Of magic and more


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Hope’s Revenge

Writing FF after so long, finally! My 13th post on FF, which is hosted by Rochelle, a forum full of lovely talented writers. Anyone who wants to join in the fun is very welcome!

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Ted Strutz

 Copyright-Ted Strutz

My 99 words based on the photo prompt: 🙂

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HOPE’S REVENGE

The old leaky apartment was not what she was used to, but it was a lot better than her previous accommodations.

“Look to him, he stirs.” Hope urged her assistant. Pandora obliged, running her sharp blade through Zeus’s bound torso. His scream reverberated in the silence, but Hope wasn’t worried. The grilled windows and walls were soundproof.

Many millennia ago she was crammed into that jar with those abominations by the gods. They bruised and scarred her. Innocent Pandora lost her husband’s love- oh, the injustice!

But no more. Hope smiled. She would have her revenge now.

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Don’t mess with the Sirens

This is my submission to the Write On Edge Week 11 writing challenge. The idea is to write a piece of fiction in 500 words, based on the picture prompt, the given quote, or both f you’re so inclined. This week the quote was:

I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.

~Robert Frost

The picture prompt:

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

I have taken inspiration from the picture. Here are my 490 words 🙂

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DON’T MESS WITH THE SIRENS

 

She had watched him from afar, noon and night, ever since he had pitched his tent on the island. Often he had caught her eye with a knowing smile, and every time she had lowered her adoring gaze until he turned away. Parthenope, the sea siren, was infatuated with Ulysses, and he knew it. The handsome hero loved all the attention, but never would he fall prey to her charm. The great Ulysses and a low down creature of the sea! Impossible. That was exactly what he would tell Parthenope if she came to him, demanding his love. He was well aware that rejecting a siren’s advances was dangerous, and all his well-wishers would advise him to flee , lest he be killed. But from the siren’s unusual shyness, it seemed unlikely she would approach him, and so he remained complacent.

 

But she did come to him one afternoon. She rose out of the tide, pearly-eyed and dark haired, her beauty putting the loveliest goddesses to shame. But all this was wasted on the stone-hearted Ulysses who bestowed her with no more than a cursory glance.

Still she tried to woo him. Again and again he spurned her, taunting her and her sisters for being wicked deformities of nature and boasting about how he was too great a hero to ever stoop so low as to love a siren. “Begone!” He spat. “You are not worthy of being the ground I walk upon.”

Gathering up her wounded self-respect, Parthenope responded with cold dignity. “Do not underestimate our worth. My sisters and I are powerful. Men have killed and have themselves died often at our bidding. Many in this world have sought our affections, none have been fortunate enough to glimpse it. Be wise, Ulysses, this is not a gift to be thrown away. Choose well, while you have time.”

But the hero merely laughed and threatened to obliterate Parthenope and her sisters until the siren left him alone.

On their home island, Parthenope and her sisters discussed Ulysses.

“Perhaps he’s faithful to his wife.” Suggested Ligeia.

“Hardly!” scoffed Aglaope. “There is not a land in the known world where he has not bedded a woman.”

“He must be dealt with.” They agreed.

The day before Ulysses was supposed to return home to Ithaca, he mysteriously disappeared. His men, whom he had ordered to camp on the other side of the island so he might not be disturbed; found nothing but his tent despite searching thoroughly. Large, skilled search parties were launched, but the hero could not be found. In Ithaca, Penelope, his wife, grieved his assumed death.

 

“Slave!  Fetch me a goblet of wine!”

“Have you not mopped the floors yet, slave? Really, you are the slowest!”

Ulysses wiped his brow and continued his unaccustomed labour. By Gods, he should have fled while there was time. Now he was stuck as the sirens’ slave forever…

 


23 Comments

Cursed

Hi, y’all! My 8th attempt at writing 100 word flashfiction for FF, which is hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Every week Rochelle chooses a picture prompt, on which we write approximately 100 words, give or take a few. Thanks Adam for this week’s picture 😀

AdamIckes-boardwalk

                                                   copyright – Adam Ickes

Here are my 100 words 🙂

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CURSED

The village was united before the war tore it apart.

Overnight, friends became enemies, and suspicion spread like a poisonous fog.

A bridge was built to divide the village into two. Any person who tried to cross the bridge would be executed.

Lovers Hayden and Jasmine dared to defy. One clear spring afternoon, the two lovers were burnt at the stake.

Those involved in the execution were found dead in their beds the next morning. The surviving inhabitants fled the village in terror.

 Legend has it, every leap year, the spirits of the villagers come back to replay the massacre.

