Tag Archives: Short Story

Aurora Borealis

I dared not look up, instead keeping my gaze down. Snow crunched under my boots as my headlamp revealed my short puffs of breath. If I accomplished one thing in my mundane life, it would be climbing this mountain. The wind whipped against me. Making me pause until it died down. I hated this stopping and starting. My muscles burned and were frozen at the same time. This was by far my most painful experience. But it would be worth it. Once I reached the summit.

A sigh of contentment escaped me as I ascended. It took me three days, but I made it. In time to see the Northern Lights. I dropped my pack. Turned off my headlamp. Ripping off my goggles, I exposed my eyes to the frigid night air. I breathed deep. This was why I sat in the same cubicle for ten years. It was this spectacle that had given me hope, given me life.

Greens, blues, even purples danced above me in silent song. Flickered in lazy waves. I held my breath as tears formed and froze. It was more magnificent than I imagined. More breathtaking than all the pictures combined. It sent me into meditative peace. My heartrate calmed. My aching muscles forgot about the trek I had made. Everything centered on the marvel I witnessed.

The colors suddenly shifted. Convulsed and swirled in an organic pattern. A tendril broke away from the rest. Floated towards me. I remained motionless until I couldn’t resist any longer. Hesitating, I reached out a gloved hand. My finger grazed the tendril. Pleasant warmth flooded me, driving away the cold. I jumped back. Not expecting to make contact.

As the tendril snaked away, the form of a woman took shape. She was made of the Northern Lights itself; her hair never left the Lights, and her feet never touched the ground. Her eyes snapped open. Revealing themselves to be twin stars. She turned her gaze upon me. Partially transparent form lambent.

I stumbled back into the snow, landing solidly on my butt. I blinked several times. Couldn’t fill my lungs with enough air. Which had been difficult to begin with in the thin atmosphere.

“Peace, warrior.” Her mellifluous voice kept time with the Lights. “I have waited 1,210 years for you.”

My gaze darted around. Me? I was no warrior. I wasn’t even a weekend warrior. Surely not me. I resided to pointing at myself.

She seemed to nod. “Yes, you. My name is Aurora Borealis.”

Knees shaking, I pushed myself to my feet. Found my voice in my dry mouth. “That’s what we call this. I mean, you, I suppose.”

“Yes. Because that is my name. I have known yours, for you are worthy. You see, I am from the past. I live in the future. Yet, I am aware of the present. I have experienced and waited for this moment for centuries.”

I rubbed my eyes. The Northern Lights had taken the form of a woman, spoke to me, and told me I was worthy? I must’ve passed out after I reached the summit. I checked over my shoulder. I wasn’t lying in the snow, so this wasn’t an out-of-body experience. My gaze returned to the ethereal woman before me. Yes, she was still there.

Her form wavered. “I am real. You will come to belief in time. You always have. However, you must understand. They have killed my brother, Aurora Australis. They seek to destroy me next. You must unravel the mystery that will rewrite history and save us, as well as humanity.”

“What,” I finally blurted. “You want me to be some sort of savior? I barely made it up this mountain. Who’s ‘they?’ How am I worthy of anything? I never even made Employee of the Month. Are you even going to answer any of my questions?”

“Everything will come to fruition. You shall see. Take one of my children as a guide.” She lowered an arm. A star descended, decreasing in size until she captured it in a lantern made of the Lights. She handed her precious child over. “I must go. My faith resides in you. You have always been brave. Do not forget my words.”

With a final pause of affirmation, she retreated back into the sky. The Northern Lights receded. Faded into nothingness. All that remained was darkness. Only for a few moments. The morning sun crept up from the east. Setting the mountains on fire with the reflecting snow.

I stood in dumbstruck silence. Too many questions for my brain to comprehend. I had only wanted to see the Northern Lights. That was the one exciting thing I wanted to do in my life. I didn’t want to be recognized for doing something great. I just wanted to see the phenomenon that had filled my dreams ever since I was a child.

Was that it, then? Had I really been chosen? I finally looked at the flickering lantern. The star twinkled with unknown secrets. My gaze returned to the scenery in front of me. What was I supposed to do?

Before I could think another thought, I was, indeed, transported to the past.

*Author’s Note: Short Story Saturday brings a somewhat short story. I tried sending this to a few online short story publications, and it got denied. I like it the way it is, so instead of changing it, I decided to publish it on my own blog. I just won’t get paid for it. Which is perfectly fine. I don’t write for payment; I write for my own enjoyment. Hopefully, others will enjoy it as well. 

