Monthly Archives: January 2017

Flash Fiction Friday: Frozen Flames

Frozen Flames

Everything in the cave was covered in ice.

Even the ice had a fine coating of frost, evidence of the moisture that had entered with the two thieves.

The magic fairly shimmered around them, the heat spell on the heavy clothes the only thing that had allowed them to get this far.

“I’m still freezing,” the bigger of the two said.

“I told you it’d be cold,” the smaller one hissed, his voice low.

“You didn’t say it would be this cold.”

“Because nobody knows how cold it gets here. Because nobody has ever made it this far. Because the only thing that can handle this strong of a cold spell is an even stronger heat spell which cost everything we both own and calling in every debt we’ve ever been owed and going into more. So stop complaining about the cold and help me find the hoard.”

Turning the corner brought them to the resident of the cave.

Cold radiated off the dragon, creating a wind where none should exist and chilling the two thieves to the bone.

Around her feet lay the frozen corpses of dozens of men, their armor all showing the best heat spells money could buy, the designs going back hundreds of years.

A thick layer of ice coated the dragon, cracks showing in layers where she grew or stretched and allowed the ice to grow over her again.

“You said the dragon wasn’t here,” the bigger thief bellowed.

“No, I said the dragon wasn’t all there. She’s gone dreaming and can’t be woken. It’s the cold that put her to sleep.”

“I see. And all these people have come to do what we must,” the bigger one drew his axe from across his back and rushed the ice-covered dragon. As the metal struck, it crumbled to dust, joining the fine layer between her toes.

The big thief dropped the axe as if it had bit him and checked his hands quickly.

“No, all these people are here to do what you just tried. We are not here for that and I swear by the darkness, if you do it again, I’ll take what’s left of your spell and let you join the other fools.”

“I thought you said we were here for the hoard?” the big thief said, stamping his feet to get the blood flowing through them.

“Does she look like she’s going to stop us taking it?”

“Not yet.”

“Not ever. She’s gone. Ain’t coming back until the gold is spent and melted and the mountains crumble around her.”

“Yeah, okay,” the big thief said. “But we don’t have long to get it, right?”

“Just stick to the plan and we’ll get enough to be long gone before anybody realizes we’ve left.”

The thieves crept around the frozen dragon, making sure not to touch her or anything close to her. On the other side was a mountain of gold covered in frost, gems winking beneath the chill and glimpses of other treasures peeking coyly out from the pile.

“Get the ropes as far around it as you can,” the little one said. “The heat should hold long enough to get them loose.”

A chill ran down their arms as they lost the ambient heat from the ropes they were carrying, their muscles stiffening from the sudden cold. Moving as quickly as they could, they surrounded most of the pile of gold with the ropes and waited for the spell to work.

Dripping water was the first sound they heard and they started reaching across, filling bottomless bags with the gold and gems. Slowly, the heat spread up the metal and the coins started sliding down the pile towards them.

Moving faster and faster, it finally broke through the circle of rope, only to cool in the air of the cave once more. The first time one of them moved to pick up one of the cooled coins, their fingers burned like fire.

“Shit, the spell’s wearing off. Get the gems!” The little one said, panic in his voice.

“Grab the pearls,” the big one said. “Those ones. They’re bigger than my head!”

The pearls began to roll towards them and they grabbed them, stuffing them in the bags before they got out of the range of the spell.

The ropes began to glow and the thieves backed away, watching in awe as the ropes caught fire and the flames froze, faces of stricken fire elementals staring at them as though through glass.

By mutual decision, they closed the bags as best they could and started running, their careful pace around the dragon forgotten in an effort to make it out of the cave before the spell died.

A chill wind rose behind them and swept through the cave, down the passage.

The breath froze in their lungs and they fell, their bodies breaking like falling statues.

The bags that fell beside them began to lift and float to the entrance of the cave.

A tall man, cloaked in fur and darkness, coaxed them forward, his wand acting like a fishing rod.

The bags shrank as he touched them and he put them in his pocket, satisfied.

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2017, the year of starting over

Well, maybe not so much from scratch but that’s what it feels like.

2016 was rough and if you go back a couple of posts you’ll see that I accomplished exactly nothing that I wanted to do last year.

I don’t even have a reason for why except I wasn’t feeling well for most of the year last year. I think we’ve got everything figured out at this point but there were days when it was a struggle to get out of bed much less actually accomplish anything.

Add to that taking a second job around June of last year and, well, I’ll cop to being a bit lazy.

With the 2 jobs I have right now I’m putting in about 70 hours a week. And I’m going to keep doing it as long as I can because we have to move this year. To a bigger place in a better part of town and we have to be building our savings in earnest.

What does that mean for the blog?

