored of their father and mother, which is why he’d come in the first place. Demane’s stepmother had not let him leave without the boy. Grunting, he decided not to waste time arguing about the boy’s presence. Instead, Demane grabbed Ian’s arm and raced up the stairs.

Already. He could feel the boy slow him. Drag at his arm as he stumbled up the steep steps. “Come Ian, we must hurry.”

“I-I am hurrying. close quote,” His half-brother wheezed in response. Ian’s arm tugged free of Demane’s hand. “Keep going. I’ll follow.”

Those were the most words Demane Ian had spoken since they had left the city. He didn’t pause to glance back or argue. He raced forward, free of the burden of carrying him as he heard the armies of Kaleen engage his men below. Demane rushed into the Sepulcher.

His eyes refused to adjust to the light swiftly. Refused to adjust at all. The shadows writhed unwilling to be pierced or understood. He knew the family’s treasure, the wealth lay here, but Demane also knew the sword laid here as well. A fabled blade blessed by the witch Asmalin. A blade they needed now. For as Kaleen used magic against them, they needed magic to thwart her powers.

Demane started as some as something scraped over stone to his right. Grabbing his blade, he drew it. Thieves here in the Sepulcher? There could not be thieves here.

“Show yourself,” His voice rang in the silence of the Sepulcher, and he heard a small chuff answer him, quiet and amused. Something brushed against his back. Not thick enough to be an arm, hand, or shoulder, but something which pushed him with a surety of strength.

“He thinks to challenge us here?” The words filled the chamber more fully than Demane’s voice had. He shuddered beneath the force as it struck him, rattling his bones. “Does the boy not know that this is our home?”

Demane clenched his jaw tightly. This intruder claimed his family’s Sepulcher as their home? How dare they! “I do not know who you think you are, but this is the Sepulcher of the Traviane Empire. I am Prince M–”

Demane broke off, squeezing his eyes closed for a moment. The palace flashed back into his mind. His father facing the armies of Kaleen. His father and his guard faltering and falling beneath the armies. Armies which pushed through the lines and toward the palace.

Opening his eyes, he squared his shoulders. “I am the king of the Traviane Empire. This place is mine.”

There was nothing slight about the laughter that followed this pronouncement. “He thinks himself a worthy heir of Calendin?” One sharp laugh followed his father’s name. “He is not the judge of that.”

“Who are you to say such disparagement?” Demane roared. Swinging his sword toward where he had heard the voice and encountered nothing but air.

Light flared within the chamber driving back the shadows, and Demane saw his accuser. The creature stood on four legs as its lion head regarding him. Behind its golden mane rose tufted wings. The creature’s eyes pierced him, seen with wisdom greater than his father’s.

“I am the guardian of the king’s honor.” The creature ran forward toward Demane. It batted his sword away with one claw, breaking the metal in two and shoving him to the ground. Demane gulped as the paw settled on his chest, claws extended and pressed against his breastplate. “And we do not judge you worthy.”

Demane glanced from the creature’s eyes down to its claws on his breastplate. Claws which rested against the emblem of a Griffin beaten into the metal. The griffin was the family’s crest. Demane had thought the beast a legend, but here it stood above him. Once more, he heard his father’s voice

“The honor of kings is guarded by the Griffin. For they see all and have been bestowed upon our family to guard over us and our Kingdom by the great wizard Alamain himself. Give heed, Demane. For the day will come when you will stand before the griffin and be judged worthy or not to hold this throne.”

Demaine had thought the words hyperbole. He’d thought his father had spoken of the griffin as the counsel. For the Council was often referred to as the griffin. A many headed beast with different points of view, different purposes, different means. But one which when focused, could cut through anything.

Anything but the armies of Kaleen, his mind amended before he could stop the thought.

“I need the sword,” he said, trying to cover the thought in his mind.

The griffin laughed and pranced backwards. “You think yourself worthy of the sword? You do not even think you could win with it.” the beast said. It turned its head sideways, gazing at him through one eye fully open quote. “No, we shall not allow you to take the blade.”