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The Butterfly Dragons

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“I just wish they weren’t so afraid of the camera. It’s the only way I ever get to see them,” Aesilver lamented. She sighed and propped her chin in a hand, rose gold hair settling around her long, pointed ears. Her elbows rested on the wooden railing also supporting her camera, but she jutted her hips enough that her decorative bells jingled.

“What are you even talking about?” Calena tossed her lavender bangs from her face, trying to get a better view of the simulated lush environment. Her dangling earrings clinked in response. “This is a botanical gardens. There are no creatures here. You’ll need to go to the zoo.”

Aesilver threw her head back. “Were you not listening to me at all? It took the hover tram two hours to get here. I was explaining the whole way.”

The other elf shrugged. “I guess I tuned it out. All I want to see is the diamond flower. It’s supposed to be the only living plant left in existence.”

“Mm. It is a pity the humans decimated the plant life. Everything is artificial now. Even the animals can only be found in zoos anymore. But that’s to be expected from a race who only values currency.”

Calena played with her holographic phone. “Don’t knock it. Currency is what keeps us living like the princesses we are. Now shut up and tell me what it is you’re trying to find, so we can go look at the diamond flower.”

“The butterfly dragons!” Aesilver lifted the slender camera to her silver eyes. “Be quiet so they’ll come out.” After a few moments of silence, she gasped. Repeatedly smacked her friend’s arm.

Two dragons, no bigger than a fairy butterfly, flitted about the richly colored flowers. Searching for synthesized nectar. Their dainty bodies were patterned exactly off the insects, and there was nothing fearsome about them. In fact, they were thought to be extinct. But they could occasionally be seen in the botanical gardens by a lucky visitor.

Leaning over the railing, Calena squinted. “I don’t see them.” She swatted away the other’s hand. “Stop hitting me.”

Aesilver held the camera display in front of her. Eager to see her pictures. As she scrolled through, she frowned.

“Oh, no…what?”

“I didn’t get any of them.” Her rose gold lips pouted. “We’ll have to wait until they find the courage to come out again. I don’t know why they didn’t show up in any of the pictures. I had it on rapid capture.”

Calena groaned. She allowed her head to fall onto the railing, lavender braids falling around her porcelain face. “We are going to be here forever!”


Song of the Dead

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I love singing my boyfriend to sleep every night; he’s been so lonely since my funeral. He tosses and turns, mumbling incoherently. I try letting him sleep on his own, but my heart cannot stand seeing him so distraught. So I sing our favorite song. It soothes him into slumber. Then I can watch him in peace.

Unfortunately, I do not think he sees me. I wonder if he senses me. I’m not even sure he hears me, but I know he’s comforted. He cried the most at my funeral, save for my parents. I visited them. Though they did not respond to me as he does. I seemed to only cause them fear and aggravation. So I moved on to my second love.

For days, I wandered his home. Looking at pictures. Reminiscing. We had built ourselves the foundations of a good life. I knew I had picked a good man when I stumbled upon the ring in his room.

He still keeps it by his bedside. Often cries as he gazes upon it. He blames himself for my death, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. I can only sing him to sleep every night. My death is my my fault. My foolishness rendered me lifeless. It had been my finger that found the trigger. They debate if it was accidental or intentional.

Regardless, I serve my penance. My immortal heart shatters every day as I watch him. He trudges through each rotation of the earth as if it were a curse. And he is mine. Thus, I sing to him. After he sheds the grueling duties of the day and crawls into bed. I caress his hair, though he does not know it. I watch him struggle to get comfortable. Listen to his barely audible cries. And then I sing our favorite song as he drifts into a horrible dreamland. Night after endless, isolating night.


Cesspool, Incorporation

*Author’s Note: Short Story Saturday brings a story about an idea my husband and I have thrown around for awhile. A hilarious conspiracy about what businesses like Ancestry.com do with collected DNA. Please enjoy!*

“Have you ever wondered where your DNA actually comes from? Ever wondered which ethnicity combination makes you, you? The kind employees from Cesspool, Incorporation can assess your DNA and inform you with any information you desire. All you need to do is call the number listed below. We’ll send you two testing kits, complete with instructions. A hair sample and a mouth swab are the only things you need to mail back. Worried about someone stealing your DNA through the mail? Well, don’t! Cesspool, Incorporation provides packages that only one of our certified employees can open, so you can be rest-assured your DNA is safe with us! Why delay? Call the number below and get on the path of self-discovery today!”

