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.
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
In flightless chains
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