Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Rainwaters (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the lovely Yvonne Blake @ her blog My Back Door Ministry. Click here to read and join in the fun!

Author's ramblings: Well, I'm surviving my first 'bout of allergies. Blechy and yucky rolled into one. It makes my head run and everything so stuffy that I can't stand to look at a pc screen, much less to think straight. *sigh* But I'm handling it a bit better today, the rain is helping, so I'm braving a headache to putter out a bit of Friday Fiction. This is an idea for a longer story, perhaps a serial, I'm not sure yet, featuring a family with a human mother and gifted family members. I figured I'd best start out with some obvious conflict, so here we go. Adecus is their word for God/Creator. 
Enjoy the read!

SNIPPET : CHRISTIAN FANTASY : CONTEMPORARY

“It’s a horrible rainy day.” Sophie flopped onto the living room couch with a pout. “I hate the rain.” She whined.

“As we all know.” Her father folded the newspaper and placed it on the end table by his elbow. “You haven’t stopped telling us since it started.” He frowned. “Can’t you amuse yourself some other way than-”

“But I wanted to go out!”

“No one is stopping you, darling.” Her mother soothed, with a half-glare at her husband seated in the recliner. “You can go outside and play in the rain.”

“I hate the rain!” Sophie glared at her mother before burying her face in her arms. ” ‘sides, Tony’s out there.”

“Anthony?” Her mother bristled. “That freakish-!”

“Stop it, Dilla.” The man frowned, rising from the comfortable armchair, his mood disrupted. “If Anthony wants to go outside can. The same for our dear little Sophie.” He scowled. “And I won’t have you filling their heads with your worthless ideas. You have only yourself to blame.”

"Blame? I've done nothing that no other mother wouldn't have-"

"But you're not even like the others!" He snapped. The glare darkened by several shades and something rumbled distantly in the background. “I warned you. I gave you plenty of time to come to your senses. You chose this path.” He closed the gap between them, his face, inches away from hers as he stared her down. “You chose it, Dilla. Don’t you dare turn this back on the children–they are no more guilty than you are innocent.”

"I may have chosen it." She threw back at him. "But I didn't ask for this bucketload of misery!"

He stared at her. The flickering blue eyes darkened to a shade of black and glittered, faintly, before he whirled on his heels and stalked out from the room. A very loud crack of thunder made the house shake.

Dilla clutched a hand to her chest and suppressed a shiver.

"Momma?" Sophie slowly slid off the sofa, worry showing on her round face. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing, baby." Her mother smiled, shakily. "Just a little argument. That's all. Why don't you read that new book you got from the library?"

"Don't feel like reading." Sophie tossed her golden curls over one shoulder. "I just feel...I don't wanna be inside." She shifted restlessly from one foot to the other. "Momma? Momma, what's wrong?"

~*~*~*~*~*~

The rain had slowed to a patient drizzle when Sophie ventured out of the house. She found Tony exactly where she'd left him, sitting at the far end of the wrap-around porch, his feet threaded through the railings and hanging over the edge--getting him practically soaked, except for his back.

She shuffled towards him, wary. 

"Sophie." Tony grunted as she stopped a few feet away, close enough to speak, but not to get wet. "Got bored enough?" He taunted.

"Shut up." The preteen glared at her oldest sibling.

"You made them fight again, you know."

"I just...I didn't!" She twisted her hands. "I didn't mean to."

"You know they fight when we do. They can't help it."

"Then why do you always have to-"

The rain abruptly began to pour down in harsh, pelting drops.

Sophie gulped. "Right." She nibbled her lower lip for a long moment. "Okay, fine, I'm sorry, okay?"

The rain didn't ease up.

"Tony!" She inched closer. "Stop it, you're scaring me."

"Am I?" He said, tonelessly. "You don't have a clue what you're doing and everything in your little world just runs perfectly without a care of how and who it affects. How much longer do you think we can all keep this up, huh?" He painstakingly extracted himself from the porch railings and stood up, tall, dark and menacing in his black turtleneck and sweatpants.

"I'm not trying to pretend that-!"

"Don't!" He hissed. "If you can't tell our parents--our dear parents who have never done anything, but love and care for us since we pranced into their lives--then tell me. Don't you dare lie to me, sister of mine."

The blonde swallowed hard. "I-I..."

"I mean it, Sophie. Dear Lord, help me, I do." He fairly trembled. "This is not a curse, it is a gift."

Angry tears leaked out of bright blue eyes. "A gift?" She said, hoarsely. "How can something this devastating be a gift? Tell me, Tony!" She stomped close enough to shove him back to the railing.

The rain splattered down in angry rivulets, blowing every which way. "So you would rather think it a curse?"

"I control storms, Tony!" She shrieked. "I open my mouth and-"

Lightning and thunder sounded off, the ground rumbled and shook. The rain began to turn to ice.

"Being a stormcaller is not a curse." Tony looked away. "I can't...I can't explain everything to you." He said, at last. "But you can't keep doing this. You're pushing us all away and it's tearing everyone apart. Do what you have to do and do it soon!" He growled out.

"Do what, just-"

"We all have to go through this." He looked at her, black eyes eerily similar to that of his father. "No one escapes The Rage, but you don't have to do it alone and you know we'll always be here for you. Just like Adecus will be. What happens during that and after, it is between you and Him. None others." The thin teenager sagged against the slick wooden railing. "You can't stay here any longer, Phee."

"I don't want to leave!"

