Falling Apart (Part One)

I hug my thick, leather coat tighter to me as the wind lashes at my uncovered skin. My eyes stinging and barely a gleam of light from the night sky make it hard to see where I’m going. It is a path I’ve travelled many times before, though not any time recently, so I know my way well enough to continue trudging toward my destination. I hear the creaking of old wood and reckon I must be getting close. My pace slows as the gusts of wind increase, the surrounding trees offer me no protection from the harsh weather.

The creaking continues to grow in volume though no more than a mere whisper over the wind and I surge forward into the modest safety of a porch. I had made it, finally. The house, if you could still call it that, seemed to have retained it’s main structure from what I see of it’s faint silhouette. Though the real carnage lay waiting inside the old building. Walking carefully on the weak and flexing boards beneath me, I headed for the front door and pulled it open.

I trod very carefully as I make my way through the front room into the second. I hope that everything is the same as I last remember it and that there would be no surprises. As I feel the walls to guide me into the house, familiar textures greet me amongst many that I do not know. My fingers press against a cold, metal surface and I know I’ve found the fire. Although I don’t know if it is still functional, I take and risk and pull matches from my pocket, setting the mantel alight. The heat from the flames instantly seeped into my skin, releasing and relaxing my tired muscles and letting me feel every ache in my body. I empty out a couple more pockets beside the fire and turn to warm my backside. Forgetting that the room was now lit, however dully, I had not prepared myself to see contents of the room.

There was little left in the way of furniture; it was either destroyed by animals or looted by wanderers or thieves. Either way, it was not missed. Now there was nothing left to conceal the evidence of a life lived here. No darkness, no obstacles. I walked over to the wall opposite where a few pieces of paper flapped wildly, still attached to the wall. Pulling them down gently I brought them back to the fire where I could see them clearly. The first was a child’s drawing: a roughly scribbled portrait of a boy and his parents. The next piece of paper held yet another drawing but this time of the woods. The last one was very faded and ripped in many places, but when I brought it to the fire I saw a family portrait. A beautiful young woman holding a chubby, little baby boy who were both enveloped in the arms of a much younger and less weathered me. I remember the day the photo was taken.

It had been a rough night for my wife and I with the baby waking every couple of hours; he was only a few months old. By the time morning came, all three of us were tired and grumpy and really not in the best of moods for a family photo. It was too late to cancel though because the cameraman was already on his way by the time we crawled out of bed. Our boy simply refused to eat breakfast that morning and by the time the cameraman arrived, we were all flustered. He set up the camera anyway and asked us to stand how we wanted. For some strange reason, that’s when our baby boy decided to perk up.

I don’t know if he thought the new man was funny looking or if he knew he was getting a photo, but he was incredibly happy and kept giggling at what seemed nothing. My wife and I just ran with and and before long we were smiling as well. I think in our case we were more suffering from delirium. Our photo ended up going fast and turned out wonderfully.

Before a single tear dropped from my welled eyes, I carefully folded up the portrait and buried it deep into one of my pockets so as not to lose it. I leant against the wall next to the fire and slid to the ground next to my things. There was precious little else left in the room and I didn’t think I could look at any other rooms tonight. I curled myself into a protective stance, holding anything as a weapon and let myself drift off for a quick nap.

It has been a while since my last one, but here we have another piece written from one of Kellie’s FWF Prompts! Thanks for the ever inspiring prompts, Kellie. I’m certainly not done with this one. (:

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A Thief in the Night

The thief stumbled down the steep forest slope, his lamp barely lighting his path. Envelope clutched in hand, he looked back towards the building he’s just escaped. Hearing enraged voices echoing down into the valley, he urged his legs on and headed straight for the river below. Reaching the water’s edge, he leapt into the boat he’d tied off earlier and pushed himself into the South running current. As he dropped his oar into water, he could see thirty-odd guards chasing after him. Little too late they reached the waters edge and the man slowly paddled his way downstream.

