#ThursThreads – Unwilling Offering

20150917_142353
Drawing of Ariella I did a very long time ago…

Another week, another round of flash fiction contests!

This week’s #ThursThreads challenge prompt was: “We don’t have time to play.”

I’m wondering if I should start another bout of connected snippets for this contest, starting with today’s entry. I guess that depends on next week’s prompt line, but who knows? Against my better judgement, I just might! It’ll be tougher than Emma and Malakai, thanks to the much shorter word count. We’ll see, I suppose.

Hope you like a peek at Ariella! Her story has been swimming around in my brain for a while, just waiting for the right outlet. I thought about writing possibly a novella with her, but maybe the tiny shorts might serve her story better.

Anyway, here she is!

~~~

Offering

My reflection stared back at me as my stepmother worked and fussed over my appearance.

“Whose idea was it for us to wear white, anyway?” It was a dreadful color, not to mention the dress was just waiting to get wrecked by my inability to walk with any semblance of grace. Whether at my hands or those of my potential groom, my dress’s fate was sealed. Personally, I preferred the former.

“Tradition, Ariella.”

“Well it’s stupid.” I flinched as she tightened the laces in the back.

“Watch it, young lady.” She shot me a glare, reprimanding me. “The last thing we need is for you to make them angry.”

“Maybe he won’t pick me if I do.” I shrugged, trying to be flippant, pulling away from her and turning around to examine the dress. If being surly had a chance of getting me out of this, I was willing to try.

“This isn’t a game, and we don’t have time to play around. You need to take this more seriously!” She grabbed my arm, jerking me to a stop.

Fuming, I yanked my arm away. “Don’t you think I know that? I’m the one being offered on a silver platter to a bloodsucker!”

“Ariella…”

“No – I will handle this however I damn well please.” I straightened up, smoothing out the wrinkles in my dress. Outside, the knock on the door signaled the arrival of a page with impeccable timing, come to collect me for presentation to the vampire court.

~~~

Check out the other entries/submit your own!

UPDATE:

Got an Honorable Mention for this one!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#ThursThreads – Still Unwilling

Hello!

This’ll be a short post, since I don’t have much to talk about.

Quick update on #TuesFlashFicTrain – it seems to be gaining some traction! Still haven’t had any participants, but we’re getting there, I think. I’ve also updated the rules to make them clearer. Anyway, stay tuned next week for the next prompt! For now, enjoy my weekly flash pieces.

This week’s #ThursThreads prompt is: “Why aren’t you changed?”

~~~

Morning After

My first thought upon waking was panic. Where was I? The previous night was a blur, and for a moment I couldn’t remember anything. I sat up, taking in my unfamiliar surroundings – the lavish décor, the rich fabric of the bed and carpets. And then it all came crashing down.

I was married – to a vampire. He was nowhere to be seen, but that did little to ease my nerves. When I finally dragged myself out of the bed, I realized I was still fully clothed – every garment intact. Had nothing happened the night before? My stepmother gave me a drug to make it easier – to essentially make it so I felt nothing. Instinct told me he hadn’t come near me in my drugged state – was that a good thing?

A knock at the door shocked me from my thoughts.

“May I come in?”

“Y-Yes.” I couldn’t help the grip on my dress.

When he opened the door, he did so cautiously. He looked like someone approaching a wild, dangerous animal. I almost laughed at the thought, knowing full well who in this situation was the predator. “Why aren’t you changed yet?”

“What?” I followed his gesture to a dress hanging from the door of one of the dressers. “Oh – sorry, I didn’t know…” There went any sign of bravery.

“It’s alright. Just hurry.” His voice was gentle, and he seemed as nervous as I was – why? “The council is expecting us soon.”

~~~

I’m still debating whether I’ll turn this into an episodic story like Emma and Malakai. I don’t feel as attached to Ariella as I do to them. For now, I’m just going with the flow. If future prompts continue to inspire this story, I’ll keep writing it.

Don’t forget to check out the other entries or submit your own! The contest is open until 8PM Mountain Time.

As always, think happy thoughts!

UPDATE:

Another Honorable Mention! Yay!

Image credit: Image found via Google Image Search on flickr.com

#ThursThreads – Getting Comfortable

Hello!

So by the looks of this week’s response to the #ThursThreads prompt, I might be starting up another mini-series. Although, at 250 words each episode, it’ll be harder to move along. I might have to incorporate more time-jumps than I did with Emma and Malakai. Or, maybe it’ll be a series of snapshots instead of one cohesive story. Who knows? All I know is that this week’s prompt basically walked me into the very next scene for Ariella.

Prompt: “We’re already late.”

Enjoy!

