#SwiftFicFriday W62 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W62 – Vote!

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

@SiobhanMuir, 299 words

Bianca scowled at the canvas in front of her and tried not to let the despair overcome her. It looked like watered-down dirt, frankly. She’d seen the watercolors in the art supply store’s window and decided to take a stab at painting. The view from her back deck was glorious – beautiful autumn colors with splashes of sunlight illustrating the greens and russet browns. But her skills at capturing them were definitely lacking.

Right, I totally know which itty-bitty gears and screws go in an intricate clock, but I can’t make a landscape with dripping paint.

She wondered if she could hose the canvas off, let it dry, and start over from scratch. Or never touch the paints again. She snorted. Giving up wasn’t her style, but she definitely had no natural ability. Better watch some YouTube videos on watercolors for beginners. Bob Ross I am not.

She set her brush in her rinse jar and grasped the canvas to take inside, wondering if she could use her dish sprayer to remove the offending brown smears. But motion among the trees at the edge of her property made her stop and look up. Two wolves flashed into view between the trunks, one dark brown with black points on his ears, tail, and shoulders, the other more silver with gray points and a slighter stature. An adult with a juvenile.

Bianca held still and watched them with amazement and gratitude. With humans overcrowding the world and pushing other species to extinction, any moment with wild animals felt like a gift. She watched as both wolves stopped and swung their gazes to hers. She shivered with their intelligent awareness as they turned and melted into the wooded gloom.

She let out the breath she held and grinned. Real wolves in her backyard!

@DavidALudwig, 299 words

Jinx continued screaming as their sleigh came down hard in a fragrant field of wildflowers ringed with roses. Wide eyes fixed on the body of her cat in her lap, the girl’s hands trembled partway to her face.

“I’ve killed him! I killed Blackie!”

The supernatural women flanking Jinx in the back seat stared helplessly. As their conveyance ground to a halt, the druidess in the driver’s seat leapt out.

“Quick! Pass him to me!”

Oaklie, who was closer to the outside, scooped up Blackie in her painted paws and passed him to Bluebelle. From Jinx’s other side, Emathyst rubbed the girl’s back comfortingly. Afraid for her friends, Jinx leapt to her feet on the bench to keep her hands away from them.

“No! Don’t touch me!”

Bluebelle knelt to rest her forearm cradling the cat and her opposite palm against the grass. Dancing blue-green lights arose to flow into the fallen feline. Between prayers focused on Blackie, Bluebelle spoke reassurance.

“He’s not dead yet, and he’ll not be today.”

Oaklie looked hopefully up at the frightened Jinx.

“Bluebelle knows what she’s doing; it’ll be okay!”

Sniffling and trembling, Jinx managed to nod her understanding.

“I-I just touched him! And, and then…”

Vedania, the fourth of the supernatural women accompanying Jinx, turned from the front row to study her sharply.

“Did you touch him with both hands? Or just one?”

“I-I don’t know!”

“It was this one,” Emathyst offered, tapping the fingertips of Jinx’s right hand with one of her own.

Even from that brief contact, Jinx felt her fingers rip something from Emathyst as she had from Blackie. The amiable executioner smiled up at the girl, unperturbed by the exchange. Vedania scowled.

“I’ve heard humans who spend too long in magical worlds can develop magic of their own…”

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