Before I get into my usual Friday post, I wanted to take a moment for 9/11. Today is the painful reminder and 14th anniversary of an awful tragedy in recent history. I’m lucky no one I knew was there that day, and I can’t imagine the type of pain and grief that comes with this date every year. Countless innocent people lost their lives then and many have died since as a result of the attack, and I just wanted a moment to say RIP and that my thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are with the families and friends who will forever mourn those losses.
This week felt like it both dragged on forever and flew by. It’s a weird feeling, and I think my impatience at being Zumba-less contributed to it. On the bright side, my ankle is feeling much better, and I’ll definitely be back at it by this time next week (barring any extenuating circumstances – I don’t want to jinx myself). Thanks to the ankle, though, I’ve been making time to get some work (if only a little) done on Withered Legacy – so as long as I keep focusing on that, I’m good!
This week’s #WOW555 prompt was kind of weird – at least to me. I’m not sure why, exactly, since compared to last week’s this was fairly easy to work into my story. Anyway, the story continued, and that’s all that matters!
Prompt: this week’s prompt is to incorporate the hall closet into your story.
“You have two weeks.” She dismissed me with a wave.
“What?” But I wasn’t in that strange other world anymore, so my question went unanswered. I was so frustrated, I didn’t realize I was standing outside my house.
“Emma?” I jumped at the sound of my name, turning in place to see Malakai and Esther standing at my door. “Emma!” Malakai rushed to me, pulling me into an embrace that felt like home. “Are you alright? What happened? You’ve been gone for days!”
“Wait, what? I thought it was only a few hours…”
“You disappeared, and then Clara came back and let us go.” Esther walked up behind her brother. “We’ve come back here every day since hoping you were back. Your mother’s missing, too…” Concern lit her eyes, unnerving me at how similar she and Malakai were.
“The fey queen has her. Clara took me to see her.”
“I figured as much. Time runs differently in Sídhe. A few hours there can be weeks or even months here.” Esther placed her hand on my shoulder. “I’m so sorry Emma. I tried to stop Clara, and only made things worse.” She looked between Malakai and me, eyes full of guilt.
“Is that why she cursed you?”
“Yes.” She didn’t elaborate further. “So what happened? What does she want in exchange for your mother?”
“A phoenix egg made of myrrh.” I led them inside the house, using the spare key we kept in one of the plants on the front step.
“Exactly.” I collapsed onto the couch, trying to fight off the impending anxiety-induced headache. “And I only have two weeks.”
“Or else?” Esther and Malakai sat on either side of me.
“She didn’t specify, and I’d rather not think about it.” Where the hell was I supposed to find something like that?
“Does your mother have any books we can start with? Malakai told me she’s a healer. Phoenixes are known for their restorative properties – she might have had some information on them.”
“Maybe.” I stood, knowing exactly where my mother kept all her books. Our kitchen was pretty small, so she had to keep them in the hall closet. When I opened it, I was taken aback by how dusty the books were. There was a light coat of gray over everything, and for a second I wondered exactly how long the queen had my mother. She’d never let this happen – these books were her livelihood; the only thing she cared about more than them was me. Doing my best to fight the mounting fear at losing her, I pulled out as many as I could carry and made my way back to the living room.
“We’ll help.” Malakai tried to grab some books, but I protested. Shooting me a stern look, he spoke again. “Don’t even think about it.”
“We owe you, Emma” Esther grabbed a couple of books, “and even if we didn’t there’s no way we’d leave you to deal by yourself.”
Good to have friends that’ll stick with you, right? I’m actually pretty happy with how this bit turned out, and I’m looking forward to having Esther be a part of the team.
You know what to do – check out the other entries this weekend to vote for your favorite and/or submit your own story!
As always, think happy thoughts!
Image credit: Image found via Google Image Search on commons.wikimedia.org