#SwiftFicFriday W55 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W55 – Vote!

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

@DavidALudwig, 294 words

“She isn’t supposed to be here!”

Vedania’s throttled voice was shriller than she would have preferred, but not nearly as shrill as it could have been. Emathyst pushed calmly back against Vedania’s bow with the haft of her axe and sent the emerald hued archer flying back five feet. Aided by her undersized wings, Vedania landed lightly on her feet as Emathyst’s dwarfish partner moved to block the archer’s new line to the girl they were guarding. These freaks just didn’t understand what they were dealing with!

“Remember what Bluebelle taught us about deep breaths,” Emathyst radiated serenity, even through her executioner’s hood. “Brewer and I are taking Jinx home.”

“That!” Vedania stabbed at the quiet coastal town below with her golden bow. “Is not her home! I’ve been trying to tell you! She’s human! From Earth!”

The black hooded dwarf looked nonplussed from his purple skinned colleague to the human girl and her black cat. Emathyst seemed less affected by the revelation.

“Oh. Then we’ve been going the wrong way.”

Brewer growled, “Great! So how do we get to Earth from here?”

Vedania pinched the bridge of her nose and tried to remember the breathing exercises the druid had taught her. Still, it seemed unlikely to remove the edge from her voice any time soon.

“I only know how to get to Earth from my world. None of us should be here.”

Jinx peeked pleadingly between her protectors.

“Um, excuse me? Miss? That is the town where my mother told me to wait for her.”

Vedania swallowed her shriek and hoped the crazy wasn’t burning too brightly in her eyes. It wasn’t the girl’s fault what that woman had done, and it would be bad form for a cupid to strangle a child.

@SiobhanMuir, 290 words

“Right. Okay. Where do we start?”

I shouldn’t have asked. That launched what I thought of as boot camp for novice thieves. We started with avoidance exercises. These consisted of learning how to disappear in crowds, melting into shadows when someone was specifically looking for me, and appearing innocuous. We had to buy me more new clothes to blend in and be nondescript.

Arach was a patient teacher, but every now and again I’d catch his lips tightening in annoyance and I’d have to shove away the worry that he’d give up on me. He’d been doing these tricks for well over half a century. I was learning them now. He tried to teach me how to pick pockets, but I wasn’t any good at it, and finally told him it was his job. He conceded the point and moved on.

Then he started teaching me fighting techniques, particularly hand-to-hand combat. I rarely disliked anything enough to feel strongly about it, but my emotional state when it came to those lessons made it difficult to concentrate. After yet another failed attempt to block his blow and disarm him, I started to hum as the anger overrode all my defenses. Flames licked along my arms and I had to breathe a few moments to calm them. That they calmed almost immediately was one small victory.

“Why do I have to learn how to fight? I’m a sorceress here. Fighting is for soldiers.” I stomped away from him to cool down and to catch my breath.

“I’m not teaching you how to fight, Matsuko. I’m teaching you how to deflect and avoid.” Arach’s voice held patient firmness. “I will defend you as much as possible, but I can’t be everywhere at once.”

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