Writing Prompt #14: The Almost Bar Fight

I finally get the bartender’s attention. He refills my drink, I slap a note on the counter, then turn and lean on the bar. Sipping my drink, I scan the crowded dance floor. She’s not here yet.

“Oi.”

I open my eyes. How long did I have them closed? A big guy is standing in front of me. Chest puffed out. He’s on the verge of a fight.

“Move. I need the bar.”

His arms come out in an I-don’t-know gesture. I look around him Quietly, patiently, about five other men are standing behind him. All huge. I nod silently and move away. One of the back-up guys pushes me and I stumble into someone. I manage not to spill my drink on them.

“I’m so sorry,” I say, looking up. That smile. Those lips. The eyes. It’s her.

“That’s all right. Are you okay?”

I’m frozen, staring at the goddess in front of me. She raises her eyebrows and gives an amused smile.

“Oh, ah.” I stumble around her. Always. “Y-yes. Fine. Great. Good.” I let out a breath. She giggles and it sends a shiver down my spine. She starts walking past me.

“Can I – ” She turns. I freeze again under that gaze. She waits patiently for me to find my tongue. “Can I buy you a drink?” I manage to squeak out.

Her face softens and her head tilts in what I call the gay-realisation-and-abort expression. My heart sinks. She opens her mouth but I cut her off.

“Don’t worry. I understand.”

“No, it’s not – ”

“Sophia. What’s going on?” It’s the big guy from the bar again. Complete with his set of groupies. He stares at me. I freeze for another reason.

“She was just – ”

“Wait. She? That’s a girl?” His shocked expression turns into mocking hatred accompanied with a raucous laugh. “You can’t be serious.” He pushes Sophia behind him and advances on me. “Don’t be touching my girl. I won’t have a problem hitting a lady boy.”

“That’s not even – ” I start, but one of his groupies pushes me away again, this time with a sneering look at my chest.

I finish my drink in one gulp and find my way out onto the street to start another long walk home.

Writing Prompt #13: Breaking Family

Andrea ran ahead of her parents. They’re on their annual rainforest holiday. Tim and Monica always came here before Andrea, and it seemed fitting that they bring their daughter to their favourite getaway spot.

“Damn it, Andrea, get back here.”

“Tim, calm down. She’s exploring.”

Andrea was too far away to hear her dad’s command.

“Andrea!”

The crashing and cracking of the forest floor under little feet stopped and was replaced with loud cries. Monica gave Tim a look before she went after her daughter’s laments.

“What? She needs discipline.” Tim huffed and looked around him while Monica sorted out that little brat. It’s what she’s turning into. With her mother’s influence.

“Daddy didn’t mean it, sweetie.” Monica led a shy Andrea back to the path.

“Come here.” Tim crouched down, hands outstretched toward his daughter, who turned and buried her face in Monica’s skirt. A dark look passed over Tim’s face before he took Andrea’s hand from her mother’s.

“Come on. It’s okay.”

“Tim, don’t. She’s upset.”

“I’m her father. She shouldn’t be afraid of me.” Tim clenched his jaw.

“You’re giving her reason to be.” Monica’s voice cracked.

“Oh. I’ll give her reason to be.”

Writing Prompt #12: The River Clans

Alina pauses 50 metres from the water, listening.

Crack.

She slowly slides her bow off her back. Her fingers dance over a waiting arrow. A few more snaps sounds behind her. She shuffles behind the cover of a tree’s thick trunk. A small doe steps out from the brush a few metres away. Alina’s fingers grip the arrow, sure and confident. Her breathing levels and the arrow meets its mark. The doe falls to its knees, scrambles back up and starts staggering away. Alina has already caught it up. She looks into its panicked eyes, covers them, and slits its throat.

She wipes her dagger on her pants, holsters it, then binds the doe’s legs with rope from her satchel. Killing is easy. Transporting under cover is the tricky part. If Aidan knew what she was doing, he’d be furious.

Hunt at dusk, when there aren’t as many competitors.

Lachlan could be on his way to her even now, if he had seen the flurry of birds take flight when her arrow hit flesh. The North Clan teaches their training charges to investigate anything suspicious.

Writing Prompt #11: The War of Land and Sky

Aila felt something change. The air shifted. Something’s off, something’s not right. She stood on the tip of the longest watch branch, staring at the horizon. Ignoring the sweat beading along her hair line, she watched the line breaking land from sky shimmer.

Movement. A dark shape. Or was that just the heat waves tricking her eyes? She couldn’t be sure. She needed to get higher. Scuttling along the branch, she reached the trunk and scurried up over the footholds, barely touching them now that she was so familiar with their positions.

