August Flash Fiction: Day 5
Sometimes Saturday means a lot more time to write, and sometimes it means a lot less time to write as your to-do list and social calendar feels every bit as busy as the work week. So the cap today is 500 words so that if you have the time and inclination, you can sink down into a longer story. If you don't have the time, write a ten word story! 500 is the max, but 0 is the minimum.
Each day a new post with a picture (with a CC0 license), word count limit, and occasional additional twist will be published at 7:00 am EDT. You will then have until the next day's post to write your story.
You can then either keep it to yourself (a perfectly valid way to participate!) or you can share your story itself in the comments, or share a link in the comments where we can read your story (blog, Instagram etc.)
My daily story will be added to the post under the picture within the same deadline.
Aug. 5 Word Count: 500
Aug. 5 Image Prompt:
The bird had been watching the girl come to the center of the forest for years. He had in fact watched many women in the girl’s family attend to their rituals, major and minor, over the generations. It could even be suspected, that the bird, was not just a bird.
But this girl, the newest in the line of women, hummed with want in ways that none ever had before her.
“Beauty, beauty, beauty,” was the heartbeat of the magic she conjured.
She borrowed from the sun to keep her hair gold and shining, she stole from the newest buds of flowers the glow of a life just started, to keep her skin dewy and fresh.
Then, as the girl grew a little older, but still plentiful of youth, her aunt took her to the forest to learn a trick her mother would never teach her. She gave her niece the words, the placement of the body, and her niece brought the desire.
“But only fall back from this tiny height, allow the forest to catch you, and in the seconds you fall, you will rewind the clock just enough to remove a few months of aging. You will remain youthful and beautiful much longer than your friends, much longer than your enemies,” she told her niece, and the bird couldn’t help but shake it’s head.
And for years is was enough. The girl became a woman though she did indeed retain a youth that many other could not.
But one evening she stormed into the forest and added to the humming beat of want was “Pain, pain, pain,” and “loss, loss, loss.”
She began climbing up a tree across from the bird, muttering words the bird new, like “loved,” “bastard,” and “younger woman,” and some it did not understand, like “divorce."
But as she climbed, her intent became clear, and the bird began to fly at her, trying to keep her from climbing, nipping at her hands to deter her ascent.
The woman swatted the bird away, climbing higher still. Standing on a branch she murmured her incantation, threw her arms open and fell backward into the open air.
With a thump and whooshing echo of air throughout the forest, she landed.
There was a beat of silence.
And then a wail.
The bird looked down at the toddler now sitting on the forest floor, eyes scrunched up and crying.
The bird reminded itself that it had tried to stop her, shook its head once more, and flew away to find help.