As someone who tries really hard to be on time, this speaks to me on a spiritual level.

~~~

Getting Comfortable

I half expected him to stay in the room after asking me to change, but instead he took one step back and closed the door. Odd – wasn’t he supposed to be my husband? And to think I’d already gone through all the trouble of psyching myself out to prepare for being a vampire’s bride. Rather than give him another reason to tell me to hurry, I rushed to change. This new dress was a stark contrast from my wedding gown – a vivid, clingy, crimson material. Slipping into it was easy enough. On impulse, I called out to him.

“You can wait in here, if you want.” I was surprised at my voice’s steadiness. A part of me hoped he’d just stay outside.

Instead, he did exactly as I said, coming into the room. My husband – that was going to take some getting used to – leaned against the door, watching me.

“Sorry, I just need to find my shoes.” Just as the words left my mouth, I spotted them in the corner of the room. “We’re already late, anyway, right? Can’t they wait a bit for their prince?” And there it was again, the bravado that had gotten me through the ceremony the night before.

“I can already tell I made the right choice.” He laughed, some of his nerves apparently dissipating.

My lips twitched in response, before I caught myself. It was almost easy to relax around him.

A moment later, we were out the door.

~~~

Hope you liked it! Enjoy reading flash fiction? Check out the other responses throughout the day!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Image credit: Image found via Google Image Search on quotesgram.com

#ThursThreads – Scared?

Happy Thursday!

So this week, this place has been way more active than usual, and I look forward to keeping that up!

In case you missed it this morning, #TuesFlashFicTrain had its first participant/winner, Stephanie Ayers – check her out in the winner post!

Now, on to my #ThursThreads response. So far, it seems like I’m continuing Ariella’s story (funny thing, I’ve yet to actually mention her vampire hubby’s name – maybe next week) and it’s definitely not ending any time soon. We’ll see how their relationship develops and go from there!

Prompt: “He could do what he came to do.”

~~~

Not Scared

Eerie quite permeated the halls, and I couldn’t help but shiver. The place creeped me out, but it went beyond living with vampires. Being alone would have been worse – it felt like there was something in the walls that would come for me if I let my guard down.

“They won’t hurt you.” His hand on the small of my back made me jump. “Sorry – I didn’t mean-”

“No – it’s okay. I was just distracted.” It was hard not to be, considering the outrageous situation. “And I’m not scared of vampires.”

“Good to know.” Again, he smiled – and this time the expression reached his emerald eyes. Was he really the same vampire from the ceremony? He had seemed so distant, as if even he was tired of all the pomp and circumstance.

“If he could do what he came to do a little quicker, then maybe the rest of us could go home!” I made no attempt to hide my frustration as I muttered to myself, waiting in line with the other girls for the vampire prince to make a selection. He looked as bored as I was annoyed, jaw resting on his fist.

Everyone else held their breath in anticipation. I didn’t realize I’d started tapping my foot until I found myself making eye contact with him. We held each other’s gaze for what felt like an hour but was barely thirty seconds, before he looked away, addressed the crowd, and called my name.

~~~

Love it? Hate it? Let me know! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the responses throughout the day and show them some love.

As always, think happy thoughts!

UPDATE: Another Honorable Mention! Woo!

Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on quotesgram.com

#ThursThreads – Hopeless

I really don’t intend to keep starting these mini-series stories, but they just keep happening, and now I can’t seem to stop. Oh well.

The post will be a short one today, as there’s not much to report.

This week’s #ThursThreads prompt fed right into my vampire’s bride story, so how could I not keep writing it?

Prompt: “You can’t ever go back.”

Enjoy!

 

~~~

Hopeless

“You will never see your family again. Is that understood?”

I nodded, unable to do much else. Any bravado I might have been able to retain was out the proverbial window when they uttered those words. There were five vampires, nearly identical in appearance save for minor differences – eye color, hair color. They might as well have all been the same person, though – they all looked at me with matching combinations of disdain and hunger and spoke with the same monotone voice as they delivered their order, their explanation of the rules.

“You’re dismissed, Niklaus. And teach your bride some manners.” Niklaus. It only occurred to me then I’d never paid my new husband’s name much thought. As for my manners, something told me Niklaus preferred a rebellious bride.

I was shaking – with fury or fear, I wasn’t sure – as Niklaus walked us back to our quarters. Rather than taking me to the bedroom, though, we stopped in a sitting room.

“Ariella…I thought you knew you can’t ever go back?” Why was he trying to be gentle? I was prepared for a struggle. I wasn’t ready for someone who actually cared. Of course, I did know that – but hearing it from them somehow made it worse. It was the nail in my coffin, so to speak.

“I did. Don’t know why I bothered thinking otherwise.” I thought about lashing out at Niklaus, but it was no use. I didn’t need to go around making enemies.

~~~

And that’s that. It’s pretty difficult to move a story along at 250 words a post, but I’ll manage, if that’s the direction these prompts take me. Check out the other responses at the prompt link for some awesome stories!