A round of applause filled the pristine board room.

Mr. Steele turned off the projector. “What do you think?”

The head of the board rose, straightening her blazer. “Excellent, Mr. Steele. Continue running the ad. You may show us the product now.”

He smiled and dipped his head. Escorted the way to the factory level where the DNA test samples were made. “As you can see, we have state of the art facilities. We have the best employment benefits of any other company and an extremely low turnover rate.”

Ms. Abernathy gave a nod. “I can see that. How are profits?”

“Exceptionally well. We’re 200 percent over the projected sales plan.”

All members of the board turned to each other with impressed glances.

Ms. Abernathy smiled, facing her colleagues. “Why don’t you all tour the floor while I speak to Mr. Steele on some more delicate matters.”

They nodded and did as they were told.

She rose a brow to the sole man left. “Do you have any product results?”

Mr. Steele grinned in a rather devilish manner. “Indeed. Follow me.” He led her to the elevator. Accessed a hidden panel and performed a retinal scan. Allowed Ms. Abernathy to do the same. Then he punched in a code, and the elevator lowered down from ground level versus normally going up.

Once the doors opened, an expansive floor opened up before the business pair. Rows of people-sized tanks, operating tables, computers, and medical equipment sat underneath bright white lights. Humans of all races and body types were scattered among the tables and tanks.

Ms. Abernathy clasped her hands in front of her and walked among workers with sewn-closed mouths and sunken eyes. “How goes the cloning?”

Mr. Steele followed her, pleased with her satisfied expression. “Fantastically. We’ve even begun the replacement program.”

She stopped among the center of it all. A smile passed her face. “That is wonderful news. So not only will we have our pre-programmed clone army, we’ll have the re-programmed normal humans as well. Two armies; one mission.”

He nodded. “More and more people send in their DNA every day.”

Slightly chuckling, the head of the board slowly turned to her partner. “At this rate, we could lead our militia against the world within a matter of weeks.”


New Plan

After having a couple days of thought–and bothering a close friend of mine until she stopped saying “It’s your blog, do what you want to do”–I believe I have devised a plan. Though, I’m still unsure as to whether or not it will actually work. But here’s to hoping, right? I’m pretty sure a wise being once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” So, this is what I plan to do:

Sketching Sunday
Memoir Monday
Photography Tuesday
Writing Prompt Wednesday
Poetry Thursday
Freebie Friday
Short Story Saturday

A few things to note. Firstly, I added sketching because I used to do it all the time (before I became a die-hard perfectionist with my art), and I had relatively decent confidence in my drawing skills. I’m honestly not sure what happened other than I stopped sketching. Secondly, I have no idea if Monday will stay as “memoir.” Are people even interested in that sort of thing? It’s not like I’ve led a particularly exhilarating life. I guess I’ll find out. Let’s see…. Thirdly, I love writing prompts. Normally, I find them on my own–in nature, observing other people, daily life, etc. However, I will be using predetermined, freely-handed out writing prompts. I have a bunch saved, and it’s about time I put them to use. Lastly, I’m in love with “Freebie Friday” because it gives me a day that isn’t set. So if I have an extra poem, short story, photo, whatever I want, I can post it on Friday.

 

Well. Enough said. I’m fairly satisfied with my new plan. Fingers crossed I can be disciplined. I suppose I better use this space to apologize in advance in case I’m not consistent. Or if I forget. I happen to be a forgetful person. Or if I screw it up. I’m sure that’s bound to happen at some point. Anyhoo, I’ll leave this here for now. I’ll start tomorrow with “Freebie Friday.” As I said in my previous post, if you have any suggestions or tips, I’ll be more than happy to read them in the comments! Thanks again!


Mind Captive

She opened her eyes, everything around her a blur. It took abnormally long for her vision to adjust. Where was she? She looked behind her. Rolling her neck, she tried moving her arms, but she was restrained by over-sized chains. She snapped her head to rest of her viewing area.

It was a desolate place. One of sorrow, regret, despair. A place filled with nothing but black rock glimmering with an unknown liquid. A place she knew all too well.

Her gaze focused on the thick fog rolling toward her. She steeled herself. Broadened her stance as much as the bindings allowed. Making them dig into her skin.