“Then the Traviane Empire will fall,” Demane said, casting his arm to the side. His hand closed over empty air, and he felt the absence of his sword deeply. It was gone. He did not have anything, and his men died below even then.

“Will it?” the griffin asked. Demane could have sworn a smile covered the beast’s face. “You think yourself the only hope?”

Demane stepped forward. Of course, he was the only hope. He was the king’s heir. He was here. He had come and sacrificed everything to retrieve the sword and stop the armies of Kaleen. If not him, then who?

The Griffin growled as Demane moved, and, prancing forwarded, it raised a claw as if to strike, sweeping its wings backwards. Demane faltered.

“Brother!” a small voice wheezed.

Demane groaned and waved his hand to Ian. “Not now, Ian.” He didn’t need this now. Not his half-brother’s interruption. Now he had to convince the griffin not to be obstinate.

But the Griffin had stopped. It turned from Demane and stared at his half-brother pacing toward him. His half-brother balled his fists and ducked his head as if terrified but unwilling to run. Running would have helped Demane just then.

“Leave my brother alone,” the boy said. Had the Griffin neared him? Demane watched the beast’s breath puff out. “You would stand against me?”

“I would. For my brother.” The last came out in a squeak as the creature circled him.

“Then you shall wield the sword.”

“What” both Demane and Ian said at once.

The griffin finished circling around Ian and settled on his hunches. “You are the prince I was waiting for.”

“But I am my father’s first born, and I am the warrior of Traviane needs.”

The griffin looked at him sharply and shook his head. “No, Traviane needs your brother who would give everything for love. You never learned that lesson and seek still glory. Love must be recalled if the armies of Kaleen are to be defeated.”

The griffin paused and turned back toward Ian. “Will you take up this burden?”

His half-brother nodded. “For the sake of Traviane, I will.”

“Then I shall retrieve the sword.” The Griffin rose and spread its wings taking into this air and a ledge above. Upon the ledge he saw the treasures of his family. The sword would be there. The sword of the king. The sword the beast meant to give to his brother. Did Ian even realize that with the sword came the empire and Demane’s birthright?

Demane doubted it. He glanced back up at the griffin. But what could he do with the armies of Kaleen and Griffin united against him?

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023bonus

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”


Strange Times

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: Such a strange time

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Jazmine had always listened to the townspeople complaining, saying they live in such a strange time when catastrophes struck. For then the heroes and the betrayers worked together.

Jazmine could not find such times strange. Of course, heroes did whatever they must for peace. And the betrayers did whatever benefited them most. Death never benefited them.

No, the heroes and betrayers working together in times of crisis, never surprised Jazmine. But she aimed to create a truly strange time.

“What do you mean no?” Cadenmoore asked. He leaned over the battlement’s edge extending his hand.

“I mean no, I’m not taking your hand,” Jazmine said perfectly aware that her stubbornness outweighed her strength as her fingers trembled clinging to a crevice.

“But we have to work together.”

“Says who?”

“You’ll die if we don’t. Everyone will die if we don’t.”

“Everyone may die. But I won’t,” Jazmine said. “I’m already dead.”

Cadenmoore’s face fell at the reminder. He’d tried to save her when she’d been yet another mortal. He’d failed. And failures either faded away or lived to tweak the conscience.

Jazmine had chosen not to fade. “In fact, this is getting boring.” Releasing her grip, she felt the air surge around her. Cadenmoore’s mouth opened as the fires rose in the city behind him.

Yes, this was truly a strange time for she hadn’t chosen to work with him. Jazmine had already been through hell once. She could do it again.

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Be sure to check out the other Wednesday Words authors’ take on the prompt.


Day 30: The Witches’ Laws

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-30

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my thirtieth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

“I called to order the nine thousandth, fifty-fourth meeting of the Magical Collegium.” The gavel wrapped against the table emphasizing the High Seat’s ringing in meeting. Esmeraldan winced as the gravel struck, though. She much preferred it when a warlock did not fill the high seat. They never understood the intricacies of the gavel, or how left unshielded the surge its enchantments could affect those in the room. Enchantments which were meant to keep malicious users out of the collegium. Nobody wanted a repeat of the lich incident of eight hundred and nine, but they also didn’t need to start meetings with headaches from the gavel being used incorrectly.

