Friday, March 25, 2011

Bolt of Courage (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the talented Catrina Bradly over @ her blog, A Work In Progress. Click here to read and share more great fiction. (psst! Cat also as a great mystery story going--part 3 this week!)

Author's Ramblings: This little snippet was from the mention of a "lightning store" so it is a bit of prompt fiction. I did intend for it to be as abstract as it is, my original aim was a bit of an abstract piece and I think that is established. Maybe. Sort of. This was an experimental piece. ^_^ It's been another long school week, so this was a short piece of um, drabble? Enjoy the read and happy weekend!

Her boots were tall and thin, just like the rest of her. With steady, echoing footsteps, she entered the dusky shop, the tarnished bell tinkling overhead to announce her entrance. Deliberate steps, piercing eyes and thin pink lips pursed in a perfect line offered her introduction to the old shopkeeper.

Strolling down the first aisle, she studied the dazzling array of lightning bolts. In all shapes, shades and sizes, they crackled and sparked from their restraints along the wall as she passed by them. It was almost as if they wished to leap off the walls and into her empty hands.

The soft swish of waist-length pigtails fanned out behind her as Iridessia rounded the corner into the second aisle. There were smaller lightning bolts here. Her hair shrank back against her shoulders, purple-and-blank tinted pigtails, tied with a shimmering white ribbon the color of light.

Her searching grey eyes roamed every inch of the store as she circled the aisles a second, then a third time. Her hands were kept to herself and whenever she passed the counter, she would dutifully avoid the shopkeeper’s gaze, with only a nod to his single greeting.

There was nothing to fill the silence, save for the strange, twisted sounds of the energy snapping to life. In straights, curves and jagged slabs, the lightning was everywhere. From pale, crystal pinks to glaring green lances.

Iridessia circled the aisles once more, each step seeming to bring a new breath of life to her tired, worn face. Her hands now hung limply behind her, just like her sassy pigtails spilled comfortably over her shoulders and neck.

“Shopkeep.” Her voice was flat, dry.

The old man grunted, stroking his white, pointed beard as he shuffled over. There seemed to be some friction created from the simple act of rubbing his hands through his beard. “Which one?”

She nodded towards a slender lilac specimen. “That one.”

Bushy eyebrows wiggled upwards in an unspoken question that remained unsaid. “Anything else?”

The pigtails quivered with a shake of her head.

“Right this way.” He stretched up on tip-toe, giant, flabby arms painstakingly detaching the fiery purple lightning bolt. It wanted to be free. It strained at once against the authoritative grip, wrestling it into submission. “Would you like to hold it?” He offered the young customer.

Iridessia scooted backwards at once. “I would not.” She said, flatly.

The bushy eyebrows danced upwards again, but there were no other words spoken until they reached the weathered wooden counter. He set the quivering bolt in front, before walking around to the cash register.

Fixing the impatient bolt with a practiced glare, the old shopkeeper skirted the counter to stand awkwardly behind the plastic register. He stabbed a few broken plastic keys until a number showed up on the faded digital screen.

“Three thousand Arli.” He grunted. “Will you be paying with-”

The payment was draw from the sleeves of her flowing silken blouse. Iridessia nodded towards the bolt, careful to hand the coins around the shaking bundle of energy—so it couldn’t touch her.

He took the coins from her outstretched hand and held them up to the light, one at the time. There was a faint pastel tint to the oblong shapes of precious metal. He cracked a smile, dropping the coins through the necessary slot.

A bright pink slip shot out from beneath the register and he tore it in half, handing over one piece. “Wrapped or shrunk?”


She waited while he wrestled the bolt of lightning over to the wrapping table and neatly bound it in a tangle of brown paper and twine. It retained its jagged shape, the twine stretched taut over the pointed corners, the knots tight in all the right places.

He held it up, turned it, then extended his hand.

The pale pink lips quirked and then, with the tips of her fingers, Iridessia gingerly caught the package up in her hands. With a duck of her head in thanks, she sprinted from the shop and out the door.

She ran until everything blurred into nothing. When she dared to stop for a breath, she stood tall atop the small hill outside the sleepy town. It was a special feeling that somehow seemed to shimmer in the very air as she held the package up in one hand.

Her grey eyes flickered to life as a gust of wind whipped by, ruffling her hair, rumpling her clothes and spiraling up from the ground. She closed her eyes, breathing slightly through the corner of her mouth for the moment where she couldn’t breathe in the sudden whirlwind.

Frantic fingers ripped the brown packing paper away from the squirming energy bolt that literally leapt into her ready fingers. A flare of courage bubbled up from inside of her as she felt the warm fire creeping up her fingertips and racing up the length of her arms, meeting together at the hollow of her neck before plunging deep into her chest, a piercing, foreign strength.

“This is my light, my life.” Iridessia began. “I choose this. I choose to be true to my own creativity. I choose to trust in this talent that God has given me. I trust it and I trust Him. With all reason, intent and purpose, He has crafted me to be. I acknowledge that and I take this first step in faith.” Her hands gripped the bolt tightly. “There is nothing but my own fears holding me prisoner.”

The purple light shimmered, a fierce, deep hue before it began to spark wildly.

“I give this first step to you, Father.” She murmured, rolling her shoulders and drawing her arm back, angling towards the cloudless blue sky. “Do with it what you will. Give me the strength and the courage to follow it through to the end.”

With a powerful thrust of her hand, the lightning bolt sprang from her hand and into the air. The cloudless blue sky darkened at once, a grey-blackness that provided a beautiful backdrop to the spidery forks of vibrant purple light.

The sky exploded with sparkling purple light, stretching from one horizon to the next.

Iridessia smiled. Strength seemed to seep up from the ground as courage poured into her as the soft splatters of the beginning rainfall.

She smiled.

© Sara Harricharan 


Debra Ann Elliott said...

Love it! Left me wanting to read more.

Catrina Bradley... said...

I definitely see a story behind the abstract tale. A young girl searches for her God-given talent, wandering from hobby to hobby, until her talent seems to find her. She fears it at first, keeping it tightly wrapped inside, until, with a prayer, and a leap of faith, she unleashes on the world.

Or I could just be reading too much into it. :) GREAT job, Sara. Your imagination blows me away.

Abel said...

Ya, I don't see as much as Catrina, guess I'm not that insightful :)

What I do see is a beautiful, striking picture of a pigtailed girl standing under a purple lightning storm and that's a really cool image!