Challenge Taken: Moon of Change
Saturday’s Showcase Sketches: I have been feeling a lot better today; so I wanted to celebrate it with a Flash Fiction Challenge I had been looking forward to sink my teeth into (and showcase it here too) -I know I am cutting it fine, as today is the last day for submission -but I am certain the spell caster Ken Broad won’t mind. Ken set the Super Snap Challenge as thus: Three visual prompts were chosen by Ken; our task was to be inspired by one or all and write a story within 500 words (if possible -if not we were granted to have fun with it -so I did!). I had soooo much fun with this story the actual word count excelled the 500 limit to an impressive 1175 (without the title) -not bad for a days’ work me thinks! Before I forget -the chosen image(s) will be displayed in appropriate places as the story develops. Enjoy!
(As always there is a pdf document at the bottom of the post for those who may find this a difficult read.)
MOON OF CHANGE
It roared as it passed by me; I tried to duck in an attempt to avoid the current; my hair tinged slightly as I fell onto the soft muddy soil by the edge of Lake Windermere.
Oh great! Trust me to find a way to ruin the occasion! Isolde will not be pleased –I could not dwell on that now -I had to concentrate on how to avoid Tristan’ rage. -By the way I’m Mark Gethin –a Wizard wannabe –well wannabe is not the rightful term (it’s the preferred word from my perspective); I have been selected –or rather; my bloodline has chosen me as it comes direct from the great Wizard himself, Merlin –great expectations and all; I have this huge pressure to follow in the footsteps of my great-great-great-grandfather; to be honest, I’m no Wizard –in fact I am pretty lame. I do not possess the strength of Tristan nor his mastery control over lightening –the ones I am trying to escape now.
The electrifying sound whizzed past my ears -that one just struck the tree behind me! It landed just inches from my side; singed to a toast.
“Tristan, I really think you have gone overboard now!” I yelled with all my might above all the thunderous noise accompanying the lightning.
“I will not have a useless, undeserving, hapless Wizard with no sense, courting my sister –especially one who cannot defend himself let alone her!” His arms raised and pointed upwards then turned towards me as another shot of white brilliance thrust past me.
I cowered behind the shrubbery; he had a point, I was nothing special –other than my status and what I could be! I didn’t know what Isolde saw in me –I certainly did not deserve her… Her ethereal radiance married with her wisdom, she was just powerful with those qualities alone –not to mention what became of her on a full moon night such as tonight, I had to get to her; I promised… I lowered my head in dismay as I observed the muddy brown slush on my majestic robes –Merlin’ robes; I was not the man he was –how undeserving… A pair of pointed polished black shoes invaded my vision; it was accompanied by a sleek black robe with tiny elegant silver motifs of lightning bolts –Tristan! As I looked up his staff dug into me.
“You are truly pathetic!” he sneered. His staff pierced further into my ribs.
“Ow! Stop it will you!” I grimaced as the pain seared through me. “I know I have to work on my skills; but first I need to see Isolde, there’s a full moon tonight, we have plans!”
“Exactly! You need to prove yourself now or not at all; I will not have you anywhere near my sister unless I know you can protect her.”
“Tristan please! You make it sound like we are in turbulent times; we’re running out of time. How about a truce?” I offered; a meagre attempt; if Tristan was feeling noble, as I hoped, he would take the bait. His glance showed me he was not going to waiver on this; the dark night sky glowed with the electric currents that were unleashed by him. I had no choice; I had to come up with something that would change the current balance of power; but what…
It was too late as I saw a blaze of fire accompanied by a trail of smoke fly towards us; Isolde’s glimmering silvery scale gleamed in the night sky; her wingspan stretched wide across the lake.
Tristan sighed with annoyance “Gethin! This was what I was talking about! Now we need a plan seeing you have been unable to prevent this from taking shape.”
“Hey, hold on a minute! Don’t you go pinning this one on me –I was in preparation to do something about it when you ambushed me!” I said in defiance.
“Had you had such a plan, we would not be here in the first place, oh mighty one!” Tristan exclaimed with sarcasm.
A massive roar erupted a few meters from us; a full set of strong teeth visible as more fire burnt through the air we breathed. We dived into the freezing cold lake as Isolde flew above us. It was dark and muggy; not one to be able to hold my breath for long, I swam to the surface and gasped for air. Oh my! It was good to be able to breathe again. I searched for Isolde; my eyes found her and locked onto her wistful baby blues which were behind the fierce set of sharp teeth. Torn; my beautiful Isolde cursed by such misfortunes; I had to save her…
Tristan burst through the water with such force I lost my balance as the waves rocked into me.
From above me he shouted as he somersaulted onto the banks of the lake further away from Isolde “I’ll distract the dragon Gethin; you best find a way to save Isolde!” A roar of thunder and lightning started to gather as Tristan worked his magic.
This was it; I had to try or potentially lose Isolde forever; for every month she phased into this monster; the more she would lose in terms of her human soul; my Isolde could not be that –I would rather die than see her go through that evil change. I vowed to make it better; for Isolde, for our love; for humanity.
I knew now -now that the change had taken place; our initial plan would not work; Isolde had to be human then; her dragon transformation just complicated the matter now –had Tristan not intervened we would not be here; I now had to think of an alternative plan; my thoughts clouded. In the corner of my eye I saw Tristan formulate several lightning beams in preparation to cage in Isolde; I had seen him perfect this many times, would he succeed now?
I waded through the water towards the banks of the lake as I searched within me for all the spells I had been taught –there must be something, the spell must be broken. My thoughts went back to a time when I crossed paths with an alchemist and a magician; they had secretly uttered a spell that could undo such curses like this –a bubble spell (I had been told that the key point was to ensure, once the bubble was created, that it fully covered the being that was cursed; that’s when its actual magic takes place and reverses what has been placed on the victim); it was said that only a few had mastered it; if successful the curse would be lifted forever; if failed, the fate of the cursed and the spell caster, was said to be catastrophic –I could not imagine how much worse it could get; I had to try but I was frozen inside with fear -I had not even practiced it; what if it went horribly wrong, what would become of my love… our life… of me..?
I’d be intrigued to know what you think of this attempt; do the three separate themes work well or not? Any cliché’s? What are your thoughts, please share with us -even if it is just a word -as all good discussions start with just one word.
pdf document: Challenge Taken – Moon of Change