He tilted his head back to catch the stinging, icy pellets. "You know you can't stay."

"I can't leave like this."

"You can't stay either."

Lightning streaked down in giant forks. The harsh flashes lighting up two faces, two sides of the same circumstance.

"Take care of yourself." Tony drew in a deep breath and blew it out. "Look out for shadows behind."

"You say that like you care."

"You say that like you don't." He returned.

She stood there and stared at him for a long, long time. Then her bright blue eyes burned black and in a sudden flash of lightening, the girl disappeared.

Tony stood there, braced against the railing, for a long time afterwards. He didn't say anything when his dad stepped out. he didn't say anything when his mother did. He remained silent as his parents wove their selves around him, wrapping him in arms that were strong and warm, their tears falling and mixing with the rain.

He took a long, slow, shuddering breath.

His mother pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I'm sorry." She whispered. "I'm so sorry."

His father hugged them both, saying nothing in a way that somehow said everything.

"I won't do it again." Tony said, abruptly. He pulled away from their embrace, and the icy pellets returned to their watery state. "You all can deal with Callista and Elliot." He frowned. "I won't be the one to send them away."

(c) Sara Harricharan

A/N: So, what did you think? Enough drama? lolz. I was aiming for the drama with this opening bit. The Rage is kind of a stage of maturity for all Stormcallers and Sophie was avoiding hers. Dilla, the mother, is human and understands to some degree, but not all of it. Anyway, let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Capture (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Don’t let them capture you!” The old woman held him fast, her wrinkled face scrunched up in a web of confusion, her dark eyes piercing.

The man hesitated, torn between shaking off her grasp and then between running into the open or out into the shelter to hide. “The best intentions are merely that, dear lady.” He murmured, reaching to pry the gnarled fingers off from his sleeve.

The grip tightened even more if that was possible and the dark eyes glittered with a sudden fire that he hadn’t seen there before.

“Good intentions can lead to good plans.” She warbled. “Don’t let them capture you.” She winked. “I can’t come save you, if they do.”

The sound of armor clanking and feet running caused her to jump and release her grip on the captive man.

 He gave a jerky bow and bolted for the shadowy doorway at the corner of the brick archway. She sighed and watched him go. That was another one.

Another one lost for the cause.

(c) Sara Harricharan
 A/N: Not a clue where this was going, just the idea of a wise old woman saving a potential hero from disaster. :) 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Residue (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“There’s some kind of residue over here.” Jameson waved her over with a flicker of his flashlight. “What do you make of it?”

“Don’t know.” She bent down to eyelevel to examine the fine dust on the bookshelf. “What do you think? It’s a little thin to be papers.”

“You don’t think…”

“I’d rather not jump to conclusions, though I’d like to point out the obvious lack of a body, my dear.” She wrinkled her nose. “The smells are fine, just everything’s all…burnt.”

“It’s called fire.” Jameson turned away, inspecting the support beams of one wall. “It generally leaves a rather burnt smell behind.”

(c) Sara Harricharan

A/N: And I'm probably watching too much CSI on the weekend for this one... 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trunk (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.
FLASH FICTION PROMPT

"...and so the last man felt the trunk of the elephant and guess what he thought?" Marisa closed the storybook and waited.

Little Alex was deep in thought, his dimples nicely rounded in his chubby cheeks. "I think he said..." He started and then stopped.

Marisa chuckled. She tucked the book back on the little bedside bookshelf and reached for the cute toddler. "Why don't you keep on thinking and I'll take you downstairs so you can say goodnight to Grams and Pappy, hmm?"

"M'kay." Little Alex yawned, reaching up for the arms that would cradle him close. He snuggled into the warm embrace and thought very long and very hard about this riddle.

They were almost downstairs when he had the answer.

"Mawi, Mawi!" Little Alex wriggled to life. "I got it!"

"Yes?" The nanny prompted.

"The elly-pant packed all his clothes in the trunk and was going on vacation!"

The enthusiastic answer brought a smile to the nanny's face and she tilted her head downwards in agreement to press a kiss to the downy head. "That's a very good answer." She allowed. "What do you think he packed?"

"Beach balls!"

(c) Sara Harricharan

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fixed (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Shhh!” He elbowed his twin in the stomach, leaning as far away from the door as he could. “Jinny!”

“Ow, what?” She snapped. “I can’t breathe and you’re stomping on my-”

“He’s coming this way!” The older boy hissed, fiercely. “Hold your breath!”

The squeak was half-muffled and for a moment, neither twin really did breathe. The ominous footsteps came down the hallway and paused at several doorways in turn.

Jinny breathed a sigh of relief when the footsteps didn’t even stop in front of the linen closet. A giggle of relief spilled through and she clapped both hands over her mouth, her eyes laughing at her twin.

He winked. “We did it!”

The door popped open and the darkness was disturbed by the harsh light of the hallway. Before either tween could react, two strong hands had caught them about the shoulders and wrestled them into the hallway.

“Ow!” They chorused as they were roughly pushed into the cold, castle walls.

The dark eyes glittered, flickering carefully over the squirming forms before they settled into a definite glare.

The twins gulped.

“Um, Hi Mr. Gardeth.” Jinny squeaked. “Did you need us for something?”

The old knight snorted. “You’ll wish I was.” He said, releasing his hold on them. “In fact, you’ll dream of it.”

“We didn’t mean any harm!” The boy protested. “It was just a harmless prank. We’ll fix it!”

“No need.” A smirk settled on the knight’s face. “It’s already fixed.”

