Posted in Calere, Fiction on July 11th, 2012 by Annabelle – 7 Comments

They fled on foot, and all night.  There was no choice.  The baby was too little for anything else, and not for anything would they leave him.  They had left it too late, she realized.  They just hadn’t been able to believe it.  Not until the stories started coming, of burnings, quarterings, people chased to their deaths from horseback.  They were no longer welcome in this new world.

They were going south.  If they were lucky, they might make it across the border before the invaders reached them.  Maybe.  They kept going.  There were no choices left.  Only the hurry.

Since this week Trifecta has given us *gasp* two and a half weeks to come up with a more substantial bit of fiction, I’m trying my hand at 100-word fiction with this week’s Velvet Verbosity challenge.  The prompt: hurrying.  This goes along with The Fall.  Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: Escape

Posted in Calere, Fiction on June 12th, 2012 by Annabelle – 20 Comments

After dinner, when the adults were sitting by the fire, his grandfather with his feet up and his mother with Cala in her lap, Cy slipped out into the alley behind the house.  His father’s saber gleamed in his hand, the only thing that seemed to make sense any more.  He raised in front of him, and started the first of the sword drills his father had taught him.

His aching back started to loosen.  Cy wasn’t sure he’d had a single good day in the last ten months, but today had been worse than most.  He had tripped and put his hand through a piece of silk still on the loom, and his grandfather, normally restrained about Cy’s shortcomings as a weaver, had blown up.  His mother had said she could salvage it.  Cy knew better than to believe her.  His clumsiness had cost them probably two weeks’ work in materials.

He was probably the world’s worst weaver.  He was the only one of them beside his mother who was big enough to work the loom, but the work he did made his grandfather raise his eyebrows and shuffle it into the back cabinet.  They were accumulating a disturbing number of second-best sheets and rug rags.  Even his spinning was a total loss.  Brevar was better at it than he was, and Brev was only seven.  Cala would probably be better at it as soon as she started walking.

He heard the door open, and a square of light fell at his feet.  He ignored it, and led the saber into the next exercise.  An irritated huff came from behind him, then a soft voice.  “Let him be, father.”  An inarticulate grumble followed, then his audience withdrew and the light disappeared.

The saber cut cleanly through the night air.  Up.  Across.  Spin, and down.  In his mind, the pattern stood out like a lacework of light, and for once, things were simple.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word
ALLEY (noun):

1: a garden or park walk bordered by trees or bushes
2a (1) : a grassed enclosure for bowling or skittles

     (2) : a hardwood lane for bowling; also : a room or building housing a group of such lanes
  b : the space on each side of a tennis doubles court between the sideline and the service sideline

  c : an area in a baseball outfield between two outfielders when they are in normal positions
3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings

This one follows on last week’s response.  Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: The Saber

Posted in Calere, Fiction on June 5th, 2012 by Annabelle – 19 Comments

Cy stared down at the gleaming saber. It lay unwinking on the rough kitchen table with the handful of other possessions that were all that had come back. A ring, a pair of daggers, a heavy purse of coins that would be the last payment from the company. That was all.

He reached out to touch it, running his fingers along the watered blade. His father had let him hold it, had even let him practice with it once to celebrate his twelfth birthday. It had always been there at his father’s side, as inseparable from him as his arm.

An age-spotted hand knocked his hand away from it. “No more of that, boy.” His grandfather’s face was like a thunderstorm. “That’ll lead you nowhere but the same place it took your father. You’re a weaver now.”

Cy hardly saw him. All he could see was the saber, slowly starting to blur. A familiar smell surrounded him, and he felt hands on his shoulders. His mother turned him to face her. Her hair was a mess and her hazel eyes were reddened, but her voice was reassuring. “It’s all right, sweetheart.” She reached up to touch his face. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to go live with your grandfather now. I’m going to need you to help me take care of your brother and your sisters. Can you help me do that?”

Cy rubbed roughly at his eyes, and nodded. His mother smiled. “I know you can. You’re going to do just fine. Now why don’t you come help me get the girls packed up.” She turned away from the table.  The new man of the house squared his shoulders and followed.

This week’s prompt from Trifecta Writing Challenge asks for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word NEW (adjective):

1: having recently come into existence

2 a (1) : having been seen, used, or known for a short time (2) : unfamiliar
b : being other than the former or old

3: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time

Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: The Tide Turns

Posted in Calere, Fiction on May 28th, 2012 by Annabelle – 20 Comments

Stars shine down on stone.  Though the sun is gone, the air still crackles with summer, a scorching breeze ruffling the grasses.  A faint, sweet scent of blossom rides the wind, carried from the sea of tala bells that dance among the brambles, luminously blue in the moonlight.  It is as all of the plains, but for the stones and the man.

The stones are everywhere, large and small.   Some are taller than a man, and curiously squared, some no more than pebbles.  The grass and the brambles and the flowers engulf them.  The centuries passed since the city fell and was left to decay have long since blown away the mortar and the bones.

A single figure appears, picking his way among the stones.  From a certain angle, he shimmers curiously in the moonlight, the sort of trick that makes men rub their eyes and shake their heads.  A careful observer might notice that where he has passed, the grass remains unbent, unbroken, but there is no one, and so the oddity goes unremarked.

His gaze is inquisitive but oddly unmoved, his face clear and still as he walks through this graveyard.  He touches a stone here, another there. At length, he comes to the center of the ruin, and looks around him.  The devastation is complete, but there is life still, hidden among the rocks.   He turns and looks to the northeast, where the conquerors hide from the summer heat.  He looks to the east, where their god sleeps until dawn.  Finally, he looks to the north, where a new city has grown.  For a moment, his eyes, iris purple, seem to glow.

And then — and then he begins to laugh.  His laughter rings off the stones and whirls out into the night in a ribbon of light.  He bends and touches the center stone, a benison.  Still laughing, he gives a mocking salute toward the east before he vanishes, leaving nothing but a glow and a curious sense of hope.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge! This week asked for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of DECAY (intransitive verb):

1: to decline from a sound or prosperous condition
2: to decrease usually gradually in size, quantity, activity, or force
3: to fall into ruin

I’d like to pretend that it’s 333 words exactly because I’m just that good, but really it’s because I cut words until it got there. This is something of a sequel to The Fall. Thanks for reading!

The Fall

Posted in Calere, Fiction on April 30th, 2012 by Annabelle – 28 Comments

He’d moved out of sight, but he couldn’t escape the sound, the distant thunder of stone falling on stone, of walls toppling to the ground.  It was all day — all night.  Didn’t these conquerors sleep?

He waited, and watched.  Watched for survivors, travelers returning to the City unaware that the world had changed in their absence.

He watched for survivors, but that wasn’t what he saw.  With each carrying rumble, he saw the City.  He saw the bright mosaics he’d played next to as a child.  Gone.  He saw the fountain where he’d told Asiri he loved her.  Gone.  He saw the sunlit columns of the temple.  Gone.  His eyes watered, and he told himself it was the sharp summer wind.

He’d thought the thunder was the worst of it, but in the end, he was wrong.  What was worse was when the thunder stopped, and there was only silence and the wind on the plains.


This week’s prompt from Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week’s challenge was to write between 33 and 333 words using the third definition of the word thun·der (noun \ˈthən-dər\)

1: the sound that follows a flash of lightning and is caused by sudden expansion of the air in the path of the electrical discharge
2: a loud utterance or threat
3: bang, rumble

It’s good fun, this prompt business!