Once out of view, he pulled his oar into the boat and lay on his back, letting the current rock him gently onwards. He studied the shapes carved into the rock face that now lined his small vessel’s path; their familiar forms bringing him comfort.

Finally he released the envelope from his tight grip and began to read the contents in his lamp’s warm light. As the moon appeared from behind a cloud, a single tear escaped the thief’s blue eyes and when left to darkness again, the boat continued gently on it’s lonely journey to it’s destination unknown.

Prompt: Thief, envelope, forest, desk, and lamp.

It’s been a while since I’ve uploaded anything, so here’s a quick little piece I wrote up while in class. I have a feeling I’m not finished with it yet, but this is all I’m writing for now. :3
Amber. xx

Diary of Secrets

FOUR YEARS AGO.

12th of February.
Dear Diary,
Last night I had the most unusual dream. It felt so real, yet I woke up in the middle of it so I knew it wasn’t. It started off as a blur of images as though I was walking down a corridor of endless moving pictures. I felt the need to stop at one point so I did and then a door appeared beside me. I opened the door and walked into my step-mother’s study; she was talking to one of the guards. They were talking about the kingdom and some changes that she wanted to make to it. I walked over to the window realising that they either couldn’t see me or just didn’t notice me. The flowers were gone from the blossom trees below and the only colour left in the garden were those of the evergreens and step-mother’s personal flower garden that she kept flowering with her magic. I tuned back into the conversation just in time to hear the guard mention me. I looked at my step-mother and startlingly, she looked straight back at me with an icy glare and said, “well deal with her later”. I woke up covered in sweat and couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t know what to think of it – still don’t actually. I just hope I never have a dream like that again.

15th of February.
Dear Diary,
I’ve had that same dream again every night since the first. I don’t know what it means, but it feels so real and it scares me! I keep hearing more and more details of the conversation as each night goes by and I can’t unsee it. Every time I look at my step-mother I just see the hard stare she gives me in the dream. I don’t know what’s going on or what to do. Perhaps I should tell Father?

17th of February.
Dear Diary,
I had that dream again the night before last so I decided to tell Father yesterday. I told him everything I heard and saw in the dream and waited for him to respond. He was quite for a few moments staring off in the distance before he looked at me and asked if I’d told anyone. I said no, and he was adamant that I keep it that way. I especially needed to keep the information away from my step-mother. He said he’d explain why in a couple of days but for now I just needed to keep it to myself.

18th of February.
Dear Diary,
Today my step-mother wanted me to join her for tea. It was a somewhat odd request seeing as she usually didn’t acknowledge me these days more than was necessary. She asked about my studies and Father and then asked a lot about my magic such as: whether I’d been practising, if I’d developed any more gifts and many more questions like that. I remembered Father’s warnings and I didn’t tell her anything about my dreams but I’m so very confused.

19th of February.
Dear Diary,
I talked to Father today about Step-Mother’s little tea party with me and he seemed upset or worried. I assured him that I told her nothing about my dreams which seems to calm him a bit, but not entirely. I pressed him to tell me what was going on and he finally told me something. Only one little detail, but at least it was a start. He said my gifts were expanding and that I’m just coming into a new one. He wouldn’t tell me what it was – instead telling me once again that he’ll let me know soon. And also that I must keep this a secret from my Step-Mother at all costs.

20th of February.
Dear Diary,
Today the trees lost the last of their flowers and the wind turned cold.
Today I found out my Father died.
Today I was kidnapped.
And today I found out that with my new gift, I’d seen my Step-Mother plotting my Father’s death in my dreams days before it happened.

