This week’s Skylark Challenge brought something out of me I’d never imagined myself doing…flash fiction!
I wrote a couple of other poems, paired with the image above, as well as several other poems. I will share those at the end of this post.
However, the above image, paired wit the prompt words opened a new pathway in my mind and a story came pouring out, in two installments. Here it is:
A Mothers Love
As she peered at the enchanting face of her precious child, her heart turned icy with fear. The cold numbness spread out from the core of her being, freezing the tears which had coursed down her now gray and ashen cheeks.
She listened to the labored breathing and heard the wheezing coming from her child’s frail chest.
“I can’t lose her, I just can’t,” was the desperate plea spinning and twirling in her mind.
Suddenly, she rose from the cushioned chair next to her child’s sickbed. Standing so quickly, it seemed the fierce power of her mother’s love rocked the chair, nearly overturning it. She spun around to face the healer as her gown swished around her.
“I absolutely REFUSE to believe there’s nothing to be done!”
“Well, there may be…”
Interrupting, she cried, “What? What can I do?”
“I don’t know that you should be the one. It will be a perilous journey through the forbidden zone. Even if you make it there and back again, the enforcers guarding the wall will kill you as easily as capturing you.
I am the heir apparent, she thought to herself. Surely, I have enough loyal members of the court and servants who can aid me in this endeavor.
Slowly and forcefully, she asked again. “What. Can. I. Do?”
“There is a tree which has miraculous healing properties when you combine fresh cut bark and some of its sap. First you steep it to make a tea. What remains of the mixture is made into a poultice for the chest. You will find the tree half a day’s journey from here, if you go by foot.
Be careful. The tree’s guardians obfuscate with illusion, which can distract and misdirect those who seek it out. You must hurry. The child has, perhaps, two days before she is beyond treatment.”
O’rian quickly left the healer’s chambers, walking briskly and full of purpose. Possessing a deep intelligence and a quick wit enabled her to formulate an executable plan. She also embodied patience, kindness, and compassion, which had positively impacted nearly everyone she’d encountered, whether lowborn or high.
She was able to recruit people in key positions to help. Those who were less than willing were able to be enticed with monetary and other compensatory incentives.
The ensuing journey was indeed filled with peril and untold adventure. All of which is another tale for another day.
What I can say is this, “Were it not for the courageous love of your grandmother, I wouldn’t be here today…and neither would you!”
With a wink and a smile, the Queen leaned forward, tweaking the noses and kissing the foreheads of her twin sons.
“Off to bed with you, my doves.”
Of course they protested mightily, but, in the end, they went to bed with a promise of another story the next night.
Her boys safely tucked away for the night, she meandered through the library, reflecting on the abbreviated story she’d shared with her children.
Her wandering done, she strode to the case containing the personal histories and journals of her ancestors, including her mother. She reached for that precious, leather bound volume, shiny from frequent use. Walking slowly, she approached the fireplace and resumed her seat.
Leaning back, she flipped through the pages, until she located her mother’s account of the events which had taken place 25 years ago, when she was the age her sons were now.
“Leaving the healer’s chamber and my nearly lifeless child, filled with a dreadful sense of purpose and more than a little fear.
He’s right, if the Enforcers catch me on this side of the wall, it means the large prison of this castle constricts to the tiny, dank, and dark prison of a dungeon cell. If I’m caught on the other side of the wall, returning from the Forbidden Zone, they will kill me, regardless of being the heir apparent. My death in the Forbidden Zone would seal D’Ton’s power to destroy Usuria and what it represents forever.
I cannot allow that to happen anymore than I can allow K’Trin to die.
My next move is to secure my exit.”
With that thought L’Orian walked down toward the kitchen and laundry, planning on securing clothing she could freely move around in.
Suddenly, she ran into an unfamiliar, grey cloaked figure.
“Pardon me! I’m so sorry. I hope I haven’t bruised you.”
At that moment, the figure’s cowl slipped back, revealing an unfamiliar face.
Taken aback she exclaimed,”I don’t know you! Who are you?” She reached out and touched the woman’s arm.
Narrowing, then widening her eyes as she beheld L’Orian. Then she spoke,
“‘Tis a perilous night
To enter the forest, forbidden
Face the illusion, see your plight
Seek the enchanting, hidden”
When she finished speaking, she quickly covered her head and started rushing away.
“Hold on! Wait! What does that mean?”
Before she’d finished her question, the woman had disappeared.
What do you think?
Here are this week’s other creations: