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The war moved further north, and we followed several days behind.  The landscape was an endless battlefield, and we passed over it like wildfire, picking the mushrooms that grew on the endless corpses.  The men on the frontlines would dine on flesh and meat, but the rest of the tribe managed with what we could.  By the time we arrived, the bodies were too rotten to be suitable food, but they were perfect fertilizer for the broad, meaty red caps.  Elanna told me that the enemy’s poisoned weapons dropped spores that grew into non-poison food stuff.   Elanna always knew stuff like that.  

She was eight then, and I twelve, but she often had to teach me simple lessons like that, and as she got older, she grew more frustrated with her dim-witted big sister.  The facts of the World just never sat in my head as firmly as the dreams of the stars, or the songs of the tall reeds.  The others had always seen it, but she was only now growing old enough to wonder why she knew so much more than me.

“Stop!” she hissed, her tone sharp with knee-jerk panic and exasperation.  “Those ones aren’t for you!”

My hand hovered in place, and I shook out of my daydreams.  Directly in front of me, one of the Temari warriors stared lifelessly with bulging eyes and a silent scream.  His guts had been spilled, and the half-digested remnants of his breakfast lay in his lap.  My fingers hung inches away from the mushrooms that grew from the refuse, and I withdrew them slowly.  These were taller and thinner, purple and gold instead of the rich red ones that filled my sack.

“Those are for the Dreamer!” she scolded me, rolling her eyes.  And of course she was right, we all knew that the shamans and medicine women were meant to pick and eat those, so they could Dream and speak to the Gods.  “Nani, don’t you know anything?”  Others were starting to look our way, their attention drawn away from their picking.

“I… I know some stuff,” I weakly began to defend myself, though the tears were already beginning to sting the corners of my eyes.  “I just… Sometimes I don’t remember stuff and sometimes I don’t really look with my eyes but…”  A few of the other girls had wandered over to see the commotion, and I saw a smug superiority upon their faces.  “I’m sorry, Elanna.  I don’t…” but slowly, I trailed off.  Something had clicked in the slow cogs of my mind.

As the other pickers began to circle in, I looked over their faces.  There was the girl who could name every weapon on the battlefield, but always failed the riddle games.  Then the girl who could read directions in the stars, but saw nothing about the future or past up in the great tapestry of the night sky.  There was my sister, the girl who seemed to remember everything she was ever taught, but who had never spoken to a squirrel or fallen in love with a tree.

And behind them, I saw Old Raini, smiling vacantly and staring up at the clouds.  As though feeling my eyes upon her, she turned her head down from the sky and looked my way.  Her smile extended as she met my gaze, and her eyes twinkled like they always did when she waited to see if we had learned the lesson she was teaching.

Turning back to my little sister, my brilliant clueless little sister, my scowl melted and I flashed a loving smile while I reached down to seize both the mushrooms and my own destiny.
Flash-Fic-Month July 5th 2017 was so long ago that no one even remembers it. 

I think I'm happy with this one.  It unfolded in my head out of nowhere this morning, and I hope I got it onto the screen intact.  I hope that everyone's having a good month of reading and writing flash fiction.  Hoping that I'll get some time to do both of those things soon.  In the meantime, Viva!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2018-05-02
JessaMar Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations from CRLiterature on your Daily Deviation!  We are holding a chat event in CRLiterature on Saturday, June 9 from 11am-1pm Pacific Time to discuss May's batch of Literature DDs and we hope you will be able to join us.  Readers will be discussing and reacting to a selection of Literature DDs; we're not sure how many we will have time for, but priority will be given to works whose author is present for the chat.  We also encourage you to spread the word to your watchers!  Or, if for any reason you prefer that we not include your work in our discussion, just let us know.
distortified Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much!  I'm so sorry that I missed the discussion, I have a tendency to be horribly absent unless it's Flash Fiction Month, haha.  I hope that you folks had a great chat!
JessaMar Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
That's alright.  We are holding another one on July 7; your piece won't be eligible for discussion since we're only doing June DDs this time around, but if you feel like coming around to discuss others, that would be great.
The-Inkling Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018   Writer
I almost missed this! Stumbled across it while trawling for FFM Daily Deviations. Well done you, this was great!

I don't know how you manage it, but the worlds you create always feel so weighty and immediate - like there's a whole lotta other stories standing just beyond the periphery, waiting to happen.
distortified Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much!  I think you've heard me complain in the past that it's usually the ones I don't like that get attention, but this one actually really pleased me.  One of those rare instances that came to me all in one neat package, and didn't fight me on the way to the page. I'm probably gonna have to tell some of those other stories you referred to, I think.

And I finally accepted the feature, so it doesn't have to be put through again. :D  My bad. 
The-Inkling Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018   Writer
No problem, I know you only exist during the month of July. And hey, you know my default stance on the story front. If you write 'em, I'll be here to read 'em. ;)
Memnalar Featured By Owner May 4, 2018
Very well done.
distortified Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Pardon my super late reply, but thank you very much!
neurotype Featured By Owner May 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thirding (fourthing?) the people who say they like the direction this took - more to Nani than what it seems at first.
distortified Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I'm super late to the party, but thank you so much!  I appreciate your fourthing!
LindArtz Featured By Owner May 2, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice work!!

Congratulations on your much deserved DD!  :)
Congrats on DD By Marphilhearts by LindArtz
Catgirldstr11 Featured By Owner May 2, 2018
heartdialect Featured By Owner May 2, 2018  Student Writer
This is delightful. I was intrigued from the get-go by their practice of consuming mushrooms in decomposing bodies (what a sight though :faint:). And I'm especially appreciative of the build-up to the final revelation — it didn't come out of the blue — and the mini-relevation — everyone has their own gifts! yay! — which preceded it. 

:hug: :heart: Congrats on your well-deserved DD.
Weidenlied Featured By Owner May 2, 2018  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love this - the idea is unique, and the execution flawless. I enjoyed that they're all "savants" instead of
the main character just being slightly less smart than anyone else, and the plot development is fluid and
KiriHearts Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2017
This is horrifying and sweet and triumphant all at once. I give it fake applause. Phantom ovation, even.
GDeyke Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2017   Writer
I love the turn this took - as well as the worldbuilding, particularly in the first paragraph.
vigour-mortis Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I like the direction you took your story. 
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Submitted on
July 10, 2017


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