Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day 10: Flowing

Part 10: Time to go home

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Moira gently set the dim flower into the basket she made, and handed it to Charlie. They stood on the bridge as the creek below them flowed. Charlie held the basket close to her, and smiled sadly. Carefully, she leaned over the old bridge and set the basket in the water, holding onto it before the current could take it away.

The flower burst into small yellow lights, before darkening once again. Charlie gave the basket a small push. The creek carried the basket as if a baby was hidden inside. Yellow lights decorated the creek water. Charlie waved goodbye, holding tightly onto the seed in her other hand.

“I promise I’ll take care of it,” Charlie whispered. She sniffed, and turned to Moira, hugging her tightly. “Will you help me?”

“Ya know I will,” Moira said.

Charlie looked up at the sky, letting go of Moira. The last few stars were flying across the sky, and the moonlight spilled onto the plains and trees surrounding the meadows. “We should probably get back to the festival,” she said. “Before someone notices we’re gone.”

Moira laughed, and grabbed her friend’s hand. Together, they ran out of the forest and back to the village, hoping to find some candy before the festival ended.

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Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day 8: Star

Part 8: Back to the Forest

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The stars began to paint the sky the second the sun left the sky. The girls raced across the small field to the forest opening. As they ran, Charlie took brief glances at the sky. Grinning, she looked at her best friend struggling to keep up. She laughed, and pushed on ahead as the stars continued to light up the purple sky.  Pausing by the rocks just outside the forest entrance, Charlie waited for Moira to catch up. As they rested, Charlie turned to her friend. “Moira, I think this is the best Starlights Festival ever.”

“Why?” Moira asked, looking up at the sky. “It feels just the same as last year!”

“It’s different! There’s adventure, you, and the best view from the entire village!” Charlie jumped onto the rock and pointed to the sky. “We should do this every year.”

“Sneak off into the forest to talk to magical flowers on Starlights day?”

Charlie laughed. “Sure, yeah. Or at least find a new adventure next year!” She hugged Moira and together, they entered the forest.

Posted in Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day 6: Drooling

Part Six: More Research

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The library was cozy. Moira and Charlie took the most comfy seats next to the fireplace as they stacked piles of books on flowers, magic, magical gardens, and more on the small table in between the chairs.

As she flipped through different books, Charlie wondered if all the research was worth it. She hadn’t been back in a couple weeks since the flower first spoke, and even then she could still hear it whispering in her thoughts. Sometimes the flower sounded afraid, but other times, it was quiet and hopeful. She could hear it now, as she read a page on magical trees and their spirits.

The fire crackled, and the warmth made Charlie sleepy. She nodded off with her thumb holding her place in Magic and Nature. As her eyes closed, she heard the flower whisper her name one more time.

“Charlie!” The voice sounded a lot closer.  “Charlie, wake up!” Moira’s voice broke through Charlie’s foggy dream. “The library’s closin’, c’mon!”

She bolted straight up, the heavy book falling to the floor with a loud thud. Wiping the drool off her face, Charlie turned to Moira. “How long was I asleep for?”

“A couple of hours. You were talking an’ mumblin’ ’bout the flower.” Moira frowned. “We gotta talk to it eventually, y’know?”

“I know,” Charlie said.

Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day 5: Chicken

Part Five: That’s Impossible

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“Flowers ain’t supposed t’talk, Charlie,” Moira whispered from her tree. “An’ I know all sorts of magic flowers. But I ain’t never see a flower like that.”

The flower continued ranting. Every time Charlie heard her name, she shivered. She was still shaking from the first time it screamed her name.

“It wasn’t like this yesterday,” Charlie said. “But it’s been glowin’ brighter and brighter every day. That’s why I needed your help.”

Moira peeked around her tree.

The flower paused its ranting and shouted, “Young witch! Tell Charlie to come out!”

“Nope.” Moira ducked behind the tree. “Ya heard the flower,” she whispered, “get on out there.”

Charlie shook her head and pulled her legs tighter to her chest. “That’s just spooky, Moira. How does it know my name? C’mon, you’re the expert here!”

” ‘m not that far in my trainin’. Just go talk to it. Don’t be a chicken!”

Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day 4: Spell

Part Four: “I need some magical help.”

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“Hi, Moira,” Charlie said nervously as she approached the counter. “I’m probably the last person you want to see right now–”

“If ya ain’t here to ‘pologize, then get out.” Moira turned away and started to dust the boxes of wands behind her.

