Love Undenied

pixabay image compilation

The Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo has announced the results of Challenge #3. I loved this prompt and the opportunity to write a little fantasy.

Challenge #3: Create a piece of flash fiction (200 -300 words) including a Septolet or two as the spell or charm that helps your character out of a bind (or go where the prompt leads you). The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture. 

Love Undenied

Smoke swirled, dappling the forest floor with blotted sunlight. Feathery wisps spun, wove, and coalesced into the skeletal body of a man, ribs and muscles sculpted beneath skin the pallor of death. His face was my lover’s but hawkish, black eyes smoldering, malevolence darkening the hollows of his skull, a beakish shadow for his nose. A cowl of smoke, a cloak, undulated as if windblown, yet the air lay still. In his hand, a staff of black fire blazed.

“Why am I summoned?” His voice ribboned around me.

“To set you free.” I held the amulet in an outstretched arm as if its magic might shield me.

His predatory eyes tightened. “To send me to my death.”

“You are already dead, my love, as am I.” He winced at my words. At the truth or the endearment? “This is an enchantment that binds you to the mortal world.”

He stepped near, a hair’s breadth from the soulstone trembling in my hand. I held my ground. His eyes burned, yet in the flare of light, I beheld the reflection of my feathers, whole and downy to his charred pinions. He longed for my wings. “You may have them,” I whispered.

“No!” he roared.

I met his fire with love in equal measure, amulet extended and pulsing, light peeling away the smoky tendrils binding him. I spoke the grimoire’s spell.

Life and death
Cycles
Undenied
Fear imprisons
In flightless chains
*
Love unfurls
Eternal wings

I thrust the soulstone to his chest. Fear slashed its talons, meant to shred flesh from my face, rip feathers from my wings and claim them, but I was no more in this physical world than he. And when he saw that my love was unconquerable, he surrendered to the magic, and his white wings bloomed.

 

***

To read Deborah Lee’s winning submission, runners-up, and judges’ favorites click here: Carrot Ranch

Happy Thanksgiving!

124 thoughts on “Love Undenied

  1. inesephoto says:

    Now I know that the strongest spell sounds like a Septolet 😉 Beautiful piece, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Inese. I didn’t know what a septolet was until this competition. It was a fun part of the challenge – incorporating poetry into the fiction. I hope you’re ready for the holidays. Stay warm and enjoy. ❤

      Like

  2. Sheron says:

    I liked your evocative image. Beautifully done. These short pieces are fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again, you have not disappointed! Great piece, and great prompt too 🙂
    I love to try my hand at these once in a while too, they’re great to stir up our imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am following your posts from 1 year ,they were amazing
    They were quite creative and rich
    I would like to do guest blogging for your blog
    See my
    http://shivashishspeaks.wordpress.com/
    U can respond on my email address
    shivasheesh2098@gmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Outstanding, Diana. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teri Polen says:

    You can create such a powerful scene in so few words, Diana – captivating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful! And… how long have you been blogging? It must take you all day to read and answer your posts. :))

    Hope you catch up on my story and give me some feedback when you have a chance, too! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been blogging about 5 years, and yes, every time I post it takes me about 12 hours to respond to comments and return every visits. But I love this WP community, so it’s all fun. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • I suspect, Diana, that’s why you have such a loyal blog following: You put care into your blogging, and — more importantly — actually seem to enjoy it. I know too many authors who don’t seem to understand that their blogs will never work as a marketing tool if they don’t set aside real time to blog — to write worthwhile posts, to engage in the WP community — instead of simply using it as a de facto business card, cold and impersonal.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I started with a “blog as business card,” Sean, and my 1st whole year I had 7 visits. Ha ha ha. I was sooooo clueless. The 2nd year wasn’t much better. Then the light bulb went off. Social media is supposed to be… SOCIAL. Duh. What a difference that made. I truly feel as though I have friends around the world, some that I hope to meet in person someday. Now the problem is balancing blogging fun with writing fun. Thanks for the sweet visit! And have a great week. 🙂

          Like

        • mycountryepoque says:

          Sean this is true. I am not an author, I love books, I love reading. And I never thought I would meet interesting authors through blogging, and here I am and we all are. But what you just wrote is the truth about some authors, that I may wish your little note will shake their foundations. There are many of them who show no interests in people, and it makes us feels more cold towards them than they do to us. But yes, like you mentioned, their writings and books has no power to be read and move around the world – to my honesty, I will be true here, many of them think since they have become authors, they believe they are just or have become too big, and their books will be sold because it is out on the shelves, but durrr, their behaviors are too cold like you mentioned, and it is just too bad for them, these kind of authors we don’t need them, they need us! But DIANA is the BEST so far and in the blogging world she is the TOP AUTHOR who keeps her fans going, she loves reading about us and she loves everything we write about her posts. She is ONE of a KIND! WELL DONE to her! She is a real author, she goes out to meet with us. It is like we are all teenagers and we are hanging out together, isn’t that fantastic?

