My NYC Midnight Challenge #1 Flash Fiction (994 words/1000 word limit/written in 48 hours)
The following is pretty rough. I’ve left it in the form it was, having only 48 hours (minus all the hours I had to work those days).
Assignment- Genre: Fairy Tale; Location: Barn; Object: Crystal Ball
In the days now long departed lived a small community of part elves, part humans. They lived to help others by building homes, making clothes, and fighting for causes. When they came under attack by a ravenous horde of trolls, they found themselves without help. In the midst of a long siege, two young villagers mused over a mysterious object.
“What do you think it is?” Asked Len, his young voice cracking with puberty.
Alexandria shooed away a fly from her face. Of all the places this object had to show up, it had to be the horse barn. All the flies in the world seemed to find their way in here and it smelled. “What do you mean, what do I think it is?” Alexandria rolled her eyes but then tried to keep the annoyance out of her voice. “It’s obviously an egg.”
Len nodded and walked toward one of the horse stalls with a pitchfork in hand, seeming intent on doing his chores in spite of this strange appearance. “Not any kind of egg I’ve ever seen.”
She did have to admit it was pretty strange for an egg. And what could be in an egg that was the size of farmer Weir’s prize watermelon with skin predominately red, almost as red as her hair? There were also fine lines of gold intertwined, like a trellis.
She swatted at another fly hovering near the egg. In the process, she brushed against it. The red and gold surface swirled into bright multi-colors, but then it returned to its opaque state. The shape of the gold markings had changed. The top was a solid gold disk with gold lines trailing down.
The surface had felt extremely cold, but her hand was warm, almost hot. “Len, tell me if you think the egg feels cold?”
Len came back to the egg and gingerly touched the surface and shook his head. Nothing happened.
Alexandria’s shoulders sagged. This was not good. It was possible that this was what her fairy godmother had warned her about. “My dear,” She had said in that sweet voice, “You have magic in your blood. You’ll need to embrace who you really are someday.”
She wanted nothing to do with it. She was a fighter, not a magician. She stalked to the doors of the barn, intending to head for the blacksmiths to get her first sword and then find Derrick. Derrick was the adult of the fighting league and he could deal with this.
She stopped when she reached the door. Their town needed all the help they could get. The roaming band of trolls had been attacking with all their magic and swordplay. And no one wanted to help them. Even fairies dared not come around because there were so many pockets of unchecked magic. The last fairy who had bumped into one of the pockets had been turned into a firefly. She was currently working with the town’s doctor to overcome her fear she had every time her butt lit up.
She turned and faced the object. “Maybe this thing materialized due to all the magic being thrown around.”
Len nodded and touched the egg again. The absence of any change forced Alexandria to acknowledge what she needed to do. She walked up to the egg and touched it.
The surface changed immediately. The gold colors peeled away and climbed up her arm. The shape of the object became circular, then solidified into a crystal ball. The gold color felt warm on her arm and molded itself into images of flowers on her arm. She could also feel a new energy seeping into her.
Len stood quietly, watching with wide eyes.
Alex picked up the crystal ball with both hands, and spoke to it, “What can we do together to save my village?”
She looked into the ball, expecting a face, a voice, something to tell her exactly what to do. Instead, a scent arose from the cold ball.
She held the crystal ball towards Len. “Does that smell like vinegar to you?”
He sniffed the air, looking at her like she was crazy. “I don’t smell anything.”
Their village had been working on a few vats of apple cider vinegar to use as trade.
She tucked the ball into her knapsack and ran for the vinegar vats. The place was open and empty with all of the adults fighting at the wall. She could take a sample and throw it on a troll to see what would happen, but she didn’t feel as if she had time. She needed to take all of it with her, all four, two-story tall vats of it.
She glanced at her arm with the gold patterns and felt the energy inside her, but how to get it to work?
“Abracadabra!” She yelled. And nothing happened.
She thought back to what her fairy godmother had once said. She thought it was a terrible idea, but she imagined what she wanted to happen in her mind and said, “To thine ownself be true.”
The tattoos on her arm glowed brightly and the vats floated up in the air. She turned and ran, looking behind her only once to make sure the vats were following her.
She dashed up the stairs to the top of the wall. The fighting was still outside the village. The main work was keeping the trolls from attacking the wall itself.
From the top she pointed at the trolls below. “Go get them.” She yelled at the vats. They moved forward, tipping and pouring vinegar over trolls. The trolls looked dumbfounded for a moment until their dirty old coveralls fell off of their bodies. In embarrassment, they ran into the woods.
Not only was the village now free of its troll problem, the vinegar also cleared up all of those pesky magical balls floating around the village. Alexandria continued to use her powers and be true to herself.