“Oh, good.” Jinny yawned. “So what do you want us for?”

“Oh, I do not desire your immediate presence.” The smirk became downright wicked. “His majesty requires it as soon as I am able.

The twins blanched.

“Father?”

“Papa?”

The twins exchanged a glance. This was bad. 

“Said something about you were free to go about unless you were caught.”

Jinny gulped. “Right.” She nibbled on her lower lip. “I guess we got caught.”

(c) Sara Harricharan
A/N: I've got knights and kings and castles on the brain...*sigh*...guess where this one came from? LOL. Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ratings (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing. Just imagine there's an inkwell, okay?
 FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“The ratings go up, the ratings go down. Forget about the ratings!” The plump redhead slammed the teacup down on the old wooden desk. “For the love of all things sane, man!” She scowled. “Get a hold of yourself!”

“I’m trying!” He growled back. “Not that you’re helping.”

“I’m not trying to be helpful!” She snarled back. “You don’t need helpful right now. Right now, you need a kick in the pants and a fire under that oversized-”

“Don’t you dare!” He roared. “I will not have you speak to me like-”

“Like what? Like the spoiled brat you are?” She sniffed, disdainfully. “You know something, your highness?” Her voice was sickeningly sweet. “I always thought you were a spoiled, pampered brat–I never thought you’d actually prove me right!”

“Get out!” He shoved the papers, inkwells and books off the desk at the strangely calm woman.

She merely wrinkled her nose, straightened her skirts and sailed from the room with her head held high. “I will be down in the kitchens,” her voice floated over. “If you think you might have the nerve to prove me wrong.”

(c) Sara Harricharan

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pageant (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Beauty pageant?” The brunette eyed her friend with a mixture of wariness and confusion. “And you want me to join you because…?”

“Because I don’t wanna enter by mesel!”

“You do not want to enter by yourself.” She frowned. “Myself.” She corrected, quickly. “You know, you could always play that as a charming angle, if you’d just get the rest of your-”

“Okay, fine. I dinna want to.” The blonde pouted. “But it looks like fun.”

“Fun?” Her friend sputtered.

The blonde smirked. “They have fire-throwing for one of the categories.”

At once, the smirk was mirrored and the dark brown hair burst into a shimmering of red and white flames that swarmed around her heart-shaped face. “I see. So you’re entering as our own kind, a firecaller?”

“Naturally.”

“Count me in. This is one beauty pageant I’d never miss!”

(c) Sara Harricharan

Torch (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Pass the torch!”

“Pass the torch!”

The cry was taken up all across the city as the shadows swooped down from above.

“Light the fires!” Someone yelled. “Throw in the firecrackers. Burn it all!”

The shrieks quieted to the occasional yell as light began to flood the darkened city. The warm, amber glow began to push away the eerie shapeless shadows that hovered overhead.

“Did we get them, Papa?” Benny crouched low beside his grandmother and handed her a fire-warmed stone for her old hands. “Did we get them?”

“Not tonight, Benny-boy.” The grizzled warrior squinted up at the sky with an expert eye. “But we’ve sent them running for tonight. Must always remember to keep the lights about you.”

“Yes, Papa.”

“No, Benny–I mean it.” He bent down to the young lad’s height. “The light inside you.” He thumped the small boy’s chest. “And the light outside. Always remember it.”

(c) Sara Harricharan

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Staple (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing. Aren't purple staples awesome?

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Staple?” Briana stared at him. “You want to know if I’ve seen a purple staple?”

The young man shrugged. “It’s got a purple staple on it, but I need to fix something real bad.”

“Really badly.” The receptionist corrected, automatically. “A college degree should have at least given you that much.” She frowned. “I can check the papers, but I cannot promise you anything at all.”

“I’m not asking you to.” He smiled, gratefully. “I just need to fix something on it.

She moved to the pile of papers stacked up on the wide desk and quickly flipped through them. One paper, with a bright purple staple caught her eye. She handed it over, with a frown. “Take better care next time.”

He smiled at her, brilliantly beautiful and hauntingly sorrowful in the same expression. “Thank you.” He took the paper and hurried out from the tall, glass-walled building.

She watched him disappear into the crowded streets, filled with passersby and tried to recall what she'd seen on the coversheet. Her mouth formed an 'O' when her mind supplied the first words on the cover letter.

Dear Dad, I'm hoping this letter will reach your desk, since we hardly have the time to talk anymore...

(c) Sara Harricharan

Friday, March 16, 2012

Four Corners of the Court (Friday Fiction)

Hi everyone! I've the pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this week and I'm just a bit late on getting the linky up, but it's here at last! To join in the fun, simply add your link to your piece of original fiction to the linky widget below. Don't forget to read and comment--everyone loves the feedback!



Author's Ramblings: I'm cheating just a bit this week--using another character sketch.I have an idea I don't have time to write out, so of course, I fall back on the staple of character sketches. This week features four men and a knife-throwing girl and a possible bandit attack? Hmm. Enjoy the read!

CONTEMPORARY FANTASY : ADVENTURE


The knife landed dead center on the target with a deliberate thwack.

Instructor Aiden's eyebrows arched upwards into his curly hair. "Impressive, Miss Adalia." He allowed. "Perhaps your father's skills are rubbing off on you after all."

The petite brunette chose that moment to give a spectacular roll of her eyes. "Of course." She said, primly. "You would only think to credit my father for my mother's natural talent." She rose from the wooden bench with a huff and stomped away from the archery field.