 

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A Helping Hand

A HELPING HAND

Joanna sat in her study with her fifth cup of coffee for that night. Her husband Gerhard was fast asleep upstairs and so were the children. Go on, you can do it, she urged herself. She lowered her eyes to the .45 pistol on the desk. She had sneaked it away from Gerhard’s closet when he was showering earlier in the day. The pistol had a silencer in it- Gerhard always kept it in the nearest safe place- the closet- in case there was an intruder.

 

Joanna let her fingers close around the cold metal, knuckles whitening as her grip tightened. All she had to do was go up the stairs, into the bedroom and fire a single bullet. It would be so easy, killing Gerhard. Just as it should have been all along, for all these years.  Joanna had stopped eschewing the thought of murdering her husband when she realized how much she had suffered at his hands. She had left everything for him- a promising modeling career, her city, even her family. In return she had seen days and months of abuse- the beatings, the insults, the excuses she had had to give for her bruises…

 

No more, she vowed. Steeling her nerves, Joanna got up and walked quietly into the dark hallway. The sound of swishing fabric made her whip around as a blurred neon shape moved into her field of vision. Thankful of her sharp reflexes, Joanna tackled the intruder. “Don’t move, I’ve got a gun!” she warned in a harsh whisper, cursing her luck. Of all the nights, this had to happen now!

“And I’ve got a knife.” The intruder said in a trembling voice, familiar to Joanna. Her eyes better adjusted to the darkness now, recognized the person below her. “Sadie?” she cried softly. “What are you doing here?” Joanna helped her husband’s secretary up. “Don’t try to attack me again.” She told the sniffling girl, prying the knife out of her fingers.

Switching on the lights, Joanna turned back to Sadie with a raised eyebrow. “Well? Explain, or I’ll call the police.”

“No, no, please don’t do that!” Sadie burst into tears. “I…. I came to kill you.”

“In this costume?” Joanna felt a wry smile tugging at her lips. The glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit would make it difficult for anyone not to see it coming their way. “Nice camouflage.”

“What?” Sadie sniffed. “Neon is the new sexy! I ordered it online just last week. Priority shipping.”

“So why did you want to kill me, Sadie?”

The pretty girl looked bitter. “Gerhard- I mean Mr. Adler told me to.”

Joanna narrowed her eyes. “So he wants me out of the way.”

Sadie nodded. “Mr. Adler and I… we’ve been having a secret affair. He told me he loved me. He gave me this-“ She fingered the delicate silver chain she was wearing- “and promised to marry me if I killed you.” She started crying again.

Foolish little thing, thought Joanna with a mixture of amusement and contempt. She decided she had to finish Gerhard off that very night. If she missed this opportunity, she knew she might not get the courage again. Only, what was to be done with the silly creature in front of her?

“Two pairs of hands are better than one.” The words escaped her mouth before she could stop them.

“What do you mean?” Sadie cocked her head at Joanna, looking at her with wide blue eyes.

“Well Sadie.” Joanna tried her best to sound convincing. “Gerhard doesn’t love you at all.”

“Of course he does!” Sadie bristled. “He told me so. And he got me a Porsche a few days back!”

“Darling, that’s nothing. He got me a 10 carat diamond ring from Tiffany a while ago.” Said Joanna truthfully. Gerhard had always been particular about giving expensive gifts to make up for being the world’s worst husband.

“Oh! A diamond!” Sadie sounded outraged. “He certainly never got me one…”

“See? There’s the proof.”

“How could he lead me on like this?” Sadie raged. “I want to kill him now!”

“As I said Sadie, two pairs of hands are better than one. Let’s do it together.”

“What’s in it for you?

“Despite appearances, he isn’t all that good to me either.” Joanna pulled her robe aside to reveal a yellowing bruise. “I’ll split the insurance with you, fifty-fifty.”

They shook hands.

A Bee Gee’s song played in Joanna’s mind. She smiled. No more Stayin’ Alive for Gerhard.

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This was written for speakeasy #152 at yeahwrite. The challenge was (a)to write a piece of fiction or poetry,750 words or less(mine is 750 including the title)(b)to use the sentence ,”“It would be so easy.”,anywhere in the piece and (c)to make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which this week is a video for ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.In case,this challenge interests you or you would like to read what others have written,click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/


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Angel

My submission for the Write On Edge Writing Prompt Week 10 🙂 The challenge is to write a story in no more than 500 words based on the given picture or quote. If you like, you may use both the picture and the quote, or simply derive inspiration from them. This week the picture was:

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

                                                            Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The quote:

You could’ve made a safer bet, but what you break is what you get.
You wake up in the bed you make. I think you made a big mistake.

You own me. There’s nothing you can do. You own me.

~Mark Berninger of The National, Lucky You

 

Here are my 500 words-

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ANGEL

They say love gives you direction. They say it helps you complete the jigsaw puzzle life is.  But you, Angel, did neither. Your dazzling smile had my head reeling the first time I met you. The knowing look in your sparkling sapphire eyes made me feel like you were enjoying a private joke.. You never let me on it, did you?

