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.”

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