Thanks to a friend for this character development type prompt! These diary entries are in direct response to an older post of mine – the beginnings of a story that I’ve now decided to work on. In discussions about whether to write a novel or create a tv/web series. Amber. xx

SS: The Island – A Deal Struck With Pride

Cayn was lonely on the island. He lost his mother a few years ago and never really got along with his sister, so he’d lived the last few years in solitude. It was one of the reasons he volunteered to come to the island, no one would miss him and there wasn’t anything keeping him where he was. He didn’t think he could get any lonelier than he was already, but being on an isolated island with only six other researchers was in fact lonelier than sitting by himself in his old three-bedroom house.

He often wondered if the seven of them were chosen not only for their skills in the field, but also for their varying personalities. As though they were sent to the island not only to study the effects of global warming, but as an experiment. Each of the seven researchers had such different personalities that it was a wonder they managed to stay sain at all. In fact, Cayn thought, you could probably match everyone with one of the seven deadly sins. Clara, the oldest, would fit neatly under Pride; Kevin would definitely be filed under Greed; Mark can be quite unpredictable and he has quite a temper that would mark him as Wrath; Ingrid would be Lust for she is quite amorous and wouldn’t fit under any other sin; Nolan is the hardest to place, but he would best suited with Gluttony; Traiss for Sloth, purely because of how messy he is; and then there’s Cayn, who is definitely one of Envy.

No matter their flaws, they each had something Cayn didn’t: family, friends and love. Each time he watched his colleagues read their letters for the first or even the fiftieth time he would get an ache in his chest of both jealously and longing. They had been on the island for some time now and the deliveries every two weeks seemed to isolate the young researcher even more each time.

The day came when Cayn had just simply had enough. He couldn’t just sit there and watch their faces light up anymore, not for however much longer they were going to be on the island. So he hatched a plan. A plan that would hopefully bring him some happiness for once.

After dinner than evening he visited each Traiss, Nolan and Ingrid, thinking that out of the six researchers they would be the most giving, and offered to pay them absolutely anything if they would let him have one of their letters, randomly selected, and correspond with the sender from that day forth. The two men just laughed in his face and Ingrid, though she wanted to help him, just couldn’t bare to part with corresponding to one of her loved ones.

Cayn retreated to his room and collapsed on his bed, upset and devoid of any hope. Thoughts of loneliness filled his mind until a quite rap at the door brought him to. He opened it to find Clara standing there. He let her in and she started talking before he’d even closed the door.

“I heard you talking to Ingrid about this little deal you want to make. As far as I’ve heard from the others, your negotiating didn’t go so well.” Cayn made as face at this, they’d all been talking about him. “Oh, come now, I’m not here to make fun. In fact, I’m here to take you up on the deal. That is, if the offer still stands.” His eyes lit up.

“Yes, yes, of course! How much do you want?” He asked, excitedly.

“It is not money I seek. How about we just say that you’ll owe me? So the terms are these, you may choose one unopened letter of mine and from that day forth you are the correspondent and I am to see no further letters from that person, correct?” Cayn nodded. “I see. Well, meet me at the mail post when the boat arrives tomorrow and you may choose your letter then.” Clara started towards the door.

“Thank you, Clara.” Cayn said just as she was almost out the door. Clara simply turned to him with no expression on her face and then left.

Tomorrow. I will no longer be lonely as of tomorrow, Cayn thought as he sat on his bed, too excited to sleep.

In response to the new challenge, Story Spinners, on Chris Donner’s blog!

The Tree of the Siren

Okay, so the picture is a little off from the actual setting of the story, but this was originally for a Weekly Photo Challenge. 🙂

A young girl ran through the forest behind her house after her boyfriend broke up with her. She kept running even though twigs and branches were snatching at her legs and tearing her white dress. Eventually she ran far enough that she emerged on the other side of the forest to a place similar to that in the photo. Only, instead of ocean, there was a vast valley and where the father and daughter are, there was a single large tree which she climbed and perched herself in. This tree stood surrounded by patches of beautiful flowers and bushes and had branches overhanging the edge of the cliff which then dropped down to the valley floor. On the other side of the valley were mountains covered by green foliage that grew from the start of the valley up to the highest peak on those mountains.

