Winter’s child

 

“Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”As Eve stood shivering on the bathroom mat, looking at the red streak snaking down her legs, the chill rose up to freeze her from within and outside. She fought the tears tottering on the slippery threshold of her consciousness, wondering why this was happening to her.

 
She had followed the Doctor’s orders and she and George had seen to it that they did not miss the days marked on the calendar. It had not been easy but neither of them had demurred. Yet, it seemed that the seed she desperately hoped would bloom refused to take root. Her womb continued to be barren, month after month. At times, she wondered if God was punishing her for something that had in no way been her fault.

 
Shoulders drooping, she dragged herself back to bed. George stirred but then snuggled back under the warm covers. Sleep evaded her though she tried her best to court it. Ruefully she let it slip away and resigned herself to a few more hours of “mind-hoopla” as she called it. Her mind flitted from thoughts to memories to thoughts in a never ending loop.

 
She was born into a wealthy family but her parents were too busy playing to the gallery to really care. The children were just trophies to be exhibited on certain occasions. Her elder brother Josh was a carbon copy of their Dad and idolized him. Their younger sister was a wallflower, with no opinion of her own and content to live as directed. Eve, on the other hand was a rebel.

 
Thus she was happy to leave home for college at nineteen. There she met Matt. He was a pleasant change from all the people she used to meet in her pseudo life at home. Both felt an instant attraction, which over the next two years developed into deep love.

 

Eve knew her parent’s reaction to her choice and so she hid it from them till the day Matt joined the hospital as a full time Doctor.
Matt promised to take her to meet his parents during Thanksgiving. They both wanted a Christmas wedding.

 
The meeting however never took place, nor did the wedding. Driving to work next week, Matt met with an accident and he died on the spot.

 
Eve was beyond herself with grief and went home for the first time in four years. She was sick so often that it took her some time to realize that she was pregnant. She was shocked at first but then overjoyed .However, her joy was short-lived for her family did not approve of her having a baby out of wedlock.

 
She could still remember the conversation word to word.

 

Her Mom had looked at her with utmost distaste as if she was something the cat dragged in “Why must you insist on bringing shame to the family name?”

 
“After all that we have done for you is this how you repay us?” shouted her Dad, his swarthy face turning purple.

 
Not to be left behind, her ineffacious brother declared, “We can’t let you have his bastard.”

 
Her sister of course had nothing to say.

 
Eve decided not to bow to their pressure tactic but she had underestimated her parent’s guile and wickedness. One night, they drugged her and spirited her away to a private nursing home. When she came to, it was already too late. As soon as she could walk, she left home and never looked back.

 

 
Even George believed she was an orphan and she had no intention of revealing these dark secrets to him, ever.

 
She sighed and decided to get up as dawn crawled in slowly. She put the kettle on and watched snow drifting down relentlessly. The sky looked dull, just like her mood. She called her Doctor around noon from her office-she did not want George to be privy to this setback-at least not today. Her Doctor told her to come in the next day.

 
Next morning Eve woke up and was taken aback. She had not bled at all during the night-what was going on? Was she ill?

 
With trepidation she walked into the clinic. The shadow of uncertainty loomed large as she lay down on the examination table.

 
A few hours later, she was driving back, a smile on her lips. The miracle of spring was accumulating in her womb and she could not wait to celebrate its arrival with her beloved George.

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt #157 which required us to (a)write a response(fiction or poetry) in 750 words or less (mine is 748, including the title) (b) using the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.” and (c) make some reference to the media prompt,which this week the  drawing above, by Leonardo da Vinci, entitled Study of a Womb.

The challenge is open to everyone,so if you want to join in or read the other entries,please click on the url http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-157-open/

 


Sheona

Sheona

 

Darkness teased light as evening tiptoed in. Daytime predators and prey both started settling in for the night’s rest. On the other hand nocturnal creatures stirred and stretched eager to start their routine.

 
Rawleigh stood in front of his secret castle with his wife Mortina. 