Charlie sighed, and started to turn away. She wasn’t ready to apologize just yet. Not when she did anything wrong in the first place. But she needed her friend’s help. Charlie marched back up to the counter. “I have something even better than a dumb apology,” she said. “And I need your help. I need some kinda spell.”

“Then find another witch.”

“It’s gotta be you,” Charlie demanded. “It’s gotta be you because you’ve always wanted to make the biggest magical discovery of all time.”

Moira stopped dusting. That definitely got her attention. She set her dust rag down, and turned back to Charlie. She still looked angry, but bits of magic was tingling away from her fingers. Smiling, Moira jumped over the counter. “Show me.”

Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

Inktober Day Three: Roasted

Part 3: “You’re gonna kill it?!”

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The small dome filled with smoke, hiding the flower’s final moments. The park ranger that was holding Charlie back finally let her go. She slid to the ground in front of the dome. Flames licked the top of the dome, releasing smoke into the stormy sky. Charlie snuffed her nose, and wiped away her tears.

The smoke cleared quickly, and the rangers cheered. They swooped in, collecting the dome and the ashes from the flower. Charlie watched in shock, unsure of what to think.

A ranger sat down next to her, and handed her a slip of paper. “Your troop leader said you found it last week. It’s the biggest we’ve seen, and the head scientist said it could get rid of all the others that popped up around the village.” He smiled and tapped the piece of paper. “Give that to your troop leader. It qualifies you for the Junior Park Ranger badge.”

Charlie took the paper and shoved it in her pocket. This was her fault, even though she tried to protect it. She could’ve saved it if the ranger hadn’t held her back. She stared at the spot where the flower used to be. “Why’d it have to be destroyed?”

“We didn’t know what that flower could do, kid.”

Charlie frowned. “So if we don’t understand something, we destroy it?”

The ranger was silent. He fidgeted with his radio for a while. “Lots of things we don’t understand about our world. You’ll learn more when you’re older.”

“I’m ten. I know enough,” Charlie whispered.

The ranger laughed. “You’ve got a lot to learn, kid.” He got to his feet, and joined the others as they climbed into their jeeps.

Charlie watched him leave and finally got to her feet. She took one last look at all the rangers, the flower destroyers, and sprinted into the forest. She didn’t care where she ended up, as long as it was far enough. Far away from the destruction, and far away from the unanswered question.

She ran until she tripped over a stray tree root and slipped on a patch of wet grass. Rolling down a small hill, she landed inside a small grove of trees with a patch of wild flowers growing where they could find spots of sunlight. There were normal pinks and reds and purple flowers, and the occasional semi rare orange poppy, but only one stood out the most. In the middle of the patch, where the sunlight would hit the most, was a single yellow flower, glowing slightly.

“No way,” Charlie whispered excitedly.

 

Posted in Children's Short Stories, Inktober 2018, Short Fiction

An Inktober Short Story

Day Two: Tranquil

Part Two: Researching the flower

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Rain hit Charlie’s bedroom window as she snuggled down in her bed. Her little sister Gwen was on the top bunk, playing with her airplanes and dolls. Every now and then, the bunk bed would shake, or thunder would boom in the distance. Charlie didn’t mind at all. This was the perfect time to read.

She reached down and picked up the book on rare flowers. The book had just come out recently since new things like flowers and animals were always being found outside their small village. Turning page after page, she gobbled up the information on blue sunflowers, snapping lilies, and fire roses, but there was nothing on the glowing flower she found in the forest. Charlie frowned.

Gwen’s head popped over the railing. “Can we play dolls now?” she asked.

“In a minute,” Charlie said as she flipped the page.

“Please? You’ve been reading about flowers for hours!” Gwen whined. “Mom says you gotta play with me.”

Charlie rolled her eyes. “No she didn’t.”

“Yeah! I can prove it!”

“Prove it then.”

Gwen pulled herself onto her bed and whispered something to her airplane. She poked her head back over. “She said it two weeks ago!”

“That was because you were whining about having nothing to do.”

“So? Mom said you have to play.”

Sighing, Charlie slammed her book closed. “All right, fine.”  She rolled out of bed, and reached for the doll clothes stashed under her bed. Gwen eagerly tossed her dolls down to the floor, and jumped from her bed.

“Let’s play cave explorers today!” Gwen said happily.

Charlie nodded and quietly grabbed her own doll. She glanced at the book, hoping to get back to it soon before the storm drifted away.