Friday, February 12, 2016

Personal Challenge #1

As I'd posted earlier in the week, part of the reason for this blog is to challenge myself to both write more and to be more experimental in my writing. Go Here if you'd like to learn more and to discover the image sources, if you so desire. This and future stories are entirely fictional; this particular tale will be a short one... for me.


It had begun in the night, the insistent pounding in her ears; faint at first, barely enough to wake her but once wakened she couldn't return to sleep and didn't especially want to.

As dawn grew closer and the first, faint hint of light appeared on the horizon, Grandmother awoke as the sound of drums grew louder; the girl felt a faint tickling on the top of her head. Reaching up, she felt a faint and pleasant warmth, grasped it and brought it down to eye level, laughing as she beheld a small blue flame dancing in the palm of her hand. Replacing the flame, still smiling, she stood to help her wide-eyed Grandmother from bed. 

"This was my dress, in case I was called" whispered Grandmother, "wear it with joy and pride and don't forget what I told you of the old lord and his ways." Nodding, the lass slipped the white gown over her head, twirling as it's graceful folds slipped down her body and swirled around her ankles as if it, too, were dancing. Stepping out the front door lightly, so lightly, she gazed up at the temple; the only thing of beauty left in this shrunken, destitute town, so much of it destroyed by the invaders who came two generations ago.

She walked the streets of the awakening town, gathering everything in with her eyes as the pounding resolved itself into music, people gathering at doorways and windows to watch her pass. They were awed, having heard  stories of the call of the old lord but not seen it with their own eyes. Only the oldest of them had and they knew to maintain the silence she'd imposed on herself. 

The stairs which led to the secret entrance to the temple were on her right and she turned toward them, her feet beginning a dance whose steps she had never known before. Throwing back her head, she laughed, so filled with joy that it felt as though she floated on air; heedless of the sharp stones which bit at her feet, she danced up the steps until she reached the top and the door which stood there. The music reached a crescendo, then fell silent as if awaiting her decision...

Throughout the town people gathered, silent and solemn, before proceeding up the ramp to the temple. The men trooped in while the women gathered outside the door; waiting outside as the priest's harsh god demanded.

As the sun began to set the priests, uneasy at the silent vigil the people maintained, tried to send them home but they stood still in silent refusal. Finally, as the last ray of light began to disappear behind the mountains, came a girlish laugh and the sight of blue flame-crowned black curls swirling around a slight frame... and she danced. The priests, stunned for a moment, were as silent as the townspeople before converging on the cursed female who had breached the sanctity of their violently acquired place of worship. Seeing this, the women of the town surged through the door; they and the men blocking the priests from reaching their girl.

Setting her foot on the air as if it were a step only she could see, music swelling until all could hear it, even the priests, she ascended; dancing as she went, before disappearing. On the floor laid a path; her dirty footprints beginning to gleam, golden, and the spots of blood from treading on sharp stones transformed into rubies.

Smiling, laughing and singing, the old lord's people returned to their homes as the priests attempted to wash (or gouge) the footprints from marble floors. Finding it impossible, they gave up; fearful, they began drifting out of the temple in ones and twos. Three days later the angry new god's priests had all left for their bleak land and the old lord's townspeople had returned to the temple, men and women both, to fill it with flowers, laughter and song as Grandmother led them.




25 comments:

  1. Stunning. Wonderful. Magical. Mystical. I want more!

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    1. Mitchell, you know I adore you, right?

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  2. Wonderful imagery in your description. I feel the magic.

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    1. Thank you! Isn't it odd that I have this sudden burning desire to write about oddly-shaped aliens?

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  3. Poor priests lost all their power in the end

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  4. Excellent, and an appropriate setting for the start of Lent I think.

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  5. I love that story, full of lightness, instead of the dark, hard handed cold fist of religion crammed down our throats. Those priests can stay in their dark angry judgemental world.

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    1. Is it any wonder that their land is a bleak one?

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  6. Beautiful.
    I love that she laughed as she paid the price. I love that the women were ready to protect her.
    I love the hope...

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    1. And I love you to bits; thank you for the encouragement.

      The story needs work, I know it does... for the last month and a half they've all been first drafts, written just before publishing and it shows. BUT... doing it this way has revived my love of writing and taken me places I'd never allowed any of my little stories to go before.

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  7. This was a great story full of description. Made me feel as if I was there.
    Lisa

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  8. This is so much better than anything I could have written from those pictures. It's amazing.

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    1. Give me leave to doubt that River, I've read your writing... but I thank you ever so muchly much. *hugs*

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  9. Magnificent!!! Oh my goodness....magnificent.
    You certainly brought a bit of liberation here in your words on this work. The dancing, smiling, lightness of the woman's powers to be is incredible. I too was there with her....just as you depicted, I was there protecting. Not only protecting but smiling within.

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    1. Oh Anni, thank you so much for that... you are such a treasure. =)

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  10. This was fantastic. I love the whimsy in every description, and yes, sign me up for THIS kind of religion, not the angry god/grumpy priest kind.

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  11. Bewitching story. Beautifully written. I'm looking forward to your future challenges.

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  12. I loved this. The imagery was fantastical and wonderful.

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C'mon, be cranky and let 'er rip!