"I think you might have upset her." Damian twisted around in his stance, attempting to follow the small figure's progress back to the castle.

"Eyes in front, idiot." The training master's assistant, Jarrick, thwapped the straw-colored head in front of him. "I'm not wasting my time out here for you to be ogling at our Lord's daughter, because-"

"Can her ladyship really throw?" The trainee ducked the second headslap and returned his attention to the fixed stance. His feet were laced to a heavy board on the ground, positioned in the way the specific stance required and he was practicing the assigned reps.

Aiden shrugged. "I've never seen her ladyship so much as lift a finger. Some days it seems like breathing would take too much out of her."

"Master." Jarrick hummed, warningly. "You shouldn't speak ill of things you don't know about."

"And you would know?" Damian studied the assistant, curiously. "I haven't seen her at all and I've been here for what, seven years now?"

"Six." Aiden and Jarrick corrected together.

The young man flushed a lovely shade of pink-red.  "Six. Right."

"Keep practicing." Jarrick slapped him lightly on the shoulder as he strolled off towards the painted targets. He inspected the battery of knives embedded in the wooden targets and suppressed a whistle of admiration. The girl had good aim.

And he highly doubted that their busy Lord had anything to do with the new skill.

"Jarrick?"

"A minute, Master Aiden." He called over his shoulder. "Shall I polish and return these at dinner?"

"There's no need for that."

The voice was completely unexpected and Jarrick, whirled, the deadly blades in hand. He held them at the throat of the newcomer, before the rest of him caught up to the action and he took a step backwards. The black-clothed figure surveyed him with pale, golden eyes, glittering in amusement.

"Apprentice Jarrick." The soft, whispery voice breathed. "I came for her ladyship's knives." He bowed, respectfully.

Jarrick bit back a frown, studying the sincere figure of the recently acquired companion for the young Lord's daughter. He didn't approve, but of course, his opinion carried little weight 'round the castle and it wasn't his place. "Eli." He greeted, stiffly.

"May I?"

The knives were handed over.

"Thank you."

There was a rush of wind and when Jarrick flinched, from the sand, Eli vanished in seconds.

"Jarrick!"

"Coming!" The assistant sighed and turned away. There was something that didn't quite sit well with the fighting instructor's apprentice.

"Ow!" Damian's voice caught his attention. He'd toppled over.

Jarrick rolled his eyes and gave up on plucking any arrows from the targets as he made his way across the trimmed grass and to the fallen figure. "You know, this is supposed to improve your sense of balance, not worsen it." He commented, dryly.

"Spare me." The young man retorted. "And just spare my-"

A clatter of noise at the far end of the front courtyard drew everyone's attention. There were yells, shouts and the clash of swords before Jarrick suddenly realized what was happening. He dropped quickly to his knees to slash at the ropes binding Damian to the board. "Stay down and keep quiet!" He hissed.

"Jarrick?" The teasing was all gone now and a trademark stroke of seriousness instantly overtook the strategist. "Is it a drill?"

"No. I'd have known if it was." Jarrick sucked in a careful breath. "They're brave to attack in broad daylight. I guess we'll have some fun on our hands. They haven't seen us yet."

"That good or bad?"

"A bit of both."

"Hmm." Damian grunted. We've got to get a better point."

"Actually going to use that head of yours?"

"Naturally." Damian smirked.

"Then let's run for it."

(c) Sara Harricharan

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Petition (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Would you sign our petition, please?” The teen bravely held up the battered board and the carving knife.

The seasoned healer eyed stared her down from the elevated position behind thie medcine counter. “It’s not going to do you much good, child.” She grunted, after a moment. Her wrinkled hands dipped beneath the counter and returned with white rolls of bandages in hand that were immediately handed off to the nearest orderly. “You’re best off leaving them all alone.”

“I can’t!” The girl retorted. “Just give me a chance! Give them a chance. They deserve it, after all that they’ve done, how can we just-!”

“I’m not saying that you have to give up on it, just that you might be mores useful in other places, girl.” She sighed and reached for the proffered knife. “You’ll regret this one day.”

“No I won’t.” The girl held her chin higher.

“They all say that.”

“I won’t.”

“Brave last words, my dear.”
“I love you too, Nana.” She shot back.

The old healer carved her name into a smooth section of the board and then pricked her thumb to give the usual drop of blood that would allow for verification of her signature. “I wish thee well.”

“I’ll see you soon.” The board flashed and groaned. The girl closed her eyes and waited. It took a half-second before the portal opened and sucked her in. There was nothing left behind.

The old woman sighed. “You’re too soft-hearted.” She told the empty room. “With your bleeding heart, you won’t have the strength to save what you’re fighting for.”

(c)Sara Harricharan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Belief (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

Belief.

Beliefs. 

Ha. What is it?

What are they?

I don’t know.

I should, but I don’t.

Somehow, this doesn’t matter.

It could be one of many, it would be none of any.

But it’s there. It’s a word. It’s something you expected me to answer.

When you asked me, what beliefs I held, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t answer you, because there wasn’t anything I could say.

You were asking for my opinion and I’d forgotten all about it.

In the midst of being your everything, I forgot that I was something.

So when you asked me of my beliefs, I didn’t answer right away.

Because I didn’t know you cared.