Friendly reminder: This week, #TuesFlashFicTrain had two entries! That means the poll has gone up for readers to vote on their favorite – don’t forget to check it out.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on pinterest.com

#ThursThreads – Tricky Living

Happy Thursday!

I’m in an exceptionally good mood – woke up early to do Zumba, managed to stumble upon a Zumba merch sale, and got some writing done all before 10AM! It’s a good day. Even better than all that, though – today’s #ThursThreads response will contribute to a serial other than Secondhand Soul! Woo! Videl takes the backseat to Ariella, the unwilling bride to vampire Niklaus. Hooray for variety!

Prompt: “Living is tricky.”

Enjoy!

~~~

Living is tricky – especially when you’re the only human in a den of vampires.

Every time I enter a room, the tension is palpable. They simply stare at me until Niklaus walks in behind me. As if remembering themselves and who I am, they turn away and make an effort to look extra preoccupied with whatever they’re doing. The only one who manages to not make me feel like a slab of meat, ironically, is also the only one who’s allowed to feed on me.

Niklaus has also abstained for as long as I’ve been in the castle. At least, abstained from feeding on me. Sometimes I wonder about his feeding – I’ve walked in on vampires feeding before – but then I remember that I probably don’t actually want to know.

“Niklaus?” Maybe living with vampires has ignited a morbid curiosity.

It’s a nice night as Niklaus and I walk through the gardens. My hand rests on his forearm, tucked between his arm and body.

“Hmm?”

“Why haven’t you fed from me yet?” Maybe I could have worded that better. He stops, giving me a look I can only describe as uncomfortably amused. “I mean – don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful. Just…curious. People talk.” I glance back at the castle.

“I don’t feed from humans.”

“What? Then how-?”

“Animals.” He takes my hand, chuckling humorlessly. “They thought they’d break my ‘bad habit’ by forcing me to take a bride.” I’ve never seen a more dignified eye-roll.

~~~

I kind of like the idea of Niklaus being as forced into this marriage as Ariella. All because he’s being a “bad” vampire.

Be sure to check out the rest of the responses throughout the day over at the prompt. Consider playing, too – it’s only 250 words!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#FlashMobWrites – Growing Intimacy

Happy Sunday!

Just a quick one today. I wrote this bit for #FlashMobWrites, using the “marry someone who” prompt. Marriage brought Ariella and Niklaus to mind, so here’s a bit more on them.

Enjoy!

~~~

“So do you actually hunt for your food?” I walk out of our washroom, already changed into my sleeping gown, combing my still-wet hair. Niklaus sits at the edge of the bed, removing his shoes. He’s already shirtless, and for a moment I falter. It’s only been a few weeks since the ceremony – feeding from me isn’t the only thing he hasn’t attempted.

“Yes.” He smiles when he answers, apparently amused with me again. “Why so curious all of a sudden?” When he looks up at me, he notices the expression on my face and the color very obviously rising in my cheeks. “Sorry,” he reaches for a sleeping shirt, “Didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“Um, no – it’s okay. We’re married, right? I should be getting accustomed to this kind of thing.” Even though I never imagined I’d marry someone who needs to drink blood to survive. I walk over to him, still a bit nervous, but place my hand on his, stopping him from grabbing the shirt. “If you feel more comfortable…like this…then that’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” His eyes are a strange mixture of wariness and concern. It’s obvious he’s doing what he can to appease me, practically walking on eggshells around me.
I offer a nervous smile in response, and he lets go of the shirt.

“Anyway,” I turn around, trying to muster the courage to ask my next question, “Will you take me hunting with you?”

“What?” My question seems to shock him out of the awkwardness of the moment.

“My mom – my real mom – used to take me hunting. I miss it.” When was the last time I held a crossbow? My stepmother frowned upon it so my dad never let me.

“Ariella, I don’t…it’s not the same as when humans hunt. I doubt you want to see that.” He sits on the edge of his side of the bed. “Besides, it’s dangerous. I could hurt you if something goes wrong.”

“So no more dangerous than every other day?” I pull the covers back on my side of the bed, busying myself with the motions of getting ready for bed. It’s not until I look back up at him that I notice the expression on his face. He looks guilty.

“I’m sorry.” Niklaus looks away, turning his back to me. “I don’t think I’ve apologized yet, for what I’ve done to you…”

Before I realize what I’m doing, I’m sitting on his side of the bed. In an unprecedented act of intimacy, I turn towards him and cup his cheek in my hand. Eyes wide, he simply stares at me. “You didn’t do this to me – the council did. They did this to us.”

Niklaus’ smile is faint, but it’s there. He removes my hand from his cheek, holding it in both of his. “I don’t deserve your kindness.”

“Just take me hunting and we’ll call it even.”

He laughs at that, and the tension in the room finally dissipates.

~~~

Be sure to check out the rest of the entries submitted at the prompt. There are so many talented writers and awesome stories!

As always, think happy thoughts!