 

She held a golden orb in her hands and Rawleigh held his sword on it. Mortina waved her wand and intoned in a melodious voice-

 

“Let this golden light, draw on powers that be
Protect this abode and the inhabitants
From prying eyes aiming to “see”.
I call on thee, O astral elements
Do stand by me
Protect me and mine from all evil that hides
And let them be cast aside.”

 

The incantation over, she drew a circle around them. Immediately the castle disappeared and in its place stood a broken down gate. Two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate.

 

 

Rawleigh turned to his wife and smiled. She belonged to a secret coven and was a very powerful Wiccan witch.

 
“My dear, now go safely and no harm will come to you or those you love. I will await your return. Remember, if you are in danger, tap your sword hard on the ground and the forces will come to your aid.”

 

“Thank you my love. What would I do without you?”

 

“Hush! That day will never come. Our love is strong enough to overcome all obstacles. Now go forth and bring another baby home.”

 

Rawleigh mounted his steed and with a nod and smile, galloped off into the night.

 

After a few hours, he reached the edge of the forest. He watched the flickering torches surrounding the Inkletee castle. He knew an army of guards were protecting what he had come to spirit away.

 

He alighted from his steed, patted it and continued on foot. The night fell like a cloak of invisibility around him and he used it to navigate his way to the enemy bastion. Stealthily he climbed the wall and jumped inside. Keeping to the dark corners, he finally made it to the secret chamber. He took out the magic key that Mortina had given him. Unlocking the heavy door, he entered and was enraptured.

 

There she was in all her golden glory! Manacles held her secure in the box but her head and green eyes belied any defeat. Nostrils flaring, she stared. She looked majestic with her beautiful sienna wings. Her long scaly tail swished. Rawleigh fell in love instantly. She sensed it and her eyes softened. Rawleigh had that kind of effect. It was a gift.

 

By day, he was just another brave Knight but by night he was a Dragon tamer. Rawleigh loved dragons and his mission in life was to rescue dragons from captivity.

 

Most people feared and hated these gentle creatures and thus the dragons were being hunted relentlessly. He tried to save as many as he could but till he had met Mortina, it had been very tough. His heart had broken every time he saw them butchered.

 

Mortina and her friends from the magical world understood this and were equally passionate about saving these graceful beings. Their secret team was doing all it could to help Rawleigh.

 

Unfortunately, the team had recently discovered a group of wizards led by the wicked Witch Inkletee practicing black magic. They needed Dragon blood to cast their black spells. Tonight Rawleigh had come to rescue the golden dragon from their clutches.

 

Rawleigh opened the cage and with one swipe of his magical sword, freed the Dragon. “My sweet Sheona”, he cooed and caressed her shiny scales .Soon she was nuzzling and licking his face.

 

To secret away such a huge creature was the next big hurdle and Sheona was too bright to be invisible. Rawleigh decided that he could not risk the golden dragon being seen. So, he tapped the Sword hard on the ground.
Instantly, three little elves and two pixies appeared. They were a part of the team and knew what to do. The elves set to make a small sack and finished it within a few minutes. It was wondrous to watch them work so swiftly and efficiently. The pixies sprinkled magic dust on Sheona and she became tiny enough to fit into the sack. Their work done, they disappeared.

 

Heaving the sack on his shoulders, Rawleigh crept away. Reaching his steed quickly, he rode home, happy that he had been able to save another beautiful creature.

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt #156 which required us to (a)write a response(fiction or poetry) in 750 words or less (mine is 750, including the title) (b) using the quote,“Two young hares, rump to rump like duelling pistols, crouched by the gate.”  anywhere in the story, and (c) make some reference to the media prompt, the song Glory Box, by Portishead.

Those who would like to read the other entries or participate in this challenge,please click on the url http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/156-open/

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Let sleeping legends lie

the speakeasy at yeah write #152 

 

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=19652242

Let sleeping legends lie

 

“I think we should turn back.”

“Amy, stop whining!”

“But Martin, I am tired!”

“Amy is right, and besides I think we are lost.”

“Ha! Trust you to whine and Diana, we are not lost.”