 

You were bright and summery when you wanted to be, as angelic as your name. In those moments you were my Angel, hair like sunshine and kisses like the breath of Zephyr.  But oh, that mean streak of yours! Demonic wrath! When your temper flared, you were the fallen Angel who had decided upon wreaking havoc in all three worlds. You were cruel and relentless in tearing my heart down. Yet I never complained ,my love patient and willing to suffer all my life for a single bubble of laughter from your sweet lips.

 

But how I loved you, Angel… and how I still do. It kills me every day that I had to do this, though really I had no option. How could I, who had showered you with all of life’s happiness; bear to see you in the arms of not one-not two-but several lovers week after week? Was it the sex, Angel? Yes, I know I could not love you in bed for as long as you would have preferred, but my darling, was that reason enough to betray my faith in your lovely self? Well, whatever be the reason, I had to keep you with me. I could not and would not lose my Angel, my heaven and my hell.

 

So I did it. Claimed you back, in all senses. You see why I had to, right? You see, don’t you? Oh dear… I’d forgotten how pus-filled your blue orbs have become.  My pet, how can you let your beauty deteriorate this way? After all the hours I spent with the formaldehyde and the ethanol! I even made sure that the cosmetics I provided you with were 100% organic. So why this negligence towards yourself? Look, now your lips are cold and cracked too… Your breath is turning rancid too-I noticed when I kissed you yesterday. It’s a pity about your chest- I never meant to swing that cleaver so many times, but it felt too good to stop, besides you had already stopped moving, so you felt no pain.

 

Never mind, Angel. All that actually matters is that I have you now. Your skin will peel off and rot, you will be reduced to bones and consequently ashes, but my love for you will never falter.  I’m dreadfully sorry I had to resort to this, but alas! You know you deserve this, love.

You could’ve made a safer bet, but what you break is what you get.
You wake up in the bed you make. I think you made a big mistake.

You own me. There’s nothing you can do. You own me.

 

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Clytie’s Folly

 

 This is my submission for the dVerse “Let’s be Fabulists today” challenge. The idea is to write a piece of poetry inspired by any fable of your choice. You can also write your own fable if you like, just be a Fabulist and do it the way you find suitable 😀 Thank you Bjorn for this super-interesting prompt!

I chose the Greek myth of Clytie the sunflower maiden. There are a few versions of the story, I used this one because I like it best. Clytie, a beautiful water nymph falls in love with Sun god Apollo, but he does not return her affections, breaking her heart and causing her much misery. This leads the other gods to pity her and turn her into a sunflower, so she always follows the route of the sun and folds her petals in when the sun sets, thereby proving her everlasting love for Apollo.

CLYTIE’S FOLLY

 

Long ago, a lovely water nymph

Loved a handsome god

And she loved him truly

With a fire never to thaw.

 

She was Clytie with the spun gold tresses

He was Apollo, master of the sun

As arrogant he was, as loving was she

He loved many; for her he was the only one.

 

Luminous and lovestruck, her eyes

Followed him across the azure sky

Never he deigned to cast her a glimpse

Uncaring was he, yet she never questioned why.

 

With his arrival her day began

Hope made her delicate bosom tremble

Yet not once did he look upon her beauty

Never did his strong hands on the reins fumble.

 

“Forget him!”, Clytie’s sisters urged

“He will give you nothing but pain

This obsession will raze you to ashes

In the end nothing of you will remain.”

 

“No”, she insisted, naïve as she was

“He will love me one day soon.”

But the stars would not will it to happen

And Clytie wept for Apollo night, day and noon.

 

The depth of her devotion

Had failed to move the one she desired

But the gods had seen her suffering

And took pity on her situation, for it was dire.

 

Slowly the magic wove itself in patterns

Turning each finger into a soft leaf

Slender waist tapered down into a stem

Petals bloomed on her face, no longer to express grief.

 

The gods had morphed Clytie

She was a flower now, the hue of sunshine

But her lovely golden face

would still follow the sun

She could not speak her sorrow,

 But for his love she would always pine.

 

 

 

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Blood Ties

This is my submission for the Write On Edge “It Takes Two” contest.

“It takes two to make an accident.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The details:

  • 1000 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome.
  • linky is open until Friday, February 21, at 11:55pm Pacific
  • Use the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote above as an opening/closing line or draw inspiration from it, your choice.
  • Community voting opens 2/22 and closes 2/28 at 11:55pm Pacific.
  • Community and editorial choice winners will be announced on Write on Edgeand Bannerwing Books on Monday, March 3, 2014.
  • All entries must be original work, only published on your personal blog/website, and by entering you give Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books permission to reprint your entry in Precipice, Volume III‘s print and digital formats, as well as permission to edit for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.
  • Have fun!