The man shuffled through parchments which appeared older than him, rearranging them before he began speaking. “The only old business we have… on the table… is the refurbishment… refurbishments of the… Cauldron. Namely… how to raise… the funds for it,” he said in broken statements shuffling through the documents, as if without the notes he couldn’t recall what had been discussed last year.

The High Seat looked up from the papers as outcries broke out around the chamber. The warlocks, his own party, found the request outrageous. They insisted they should not have to pay for the other sects’ cauldrons. After all, if they wanted one, they could always just… Esmeraldan stopped listening to their protest. The Wizards began protesting. Then the sorceresses. Her own conference, the witches, wisely kept their mouths shut.

Twisting her chair Esmeraldan glanced at the time. Certainly, the spell on the chamber remained strongly in place. They wouldn’t age or fatigue from hunger and thirst. The spell seems more twisted than useful. A sorceress must have devised it to both torture them for longer under the guise of allowing them unlimited time to work through the year’s issues. Seconds in the outside world turned into hours within the chamber. Perhaps years if the problem were cantankerous enough.

Luckily, the High Seat this year didn’t seem inclined to solve this predicament than the previous ones. He was inclined to end the discussion more quickly. Ringing his gavel upon the table again, he declared the item tabled until next the council met to allow for more research.

Esmeraldan chuckled to herself. Perpetuating today’s problems into tomorrow always produced great results for magic users. Certainly such a course hadn’t lead to the sinking of Atlantis.

Of course, even with his pronouncement the discussion did not halt immediately. Disgruntlements simmered, percolated, and dribbled out until the last voice fell silent.

Esmeraldan sighed, turning to look at the High Seat. As unenjoyable as rehashing tabled business was, she knew what he would dredge up next. As High Seat and his own conference playing the victims, how could he not?

“I’m now opening the floor for new items of discussion. The Warlocks have an item to bring before all,” the High Seat rang his gavel again. Almost before he had connected wood to the table, the Warlock contingent sprung from their seats and hollered. Esmeraldan glanced down and examined her nails, pretending not to hear them seemed far preferable to hearing the drivel they said. At least until the high seat managed to bring them to silence. “Esmeraldan, what do you have to say to this?”

“To what?” Esmeraldan said, glancing up from her nails. “Sorry, I was busy making sure I hadn’t broken in nail in the last ten hours.” She held up her long, pointed, and intricately painted nails. They had taken her far too long to grow, and Esmeraldan took pride in them. Each one had been ensorcelled with a spell to aid her should she be beset upon. Whether she should be set upon by plagues, pixies, gremlins, and of course door-to-door solicitors. The last being the worst, of course.

No. Robo callers. Those were far worse. She did quite enjoy that when the spell upon her pinky was activated, the spell would spend hours upon hours wasting some scammers time while she blithely had tea, biscuits, and worked on her spells.

The high Seat scowled. “The warlocks have brought forth a complaint that Sandra, of your contingent, has broken the witches highest law. You own law.”

Esmeraldan blinked, pressed a hand to her chest, and gasped in shock. “Broke our highest law? Now that would be quite the brouhaha, wouldn’t it?” Turning in her seat, she turned toward a woman seated behind her. “Well, what do you have to say? Did you break our highest law?”

“No, ma’am, I did not,” Sandra said. Her short blonde hair bobbed about her face as she turned from the assemblage to look at Esmeraldan directly.

Nodding her head sharply, Esmeraldan turned back toward the High Seat. “There you have it. She did not break our highest law.”

“Outrageous,” the head of the warlock contingent. Esmeraldan didn’t find his protest shocking either. “We are supposed to just take the witch’s word that she did not because she said so?” The Warlock scoffed, waving his hand dismissively at Esmeraldan. “I demand compensation.”

“You demand compensation? You were wronged then?” Esmeraldan asked.

The warlock turned behind him and pulled another of the contingent from his seat. A man whose skin was decidedly blue and not a shade that did him favors. “You see what Sandra did to my son? She cursed him and the Witches Law clearly states that curses cannot be done for personal gain. This certainly was not for my son’s benefit.”