(c) Sara Harricharan

A/N: Ergh, this one isn't really fiction, it's more rambling quick thoughtstream sort of. I hope it is enjoyable just the same. Thank you all for the wonderful comments this week! You've made my day in more ways than I can say.  ^_^

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gourmet (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

"Oh that was wonderful! I'm stuffed." Lily slumped into her seat in the car with a laugh. "I shouldn't have eaten that dessert."

"But it was so wonderful!" Rosa gushed. "I have to go back there again."

"Mmm. I want to go with you when you do!" Lily grinned. "Best cheesecake and coffee break I've ever had."She licked her lips. "That creme brulee was to die for!"

"It was, wasn't it?"

"And the coffee." Lily moaned. "I'll never be able to drink regular coffee again. It's gourmet or nothing."

Rosa laughed long and loud with her. "I suppose we are lucky." She mused as she backed the car out of the parking lot. "Buckle up, doll."

"Drive slow!" Her friend retorted. "How do you figure we're lucky?"

"If my darling hubby didn't own the place, we'd have to pay." Rosa winked. "As it is, all we have to do is give him an honest report for the newest menu additions."

"Mm. We are lucky." Lily sighed happily. "My vote is five stars all the way. I'm addicted for life!"

(c) Sara Harricharan

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recycle (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Recycle?” Brian eyed her skeptically. “I don’t know.”

“Sure you do.” She bopped him on the head with the empty plastic water bottle. “You practically inhale these things, all I”m asking is that you stuff ‘em in a bag and give ‘em to me later. I’ll turn them for you. No worries.”

“No worries? And you just rake in the cash, huh?”

She rolled her eyes. “It’s not about money, you birdbrain! It’s about saving the earth, the environment and other green stuff.”

“Green stuff?”

“Yeah. You know. Things that grow.”

He snorted. “Don’t ever become an environmentalist spokesperson. You suck at it.”

She laughed. “Just put your bottles in a baggie for me, ‘kay? I’ll have Pops grab ‘em when we come by next weekend.”

He fired off a snappy salute. “Yes ma’am!”

She bopped him with the bottle again.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Friday, March 9, 2012

Therris of Thorton (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the talented Rick "Hoomi". H. @ his blog, Pod Tales and Ponderings. Click here to read and share more great fiction! ((Fixed to add links in proper places. Thanks, Cat--for pointing that out! ^_^))

Author's Ramblings: I don't really have time to write this out the way I want to, but I got started from a single snippet and couldn't resist. Therris is an adorable little MC and I just wanted to see how he grew up, so this is a bit of a character sketch. Enjoy the read!

SHORT STORY : CONTEMPORARY FANTASY : CHARACTER SKETCH

The stern headmistress eyed the speck of rebellion over the top of her horn-rimmed glasses. “I sincerely hope you have learned your lesson, Mr. Cartwright, rest-assured, if it were not your father on the school board, you would no longer be attending this fine establishment.”

The young boy scuffed his dress shoes against the thin carpet of the headmistress’ office. He didn’t dare look up from the scuff marks to meet the furious gaze he knew was burning down at him. “Yes, ma’am.” He whispered.

“You are dismissed!” She snapped.

He swallowed the sniffle that threatened to be escape. “T-thank you.” He gingerly slid off the cushioned chair and limped towards the door with the frosted glass pane. His hand had just grasped the brass knob when he heard her speak again.

“Therris, what on earth were you thinking?”

He rubbed his nose on his shoulder. “I was thinking I wanted to make you proud, Mama.”

And then she was moving out from behind the desk and wrapping him in her warm, safe arms. He sighed, releasing the doorknob as she cuddled him close. A moment later, he felt the faint tingle of her healing energy and his body went limp her arms as the leg injury was healed, along with several other hidden injuries. He felt hot tears trickle down his face and into the crook of her elbow as she held him close and whispered soothing nonsense in his ear.

“Mama…”

She squeezed him a little tighter than necessary.

He didn't dare complain.

"Don't you ever do that to me again, young man!"

"I know. I'm sorry, Mama."

"Sorry doesn't cut it, you could've died! Dead, Therris! Do you not understand the severity of your own actions?"

"I'm sorry!"

"You should be."She relaxed her hold, just a touch. "I was so worried, love."

He sighed.

"How did you get into Lord Ethersine's castle?"

He smiled. "That was the easy part."

"Really?"She rose, lifting him easily in her arms as she walked back to the desk and sat him on top of the cleared space. "Stand up. Let me get a good look of you."

"I'm fine." He winced, standing up. "But they got my leg good. Your first healing got all the little stuff."

She frowned. "What did they hit you with?"

"Something that hurt bad."

"Something that hurt really bad." She corrected automatically. "How bad, scale of one to ten?"

"Twelve."

"Oh baby."She winced. "You are going to kill me before my time with your stunts like this. You're nine years old, boy!"

"I don't feel nine." He pouted.

She rapped him lightly on the knees. "Sit down, don't aggravate it."

"Will it be okay?"

Her smile was sad. "You're a dangerous little boy, Therris of Thorton." She murmured. "A simple thing like a leg injury shouldn't have any permanent effects." Her hand rested on the knee of the injured leg. "I can heal it, but you already know I can't really undo the damage."She bit her lip. "You'll have to ask Master Ciphas."

Therris winced. "I don't wanna."

"Therris!"

"He scares me!"

"And he'll continue to do so until you both come to an understanding." She frowned. "You will be his final apprentice, you know."

"I don't want to be anybody's apprentice."

She smirked. "You sound just like your father and I'd wager he said the same thing when he was your age."She bopped him lightly on the head. "The power that runs in your veins and sings through your blood, it's a dangerous power. You have to learn to control it."