The black smoke swirled and lurched until it revealed a beautifully dark image. Ebony hair, bright red lips, and deeply crimson eyes. A devilish smile became the Other. “Hello.”

She snarled at the Other, but she knew she was trapped.

The Other’s haunting voice echoed through the barren landscape blanketed with smoke. “How do you fare? It’s been quite some time since we spoke last.”

“Why do you care?”

“Because, despite your defiance, you are still mine.” The Other approached. Dragged a black talon under her jaw line and chin. “I do care about my property.”

Her nostrils flared as she sought to keep her emotions in check. “I know you don’t care.”

The Other released a low chuckle. “It’s funny, isn’t it? I can’t affect you physically, but I can affect you mentally. And I don’t even bother you that much. Only when you sleep. Do they know?” The Other caressed her face with back of their fingers. “Have you ran to tell on me? Hmm?”

She curled her lips in disgust, but her heart became heavy with truth. “No. I haven’t told anyone.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Wouldn’t want to worry the perfect people, would we? But I have a new assignment for you.”

“I refuse to push away any more people. I’m not destroying any more lives. Especially not for you.”

The Other patted her cheek. “You will. You most absolutely will. Even if it takes time. I have all the time in the world. I’ll have fun watching you on the flip side.” The Other brought both arms forward, enveloping her in agonizing black fog.

She plunged into a void of darkness and pain. The echoes of the Other’s laughter drowning out her screams. Falling, she finally slammed against an ebony wall of red eyes and grinning mouths.

 


Crooked (Flash Fiction)

I had always been told that the Devil smiles with a crooked grin. It seemed to be more of a warning than a statement. But I usually passed it on as some superstitious mumbo-jumbo. If the Devil would ever appear to me, I was certain I didn’t need to identify him by a grin. I mean, the Devil does have his generic, assumed looks. A grin wouldn’t be the only thing that would make him known.

But the Devil didn’t reveal himself to me with his presumed appearance. He didn’t have red skin. Nor did he have horns or a spaded tail. He didn’t even have a pitchfork. No, he made himself known as a well-dressed man sporting a sharp suit, striped tie. And…a smile made of a crooked grin.

He came to me not too long after I found out my grandmother had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. I prayed to any and every being that she would be spared. That a miracle would happen. My grandmother and I had forever been close. She raised me, after all. On that fateful night, I was devastated, vulnerable. Walking down the dark and dreary streets to our apartment.

It was then that the Devil approached. Pushed himself off the wall of a building. Flashing that infamous grin I had been forewarned about. But I was too lost in my sorrows to notice. “It’s a rather nice night, isn’t it?” he asked with a suave tone.

I immediately stoned my expression. Being a blonde, I was used to such encounters. Especially when the sun went down. “I’m not selling my body. I have more respect for myself than that. Buzz off before I call the cops.”

“I don’t want your body, Amy.” He stepped forward. I could’ve sworn I saw smoke dance in his dark eyes. “I want your soul.”

My lips curled in disgust. “I mean it, creep. Get back.” Then I blanked. “How do you know my name?”

He chuckled in a manner I did not care for. “Oh, I know all about you. Your father was never a presence in your life. Your mother died while you were a baby. Now, your grandmother lies in a hospital bed, terminally ill. And you’ve cried out numerous times that you will do anything to save her.” His tongue ran over teeth that suddenly seemed to be turned to points. “Will you? Will you really do anything to save her?”

I took a couple steps back. My unease about this man ever increasing. There was something about him that was not right, and I had a feeling it was something more than him just being a creep. “Wha-what do you want?”

“I’ve already told you. Your soul. Yours for hers. You’ll still get to live with her, of course. But, when you die, your soul is mine. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal, anyway. I’ve heard a lot of you mortals claim your souls don’t go anywhere once you die. So what’s the risk, huh?”

“You–” I cut myself off, rubbing my eyes with the heels of my palms. This man was a lunatic, thinking he could collect people’s souls. It wasn’t like humans had supernatural powers or anything. I almost flipped out when he stepped even closer. Eyes widening, I waved my arms in a spiral motion in attempt to seem as crazy as him. “You know what, fine. If that’s what it takes for you to leave me in peace, fine. Yes, I agree to your stupid soul thing. Now get the heck away from me.”

But he didn’t leave. Nope. Instead, he smiled with that crooked grin. Approached me even closer. Both of his whole eyes swirled to black, and he transformed into a thick cloud of black fog. Which then swallowed me whole.


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