“Hey!” Lola shouted as Aila raced past.

“No time,” Aila called back.

Aila swears she heard Lola mutter something about it just being the heat waves again, but this time it’s something, Aila was certain of it.

She reached the high watch branch. Shuffling to the end, she squinted hard. Dark shapes moved again, this time getting larger. Suddenly the shapes rose above the break between land and sky and Aila saw wings. She froze.

“The Sky Dwellers,” she whispered. The name was a distant memory on her lips.

The Sky Dwellers hadn’t been seen for decades, not since before the War of Land and Sky. Aila ran back to the trunk and tapped out the emergency signal her mother had made her memorise for this moment, however slim she believed the chances of it happening in Aila’s lifetime were. The sound echoed through the tree, followed by a wave of panicked chatter that rose through the branches. Aila stared at the horizon in fear.

Writing Prompt #10: You’re Disgusting

Summer. Breeze. Light and cool in the shade. The rich smell of mown grass. A rustle of leaves. My hair tickles my nose as it dances across my face in the wind. Nadia reaches over and tucks it behind my ear. It blows straight back out. She makes a face and I laugh. Her frown cracks and she chuckles with me. A rich throaty laugh. Her eyes heavily crease at the corners. She’s always been genuine with me. Especially when I try wearing my “disgustingly outdated corduroys”. I’m not even allowed to wear them around the house.

“What if people come over?” she says. Absolutely horrifying! Oh, no!

She cares about me, so I don’t mind if she cares about what people think of me. I reach up and stroke her cheek. She nuzzles into my hand and kisses it. An elderly couple walks past. The woman purses her lips and makes a noise. Nadia’s eyes dart from mine and she swats my hand away. Sunlight reflects off the moisture already covering her cheeks. I mind when she cares about what people think of us. I stare after the couple. I shake my head and stand.

“No, don’t,” Nadia says. Her voice is panicked.

I shake off her hand and march after the couple.

“Hey!”

They turn. The woman recognises me and frowns.

“Why can’t we be in love?” I ask.

“You’re disgusting,” says the woman.

“If you think we’re disgusting, that makes you disgusting.”

She purses her lips. I turn back to Nadia.

Writing Prompt #9: Rage Quit

Apologies are in order.

I tried my best, but unfortunately I was unable to complete my To Do list last night in the way of preparing this blog post.

Expect today’s writing prompt at 8am AEST tomorrow.

Update September 4, 7:29am AEST.

Today was going well, fantastic even. I had finished digging a small pond in the backyard, and had even managed to fill it, when Anne came home from foraging. She wasn’t overly happy or sad, but seemed content with what she had managed to find today.

“Here,” she said, plopping a bag of mushrooms at my feet.

I looked at it. Was this meant to be dinner for both of us? Mushrooms? I spend all day breaking my back digging a hole in the ground and ferrying water to it with one bucket from the lake a few clicks, and all she does is pick some mushrooms?

“What’s that?” I say.

“Dinner.”

Of course.

“You couldn’t find a chicken or something?” The bag of mushrooms remains on the ground between us.

“You know I don’t like killing animals.”

“For the love of…” I rise and step toward her, popping the mushrooms in my pocket. “It’s not that hard!”

Her face is blank, unblinking. I hate it when she stares at me. I stride past her and punch the wall. A few stones crumble under my fist.

“Maybe not for you,” she says.

Something boils over in my mind. I march back over to her, grass swishing under my feet, and punch her. She stumbles back, red in the face.

Breathing hard, I save my game, put down the controller, and turn off Minecraft.

Writing Prompt #7: You didn’t tell me you were leaving

You didn’t tell me you were leaving,

But out of nowhere, you were gone.

I remember feeling nothing,

All of a sudden, I was alone.

 

You didn’t tell me you were leaving,

But you warned me you would be gone.

You said I would be much older,

Now I can tell you, that you were wrong.

 

You didn’t tell me you were leaving,

I remember one night alone.

Parallel to us together,

In that spot, our place, our secret home.

 

You didn’t tell me you were leaving,

But I still see you standing there.

As long as I have you with me,

I know I will have nothing to fear.

 

I can tell you that I will join you,

One day I will see you again.

I will stand with you forever,

Listening and waiting, until then.

 

I can tell you that I will join you,

Someday, but I do not know when.

You can wait, and I will find you,

And we will be together then.

 

I won’t tell you that I am leaving,

That would just ruin the surprise.

Maybe one day you will find me,

And I will see your puffy red eyes.

 

I think my time has come to go now,

But you hold on with all your might.

It’s okay, don’t fret or fear now,

I will be with you for all your nights.