flash fiction: Fire Eyes An Echoes of Elder Times flash fiction


Summer Solstice is just another day to most. Filled with lots of sunlight, warmth and good times. Pull out the barbecue and beer and enjoy the long hours of golden sunlight. Play in that light and soak up the heat, good times are here.

But not too long ago people remembered, people held ceremonies celebrating the day. For it is the turning point of the year. The shortest night of the longest day, meant to get so much living done. There are a few who burn the bonfire, the bone fire still. They burn for the turning, to remind the world that they year will grow darker now. Long ago the fires called us to you but now they simply light up the dark, for few know how to get our attention any longer.

Look closely and you will see my eyes in those fires. Watching and waiting for you to invite us out to play. The summer will be only so long, so go ahead and live those lazy days of play for soon enough you will need to work to stay warm.

With the last golden ray of silken sunshine the torch is thrust into the perfumed wood. You, oh wise one, ignored the others and brought with you fragrant boughs. You brought woods that are not common for this place, Oak and Ash and Thorn, just as the old songs call for. You peeked my curiosity with those pieces of wood and I slid into the fire to watch. I wanted to see if you would notice me, dancing about below in the hottest part of the flames, and you did.

He smoke tasted so good when you leaned in, adding resins to the coals left when the wood burned low. I danced a jig and for a moment you watched me. A simple yet joyful smile built in your eyes and you winked at me before turning to speak to the young being at your side.

You fed the fire the whole night through. Your friends sang songs and drank fine wine but you paid attention to the fire, keeping it hot and bright enough that I felt welcomed once more. Will you gift me once more? Give me a place to play? If you do I will keep your fires burning bright the whole yearlong. For I am Salamander and you have called me from my cold sleep.

The joy of writing or coming up with one more short story


As a writer who does mostly short stories coming up with a complete set of stories for a collection is important. While I have released a lot of my tales as separate shorts, I like to do one new and unreleased short story for each collection of tales that I put out.

Now the one I am trying to work on for release is Echoes of Elder Times. In this collection of tales there are a few that go with one of my earliest releases, Ice. so the tale i want to work on should book end that tale as best I can.

I have started and and stopped so far four times on this tale. Coming up with the right direction for a story to go is the hardest thing for a writer, IMO.

I admit that lately I have done dozens of mini tales. Drabbles and other shorter than short fiction forms that of course will be released in a collection or three but I Need to do a tale that will fill the ending of my collection.

Well the story I am working on is Winter’s End and here is a little bit of it for you to read

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The winter settled in and seemed like it would never let go. While those who lived in the far north knew that winter could linger long into what was supposed to be spring, since the brief war of Gods and Giants, old Mother Winter had not released her grip in almost two years.

The day of Ice, as the war was known, had lasted for an unknown time. Man and all the lesser creatures had been frozen in place, with only those special few still moving about. When the war was done and the ice slowly withdrew the world had changed. Most of those living in the big cities did not survive the thaw. Of those who had, fewer still survived the uprisings. The world changed dramatically when the world ended.

Those that survived had many different beliefs on just what happened and who was responsible. In most cases they were wrong. The handful that had an idea kept their heads down and their mouths shut. Speaking out now was a one-way ticket to the other side of life.

***

Excerpts are a useful thing and I will post up more now that i am back in the writing phase of my works. The collection that I plan on working on after Echoes will be the Beyond Realities collection and here is a little excerpt from the as far unfinished tale for the end of this collection.

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This tale is titled Finding Momma

The child stood in the dark, the rain soaking down her hair and clothing. She looked about like a frightened squirrel and dashed from under a tree to the bus stop shelter. Fear and sadness was clear in the stance. Fear grew stronger as a voice floated out of the night.

“Little kitten running away in the dark. Where does she think she’ll go? Who is she running to?”

Sarah froze for a long moment, then ducked beneath the bench, curling into as small a ball of wet misery as she could. Her tiny voice, barely audible as she whimpered. “Momma, please find me. Momma, I need you.” Tears slid down her face unheeded into the fur of the ragged teddy bear she clutched in white-cold hands.

The eerie voice came closer and continued to frighten the small child. “Kitten hiding in the dark, come to Sheila, come out now. I have treats and toys for good little children. Good little girls and good little boys.”

“Momma, where are you,” Sarah cried and shuddered more as the shadow filled the doorway of the shelter. She pressed back against the glass, trying to escape the reaching claws.

Suddenly there was a growl and the shelter shuddered as lightening filled the night with flashes of light and roars of thunder. Sarah let out a louder whimper, too scared to truly scream. She felt the walls about her shudder and then the glass before her shattered outward, sending glittering shards into the night. As the wall broke she finally screamed into the night.

Suddenly the storm stopped and there was silence. She could hear her own ragged breathing loud in her ears. She stayed curled tight in a quivering ball for long moments before she heard something new. A soft voice, singing a gentle lullaby, came from before her. She uncurled just a tiny bit to look around. Spotting a shadow before her, she curled back up tight, but a different soft voice spoke to her.

“She is gone now, little one. No more to hunt you.” This voice was soft and furry and Sarah swallowed before lifting her head. She looked up to see a large hand, held out, not to grab or hurt, but seemingly to help.

Sarah debated as she stared at his callused hand, but something about the face that went with that hand decided her. She placed her tiny, cold and shriveled fingers into his and let him pull her out.

Brian was careful as he lifted the tiny child from under the bench. From her ragged jacket ,to her soaked and holey sneakers it was obvious she had been living wild. Her head barely came past his as he knelt before her. It was hard to tell her age or the color of her soaked hair.

In the soft glow of the street light he could see that she was pale, thin and worn looking.

***

After I finish these two tales I will think seriously about what to put out next.