The son in question squirmed in his father’s grip trying to writhe back to his chair and back beneath the hood he’d had pulled over his head. Anything to help hide him, she supposed. “Da,” he groaned.

Still, the brief view of the son was enough to set off the rest of the chamber. The sorceresses started exclaiming that they would never do such a thing, and that the witches should be disbanded immediately. A tactic Esmeraldan knew was meant just to try and absorb their numbers into their dwindling contingent. The fact that they had fallen from popularity wasn’t Esmeraldan’s fault. She hadn’t made seduction passe. She hadn’t discouraged it either.

The Wizards bemoaned the witches’ irresponsible practice of magic. They never did miss a chance to drone on about magic needing to takes years of onerous study and determination with the strictest of adherence to guidelines to master.

The warlocks, of course, were having fun riling up each contingent against the other. Esmeraldan just sat quietly, staring at the High Seat.

Eventually he began to shift beneath her gaze and rang the gavel again calling the chamber to quiet. “What do you have to say?” he asked. She could hear the slight break in his tone and knew that it was time for her to bring out her trump card,

“True, we cannot use our powers for personal gain. However, we can use them for personal protection.” She had no sooner finished speaking than the warlocks were out of their seats blustering about the nerve of her accusing the vaunted son of tending to harm a witch.

Esmeraldan again waited until the furor died before standing. She crossed her arms.
“This council was made to resolve conflicts and bring forth the truth of those who wield magic. For magic, while it creates its own reality, cannot fracture reality overly much. A portion always remains, and here, where we come together, the filament may be drawn out.”

She turned toward the warlocks. “If you doubt mine or Sandra’s statement, I will happily call upon the old spells here to show the truth.” Raising her hand, she held up a single finger with a nail prepared and ready to call for the magic.

The warlock leader paled, and his son looked green beneath the blue. “No, no, her word will be fine,” he said and sat in his chair. “I withdraw the motion.”

Esmeraldan grinned at the warlocks. “I thought you might.” Reclaiming her own seat, she folded her arms and waited to see what the next bickering would be about. Warlocks. Fools to think she would not have been prepared. The century hadn’t arrived yet when they’d catch her napping.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day30

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”


Day 29: Disguised Terraforming

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-29

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my twenty-ninth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Albin ran chased by the clatter of hooves and the baying of far hounds. They were too close now. He thought he would have lost the chasers a week ago. He thought they would have given up on hunting him. He was no one. Nothing. Certainly, the moldy loaf of bread shouldn’t have brought this attention to him. Glancing back. He looked over the dry sands hardened into a crust, cut through with ravines, and saw them on the rise behind. Too close indeed.

Gulping, Albin turned and continued running. He glanced about trying to find some other direction to flee. He was too close to the Undal Valley. Only death awaited those foolish enough to descend into its depths. No one ever returned from there. Perhaps he could make it to Sintel. Swinging to the left, he skidded to a halt. More chasers were on the ridge over in that direction as well.

Forward into the Undal remained the only path open to him. They would have closed that off if they had dared enter it themselves.

Album stumbled. His sandals slid over scree and rocks which yanked his feet from beneath him. Landing hard on the rough surface, he felt the skin on his elbow tear and the gravel ground its way into the wound. He felt himself sliding further over the ground.

Albin screamed and flung out his uninjured arms, raking his fingers over the ground, grasping for anything which might slow his slide, for while he’d determined to enter Undal Valley, he had not meant to enter it this quickly.

His fingers clung to a rock beneath the sand for a moment and he flipped, landing on his stomach. His fingers scrapped off the rock and he continued his slide down the hill. Albin supposed this method into the valley would have to do, by force of gravity. Or was it the force of stupidity?

Stupidity certainly had worked throughout his life. Stupidity which had made him choose the wrong profession. Stupidity which had earned him his supervisor’s ire within his miss chosen profession. Ire which had wormed its way into his mind and skin, until he crawled and itched with it and made a mistake his haste to be gone.

One mistake.

