It was a pity, he thought, that he would have to kill her.
She was still new, a flicker of silver flame in a sky like black velvet. Every part of her shone with hope. Like a child she flew from one end of the sky to another, drifting ever farther from the light of his shadow, and never thinking she might one day die; her light was weak, still, but if she would shine she first must glow.
A yellow bird in flight, he watched her, and watched as she passed beyond his realm. She grew to shine over forests and cloisters, deserts and seas; far below the people saw her as she passed, and whispered to her, and prayed. Her worshippers called to her from thickets of brambles, where they burnt herbs and mushrooms in her name, and she smiled down upon them and showed them the dreams that led the way to madness.
When the amber moon was full she travelled beyond his reach. She came out again on the other side of morning, a white lady regal with strength, and told him what she had seen in the night: dark rituals and hidden deeds, things forever beyond his sight. The people gathered hangman’s blood below the gallows, she told him, and blessed their charms with it below her light. She gave of the night’s power freely.
Now she watched them casting curses, driving black nails into poppets of wood. Her light was older now, and bitterness rested in her dying curve. She granted their wishes with smiling spite.
This, too, she told him. She was wiser now: she saw her death coming, and she knew that he must bring it. For all that her realm was a twisted nightmare, for all that his was a golden dream, the kindness in her – that granted wishes of protection, of revenge – was not in him; he did only what he must.
When she was old and frail, old and wise, only a flicker of silver flame in a sky bright with morning, his light began to burn her away. She let herself fade, knowing well she’d be reborn, and laughed away the pity in his eyes.
The last words she spoke to him were of thanks.
Written for Flash Fiction Month 2018, day 7, challenge 4: write a story of 377, 610, or 987 words, the first sentence of which is taken from the end of a story by another FFMer; it must contain a dynamic character and at least ten cocktail names, and prominently feature two things that do not ordinarily go together. Cocktail names: Black Velvet, Hangman's Blood, Bramble, Cloister, The Last Word, White Lady, Yellow Bird, Amber Moon, Black Nail, Golden Dream. This year I'm also fulfilling a challenge by an anonymous contributor: Every character must be queer.
I've also been somehow convinced to take on a challenge by joe-wright:
The first sentence is taken from "Making Up" by KiriHearts.The All-Star challenge.
Over the course of FFM, your oeuvre must address the following items:
- -Something somebody once told you
- -The sharpest tool
- -A finger and a thumb
- -The shape of an L
- -What does it mean to be 'fed to the rules'?
-A smart brain and a dumb head
- -"You'll never shine if you don't glow"
- -Definitive proof that all that glitters is in fact gold
-A shooting star that breaks the mold -The meteor men, and the hole in the satellite picture
- -Skating on thin ice
-The world on fire
- -"Can you spare some change for gas?"
- -An all-star, getting their game on, and going to play, or alternatively and perhaps easier, a rock star, getting the show on, and getting paid.
The rest of today's stories can be found here.
Edit 09.07.2018: Minor change in wording in the final sentence, getting it more in line with the tone of the rest.
You weaved in those alcoholic drinks SO WELL! I also liked the repetition of 'pity' in the beginning and the end. And astronomy is always cool.
I love this. Your stories are so short but the atmosphere is always so good? It's really captivating? Your writing style is truly something else.
Thank you so much. And hey, maybe someday I'll finish that novel I'm working on, and that'll last a while longer!
This is beautiful ^^" And the cocktail names fit in perfectly - so skilfully done.
I wasn't too sure about some of them (the yellow bird, especially) so I'm glad to hear that - thank you!
You were definitely able to use those cocktail names to their best possible effect. I agree with the others that this is wonderfully poetic.
Like prose poetry, it's an illustration, a song and a story. Love this.
Thank you; I'm glad you do! Honestly I worried that this might almost come too close to poetry.
I know I say this often but your word choice is so beautiful. Serious excellence.
I love how your so great at creating moods in your literature