 

Here are my 952 words 🙂

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BLOOD TIES 

There was a time when things were different.  In those days, Alyssa had worshipped her, and obeyed every command of hers. Phaedra had been her goddess, her muse, her universe and all its planets and constellations. And now…

Phaedra had always said it was compassion that had made her turn Alyssa into her kind, but the truth was that she had fallen in love with the beautiful auburn haired, pink cheeked human girl who walked through the woods every day on her way to school. Never in Phaedra’s four hundred and nine years had she felt this way. There was something about Alyssa that made warmth flood into Phaedra’s undead heart, something that made it flutter like a caged bird. It made her long for Alyssa like she had never longed for anyone before.

Yet how could she reach out? How could she express her love for Alyssa without exposing herself and her clan to the human world? Granted the human world in their case was only a small, nondescript town in the middle of nowhere, but was Alyssa very likely to respond to the affections of one whose clan had just destroyed her family and friends in front of her? She was likely to think of them as monsters and Phaedra did not want that. But then fate had intervened. A young bloodthirsty vampire had attacked Alyssa in the woods one day, and would have killed her if Phaedra had not stepped in timely and destroyed the creature. Phaedra had then seized the golden opportunity and turned Alyssa. Alyssa could have recovered from the attack, healed with surgery and medicine, but Phaedra never told her that. I did it for her own good; she told herself whenever she felt guilty about it.

After Alyssa’s awakening, Phaedra began looking forward to eternity for the first time. Alyssa was deeply grateful to her savior and amazed by her newfound capabilities. She loved the superhuman strength, the vision, the hearing, and most of all being immortal. She was, however, somewhat afraid of the other vampire clans, and Phaedra willingly took her under her experienced wing. Alyssa learnt from Phaedra everything she needed to know in order to survive. Phaedra and she  spent every day and night together as friends, companions, and lovers in the purest sense of the word. For Phaedra, every moment was consumed in memorizing the curve of Alyssa’s smile, drinking in the beauty of her laughter to the last drop and dedicating everything she had to her love.

Phaedra wanted Alyssa to love her back in the same way that, but the sparks just hadn’t flown from the other side. Alyssa worshipped the ground Phaedra walked upon and would do anything she asked for, her world revolved around Phaedra, but she was not in love with her. Phaedra could easily have demanded Alyssa’s affections the way she wanted them, but she loved the younger vampire too much for that. Besides, Alyssa’s loyalty left little to be desired. “I can forget everything, I can leave everything, Phaedra.” Alyssa told her once. “But I’ll never forget you. And I’ll never leave you .”

Those were the golden days, when it had just been the two of them. And then seventy years later, he came in from nowhere. Chris.  The irony of fate was that Alyssa laid eyes on Chris in the same way Phaedra had first seen Alyssa herself. Now Chris was everything Alyssa wanted.  She told Phaedra she wanted to turn Chris so they could live happily ever after, because she was cent percent sure that he was her Prince Charming. “Isn’t it wonderful that I finally found the one I want to spend eternity with?” she asked Phaedra, her eyes shining.

“Does he love you too?” Phaedra asked Alyssa, trying to sound normal.

“Oh he doesn’t know me yet. But he will, soon.” Came the calm reply.

It had taken Phaedra seventy years to realize how selfish Alyssa really was.

Phaedra’s frozen heart wept. Seventy years she had given to this relationship. An eternity she had devoted to this love, and now her princess, her Cinderella no longer wanted her. After all she had done for the lovely redhead, this was what she had received in return.

She felt the grief give way to burning rage. What was Phaedra’s was hers alone, and no one else could dare claim it. Alyssa belonged to her, certainly not to a weak human.

Chris had to be dealt with. Soon.

One month later, Phaedra sat consoling a sobbing Alyssa. “They left! All of them! Chris and his entire family!” Alyssa said, for the tenth time that evening.

“I know.” Said Phaedra soothingly.

“I just loved him so much, you know, Phaedra? So so much…I had such lovely plans for our future together, I was even going to meet him, in that lilac dress you got me that summer in Transylvania, and he just …left.” Alyssa collapsed in Phaedra’s arms.

“There, there. He wasn’t worth you anyway.. And I’m always there, am I not? I’ll love you forever, sweet one…” Phaedra murmured gently and Alyssa sobbed harder. “I know!” she cried. “I’ll never chase anyone again, Phaedra! I will stay with you for the rest of eternity, with the only person who truly loves me.”

Phaedra sighed contentedly and marveled at how easy it had been to get rid of Chris. A little bearing of fangs, some cryptic warnings, and the foolish mortal and his already superstitious family had fled.  It had been by accident that Chris had come into Alyssa’s life and another accident that had chased him away. It is rightly said, Phaedra mused. It takes two to make an accident.

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