The sun was just beginning to set, the sun casting a pink-orange glow over everything surrounding the girl. Sunset was a magical time. Everything was so beautiful; so at peace. She began to feel different. A feeling she’d never experience before began to creep inside he, overwhelming her at first but she soon gave into it- feeling the warmth, peace and tranquility coursing through her entire being. Then there, up in the tree, looking out over the valley, she began to sing.

Her voice was soft and angelic – the soft, warm breeze picking up speed as it carried the lyrics of her eerily, beautiful song into the distance. Her voice echoed through the valley as though it were bouncing off the surrounding mountains.

Continuing to sing, each of her notes growing louder and more powerful than the last. The wind gained more speed, intensifying as the song climbed in crescendo; her long, blonde hair whipped through the air as though wanting to be swept away with the wind. All around her, the leaves, branches and bushes rustled louder as if to compete with the volume of the song. Reaching the climax of her song she stopped suddenly. The trees became silent and the wind still.

The sun was almost below the horizon now and it was time she went home. She did not want to go home. She didn’t want to see him again. But, she must. The forest is no place for a young girl after dark. After one last look at the horizon, she turned and jumped out of the tree. She headed for the forest but stopped. Turning around to face the tree again, she notice a small pink flower near the top. It wasn’t there before. At least, she didn’t think so.

Beginning for the forest once more, she saw a figure emerging from the thick foliage. It was the youngest son of the new neighbours.

“What are you doing here?” She questioned the boy looking upset and sounding quite scared.

The boy just smiled and replied, “You have a lovely voice”.

The title is random because I couldn’t think of anything for it.. Ha ha! Another piece I’ve brought over from my main blog. There was originally more to this story, but I think this is a good place to end it for now. ;D

Hope

The sun cast an orange glow over Alyssa as it peeked above the horizon. Worry over her mother’s disappearance meant another sleepless night for the young girl as her fears continued to plague her dreams. Looking out over the lake, she watched the sky’s reflection as the rising sun changed the colours of the clouds. Another day, another seemingly endless trek through the forest to find something. Anything.

She looked back over at her sleeping friend through the dying flames of the fire, her only companion on this long journey. She had known him less than a year before he volunteered to accompany her, but over the few weeks they’d been on the search, Alyssa had begun to feel like they had known each other for many more years.

Even with great company, she was beginning to tire. Not only physically, but mentally also. She began to wonder if she would find anything, if there was any point to this search or if there would even be anything left to find. Dark, empty thoughts began to fill her head, crushing every ray of hope and every shred of confidence until the soft touch of a hand brought her out of her torments.

“Hey, hey. It’s okay.” Tal said gently, taking Alyssa into his arms as he stroked her hair tenderly.

“I just don’t know if I can’t do it anymore,” she sobbed into his chest.

Leaning back to look into his friends eyes, Tal asked, “Do what anymore?”

“We’ve been searching for any sign of her for five weeks now and still we’ve found nothing! Is there even anything to find?” she leaned back into Tal’s muscular chest and they sat in silence for a while as he let her cry until there were no more tears.

“You see that?” Tal asked his friend, pointing towards the horizon. When Alyssa lifted her head and turned her gaze to follow the direction of his hand, he continued , “That beautiful sunrise? It is the beginning of a new day. A day full of new possibilities of new opportunities to arise. You haven’t given up yet, I know you haven’t. And I also know you won’t. We both know you’re mother is still alive out her somewhere, you can feel it, and just the same, I’m sure she can feel you looking for her. I don’t care how long it takes to find her, we will find her, and yes I said ‘we’ because I’m not going anywhere.”

You know what that sunrise means for us? Not just another long day walking through an endless wood, but it means another day she’s alive and another day we’re out here looking for her. For us, it means that there is Hope.”

