Quelling the Tempest – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title: Quelling the Tempest
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt #121 – Teapot
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 48 words.

Everyone loved Mima, although no one really knew her. Quiet and demure she floated through the village. She had the ability to quell any quarrel. With her trusty teapot, she arrived to save the day.

“Tea makes good friends,” she said.

“Who can argue when you’re sharing tea.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Going Home – 100 Word Wednesday

Title: Going Home
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 135
Word count: 100 words

Image by Cyranny

“Be yourself,” Maeve said then paused. “Try to look normal.”

Colton raised an eyebrow.

“Maeve, I’m Cerulean.”

“You’re the only one who can open the gateway.”

Colton had agreed and now he waited, tapping his foot. Hoping he looked inconspicuous, he checked his chronoscope. The window was closing, and their next chance was decades from now. Colton couldn’t stay, but he didn’t want to leave them.

Finally, he saw Maeve and the others running toward him. He engaged the portal, and it whirled to life. Only seconds remained. He stepped through the portal and prayed they all made it home.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Cosmic Intervention – Thursday Threads

Darrius suspended his hand above the ancient vessel. His blood pulsed, forming a tiny pool, before he turned his palm and allowed a single drop to fall. Black liquor rose, eager, like a lover yearning to possess his beloved. As they joined, he spoke the final words.

“Nunc Ostende Te.”

The explosion blinded him. The blast rang in his ears and beat in his brain. Somehow, he was still standing in a space devoid of light. The pain radiating from his chest silenced the screaming cut in his hand.

“Sirena?”

The booming in his head faded to a silence deeper than anything he had ever experienced. He reached his hands in front of him, patting the air where the table should have been. His mind raced, contemplating nefarious scenarios. His fingertips found coarse fabric. The burlap under the bowl. His fingers explored until they touched the rough stone. Darrius sighed, relived for only a second, when amber eyes materialized, floating in the darkness.

“Who are you?”

“It was you who summoned me,” the velvet soft voice oozed, seeping into his consciousness.

“The solicitation spell should have brought Sirena.”

“So, I’m not the one you expected?”

“Am I dead?”

“Hardly, darling,” the eyes blinked, hinting at seduction.

“Where’s Sirena?”

“She doesn’t love you, but I do.”

The ache in Darrius’ chest sank to the pit of his stomach.

“Thanks to your evil desires, you’ll have Eternity to experience my dark passions instead. Sirena is too good for the likes of you.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Follow Me – Friday Fictioneers

Title: Follow Me
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger

Sasha’s quest for world domination was a slow process. Her extensive research in neuroscience and cult psychology formed the basis of her plan. Her studies confirmed the importance of preparing the subject’s mind, training and conditioning it to accept and execute her suggestions without question.

The first steps were simple. Couched in benign requests, few people objected, and peer pressure forced compliance as she led them through children’s games. They were rules of conduct even negligent parents taught their offspring. Sit quietly, don’t ask questions, follow the leader.

The next step was a compulsory five-minute rendition of the chicken dance.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

A Matter of Timing – FFfPP

Title: A Matter of Timing
Source:  FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017 WEEK #30
Word count: 200 words

Odette glanced at the building’s clock as she walked. Early as usual, and Derick would be late, calm, cool and bemused by her irritation. Her heart pounded, as she scanned the piazza. An old man leaning against a column, feeding the pigeons. A woman wearing a headscarf pushing a baby stroller. Cafe tables spilling onto the pavement, red-checked tablecloths flapping in the breeze.

That’s when she saw him. His ball cap obscuring his face, contrasting with neatly pressed trousers and a white button-down shirt. He touched his right ear, and Odette struggled to keep her panic under control.

She took the portico’s steps two at a time, cool air from the darkness beyond the open central doors hit her face. She concentrated on the darkest spot and wondered who waited inside.

She heard footsteps behind her. Running. She entered the building, reaching her target, she cut left and sprinted toward the exit. She leaned against the doorjamb in the dark, motionless.

Mr. Ball Cap and Miss Mom ran in, racing to the center of the rotunda, they looked for her. Odette slipped around the door, turned right, and hugged the wall.

Derick pulled up on his scooter, “Am I late?”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Your Majesty — Ralph and the Prince Part III

If you missed anything you can read
Part I,  Here.
Part II, Here.

