Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!
@SiobhanMuir, 299 words
“Is that real gratitude I hear?” Kendra tilted her head.
“Yes, ma’am. Real gratitude. No one has ever made such efforts on my behalf before and it’s…I’m grateful.”
She lost some of the stubborn rise in her chin and her expression softened. “You’re welcome. I’m into holistic healing or rather “wholistic” healing. None of the half-ass shit.”
Phinn had never thought about it like that before, but it made sense, and she’d taken his heritage into account. She was effectively a stranger, but she’d made efforts for him anyway. Hell, she’s done more for me than my family ever did.
Speaking of family, the door to the suite opened and two people walked into without a knock. While both were Elvish, one appeared more feminine and the other more masculine, though both had long hair with healer’s braids and matching healer’s robes. Both wore the same ultra-serene expression with a hint of superiority he’d come to expect of the Fae and he watched Kendra’s face slide into her own version of implacability.
“Master Phinnius, how are we doing today?” The more masculine healer’s voice held tones of base and cello in the modulation.
“While I have quite a bit of knowledge of the Fae, I’m unaware of your health, Lord Healer. As for myself, I’m awake and I always count that as an improvement over death.”
Kendra coughed a laugh but as everyone’s gaze slid to her, she faced them with a bland expression without a smile. Phinn did a mental fist-pump and swallowed his own grin as the healer’s gaze returned to him, mild irritation ruining the serenity.
“Yes, well, perhaps we will ascertain just how much of an improvement you’ve made after sustaining subpar care.” The no-so-subtle dig at Kendra’s efforts irritated Phinn more than he expected.
@DavidALudwig, 293 words
A blustery chill bit through the party ascending from the river valley. Bluebelle, the robust druidess, led their way into the woods, leaning comfortably on her shillelagh as she walked. The human girl, Jinx, followed with her black cat—flanked by the eerie executioners, Emathyst and Brewer. Vedania, the elfin cupid, brought up the rear of their formation somberly.
“It was very nice of the locals to include us in their feast.” Emathyst sighed contentedly, eyes on the late autumn sky.
“I’ll say!” Brewer slapped his protruding stomach heartily.
Bluebelle chuckled at the executioners’ good humor. The silences of the girl and the cupid since the previous night were wholly distinct from one another, but each carried weight unconducive to long travel. If they were going to find the girl’s world hopping mother, they needed to lighten their load.
“I rather liked their tradition of each saying something they were thankful for,” The blue haired druidess observed innocently. “Why don’t we try it now?”
“Great beer, and even better friends!” Brewer raised an imaginary mug in toast.
Emathyst nodded pleasantly, “Yes. I’m thankful for strange adventures with dear friends.”
Bluebelle nodded and listened to the quiet breeze a moment before speaking again.
“I am thankful for the varied wonders of different worlds.”
Jinx hugged her cat to her face and looked tentatively to each of her escorts.
“Um, I’m thankful you all are going to help me find my mother. And that you’re not mad I tried to run away! I won’t do it again.”
Approving attention turned to the girl. Though no one looked back, Vedania missed a step when she hit the lightened mood ahead of her. Bluebelle waited. With no further break in the silence, she sighed and led on.
@JoeGarlandNY, 293 words
It was cold when I got there, but I was not the first. Nor would I be the last. We couldn’t get too close together, with the pandemic and all, so we were socially-distanced, except for the groups of people from the same household who’d been living cheek-to-jowl for all these months.
The sun was not up for long when I arrived, but it was well above the horizon when the police closed the street. I did not bring a chair, though many others did, and at times I sat down on the curb, browsing with my tablet. The coffee I brought from home was long gone though at times I lifted the cup to my lips hoping for just a few more drops. A fruitless task.
But as the street was closed I and the others rose. We were close enough and wore masks so I enjoyed talking with those on either side of me, who came from another part of town. “No,” the guy in the couple to my left said, “We don’t know anyone who got it,” but the woman on my right said she had two friends who knew people who died.
I said I was one of the fortunate ones. I recognized the names of three or four who got it, including one who passed, but did not know anyone personally.
Except, of course, the Doc. Everyone knew him. He was almost a modern version of the country doctor you see making house calls in an old movie.
A police motorcycle and then a police cruiser, lights on, went down the center of the street. Then Johnson Funeral Home’s hearse. We all stood and watched Eugene Webb, M.D., pass through town one last time.
Yeah, everyone knew him.