I’ve just brought this one over from my main blog. Thought it would fit in better here as this is my free-write writing blog after all. (:

FWF: [Image Prompt] Tell This Story…

I was hard getting to sleep lately, all I could think about was when I’d see my brother again.

About a year ago, I lost both of my parents in a tragic accident which left my older brother to care for me. We got along well and he was able to look after us both until a month ago when he dropped me of at our grandparent’s house and told me there was something he had to do. That he’d be back soon. A month ago today he’d told me that yet still, there was no sign of him. No phone calls, no nothing. His whereabouts plagued my thoughts everyday and here I was now, like every other night since then, trying in vain to fall asleep.

Finally I drifted off…

I was walking through a dense jungle, a stick ablaze in my hand to shed light on my path on such a dark night. I didn’t know where I was going, nor where I’d come from, but I kept walking. After about 10 minutes of mindless walking I started to hear whispers. There were voices coming from somewhere up ahead. At least, I hoped it was in that direction. The jungle plays tricks on ones mind at nighttime.

The voices grew louder the further I walked until I was stopped short by a fence of tall, thick wild grass. I doused my torch in a near by pool, scared of setting fire to the grass, before slowly pushing my way through the dense brush.

It took me a while, but I finally managed to push myself free of the grass to be greeted by a bright light that caused me to wince in pain and force my eyes shut. After a few moments, I reopened my eyes andadjusted to the light cast by the two braziers either side of me. I took a few tentative steps forward for a better view of the scene before me and was both shocked and rather scared by what I saw.

A narrow river that stretched as far left and as far right as I could see, consumed by the jungle on either side, lay a few metres infront of me with a few hippos and some very large and very hungry looking crocodiles. Quickly turning my attention away from them, I noticed the array of animals of the far bank of the river. Monkeys, zebras, rhinos and deer, all staring at me. The trees surrounding this circular sort of oasis were filled with so many different birds and directly opposite me on the other side of the river sat a mighty-looking tiger atop a massive pile of boulders.

“Don’t be afraid, young one,” a beautiful, large tigeress came up beside me. Her eyes seem to smile at me. “Come,” she said. I followed her to the edge of the river where she left me to return to the jungle. It was there that I really got a good look at the animals around me. They were bigger that I’d originally thought they were. Much bigger than they should be. I looked over all the animals, trying to make sense of it before settling my eyes on the tiger infront of me. The tigeress had been large; larger than any tiger I’d seen before, but this tiger, he was even larger than her. He would have to be at least two times, probably more, than the tigers I’d seen at the zoo.

“Michael Alexander Morgan. Welcome, at last,” the tiger startled me, how did he know my name? It was then that I realised that animals were talking to me, and I could understand them. Not growling, not hissing, not squawking, talking! Bringing me back to my sense, the tiger spoke again,”we have waited a long time for you. I am Ariki, leader of this council.”

To this my only response was, “Uh, hi.” He already knew my name, so I didn’t know what else to say. This seemed to amuse him because he let forth a throaty laugh as said, ” Do not be afraid you one, we are not here to hurt you. We are here to help you, just as you are here to help us.” I was so confused, and I was still not over how large he was.

“I don’t understand.”

“Not yet perhaps, but soon, you will.” My mind was reeling. “Do not dispair for your brother. Like you, he has a destiny to live out as you must also do soon. You will see him again.”

Still confused, the scene began to drift away from me, as though I was being pulled back from it. As I drifted further away from the animals, the tiger’s voice whispered in my head, “Go, rest, for your time is coming. We will see you soon enough”.

I woke with a start, my body covered in a thin layer of sweat. What a strange dream, I thought. Never before have I had a dream like that. So vivid. And the things the tiger was saying.. about my brother; about me. Strange. It was just a dream, I told myself. It was just a dream.

But I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.. Was it just a dream?