"I can control it!"

"No, you cannot." She pinned him with a look. "You're nine years old, Theri. You have a long ways to go, some people with your gift live to be hundreds of years and still they cannot control themselves!"

"But Mama-!"

"No, buts!"She pressed a finger to his lips. "If you were in control of your gifts, you would have not only gotten into the Ethersine's castle, you would've gotten out, unnoticed and unscathed!" She sighed and gathered him into her arms again, just to reassure herself. "You know the rules, Therris. If you're going to cause trouble, then don't get caught. You dragged the whole school, the entire present company of Rikens in the vicinity, twelve fully-grown and trained Riders into your little scheme. That is not something easily ignored."

Therris winced. "I guess I'd better plan it out next time, huh?"

"That would help." His mother agreed. "And when you're going to try out this next time, don't announce it to me at the breakfast table, hmm?"

(c)Sara Harricharan

Brunch (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Might I have the pleasure of your company for brunch?” The tall gentleman smiled down at the girl in the white wicker chair.

Her large green eyes grew impossibly round and they flickered to her pristine white dress shoes and then to her matching purse. She nibbled on her lower lip and then made a motion with her spotless gloved hands.

He leaned downwards, so his ear was closer to her trembling lips. “Yes, my dear?”

“I’m not supposed to walk.”

He winked. “Then I suppose you won’t object if I remedy that?”

A soft gasp escaped as she was swooped up into strong, capable hands. “N-not at all.”

“Good girl.” He whispered. "I won't tell if you won't. I don't think the nurses can come complain to me for something I am already overseeing." He pressed a kiss to the side of her head. “Laurela, love, just because you can’t walk like the others, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to have a good time, hmm?”

(c)Sara Harricharan

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Demonstration (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

The auditorium was buzzing with excitement, a heavy tension settling in the humid air. There were warriors in full armor walking circuits around the stands and the loud growls, screeches and cries of the chained creatures shook the ground.

“Now, listen up here, folks. I’ll begin the demonstration in just a moment, but I want to be sure that I have everyone’s attention, please!” The curly-haired brunette raised her hands. “Hello, yes, excuse me. Yes.” She nodded and waved. A great shadow fell over the entire arena and then it faded away to light once more. “Sorry about that, have to make sure the shields are in place, it wouldn't do to have this wonderful day interrupted. Now then, thank you all for coming today! As you know, this demonstration will take place in two parts.” She gestured towards one half of the arena. “This is the final stage in your coming of age ceremony and you will be judged in several categories, which will be tallied at the end and your score will determine what skill level you are awarded for your efforts.

The bell sounded.

Across the arena, several young men and women stepped into the muddy ring. The tallest young man drew a short sword and rolled to the left. The others followed suit, retrieving their gifted weapons and spreading out across the oval fighting space.

“Three, two, fight!” The woman called out.

The monsters were released and the battle began.

(c)Sara Harricharan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Swing (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

She took a deep breath and kicked off from the dirt hole. The swing shot her straight through the air and for a moment, it was as if she could inhale and snatch the sky from where it hung.

A faint smile touched her lips as she leaned back, pulling on the thick, gnarled ropes and pumped her feet to keep the swing moving. She sucked in one fresh, life-giving, toe-curling breath as fast as she dared without stopping.

Breathing the air like this, in the dead of the night, with only the stars to see her happiness, this kind of air felt like life was supposed to be. This kind of air felt like living.

This kind of living, had to be worth it.

(c) Sara Harricharan

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lantern (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.
FLASH FICTION PROMPT

"Hold the lantern higher!" The Lightkeepr growled. "If you can't see where you're going, you're dead, you hear?"

The gangly boy gave a crooked nod. "Yessir."

"The moment you strike that match, there's light and if there's light, then what do you think happens?"

"T-they see you?"

"They don't just see you, lad. They know where you are. They can see all of you and now they have something to track, so when you're walking, hold the lantern high. The only chance of survival you have is if you see them first."

"W-what happens if I don't, sir?" He licked his lips.

"Then it's too bad, isn't it?" The Lightkeeper shuffled on, his own lantern held up high over his head, the scruffy hat on his head bobbing as he looked from side to side. "Hurry up, boy! Haven't got all night to waste wandering around here..."

(C) Sara Harricharan

Monday, March 5, 2012

Town (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images. I own nothing.

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

“Town? We’re going to town?” The twin girls bounced up and down in their matching chairs.

Theo smiled as he watched the matching pigtails swing and bob in time with the curly-haired heads. He hoped he wasn’t getting too far over his head, but he’d missed his family–all of his family–and if it meant that he could spent uninterrupted time with them by doing errands, then he’d take it.

Besides, it’d been years since he’d seen the twins. They were now about thirteen or fourteen and they didn’t seem to think anything of their uncle having been gone for six years without a single explanation.

Yes. Theo thought to himself. This could be fun. They could catch up and get some things done at the same time.

“Just a minute.” The first twin popped up, yanking out her French pigtails. “I’ve got to change my outfit.”

“Outfit.” Theo looked at her in a basic t-shirt and jeans. he didn’t see anything wrong with it. “What’s wrong with what you’ve got on?”

“Town?” She repeated with a sigh of long-suffering. “You said we were going to town, right?”

“Right.”

“I’ll be right back.”

“Me too.”

