Today I’m in Gothenburg, which means I’m away from my trusty Dixit cards so I won’t be doing an image prompt. Actually, I won’t be doing a prompt at all. My head is full of magic. I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Arabic (a marvelous experience I will eventually blog about) and this has brought to the surface a story idea I’ve had for a while. So here is a brief scene from it, which has been floating around my head today.
“Don’t you start,” Rhoswen told the sprite when she entered her study and saw it floating towards her through the air, gesticulating anxiously.
“Mee-ra!” the sprite ejected.
“I know,” she said curtly, her cane clicking against the wooden floor as she moved towards her desk.
The sprite muttered in its quick, unintelligeble way, rubbing its hands and scurried after her through the air.
“Just…don’t…” she repeated. “I am fully aware of the situation.”
“Mee-ra,” it insisted, landing on Rhoswen’s shoulder.
She waved it off with annoyance. “Leave me alone…” she hissed, her throat tight and tense. A blur was threatening to overtake her field of vision, and this was not the time for such emotional indulgence.
But the sprite didn’t leave her alone. When had it ever? Though it was pleasant enough company at times and had amused her children and grandchildren for hours, it remained a painful companion. Her worst memories come to life… The sprite zipped through the air, jabbering, and landed on the clock on the wall behind her desk. It tapped the glass with thin fingers and sent Rhoswen a meaningful look.
Yes, time was running out… perhaps had already run out for her granddaughter. And what could she do about it? What could any of them do?
“Enough of this…” Her voice was barely more than a whisper, trembling with pent-up feeling.
Scuttling closer again, the sprite seemed to disagree. “Mee-ra!” it squeaked accusingly.
“Enough!” Rhoswen erupted, hurling the cane into the wall, where it clattered onto the floor. “I can’t save her! You know that. I can’t get Meara back, and I can’t get Rhys back! I can’t save any of them!” As if to underline this, a sharp pain shot through her long since mangled hip and she stumbled slightly. The sprite had disappeared somewhere, frightened by the sudden fierceness. She limped the remaining steps to her chair, refusing to pick the wretched cane back up, and sank into it with a drawn-out sound somewhere between a moan and a sob. She rested her head in her hands, and her thin shoulders shook but she couldn’t cry.
Slowly, carefully, the sprite returned from the corner it had hidden in, and slithered up onto her shoulder, stroking the grey hair with a thin, translucent hand.
Almost too long to be flash fiction, I think. But these things happen sometimes! This story, or this world really, needs a lot of decisions before I know what to do with it. If I can make those soon, I might end up drafting it during NaNo. But I really haven’t decided yet.
And now for the age old question: should I go to bed, or should I have more tea? Hm….