The Lucciola moved arrow-swift along the gloomy forest trail as the exhausted stallion struggled to follow. Ralph’s skin tingled, and he glanced behind him. He saw nothing except the dust kicked up from flying hooves, but his gut told him they were being followed. The dawn’s growing brightness provided no comfort for him and he worried about seeing the Lucciola in the daylight. The panting and lathered horse began to slow.

“We’re killing him,” Ralph thought then he noticed amber orb had slowed as well.

The glow veered to the left of the trail and stopped. In the stillness, Ralph heard a faint hum emanating from their guiding light.

“Are we lost?”

They bounced in the air, synchronized with the beat of his voice, then they moved further into the woods. The stallion leaped backward, turning his head right, he stepped toward the road. Ralph slid from the animal’s back and coaxed him in the opposite direction. His nervousness wasn’t calming the horse. There was no trail here, no signs anyone had ever passed this way. The Lucciola beckoned, inching deeper into the forest.

“Come on, boy.”

Ralph’s voice shook and his shoulders drooped as he pulled the stallion’s reins. He responded by tossing his mane, neighing his defiance his eyes rolled, and he backpedaled. Ralph grabbed the bridle.

“Ah, please,” he said trying to soothe himself as much as the horse. Ralph wondered if the sound pounding in his ears belonged to his beating heart or their unseen pursuers.

In the forest’s stillness, tree limbs swayed, the grasses whispered, and a brisk wind swept across the road pushing them towards their fate. Committed, they picked their way over uneven ground, around brambles, and under branches, trusting Sirona’s enchantments. The broken terrain transformed, becoming a thin line, an almost discernible footpath.

The prince moaned dragging Ralph’s attention away from the light they followed. A heavy gray mist, shrouded the small party, cutting them off from any return.

“Forward then,” Ralph said as if he had another choice.

Their journey twisted, winding back and forth, as they navigated a decent. Ralph swore he heard rushing water. They spiraled upward, the path curling through an ancient stand of gnarled pines. The ground turned to stone, and they climbed into the silent haze.

The stallion’s hooves clicked on granite steps as he bounded higher and the prince groaned with each jarring movement. They continued the winding ascent up the hillside.

“How much further?” Ralph asked, surveying the damp rock walls. Moisture dripped from the vegetation clinging in the cracks, but the Lucciola had disappeared.

“You’ve got to be kidding. We’re in the middle of nowhere. We can’t even turn to go back. You’re supposed to help me save him,” Ralph shouted. The dank air downed his words and he leaned against the wall.

“Damn it.” Ralph beat his fists against the rough surface.

The horse nudged him, pushing him off balance, he stumbled up the next step.

“All right,” Ralph yanked the reins, pulling the horse’s head as he regained his footing. They stared, each eyeing the other for a moment.

“Yes. You’re correct,” he said stroking its muzzle, “It’s not like we have options.”

A few yards ahead the stairs ended in a flat circular space. A solid wooden door, which appeared to be part of the stone, greeted them. Ralph dropped the reins and walked to it. Grabbing the wrought-iron handle, he pulled, then he pushed, jamming his shoulder against it with all his weight. It didn’t budge. Shaking his head, he tapped three times.

They waited. The stallion pranced in the tiny courtyard, blowing air through his nose. Ralph stood on one foot then the other.

He knocked again. Harder this time.

Ralph surveyed the enclosure. Overhead, an outcrop protected them from the elements. They could pitch a camp here, rest for a while and try to make the prince comfortable. He moved to the prince’s side, ready to slide him from his seat when he heard the sound of grating metal. He turned to face the unknown. Someone was releasing the bolt. Shuddering, the heavy door tore free from its seal, the hinges screeched, and it opened inward revealing a blinding light.

The stallion shied, moving back a pace while Ralph raised his hand, blocking the glare to see what lay inside. The sweet aroma of gardenia wafted into the courtyard. A figure obscured the brightness and stepped onto the stone floor.

Iridescent emerald-colored robes floated before him. Flashes of shocking bright blue took his breath away. Shimmering rosy opals circled an alabaster pink neck and spilled down the front of her gown. Green tinted white hair tumbled in long strands that sparkled as she moved. Captured by her coal-black eyes, he stood unable to move, incapable of speech.

“Oh,” she said, smiling in a way that made Ralph’s heart race.

“Your Majesty,” she bowed her head and dropped into a deep curtsey. Ralph turned, looking at his friend who was still unconscious, his body draped across the horse’s back. The dark cloak proudly displayed the prince’s royal crest.

“Ahem, no. He is Prince Kennward, son of King Alaric of Otsolurra,” Ralph stuttered as he tried to imitate the herald’s announcements at court.