Amber. xx

Another post for a Kellie Elmore prompt. This is a free-write piece written at 3am. So not only is it unedited, it is written on lack of sleep. Haha. ;D

Inside the literary mind of a 12 year-old: The Pu Tuhs

A/N: Just before we begin, I thought I should say that this short story was written around my twelfth birthday. I’ve copied it to here word for word perfect, just so I could have it documented here as well as a single copy on paper. (: It was written in English class where we had to create a superhero and write a story about them.

This particular story was a practise exercise to precede the  final assessment – another short story about a superhero but.. better. Haha. (Hopefully I can find that one – as I’m rather proud of it – and show it as well. Although it did grow from a 500-700 word limit to a 2,114 word submission. ;D) Anyway! Enjoy.

The Pu Tuhs (Which is Shut Up backwards. Apparently I found this thoroughly amusing in Grade Nine.)

One fine day at Sommerset High, Ms Ellem was teacher her usual Monday period 5&6 english class.She enjoyed teaching this class as she had mostly lovely kids but unfortunately also many annoying little brats. Her favourite students were Monelica Amerthyst and Marie Roberts. Monelica and Marie were her favourites because they were polite, well behaved and also did all their work. There was also one other reason. One which very few people knew about. They had something in common that was superhuman. They all had super human powers. They all found out about each others when Ms Ellem caught them using their elemental powers and decided to share with them she was psychic and had an elemental power herself. But that was 2 months ago. Now they have mastered all their powers with each others help, and know where their power source is.

Twenty five minutes into the 35 minute lesson Monelica’s other best friend, Holly could see that the teacher’s desk drawer was glowing dimly and told both Monelica and Marie. Although they could not see it glowing they told Ms Ellem. Ms Ellem wanted to show the girls but couldn’t. Because by opening the drawer the classroom would glow a pinky-purple drawing attention to it from the students. So Monelica momentarily shape shifted the four of the to a space of nothingness while a hologram of them was created in the classroom.

Ms Ellem opened the drawer and inside sat a bright, shimmering pinky-purple stone. She explained to the girls that the stone was her power source. It was the scared stone, Pu Tuhs. It had been passed down through many generations. Monelica and Marie also had power sources which they could carry. Marie’s was a bright pink flower, and Monelica’s was a bright purple nova wand. They were starting to get warm and even brighter. Holly didn’t have a power source like theirs. Hers was in her mind. Ms Ellem then also explained why they were glowing and getting warmer. They were doing this because evil was looming. Coming for Ms. Ellem’s power source. Ms. Ellem knew who was coming from her psychic ability. It was the Nasty Wizard of Cicatidel.

Monelica returned the class to normal and they resumed the lesson even though the bell was due to go in 2 minutes. They were all scared of what was going to happen to Ms Ellem. They decided nothing was going to happen to her. They were going to make sure nothing was going to happen to her.

Suddenly a scary guy burst through the large windows of the classroom. At this moment Ms Ellem and the three girls knew it was the Nasty Wizard of Cicatidel. They all crowded around Ms Ellem and discussed what action they were going to take. As the wizard edged closer they decided they were going to fight but Holly was going to put a forced field around the class and Ms Ellem as Marie and Monelica fought him.

So the battle begun with the martial arts. Although unknowing to the Nasty Wizard, the girls also had super powers which matched his. After a good 5 minutes of fighting physically, the Wizard resorted to his super powers. He used both the Dark and the Earth elemental powers but Monelica and Marie could match it and rebound it. The fight started to get more fierce and they used all the powers they had and even Holly and Ms Ellem cam in to help. 10 minutes later they scared him off. The class came back in and cheered, although that didn’t last long because Ms Ellem erased that part of their memory.

When they all went to lunch Holly went to the Toilet, Monelica and Marie went to the Music block and Ms Ellem went to her staff room, leaving the Pu Tuhs in the class drawer. As Holly entered the toilet block se was interrupted by a man who she couldn’t see. He grabbed her and orbed her into Ms Ellem’s classroom where Holly could see it was the Nasty Wizard. He stole Ms Ellem’s Pu Tuhs. And he drove them off in his bomby car to his secret lair in a cave at the beach. (He liked the smell and sounds of the sea!)