One mistake which had caused the collapse of the Tervel mine. The greatest mine of aqualine in the lands. Aqualine, the necessary component for the magicians’ spells. Spells which held the wasting world at bay. A desert which spread ever further and which only the magicians and their spells kept their city at paradise within an oasis of despair.

Albin drew in a breath as he continued to tumble down the hill, and his mouth filled with grit. Coughing. Choking. He felt the air rush out of him as he smacked into something unseen. Against the dry and barren ground enough he should have seen easily for leagues upon leagues. And yet, thus, he could not see.

Albin had smacked into it, nonetheless. His whole body hitting striking a thing which crashed over his skin engulfing him with a sensation frigidity he had not felt since he had been banished from the mines into the light of the sun. Even in the city’s paradise, coolness was a luxury. Albin had chosen the mines for their temperate air. An escape from ever present heat, and again for a moment, he felt the chill and reveled in it.

The moment passed, and he continued tumbling. The harshness of Albin’s fall slowed, and he still felt himself striking against the ground with a lessoning intensity as if the ground had become cushioned with fabric which tickled his nose with scent.

Prying his eyes open, he gasped. He tumbled over a green he had not seen beyond the city’s walls. A green which cushioned him until he came sliding to a stop at the base of the hill and well within the Undal Valley.

Albin lay on his back, staring at the sky above. A sky that was cut through by branches. Strong, healthy, filled with green leaves. Branches which swayed in a gentle breeze groaning with age and speaking of truths that Albin could not begin to guess.

The groaning increased to his left, pulling his attention that way. Rising on one elbow, Albin wincing at the pain as grit ground into the wound. Pain he couldn’t spare a thought for with three people standing in the shade of the trees and watching him.

Their clothing was not that of the city. Not that of the magicians. Not that of the chasers. Albin had never seen the like before. The cloth clung snugly to the individuals lacking the flow of the city’s clothing which allowed heat to pass through it. They stared at him, their gazes narrowing.

Albin raised his other hand, holding it before him in supplication for mercy. Whoever they were, if they were not chasers or with the city, perhaps he could find a reprieve here. One among them, a female, grabbed her bow and raised it, pulling an arrow against the string. Albin cried out, curling against the ground. As the plink of the arrow being released cut through the air.

Pain did not follow

Opening his eyes, he saw a chaser sliding down the hill behind him. More arrows sang through the air. More chasers fell.

Albin heard their cries, heard them wheel about and made to leave. Heard the far hounds baying. And still the arrows cut through the air until no more chasers remained and the hounds lay silent.

“And what are we to do with this one?” a man said breaking formation to approach Albin. He nudged Albin’s tender side with the end of his bow. The man glanced back to his compatriots. “He has seen too much as well.”

The woman, the one who had fired first, nodded and planted her own bow against the ground. “Aye, but he was being chased and not the chaser.” She walked over to him and held out her hand.

Hesitantly, Albin took the woman’s hand and felt himself hauled off the ground. He rose abruptly beneath the strength of her tug and stood face to face with the woman. She grinned at him as he stared at her, cross eyed. “Of course, if he’s foolish enough to speak of what he’s seen here…”

She didn’t finish the sentence, but Albin heard the threat in it and felt her unrelaxed grip still hold him. She turned about and yanked him behind her, yanked him into the Undal Valley which should have been dead and lifeless, but which was lush.

An old story rushed back into his mind of the magicians who had sundered themselves from the rest. They’d rejected the mines and ways of the city. They had been the magicians who first turned the world into a paradise. Their abandonment had caused the withering of the world and left them with only a scant fragment.

Albin stared at the Undal Valley. The story had been wrong. They had not given up terraforming the world. They had just hidden their acts, and he had just fallen into it. Albin gulped, wondering what else he had fallen into.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day29

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”


Day 24: Sparkle Castle

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-24

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my twenty-fourth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

“Es’loann,” Valeen breathed. Her eyes widened as she took in the spires rising into the sky in the center of the valley below. Myth had claimed that the city didn’t exist. The city of towers. Three to be exact Valeen saw. Three blue, cobalt towers sparkling in the sun. The castle of dreams.

