#SwiftFicFriday W53 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W53 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!

Siobhan Muir (@SiobhanMuir), 300 words

“Are you well, miss?”

Grace yanked herself out of her fantasies and blinked up at him. “Oh, yes, sorry. I’m fine. Thank you.”

The staccato burst of words was out of character from her, but the intensity of his hazel eyes mixed with the scent of rich coffee undid her usual poise.

“Are you sure? You look a little off-kilter.” He nodded to the way she clutched the blankets to her chest like a shield.

She grimaced and dropped the fabric into her cart. “No, I’m good. But I do need to get going.” She gestured to where he blocked the aisle. “If you could move, that would be great.”

He stepped back with an amused smile as she pushed the cart ahead into his space. She didn’t like being cornered, and she wouldn’t be held back by a stranger.

“I’ll see you around, miss.” That velvety voice caressed her spirit and made her turn.

“Not if I see you first.” She’d meant to sound like a warning but it came out like a challenge.

“I’ll be sure you’ll find me, then.” And he winked.

She ignored the feminine fluttering in her gut as she strode away to pay for her groceries. The last thing she needed was to get involved with anyone while she was on leave. Hell, she wouldn’t be there long enough. And she refused to have one-night-stands. She’d tried and found them dreary, like the empty calories in a candy bar – tasted great at first, but left her with no satisfaction.

I’m starting a new command next week. I don’t need complications.

She kept reminding herself of that as she paid for her things and hurried back to her car, the memory of a velvety voice, pale hazel eyes, and those full lips dogging her every step.

David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig), 293 words

Brewer Black scratched his head through his black executioner’s hood. His long-handled axe stood on its head on the floor next to him like that of his taller compatriot, Emathyst Flower, across from him. Nothing in the rickety old shed suggested their reason for being there. His purple hued fellow death dealer wasn’t like the others, which was one of his favorite things about her, but sometimes her strangeness defied even his ability to interpret.

“So?” the weathered dwarf prompted.

“I found someone.” His elegant elf friend enunciated importantly.

Emathyst inclined her head toward the corner bed with the moldy mattress. Brewer got down on his belly to peer under the collapsing cot. What he saw shocked him into sucking enough woody dust through his mask to trigger a coughing fit. Pulling himself to his feet with his axe, he tried to shake his thoughts and lungs clear.

“Who is?! What’s she!?”

Kneeling down, Brewer looked again to confirm what he’d seen. A little girl he didn’t recognize curled against the back wall, clutching a black cat—too well fed and groomed to be any of their local felines. Actually, that went for the child too.

“I think she’s from beyond the clearing.”

Brewer rumbled his uneasy agreement. He remembered the clearing, so far from town. He and Emathyst found strange, soft, color-filled flowers there, that weren’t poisonous at all. Emathyst decided they were lovely, and promptly gave herself her second name to celebrate.

“I’m going to help her get home.” Emathyst lifted the bed with one hand and crouched to coax the girl to her. The elf’s executioner attire made the last bit a nonstarter.

“You’ll have to go through the cemetery! What if you see a ghost?”

“Then you’ll find me.”

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