Back at school, 10 mins after Holly had gone to the toilet, she had not returned. The girls started to worry and went looking for her. She wasn’t in the toilets, so they went to check the classroom. When they arrived, the classroom was trashed and Ms Ellem’s stone was gone. The girls sprinted up to Ms Ellems’s staffroom and told her. They realised then that it was the Nasty Wizard who had taken her stone and kidnapped Holly. Ms Ellem felt helpless as she knew if he has her stone he would use it for evil to rule the world. Ir destroy it. The girls also found a note which was left in the drawer. It said: “I have kidnapped your friend and you will not get her back unless you (Ms Ellem) come alone to my lair in the beach cave and tell me how to use your stone thingy!” Ms Ellem still had her powers and so did the girls! So they were going to find the Nasty Wizard of Cicatidel and defeat him in the process of getting back Holly!

As they crept cautiously through the damp, wet cave, they could hear a deep, muffled voice. They created a plan of what they were going to do and a course of action. As they crept closer, the girls hid in crevices along the cave so they were unseen. Ms Ellem went into the circular opening in which Holly was tied up and the Wizard standing behind a counter. “You’ve finally arrived!” he said snidely. “Yes, now untie Holly and leave her be!” she replied. “As you wish.” And he did so. “Now give me the stone to show you how it works!”

“I will not fall for that trick!”

Just give me the stone now, I want to get this over and done with!” She said getting slight angrier. He gave her the stone, and Ms Ellem laughed. The girls all stood in a line facing the wizard. Then the girls fired all their power at him and him to them in return. Sparks fromt he impact flew everywhere and the cave was getting brighter and brighter! Then all of a sudden the cave exploded and Holly quickly put a shield around the girls and Ms Ellem.

When the dust has settled all that was left was a little frog in a pointy hat that leapt away angrily. The girls laughed and then returned to school! Then celebrated with a block of chocolate Ms Ellem had in her staffroom fridge.

Amber. xx

So, after reading through this as I typed it out, I realised that much of it is actually rather painful to read it’s so bad. But, it was my twelve year old self and I shan’t correct this. Haha. Hope you enjoyed or at least, aren’t in too much pain. (:

My Gypsy Queen.

The moonlight broke through the clouds illuminating each step I took as I strode towards my beloved. We met at the same place what felt like every night but was truly once a week. I came here more often during the day to see her though we can barely share a few words before she must get back to work and attend to the curious children and their skeptical parents.

The lights of the main tent light up the sky as I close in on the circus. Just as I begin to see the lights of the smaller tents and caravans, my love comes into view. Standing in the middle of the bridge and looking out over the moat as usual. The circular moat surrounding the circus looks like an amazing coincidence to most, but once you get to know the circus folk and study the waters carefully, you’ll know it’s not just a coincidence. After all, the circus has been in this very spot for longer than anyone realises.

Hearing my footfalls as I stepped on the bridge, my love spoke to me softly; her words carried to me by the gentle breeze.

“Things are changing, my love. I fear the circus may not survive here much longer.”

Startled by her words, I quickly replied,” whatever do you mean Esmeralda? The circus has been here for centuries!”

She turned to face me, her words as gentle as the last. “That is has, but things are changing. They sky is darkening and it would not do us well to remain here as we are.”

“What do you mean? Where will you go if not here? Will you take me with you?”

My love drew closer and cupped my face in her hands. Titling her head upward to meet my eyes, she gave me a warm but strained smile. “You know I could not take you with me wherever it is we go. I do not even know if we will leave this place; our home of so many years. But, my love, if I must leave, we will be no more.”