Releasing the branch, Valeen let the foliage cover her view of the city. She didn’t need to gape at it from up here anymore. A quick run and she would be there. Readjusting her pack, she took off down the hill.

She’d found it. She’d found the impossible city. The impossible castle. The dream castle.

The word dreams chased her down the hill and the forest gave way into green rolling fields. So vibrant were the fields, so alive, they hurt her eyes. The smell of grass and flowers clung to her, filling her nostrils as she moved.

What type of dreams would she find in the city? Myth said the dreams within the city clung more tightly to the waking world bringing much to those who lived within. So much that none chose to leave. Valeen certainly had gotten the city out her mind since she had first read a scant reference to it in a tone in her uncle’s library.

A place even scholars did not believe existed, and Es’loann rose before her now. The bridges crisscrossed between towers, connecting them. Valeen could see people walking upon them already. Walking within Es’loann as it sparkled in the sunlight.

A gray wall surrounded the brilliant blue towers Valeen hadn’t realized was there until she was upon it. She circled the city, searching for the gate. Even if there had been no roads leading here. Three fourths of the way around the wall, she found a break in the grey stone. Within the gap stood a man leaning heavily upon a staff. He watched at her as she approached

“I don’t suppose you’ll heed me to turn back?” he asked with a sigh. His stance shifted slightly, subtly, but the movement spoke of weariness. Es’loann must have treasures, indeed, if they wanted to keep any and all away.

“Turn back? Why would I want to turn back now that I’m here?” She peered behind him and saw a garden within the walls. Gray stones dotted the grass forming a path leading further into the interior. “Isn’t Es’loann the city of dreams?”

“Aye. She’s the city of dreams.” The man nodded, a slow movement which held great weight behind it, as if it would press his head down.

“Then why bid me leave? Or are there not dreams enough for everyone?” Her throat closed around the last words forcing them out in a croak. She wanted her dreams true. She’d chased them ever since her parent’s death had left her in her uncle’s care.

He’d been far too busy for a child. And she had been alone too often. Dreams had been her only company. She bit her lip, waiting for an answer.

The man nodded slowly again. “There are dreams a plenty here, but dreams are the problem.” He sighed and didn’t say any more. Instead, he shook his head and lowered it not moving from the gate.

Valeen thought she might squeeze past him and slip into the city to see what lay there. “What problems could there possibly be?” She asked out of politeness, not curiosity about what he had to say.

“The problem is there’s only dreams within these walls.”

Valeen blinked and stared at the man. “I don’t understand. How is that a problem?”

“A soul must stop dreaming to be. This city has dreams but nothing more. No coming, no going. Just unending dreams. Only when guarding here can a person realize what a waste days are when lost in dreams. He between dreams and the waking world.”

He paused and looked beyond her. “Do you recall accomplishment and striving? That’s what you’ll lose if you enter this city. What she lost in her castle.”

“She?” Valeen blinked at the strange word. The word had cropped up often in references to Es’loann, but Valeen had never been able to discover a name to match the word.

“Yes, she. She is trapped in dreams as we are all her dream. You can enter Es’loann if you want, but then…” he trailed off and shrugged. “How does one ever wake from a dream?”

Valeen reached forward and her fingers tingled as she passed the man’s shoulder. She felt a power grab and tug at her. Her heart thudded quickly as her nerves creamed. Valeen retracted her hand and pressed it against her chest.

“Perhaps… Perhaps we can sit and talk for a while before I decide?” she asked, looking at the man. “I hear you can learn much from dreams.”

The man grinned and nodded. He settled himself onto the ground. “I’ve heard the same, yes. Maybe together we can figure out how to wake us all.”

Settling on the grass outside the city, Valeen stared beyond the strange man and to the castle. Dreams were beautiful, but how did one wake from them? Especially if the dreams belong to some she. Turning, she looked to the man again and smiled before asking her first question.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day24

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”


Day 23: Phoenix Light Sail

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-23

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my twenty-third entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Captain Robern crossed his arms and glowered at the pair of pixies hovering before him. One, Cayenne, had flames licking over his skin and he, like Robern, seemed very put out with the other. Her gossamer wings beat a staccato about with her blue hair circling about her as she spun in circles surrounded by ice crystals.