Well, it means it can’t get any deader than it was last year and I’m going to try and revive it a bit. It means I’m going to be scheduled down to the minute for months at a time but I’m making time for workshops and classes so I can get better at my craft.

It means I’m going to really, honest and truly try and get a flash fiction up every Friday. And to finish the 2 novels I have in progress.

If you feel the need to help, there’s a couple ways to do so.

  1. Comment on things you like. There’s nothing quite like writing into the void to make somebody want to stop.
  2. Buy a book. Seriously, there’s a page with links and everything. I’ll try and keep it updated as much as possible.
  3. Review a book.
  4. Tell other people about the books.
  5. Buy me a cup of coffee every now and then and make sure I sit down to drink it.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Wild Sparks

Wild Sparks

The lightning struck and flowed down the rabbit hole.

There were no rabbit’s down this hole nor an endless tunnel. Instead, it landed in the camp of unformed fairy elementals.

When fairy elementals are born, they’re made of magic and air and very little else. Until they find the element that calls to them, they remain in their rawest, purest form.

The fire sparked and jumped into the closest of the elementals. As the power flowed through them, they began to glow with white hot light and electricity arced off their fingers. When some of their companions touched them, the lightning jumped to them, bowing their bodies with pain until they too filled with the white hot light.

Intrigued, the elementals flowed out of the rabbit hole, following the break between worlds caused by the lightning, and came out surrounded by fire.

Rain poured from the sky, sizzling in the flames that surrounded them. Fingers of flame reached out and pulled the closest elementals in, grabbing them as they flowed up behind their brethren who sought out the source of the lightning.

As they noticed the flames grabbing them, they huddled together and flew into the sky, only to be hit by the rain drops. Water flowed through them, giving their shapes form and they could see the others gathering in the trees, taking great delight in the flames that consumed the wood that supported them.

The new water elementals flowed into the clouds, increasing the rain that dropped onto the forest.

The only elementals left unchanged were the ones filled with the arcing, white light. When they touched the clouds, great bolts of lightning flew from their fingers. Some arced harmlessly through the clouds. Others went crashing through the trees, knocking down branches and setting ablaze to the underbrush.

While the fire and lightning elementals played in the forest, the water elementals rushed away from the heat. They overflowed rivers to bring relief to the land, the earth elementals calling out for help.

Then they say them.

The humans.

Dressed in heavy material, they brought water to bear on the edge of the fire and the elementals joined them.

Pleading with their brothers to ease back, to not attack the humans, they made it possible for the humans to bring the flames under control.

Not everybody liked this, though.

Just as they were pushed back, the fire elementals who were losing their playthings to the humans water and machines leaped forward, catching them in their flames.

But the humans fought on, their heavy clothing protecting them long enough to get at the heart of the flames. The water elementals joined the humans, using their weapons to propel through the forest and soothe the burning trees.

The dryads caught them and shook the soot from their leaves, thanking the water elementals for the relief. The water elementals dripped through the trees and cuddled at the roots, taking shelter and giving aid after the cleansing fire.

One of the firefighters, exhausted from the fight, saw the faces in the trees and rubbed his eyes. They started to water and he felt a splash against his hand.

His own face looked up at him and smiled. It’s spindly arms reached up and pushed through the dirt and ash on his face.

“What are you, buddy? The start of heat stroke?”

The water shook its head and looked around. It saw the nearly empty water cannon and reached for it.

“You want inside?” the firefighter asked. The elemental nodded.

Other elementals came to watch as the water elemental shimmied itself into the tank and splashed around. It started to overflow and the firefighter had to dump some of the water out into the trees.

Water flowed down the firefighters hands, onto the ground and through the trees until the water hiding deep underground from the fire sprang up to join it.

The other firefighters saw the spring and came over to wipe their faces, the cool liquid welcome after the fire.

The water stopped flowing out of the cannon and the firefighter looked down. There was still a face in the tank and it waved happily at him.

“You’re coming home with me?” he asked, hoping the others didn’t notice him talking to his water cannon.

The water elemental nodded happily.

“Alright, but I have to put the cap on to keep from splashing, okay?”

With another nod, the elemental waved and the eyes blinked shut.

Shaking his head, the firefighter put the cap back on the tank to his water cannon.

Faces stared at him from the forest and he waved. “I promise to keep him safe if you promise not to let any more fires loose for a while, okay?”

The dryads nodded and the earth elementals waved.

Anybody else would have thought they were crazy but he knew what was happening. Knew there was more than most people saw.

With the water elemental in tow, Professor Alexander called out to the men that it was time to head back. His water cannons were a success, his lightning machine proven though in need of several improvements.

The mechanical horses pulling the fire wagon snorted steam and the sound of machinery echoed through the forest.

A wild spark had taken up residence in his eyes.

Yes, today had been an unqualified success.

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