Theo stood in the living room and stuffed the car keys back into his pocket. He had a feeling he’d be waiting for a while.
(C) Sara Harricharan

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sweat (Flash Fiction)

Found on Google Images

FLASH FICTION PROMPT

A bead of sweat rolled down his cheek and hung on the edge of his chin. He swiped at it with one bandaged hand and continued to stare out into the darkened expanse. There was something out there, he could sense it.

There was the entire wave of unnatural heat, if nothing else, that gave it all away. He'd been here before. He knew what could happen, knew what would happen, knew what should happen. Yet it wouldn't. None of it would.

The future would always remain entirely unpredictable. He bit his lip–a little harder than necessary–the spike of pain reminded him that this was indeed real.

They’d be under attack soon. All of them. He closed his eyes and clenched his fists. If only those idiots would listen, the perhaps they wouldn’t all have to die.

(C) Sara Harricharan

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Bad Luck Girl (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the talented Catrina Bradley over @ her blog, Scattered Seeds. Click here to read and join in the fun!

Author's Ramblings: I've had this idea knocking around in my head for a while and I've made myself take some time off this weekend to write a new short piece, as I've been literally itching to put my fingers on a keyboard and let them have at it. This one is titled, The Bad-Luck Girl and is a contemporary fantasy snippet with a young girl named Princess, who literally has the power of bad luck. Really bad luck. To negate it--well, just read on and let me know how you like it. Cheers!




SHORT STORY : CONTEMPORARY FANTASY 


The old Thief slunk along the edge of the town, inching towards where he could use the shadows for protection on his way to the shadowed forest.  It didn't take him very long to make his way through the gnarly, low hanging branches and around the blood bushes, happy little shrubs with sharp bloodsucking points. He found the makeshift camp in tatters and the little imp in question wallowing in a newly created mud hole.

Her angelic face was faintly remorseful as she rolled to her feet covered in mud. "Sorry, Jeji." She chirped. "I was bored. Did you bring food?"

The old thief smiled. "I sure did, princess." he began to empty his coat pockets and from beneath the entire bundle of respectable rags, he drew out food and trinkets to occupy the little girl.

"Was it hard?" She asked, reaching for one of the rolls and grabbing the edge of the napkin instead. She gave it a yank and caught two in her thin arms before the rest tumbled to the ground.

Jeji moved quickly and caught nearly all of them, except for one. It landed on the muddy ground and both man and child stared at the last roll.

"It’s okay." The girl consoled. She peered up to see his grizzled face. “Really.”

"I know." He picked the roll up, and carefully set it aside. "You can feed the birds later, if you want. We shouldn’t waste."

“I know.”  She clapped her hands together. “I like feeding the birds though. They get hungry too!” 

“Everything gets hungry now and again.” He said, softly. “Eat up now, little one.”

“Princess.” She corrected. She took a large chomp out of the fresh roll in one hand and a small nibble out of the other one. “My name is Princess.”

“And that’s ‘cause you’re a princess.” He tweaked her nose. “Eat up. Chew it good.”

They ate together in silence.

"Are we going to move again today?" Princess licked her fingers. She frowned. “Jeji.”
He handed her a sugar roll. “Don’t make a mess.”
She ate it and licked her fingers again. This time, she smiled afterward. “So we going to move?”

"Maybe." He allowed.

"Really?"

"Yes, really." He smiled at her again. "Would you like to go for a walk?"

She returned the smile, slipping her little white hand in his big, tanned one. "Yes, please. Let's."

So they went for a walk.

They walked through the forest for several miles. The air grew hot and humid and a light mist began to filter down through the shelter of trees. They walked on until the lights began to show brighter and the rain stopped.

There were several stops.

When they decided to take a breather, Princess had accumulated several cuts, scrapes and they’d barely managed to keep what few belongings they had.

“We’d better stop.” The thief said, at last. He’d taken two steps forward and she’d tumbled face-first to the ground with a wail. “Shhh, hush now.” His rough voice gentled as he gathered her into his arms and rocked the dirt-streaked bundle in soothing motions. When she quieted, he set her on her feet and brushed twigs and leaves from her crop of golden curls.

“My feet hurt, Jeji.” Princess yawned. She leaned against him as he carded his fingers through her tangled hair. “Are we there yet?”

“Not sure.” He tugged at one snarl.

“Owie!” She leaned away from the helpful hands. “You can port from anywhere with a six-foot-clearing of-”

Something cracked and snapped in the distance.

She froze.

He swung her up in his arms and began to back towards the direction they’d been headed.

“Jeji?” She whispered. Her arms slipped around his neck and locked tight.

“It’ll be alright.” He muttered. His grip tightened on the small body. “You trust me, you hear, Princess? Let me handle this.”

She sniffled.

“I mean it, little one.”

She whimpered.

Something crashed—a little closer to the duo.

“Brace yourself.” He murmured.

They came.

As if melting down from the leaves in the trees, they all came. Armed and silent, they took up positions, circling the wary duo. “Just give us the girl, old man, and you can live!” One masked man spoke up. “Give her to us—NOW!”

“She’s not property and she doesn’t belong to you.”

“She’s not yours!” A slender woman spoke up. She spun a curved blade around her wrist. “She’s a menace!”

“She doesn’t do any harm.”

“She does more harm than good!”

“So you would kill her over this?” The thief snarled. “I’ve kept her out of your way! I’ve kept her away from everything and everyone.”

“Ah, so you consider your life forfeit?” The masked fellow reached up and ripped off the mask. His face was a pale shade of grey, with his eyes mere slits. “You think we’re doing this for-”

“Lieutenant, sir!” The woman stepped forward. “We’re running out of time, we-”

“Take them!” He roared.

