This time around, I’ve combined Haley Whitehall’s Body Language challenge, Billie Jo Wood’s Solstice Sunday, and my Creature Feature challenge (see mash-up below for links) into one 500 word story. Here you go…
Just Another Day on the Job
She drummed her fingers against her thigh and shot the kind of look that would start a fire.
Fortunately, there was plenty of cloud cover.
I nudged Tom, my trainee. “Assessment?”
“Common fire sprite. Juvenile. Range: two feet. Requires full sunlight to start a fire. Containment protocol: capture in JN-32 spherical containment field and transport to Breach.”
Tom grinned, then glanced at the sprite. “Third one since yesterday.”
“Of course. Sightings are always more frequent around solstices and equinoxes. Especially since the Jameson-Neal Breach, a tear in–”
I nudged him again, less gently. “Sphere ready?”
Tom showed the quiescent, marble-sized device in his palm.
“Good.” I stepped forward.
The sprite hissed and flitted from side to side.
“Come on now. This isn’t the place for you. A park in the middle of a city. It’s not even your world anymore. You know that.”
She bared her tiny, sharp teeth, her eyes on me.
Tom edged closer.
“We’ll find a nice spot for you. Near a volcano. On the other side.”
The clouds shifted overhead and the sprite’s eyes sparkled. She buzzed a little closer. The clouds shifted again and the sky darkened once more. The light faded from her eyes and she retreated.
“Come on now. You don’t want to be here around these people and their dogs–”
A low growl, like a cat’s, rose in her throat.
“That’s right. Dogs. You don’t like them and they don’t like you. All of that barking and growling and snapping.”
She kicked out at me and shook her tiny fists.
“I won’t hurt you. I just want to take you home.”
She dropped her arms and drifted closer, head cocked to one side.
“That’s it. Good…”
Tom edged around to the side, bringing his hand up.
A shaft of light burst through the clouds.
Tom lurched forward.
I reached for him. “No!”
The sprite whirled on Tom. She dashed into the beam of light and her eyes blazed.
But the sphere dropped from Tom’s hand and rolled away from him.
The sprite let out a piercing shriek.
I threw myself to the ground and grabbed the containment sphere, simultaneously activating it and tossing it in the air.
The sphere expanded and enclosed the sprite.
But it was already too late.
Tom crumbled to smoking ash.
I plucked the sphere out of the air and glared at the sprite, giving her a little shake. “You know how hard it is to find a good trainee these days? Most new recruits don’t even believe in fairytale creatures.”
She stuck her tiny tongue out at me and turned her back.
I sighed and stored the sphere in the back of the van.
Time to get back to work. There were reports of something harassing virgins and stealing babies in the suburbs. Probably a Type III banded troll.
Write Thing Wednesday Blog Mash Up
In which I share a few of the blog posts that caught my eye over the previous week…
- Jane Friedman tells us Persistence Doesn’t Matter if You Make this Common Mistake.
- Woven Strands is hosting a drawing contest in honor of the release of L. Carroll’s Four Hundred Days.
- Amber West wants to know Who Would Play You? in the movie version of your life (it would so be Kate Beckinsale for me ;)).
- Mary Jo Gibson shares some wonderful art links in the Cabinet of Curiosities.
- Clay Morgan offers us the chance to share our favorite blog posts.
- Kristen Lamb inspires with Failure – The Forge of Excellence.
A few more writing challenges to get your creativity going (or just enjoy reading the stories that have been written so far)…
- Billie Joe Woods’ Summer Solstice Writing Challenge.
- Haley Whitehall’s Body Language Challenge.
- My June Writing Challenge – Creature Feature.
- Be Kind Rewrite’s Inspiration Monday XVII.
- Albert Berg’s Micro Fiction Challenge: The Straight Jacket.