If you’ve been keeping up with me here, you’ll know that this week has been super busy and active! I’m so excited to finally get the ball rolling with #TuesFlashFicTrain. It’s great to be able to help others out with prompts the same way so many contests have helped keep me writing. Sometimes all you need is just the right prompt to get you going. Be sure to check out this week’s entries in the contest and show them some love – they really deserve it! And keep a look out on Tuesday if you’re interested in playing.
As for my own writing, it’s actually coming along pretty smoothly. I’m feeling the ideas for Withered Legacy bubbling up in anticipation of NaNoWriMo, and I’ve been writing down quite a few things I intend to expand upon next month. I’m itching to get started, so let’s hope this enthusiasm holds once November rolls around! In the meantime, I’ve got Emma, Malakai, and Esther (who may or may not get her own spin-off short, just because) to hold me over. This week’s #WOW555 prompt walked me right into the next portion of the story, so here goes!
Prompt: For this week’s prompt, your story should focus on the existence of a presence in the scene.
“Esther – I don’t know how you did it, but you’re amazing.” It must have been the third or fourth time I said the same words. Still in awe at the fact that she’d managed to sneak us into the underground ruins that weren’t open to the public.
“I try.” She smiled, though I could only faintly make out her face, my flashlight more focused on lighting the way for my feet so I didn’t trip.
We’d been walking for about an hour now, exploring what mostly amounted to underground tunnels that connected ancient chambers. A sandstorm or something must have buried the temple. According to what I’d read, it could also have been triggered by a large concentration of magic in the area. If phoenixes really frequented the temple, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that they could trigger a natural disaster with just their presence.
That knowledge was enough to make me hesitate in using magic.
“Wait.” Malakai reached out to my wrist, keeping me from taking another step. “Do you feel that?”
Esther stopped as well, head tilted to listen in front of us. There was a rumbling I couldn’t quite place, resonating deep within me. It was more like a loud humming. I placed my hand against the tunnel wall, expecting it to tremble, but it didn’t. Instead of shaking, my arm hummed with energy, warmth. Something was emanating an immense heat, and whatever the presence was, it was supremely powerful. The feeling went beyond light, or even warmth – it felt like life, if that made any sense.
“I think it’s safe to say we’re close…” I couldn’t help but whisper, both in awe and out of nerves. Exactly what were we supposed to do in order to get the egg? “Let’s keep going.”
The humming grew stronger, though there still wasn’t a sound. When we made it to the end of the tunnel, it let out into the largest chamber we’d encountered so far. At least, I was pretty sure it was the largest. Torches lined the walls, and although no one had apparently been down there in a millennia, every single one was lit. It reminded me of something like a football stadium, with tiered seating along every wall of the rectangular room that doubled as stairs down to the center. Hieroglyphics marked the longer walls, depicting the life cycle of a phoenix.
Even without seeing the room, I knew this was the source of the warmth. It was like I could feel the phoenix, but not without it knowing we were there. In the center of the room, on a pedestal, stood a magnificent crimson and gold bird. Its eyes – filled with awareness and intelligence – looked right at me, almost curious. It didn’t fly away in fear, or even react at all.
“It’s beautiful.” Esther’s voice broke into my thoughts.
“Unbelievably so.” Transfixed by the image in front of us, we sat, watching as the bird shifted about, re-arranging its nest.
And the elusive phoenix finally makes an appearance! I feel like it’s been forever since I actually advanced the plot, so I’m glad to finally be showing some forward momentum. Hooray!
Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to check out the rest of the entries on Saturday! If you’re a writer, consider joining in.
As always, think happy thoughts!
Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on sandara.deviantart.com