The soldiers surged forward.

The old thief closed his eyes and reached into his back pocket. Princess wriggled faintly in his arms and knocked the teleportation rod to the ground. For a moment, he froze. She squirmed. “Sowwy!”

“Hold on.” He swung her around to his back and whipped out a small brown square. “Stay back!” He warned. He braced himself as Princess threaded her skinny legs around his waist and loosened the hold on his neck, so as not to strangle him. The square in his hand glowed and then expanded to be a thin, flexible rod of nearly six feet.

He hefted it expertly in one hand as he shifted his weight to brace himself.

The fight exploded.

It was hardly fair with the sheer numbers present.

But the old thief held his own for several minutes. He protected the little girl hanging on behind him and fought with a viciousness that didn’t seem possible, given his aging visage.

And then it happened.

The lady soldier managed a lucky blow to his head.

He crumpled to the ground with a soundless cry.

Princess scrambled off the fallen body, staring down at it in horror.

“Get her!”

“Throw the bindings, now!”

“Hurry, don’t let her get away!”

“Activate the immobilizing-”

Cries filled the air of the Shadowed Forest.

They threw nets and cast a circle of immobilization—a energy field isolating certain strains of supernatural talent in a single individual. The bright blue circle flared to life on the forest floor and bands of blue appeared on the little girl’s hands and ankles. She tore at the lines of light, frantically. Her head snapped up in time to see the net that sent her crashing to the ground.

A long stick with a glowing red end reached towards her. She struggled to wriggle away from it until they reached for the old man. Her blue eyes grew wide and round. “No.” She said, softly. “No-no. Don’t do that.”

“Hurry! I wanted her sedated and sealed five minutes ago!” The lieutenant barked. “And get that wretched excuse of a Suridahn wannabe warrior away from her!”

The sedative drew closer and Princess ignored it. She was transfixed by the soldiers rushing forward to drag away the fallen body of her protector.

Her eyes flickered from blue to black. Her little hands clenched into fists. “Let him go!”

The net that held her down dissolved to dust.

Princess shot to her feet with a magnificent scowl painted on her face. “I think,” she began, in a very small voice. “Your luck just ran out.”

“Get her!” The lieutenant screamed.

The ground rumbled and shook.

The soldiers began to lose their footing. 

She stood there, calmly.

Large cracks began to appear as the ground fell away to gaping holes and darkened depths.

Then the screams began. Yells and shouts and frantic calls as the very earth crumbled out from beneath their feet. There was no one to help them. They could not help each other.

Amidst the confusion, the thief’s body was somehow returned to her side. Princess simply stared out at them all.

The lieutenant had turned the immobilization circle on himself—with an adjustment to keep the ground beneath him stabilized.

Her blue-black eyes narrowed to little points. “I said.” She wrinkled her nose. “Your luck just ran out.”

The circle sputtered and died. The ground fell out from under him.

He didn’t yell.

She didn’t care.

When every figure was gone, then she looked down at the prone body beside her. “Jeji?” Her eyes flickered back to their normal blue hue. She dropped to her knees beside him and waited.

Nothing happened.

She bit her lip for a moment and then scrambled up to her feet and slowly backed away. Her body trembled quite visibly as she backed away and then she turned her back. From there, she closed her eyes and furrowed her brow.

The cracks in the ground repaired. The jagged, muddy crevices sealing up as if they’d never existed, the Shadowed Forest returned to its original glory.

Silence drabbled along.

A long moment later, a rasping cough filled the air.  

Princess whirled around and launched herself towards the twitching figure.

The old thief heaved himself up from the ground with short, awkward twitches. His eyes flew open at the approaching figure and he opened his mouth to speak. “Princess, be careful when you-!”

Their eyes met.

His breath caught.

Her smiled trembled as she looked at him and deliberately tripped.

He surged up from the ground and threw himself forward.

They landed in a tangled, awkward pile.

She giggled.

He breathed a sigh of relief. “That was unnecessary, little one.”

She thumped her heels against his side and then let him sit them both up. “No it wasn’t.”

“Princess.”

“It wasn’t.” She repeated, stubbornly. “You almost died, Jeji.”

“But I’m alive.”

“You almost died!”

He kissed the top of her head. “I know you’d never let that happen.”

She snorted.

“Don’t do that again.”

“I knew you’d catch me.”

“And if I didn’t? You could get hurt and-”

“I knew you would.”

He didn’t say anything for a long while.

They sat together until the night began to creep in.

He rose from the forest floor and hefted her up in his arms. “Let’s go.”

“Where we going?”

“Where are we going.” He corrected, automatically. “We’re going to find a camp.”

“A real one?”

“No, our own one.” He chuckled. “I think you’ve had enough excitement for today.”

She yawned. “Maybe.”

“There’s no maybe there, Princess.”

“I guess.” She settled her head on his shoulder. “Jeji, don’t die again, okay?”

His footsteps faltered and his grip tightened on the precious armful.

“Okay, Jeji?”

“…okay.”

© Sara Harricharan

A/N: And if you didn't catch it, by deliberately "jinxing" herself, little things like tripping, falling, etc, Princess keeps the bad luck away--if she creates it, it doesn't affect her. However, Jeji is special to her, so she has to be creative in keeping him safe. Thanks for reading and do leave a comment, if you can~! ^_^ Happy weekend.