I studied my darling Esmeralda as her words settle in. Her deep green eyes staring at me so lovingly, yet if trouble befell the circus she would be lost to me forever. Drinking her in for what felt like the last time, I noted her dark skin set off by the array of colours that clothed her body. She was wearing her favourite ‘gypsy costume’ a full skirt of several different layers and materials of various shades of greens, blues, pinks and purples complementing a corset style top with green and yellow ribbons creating a criss-cross pattern across her chest and pieces of black lace draped haphazardly over her arms.

My love was beautiful. But I was going to lose her! To whatever it is that is threatening the circus.

“Let me leave with you, my love! Or at least let me fight whatever it is that’s coming so you can stay. I could not live if we were to part ways!” I pleaded.

With a slight laugh, she replied, “ah, my dear. Ever so brave and willing to fight for me. But I’m afraid that if something comes, you will be no match for it. Which is why we, the circus, would be leaving.” Esmeralda paused. “I love you dear Alfie, but it is time for me to retire to my bed. Goodnight, my love. We will speak again.”

The last words she said to me before she retreated back into the circus encampment.

I went to visit her the next day, to see her smile; a smile that could light up the room. I reached the bridge to find the circus was gone. And with it, my love. My Gypsy Queen.

Amber. xx

Thanks to my friend Harriet for the prompts: colourful, gypsy and bridge.
This one was finished after my usual bedtime so the writing got so much worse as it went. And rather obviously too, I must say! : P

My Mother Always Told Me Not To Play With Fire…

… but that’s a little difficult when you’ve inherited your father’s passion and talent for fire-dancing. Fire-dancing. Using that term makes it sound like a circus trick and to most people, that’s probably all they think when I perform on the street. But to me it’s so much more, runs so much deeper. To me, it’s more magical than anything else.

When I was younger, I’d always wished I was a fairy or a princess, or something that I knew I’d never be. When I was eight I finally got my wish. Well.. sort of.

Just after my seventh birthday, my Father began to take me with him to his street performances. He used to ask me to help him with props and the like. He could do with a ball of fire what no other could do with a small flame and I was in awe. After a few months he began explaining to me how he created such stunning displays of flaming art. And on my eighth birthday, he began to teach me how.

After a month or so, I was creating fire from nothing. Not a candle, not a match nor a speck of ember.

“It’s magic!” I exclaimed to my father the first time I achieved this incredible feat.

“That it is, my child.” He replied.

For months we practised together, him teaching me all he new, and me with my wild, young imagination creating pictures and dances the likes of which he’d never seen. Then one day it all stopped.

Mother told me my Father was killed by fire whilst practising his dancing out in the field. Which was, in part, true.

Though my Mother knows not, I was there that day and I know exactly what happened. My Father wasn’t killed by his own fire, nor was he killed out in the field where he was found. No, he was killed in a warehouse down by the docks and the deed was done by two cloaked men and a cloaked woman. They were fire-dancers also; at least, that’s what I thought at first. But their fire was not the bright warm colours my Dad and I danced with, they were a deeper, darker shade of red and muddy brown and were tinged with a rich purple. They could not create fire themselves either, they had small viles hanging from their necks containing a small flame of the same threatening colour.

These were not friends to my Father nor I. They murdered my Father, and for that they will pay.

After my Father had passed, I took to the streets performing on my own to help my mother keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. It was then that she first began telling me that I should not to play with fire anymore; scared I would suffer the same fate as my Father.

I did not heed her advice, not for many months. Until today. While my Mother and I were out of town visiting her sister, our house was burned down and many of the townsfolk were harassed with questions about our whereabouts to which no one could answer.

They were looking for me. The three people in cloaks. Looking for me to finish the job they failed to do when they killed my Father seven months ago.

Today, I’m finally taking Mother’s advice. There will be no more playing with fire, no dancing with my dear friend.

From today, I fight with fire.

Amber. xx

Thanks to Writer’s Digest for the prompt.