          Liked by 1 person

          • You are so kind, Juli. And you make me laugh. I’m simply having fun with my online friends, and perhaps that what shows. I hope someday I reach those tops, but in a way, it doesn’t really matter. What’s important to me is making every moment count along the way. Have a marvelous day, my dear friend. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Diana… You have outdone yourself, my friend. I cringed when I read the guidelines for the poetry part. Groan, that’s like math… I was curious to see what you would do, even though I knew it would be great. Yet you far exceeded my already high expectations. Positively glorious. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jancyjoy28 says:

    I love your writing…. Great work

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Having recently finished Melding of Aeris, I had to resist the urge to transplant characters here.
    As always Diana, I love your writing. Whether 300 words, or an epic Trilogy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This is lovely, Diana. Extra kudos for getting in so much emotion in so few words. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is truly captivating, Diana! Wishing you a beautiful day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Love this, Diana! So much relayed in so few words, and I love the septolet (never heard of that before 🙂 ). Well done! This could be the seed of your next book 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jennie says:

    This is so good, Diana. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A lovely story. I was reminded in some way of the film, Jacob’s Ladder.
    What we often see as demons demons are angels trying to set us free.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob%27s_Ladder_(film)

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This is a brilliant piece of flash fiction, Diana. I love the way you use language, it is truly a gift. I’ve read some of the other Carrot Ranch pieces, what a wonderful collection of talented writers! Thanks so much for sharing your outstanding piece and the others also. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    The power of love! Great story, Diana. I admire your talent to produce such engaging flash fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. A fabulous example of the healing power of love. I had never read a septulet till today. 🌼

    Liked by 2 people

  19. A wonderful story. The descriptions in the first paragraph grip the attention; excellent dialogue and fascinating finale

    Liked by 2 people

  20. What an imagination! And such skill with using words to share it with us. Terrific piece of flash fiction. Happy thanksgiving!🦃

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, I always know I’m in for a treat when I see one of your short pieces…Love Undenied was wonderful! Sumptuous language, I loved savouring the words, fantastic imagery the scene came to life for me in my imagination and it’s beautifully poignant. I would dread trying to incorporate a poem..you so so seamlessly and it shines.

    ‘Love Unfurls
    Eternal Wings’ Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful entry Diana. And this didn’t win? 🙂 I’m off to check out the other posts. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Didn’t win. But that’s just fine. The writing “puzzles” were a blast, and I got 7 posts out of it, too. Next one is memoir, Debby. You entered, right? I hope you’ll post your piece after the announcement. 😀 Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Charli Mills says:

    Powerful flash fiction, Diana! I really felt drawn into the moment. Great use of the septolet, too. Thank you for riding the Rodeo at Carrot Ranch!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Great short and the poem unleashes its magic spell! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Tina Frisco says:

    Fear and love in a cascade of discarnate emotion … Absolutely brilliant, Diana ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Wonderful story Diana. Very engaging and dark at the beginning, then a beautiful poem and ending later. Kudos!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Steven Baird says:

    Challenge beautiful met, Diana. Well done! And happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Your flash fictions are always such an entertaining read! Happy Thanksgiving Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. You pack a lot of fantasy (and a touch of creepy) into so few words. Nice take on the challenge. D.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. That looks like a lot of fun to do. Great writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Bernadette says:

    Surrendering to love and becoming transfigured…. Wonderful idea and written with such skill.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Oh, I’m crazy about this one, Diana. Fantastic!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Beautiful piece, Diana! Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Mae Clair says:

    That is wholly spectacular, Diana. So powerful and vivid. Your word choices in themselves are poetry.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Diane this is an amazing write! You r killed this challenge ! :). Nice work.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. A.P. says:

    I love the last sentence! And the dynamic expressed, the power of love prevailing over that of the “black fire.” Very nicely done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Andy. I had a lot of fun with the challenges and am amazed by the variety of responses. So much imagination out there! I hope you’re doing well and have something planned for Thanksgiving. Stay warm and healthy, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  37. This is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. I like your theme and it’s so beautifully composed ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I love this, Diana. Brilliant entry.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Carol says:

    Love conquers all….Beautifully written Diane I really enjoyed this 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I do love your words, Diana. This is fantastic. ❤ This was a tough challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

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