Author's Ramblings: I meant to post this for Friday Fiction, but I actually didn't finish it in time. But I had an idea that turned the story around from just a rambly, country drabble, so I went ahead and finished it up. I ought to save it for the weekend, I'm sure, LOL. But knowing me, I'll end up writing something new by then. So here goes! It's a snippet of prompt fiction to the prompt "Purple Ribbons". Meant to be a bit mysterious and happy-sad. Enjoy the read!
“Those are beautiful ribbons, Marie.” Sheldon fingered the strand of purple satin fluttering from the twin high-ponytails.
She tilted her head to the side, watching the ribbons streaming out to her left. “Thanks, Sheldon. Gipsy gave them to me.”
“Gipsy? Really? I didn’t think ‘Ol Gips had it in him.”
“Hey! He’s nice.” Marie wrinkled her nose. “Or he’s been nice, nicer anyway.” She corrected. “So, are we going?”
“I don’t know.” Sheldon leaned forward on the porch railing, staring out into the blue-green mountains before them. “I think it’s getting close to dinnertime.”
“Nuh-uh! We just had lunch.” Marie elbowed him, standing up on tip-toe to try and reach the railing to brace on it too.
“I don’t want to rush you.”
“You’re nine-years-old, of course you’re bored.” He rolled his eyes. “And I’m serious, Marie.”
“It was just a…a…a that.” Marie waved her bejeweled arms in the air. “What Gips said.”
“A scrape?” Sheldon shook his head. “No, I think it was a little worse than that.” He patted her head, his lingering fingers tugging on the satiny hair ribbons. “You almost died on me, Marie.”
“It didn’t even hurt.” She ducked away from his hand. “and Gips could’ve fixed me. He’s good like that. I wasn’t broken.”
“You were broken.” Sheldon ‘s hand settled on her shoulder with deliberate firmness. “and that was a stupid and dangerous thing to do.”
Solemn grey eyes fixed on the frustrated soldier. “I’m your shield, Sheldon. That’s what I’m supposed to do.” Her small voice held the faintest hint of softness. “And I’m really bored, can we go now?”
The front door to the cabin banged open and a husky fellow stumbled out onto the porch, a stick of jerky in his mouth while trying to wrestle his foot into one high-laced boot. “Sheldon? Ah, there you are. We gotta go. On call.”
“Now?” Sheldon straightened, pushing his glasses up his nose with one crooked middle finger. “They called everyone?”
“They called us.” The fellow said, simply. He plopped down on a nearby rocking chair and began to lace up the combat boots. “And we’re going. Got a problem with that?”
“Then get moving, soldier!”
Sheldon bobbed his head in reply and extended a hand to the now bouncing girl beside him. “Yes, sir.”
“Are we going now?” Marie gave a little jump, her hand tightening in his. “I wanna go!”
“Yeah, we’re going.” He squeezed her hand and hurried through the front door. The cabin was a flurry of activity as the rest of the extraction group began to suit up. A jumble of chatter filled the air as the young children running about, came to stand beside their respective fighters.
Marie let go of his hand to run and join them as they formed a circle in the center of the room. In a minute, the Captain joined them and they formed a second circle around the young children.
“Ready?” Marie called out.
The little heads nodded in answer.
“In the morning, the sun is shining, in the nighttime, the moon sings all the time.” She broke off, humming as the freckle-faced little boy beside her picked up the tune and continued on with a new verse.
As Marie joined in the chorus, a faint lilac glow began to envelop her.
Sheldon stepped up closer, resting one hand on each of her shoulders. He closed his eyes as the light grew bright and a sudden flash of warmth washed over him.
When he opened his eyes again, a heavy, flexible armor covered him from head to toe. A pair of bent, boomerang blades rested in his hands, a decent, light, weight. A familiar shade of purple gleamed in the daylight streaming through the cabin windows.
Sheldon half-smiled. He threw one hand up in the air to join his fellow soldiers in a victory cheer. He knew the day had just gotten longer and the danger he’d dive into would be hours in the making.
But the faint tune lingering in the back of his mind was a perfect reminder that things would turn out alright. They usually did.
He heard her laugh in his head.
Don’t thank me yet. Just get moving. Did I mention that I’m really, really bored?
This time, he laughed.
2011 (c) Sara Harricharan
Ending note: And yes, if you're confused, then Marie=living armor. She's a girl with the talent to shapeshift and one of her shifts is actually a heavy-duty set of armor. She's one of seven kids who can do this and works with Sheldon, her 'fighter'. Snippet of a possible NaNo idea I had this past week. I hope you enjoyed the read! Please leave a comment if you feel so inclined. I love the feedback! ^_^