Happy Hump Day!
I know I said not to expect regular Wednesday posts, but I couldn’t help myself this week. I came across another prompt that was too good to pass up, once again courtesy of OurWriteSide. They have so many awesome prompts, it’s difficult not to drop everything and ramble for a page or so.
The prompt that caught my eye this time is from their Coldly Calculating series of flash fiction prompts. Totally check it out! All the random prompts I’ve been picking up lately have really served to get me excited about my NaNoWriMo project. I’m counting down the days until November, and it has nothing to do with my birthday!
Prompt: “Back to square one”
Like the last random post, this also serves as fuel for Withered Legacy. Though this exact piece won’t show up in the final product, it serves as character exploration for one of my protagonists, Elle! I haven’t gotten around to writing about her too much, so it’s nice to figure her out through flash prompts. There’s a major piece of her that I’m trying to keep to myself, though, so we’ll see how much I can write about her without giving away spoilers.
TW: Gore & Violence
Back to Square One
How did I always find myself in these situations? I wasn’t built for fighting – anyone who takes a glance at me could tell you that – and yet here I was. I tried not to think about it, about what we’d gone through to get here. So many comrades lost and for what? We still had nothing to show for it – my fellows and I forever doomed to this hopeless realm.
“Elle! Snap out of it!” Reyn jumped in front of me, a shock of brilliant red hair, holding her blade to deflect the wraith’s incoming blow. Its claws made a deafening clang against her weapon, and it fell back, screeching in anger and frustration. Its jaw dislocated as it continued to wail, black-hole eyes trained on me. “Move!”
She jumped out of the way as the wraith ricocheted back in our direction. With a backflip, I dodged the attack. It quickly recovered and lunged, forcing me to put more effort into keeping out of its reach. Turning my back to it was a bad idea, but it was the only way I’d be able to run. Taking a moment to prepare, I let it attack, sliding out of the way at the last minute and delivering a roundhouse kick. My kick launched it a couple of yards away. It didn’t expect me to hit back, so I was able to turn and run. Of course, it would catch up in moments, but it would have to do, for now.
“How much farther?”
“We’re almost there.” She shot a glance behind us, her eyes widening as I assumed the wraith gained ground quickly. Neither of us were even sure the trap we’d set for it would hold. “There!”
Reyn pointed at the building about a block away. Like all the others, it was abandoned. Long ago, it served as an office building, and now provided the perfect stage for our trap. Just as I got to the entrance, Reyn signaled to me with a nod before disappearing. I stopped before the door, turning back to the wraith, a mere five or so yards away. Before it got a chance to attack, I outstretched my arm, fingers splayed, careful not to use up more energy than I could spare, and pushed it back with an invisible barrier. My barrier would only hold for a few moments, but it was enough to give me a head start into the building.
I ran in and up the stairs, knowing the wraith would be able to follow my energy signal like a trail of breadcrumbs. We barred every door except for the ones we needed open, creating a clear path to the fifth floor, where we cleared the office space and set our trap.
Reyn waited for me there. Only moments after I made it into the large room, the wraith launched itself in behind me. I scrambled to get to the other side, where the trigger for the trap sat, waiting to be pulled.
“Not yet!” Reyn met the wraith blow-for-blow, leading it to the center of the room.
My hand itched to activate the trap.
“Reyn!” It was dangerously close.
“Wait!” But that moment of hesitation cost her life. She hadn’t even finished saying the word before the wraith pierced her chest with its claws. Drawing her in and taking a chunk of her neck. Reyn underestimated the monster’s speed. She’d parried one blow, only to be caught off-guard by a second. I triggered the trap, releasing the large canvas laced with consecrated dirt meant to trap the wraith. It screamed, weighed down and trapped. I rushed to recover Reyn.
She couldn’t even speak, blood pouring from every gash and her mouth. I did my best to heal her, but her wounds were too much. Reyn was gone in seconds, drowning in her own blood. I grabbed her sword, eyes trained on the wraith squirming feebly beneath the canvas. Standing over it, choking on my screams, I stabbed until it no longer moved, until it was just a husk at my feet.
What was I supposed to do now? I was back to square one, this time completely alone.
If you’re prepping for NaNoWriMo give flash fiction prompts a try!
Reminder: #TuesFlashFicTrain is open for submissions until 8PM EST. Check out Stephanie Ayer’s start to the story & help continue it!
As always, think happy thoughts!