Spreading the map on a nearby rock and pointing to an X marked in red Martin said, “We are right here.”

 “Just tell me, how many hours more till we reach that darned cave?”

“Four? Okay, at the most five.”

The girls groaned.

Thick foliage made it kind of dark even in the daytime and the forest floor carpeted with pine needles and dried leaves made walking  difficult.

After an hour Amy said,”Can we take a break? My legs are killing me.”

“Ah, look what these jungle insects have done to mine!”

“Told you to wear chinos, but you were intent on fashion. Now suffer!”

“You brat! It will serve you right if there is no treasure.”

“So what, even if there is none? National Geographic or Flickr will be happy with the great photographs Martin is capturing.”

“Amy, what about your camcorder? Are you recording everything?

“Yes I am but I still think we should return now-I have a bad feeling about this.”

“Stop it Amy. Never knew you to be superstitious.”

“But, that guide..?”

“Ha! Ha! That Petra-what an entertainer! He and his cock and bull stories!”

“But what if they are true?”

“What if they are true…” mimicked Peter. “Are you daft or what Diana! A folklore that is 400 years old? Gimme a break!”

“It would be so easy to give up now but think of how much fun we will have even if it is true.”

“Fun?”

 “Yes, we will be famous .Imagine our faces on all the news channel. Young explorers reveal age old secret…”

“Shut up you two!”Diana glared

“Have you noticed suddenly how quiet it is?”Amy shivered.

“That’s because my portable radio’s batteries just conked off. But I have a set of spares, let me change them.”

A few minutes later, the forest air resonated with retro numbers and the mood lifted.

“Okay, rest for half an hour, then we stop only when we reach the cave.”

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In the cave, she stirred in sleep disturbed by forgotten images. Her grey blue scales glistened with moisture and her forked tail lay inert-for the time being. A little to her left stood two huge eggs, one green and the other blue. Two more eggs –one red, and another grey blue stood immobile. There was no sound except a faint rustling of her wide ink tipped wings. Suddenly the green egg started to vibrate and slowly cracked open. A while later the blue egg followed suit. She opened her gold flecked red eyes and instinctively moved towards the noise. Soon, a low keening filled the cave and four new lives crawled towards their mother. She gathered them close and waited. Her sharp ears had caught a long forgotten sound and she knew the images were coming to life-again. She remembered that it was in a battle with such beings that her mate had lost his life. It was time they learnt their lesson.

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“Here we are!”

“Finally! Phew!”

“Okay, let’s go in.”

“Ugh, what a horrid stench!”

“Its pitch dark in here.”

“Where are the torches? Shine the light in here.”

“Hello what’s this?”

“What? Where?”

“Over here.”

“Oh my, so cute! What is it?”

“Look at its tiny wings-it has a snout and a tail too!”

“Hello, there are three more-in different colours too!”

“Mini dragons, ha-ha!”

“Don’t laugh stupid and turn off your radio-can’t hear anything.”

“Amy, where is your camcorder? Record it pronto!”

“Martin, get all the angles! Imagine the sensation when this footage is released!”

“Better than Jurassic park, man! We are going to be bloody rich and famous!”

“No Diana! Don’t touch-they may bite.”

“Guys, have you thought that these little things may have a mom?

“OMG! What if she …It’s getting hot in here or what?”

“What is that swishing noise?

“I knew it! The legend is true!”

“Run for your lives! It is the mother Dragon!”

 

But it was too late. Only the portable radio lay there,the Bee Gees belting out ”Staying alive”,with gusto.

 

She may have been hibernating for half a century but her memory and senses were sharp. Agility and cunning made her formidable and soon she and her kids were having their first meal. 

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This was written for speakeasy #152 at yeahwrite. The challenge was (a)to write a piece of fiction or poetry,750 words or less(mine is 740 including the title)(b)to use the sentence ,”“It would be so easy.”,anywhere in the piece and (c)to make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which this week is a video for ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.In case,this challenge interests you or you would like to read what others have written,click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/

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