“Nutmeg,” Cayanne squeaked. He never growled well with his high voice.

Stopping in the air she swirled toward Cayanne. “What?” she asked at the Firebird’s engine, Robern’s ship, lay dormant behind her covered in ice. Robern smacked her face and when he lowered his hand again, the pixie was looking between him and Cayanne.

“What?” she asked as she widened her eyes and blinked rapidly.

“What?” Robern repeated incredulously. As if she hadn’t just shut down the engines, stranding them in the middle of dark space. Robern really didn’t want to call the Empress and Emperor and tell them their son was stranded in the middle of space. Again.

Reaching up, Robern kneaded his face. Twice in as many weeks. Surely, they’d take the Firebird, his ship back. Robern felt the dread summersault in his stomach even as the certainty that to reason with the pixies, especially Nutmeg, was flutily painful.

Cayanne grumbled under his breath.

“What? Nutmeg repeated. This time when she said the word, she swung her arms in wide circles as if that would help establish her innocence. It sent more ice streaming toward the engine and wall.

Robern pointed at the engines beside Nutmeg. “You just took down our ship. That’s what!”

Nutmeg glanced away from Robern and tapped a finger against her lips as she examined the engine. Turning back to Robern she shrugged. “I just cooled her off. You wouldn’t want her getting too fiery!”

“Nutmeg, you can’t just do whatever whim takes you.” Robern didn’t like the hint of desperation that entered his voice. “I’m the captain.”

“Aye, Caption!” Racing to an inch in front of my face she saluted sending a thin tendril of crystals across my nose. “But she’s sturdy old girl. She’ll be fine.”

Robern reached for the Pixie as he pulled his head back trying to uncross his eyes. Thankfully, he’d grabbed his thick gloves, and she didn’t numb his skin. “Nutmeg, why do you keep freezing the engines.”

“Because she was looking too hot.” Nutmeg swung her hands in mirroring arcs again. This time the gesture ended with her slapping the gloves and coating them in ice. Squirming, she dodged away. “I was just looking out for you!”

Zigzagging around Robern’s hand, she stuck out her tongue and raspberried me as she backpedaled through the air. “Next time I won’t!” Spinning, she darted out into the commons. Cayenne followed a far less chaotic route, and Robern was able to close the door behind them and latch it Not that Nutmeg would stay out long if she wanted in.

“Great now I have to call the Empress for a tow.” Robern leaned back against the door.

“You know,” Cayenne said, drawing out the final vowel of the word.

Robern glanced at the fire Pixie. “For the sake of brevity, let’s assume I don’t.”

Cayanne cleared his throat. “We’re close to our destination.”

“Close, yes, but not there,” Robern said. Close proved relative in the black.

“Why don’t we use her sails.” Robern peered at Cayenne more fully. He stood in the air, his hands up to either side of his head as if confused by Robern overlooking the obvious.

“Sails,” I repeated. “The Firebird has sails?”

“Of course, she has sails. What bird wouldn’t?” Dodging over to the side, he flicked flame against a section of wall which looked remarkably like the rest until his flame hit it. The panel slid up leaving a button no bigger than Robern’s fist visible.

Barreling through the air, Cayenne struck the button with his back. A move which didn’t completely cover the button, but which produced a distinct click.

The ship shuddered.

Glancing out a port, Robern saw a wing unfurl in beautiful, translucent waves. To fine for to be merely a sail, it snapped taunt, and the ship lurched into motion. Slowly into motion. Their arrival would be delayed by days, but Robern wouldn’t need to call for help.

“Sails. Huh.” Not moving, Robern found the sight enchanting “How do they work?”

“They catch light. Even ibn the dark there’s light, and she can use any amount. Or make her own.” Cayenne patted the ship’s wall. “Not as fast as her engines, but they’ll do for short jaunts.”

Short jaunts. Today the sails would work today. Tomorrow he’d figure out how to keep an ice pixie from freezing over the engines. Robern retreated to the bridge to breathe before tackling how to handle the most chaotic creature in the galaxy.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day23

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”