“Ah, Sirona sent us. Well, she enchanted the Lucciola…” he stopped when the woman lifted her face and blinked. He took a deep breath and began again.

“He has been poisoned by our enemies. She administered something… an elixir? She said D’ArtAnna could save him. Can you help him?”

“I am D’ArtAnna,” she stated as she rose, and brushed past Ralph. She raised the prince’s head, and prying his eyes open she gazed into them. Slender fingers with emerald green nails pressed into his neck.

“Hmm,” she muttered then picked up the reins, “You may have gotten here just in time. Follow me. We don’t have a minute to spare.”

She sprinted toward the entryway, her robes billowing behind her, she didn’t look back. Without another word, Ralph followed. In the distance, the portal banged shut, and he heard the bolt clang, locking into place.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Chalk Outline

The truth is lost in time. Erased by centuries of chest-pounding men. What power could a mere teenage girl lacking noble birth, hold over her betters? I’m here to tell you, women have their ways.

Fluent in Latin, an educated mind grasps diplomatic intricacies and gathers skillful, wealthy, and intellectual people into a formidable defensive circle. Ambitious men heed the girl’s counsel and indulge her whims. Ludovico the lover, patron of Milan provides influence and fortune. Rare books, animated discussions, beautiful music, and a sitting with the court painter are the order of the day. A compliment here, a good word there, helps ensure the rising star of a talented artist.

Tokens and favors are currency more valuable than gold. Love is not an emotion to consider when status, livelihood, and beneficial concords are the prize. Diplomacy dictates marriage alliances, and it sweeps aside feelings. But an acknowledged son forges deep bonds with his father and protocol insists on a mother’s security. A gift of Carmagnola Palace serves as a just reward and an advantageous wedding seal the deal.

My life would have been forgotten except for the brilliant painter and a young woman’s captured image as she tried to keep her one true love. The work was both cursed and charmed. Recused, hidden, found, exiled, stolen, almost destroyed, a heavy army boot left its insult upon my face. Its survival is a miracle

Safe today, the painter’s reputation dances with my legacy. For now, my story endures.

 

*** The chalk image is a representation of Lady with an Ermine – Cecilia Gallerani.  A painting by Leonardo da Vinci ***

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

It Starts with One – FFfPP

Title: It Starts with One
Source:  FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017 WEEK #34
Word count: 200 words

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Sandy hobbled past the people milling around the pickup counter. The barista slammed her Grande Iced Caramel Cloud Macchiato behind two carry out trays. Their owner was busy yelling at his phone to notice his order was complete and in the way. Her gnarled hand pushed them to the side. Moaning softly, she reached for her cup.

“Those are mine. Why are you touching my drinks?” The man rushed forward bumping into her, as he thrust his arm between them.

Startled Sandy turned, her shoulder strap caught on his sleeve and her purse tumbled to the floor.

“You ignorant old hag. What the hell are you doing?”

His voice was loud, and Sandy’s skin prickled. Everyone was staring at her.

“I, I’m just trying to get my coffee…”

“How ‘bout you wait your turn? Look. Your cheap-ass bag ruined my sweater. Do you know what this cost? You’re buying me a new one.”

Another man stepped between them, grabbed the drink trays and shoved them at the man’s chest.

“Leave. Now. Before I find your grandmother and tell her how rude you are,” he said, expecting to be obeyed.

Grumbling the offender headed toward the door and the crowd cheered.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Holding On – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Holding On
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about old-world charm.
Word count:  99 words

The sand flew right out the window. It left me frozen, asleep for a thousand years. The one thing I craved, I never found. Solid ground. I slipped, descending the slope, my fate was sealed.

Sentenced, I watch your world from total darkness. Longing for sweet sun to kiss my face, I promise to try harder, even if it never matters. My once dark doors are open wide, my soul laid bare. Will you be there? Will you reach for my hand? Judge me, forgive me, save me?

Please, answer my prayers for the charms of my old world.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

The Oracle – 3 Line Tales

From Sonya’s 3LineTales at Only100Words.
You can find the original prompt here. Thank you, Sonya

photo by Melanie Dretvic via Unsplash

“What did Ned have to say today?” I asked as Shelly let the screen door slam behind her.

“Says we’re gonna have a long, frigid winter, and he wanted to make sure we have enough hay purchased.”

I didn’t dare ignore the things Ned said, for that horse was never wrong.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#