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Rousing the Volcano – Twitter fiction

March 6, 2017 • erthwitch

Rousing the Volcano - Twitter fiction by Ima Erthwitch

Rousing the Volcano is a Twitter fiction story by @erthwitch in response to the #vss365 prompt on Twitter by @flashdogs. To find out more about what these hashtag things mean, read my post about Twitter fiction.

Rousing the Volcano

Why stroke the flames when she could rouse the volcano instead? She’d leave more in her wake than a #trinket for remembrance.

With each step she whispered her mantra. Walking the #spiral path to the volcano’s lip gave ample time to work a powerful spell.

Some questioned the color of her soul, calling it black. But no. Always #indigo staring back when she consulted the mirror.

“I’m not a #demon!” She said with fake affront as a rumble shuddered up through the ground from deep below. “Your hell approaches.”

Her indigo eyes sparkled. “#Pssst. The volcano is awake now,” she said to the fisherman as she pushed the outrigger to sea.

“Wait! Take me with you,” the fisherman cried. “I can’t. You have no citizenship,” she said. “Do I look like a #coyote to you?”

As the fire in the sky over the island faded to darkness, her own hell arrived. Her #achluophobia stirred. A long night loomed.

The dichotomy between resilience and #frailty never ceased to amaze her. Now was a frail, fetal curled moment. Waiting for dawn.

“I have a #confession,” she said to the circling shark as she aimed the harpoon. “I almost wish that you would eat me instead.”

“Your spirit guide is #Salamander,” the old shaman said. “Firewalker.” He pushed me toward the flames. “Go,” he said. And I went.

If she had her own #golem, maybe people would hate her less. But life and creation weren’t her fortes. Death and destruction were.

Dawn broke over the spires of her island home and she sighed as the outrigger scraped sand. Another mission well-executed.


 

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Live or Die

March 1, 2017 • erthwitch

 

Friday Fictioneers photo prompt for March 3, 2017. My story is titled "Live or Die".

You can find a lot more stories prompted by this photo by going here.
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Go to her site to find out more about the Friday Fictioneers.

Live or Die

 

She sighed.

He waited.

Over the hill, the sun rose beneath storm clouds. Soon the horizon would light up bright red and pink.

“I don’t know if I can live with myself like this,” she said, finally.

He raised his eyebrows, but didn’t protest her statement.

There was nothing he could do anyway. She would decide to either live or die. But he felt she needed to know the truth. The part they didn’t tell her.

“If you don’t, they’ll all die.”

“They’ll all die anyway,” she countered, “sooner or later.”

She looked away, not ready to greet another day.


 

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Duty

February 24, 2017 • erthwitch

Comanche's eye, photo prompt for 100-word flash.

Duty

“What are your priorities?” She asked me and continued her task without waiting for an answer. My wrists jerked when she cinched the saddle. I winced. This would be an uncomfortable ride.

“Hindsight isn’t very useful from that positon, is it?” she said, more as a statement than a question. Apparently, she thought I knew the answer to her first question.

Satisfied her cargo was secure she swung herself into the seat and gave the horse a nudge. “You’ll learn soon enough. She comes first. Everything else falls into place after that.”

Apparently my wandering days were done. Duty called.


 

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Full Disclosure

February 17, 2017 • erthwitch

Full Disclosure

“Your window is closing,” she said.

“Why do you keep telling me that?” he replied. “I said I don’t care.”

I have to. Full disclosure, you know. She slipped into thought transfer.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said.

She sighed.

If you have any doubts, now is your last chance to leave. I need to know you fully understand.

Tendrils of glowing matter, etheric mycelial roots, exuded from her fingertips. They burrowed into the soft skin at the back of his neck as she embraced him.

If he felt it, he didn’t protest. He gave himself over fully to the inoculation.


 

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Rock Telepathy

February 11, 2017 • erthwitch

Photo to accompany Rock Telepathy

Rock Telepathy

For the lawn, turn to the rock.

He pointed to a large boulder.

It will hinder grass growth through telepathy. We do all the maintenance here through rock telepathy. It is hard work, but we’re suited for that, as you can see.

I don’t understand. How can a rock mow grass?

It doesn’t. The rock tells the grass to stop growing. So if you wait until the grass is tall, it’ll be next season before you’ll see results. This year you’ll have tall grass. Next year, tall dead grass. Unless you take up a sickle yourself.  New grass stays short.


 

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The Taste of Witch Hazel

February 1, 2017 • erthwitch

Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s word count:

While I’d learned the names of many plants by helping my parents on cataloging expeditions, I didn’t know much about using them. DRSS said chewing twigs of witch hazel would help with any ill effects of the spring water … or did he say spicebush twigs?
I pushed one of the shrubs out of my face and broke off a twig to chew. There were still a few of last year’s nut pods clinging. The empty shells crumbled and fell between my fingers. Nothing. Too bad, too. I was tired of eating freeze-dried rations and hoped for a little more flavor tonight. As soon as I put the twig in my mouth I knew it wasn’t going to be something I’d want to do often.
“Hey,” I croaked.
“Huh,” DRSS grunted as he hacked a path through a patch of catbriers.
“Is is witch hazel or spicebush you said to chew on?” I spat the astringent taste of witch hazel out of my mouth. My mouth felt as if all the moisture had wicked out of it and my throat puckered tight. I took a small sip of my water, swished, and spat again before taking another sip to swallow.
“Spicebush.”
“Oh.” Good. That witch hazel stuff was awful.
“But if you did have the runs, the witch hazel would help quell it.”
Uggh. I gathered a few twigs and stuffed them into one of the lower leg pockets that wasn’t already too full. Never knew when I might need the nasty stuff.

from the excerpt "Taste of Witch Hazel" by Ima Erthwitch

Witch hazel flowers.


 

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Little Spells

January 22, 2017 • erthwitch
Little Spells, a 100 word flash fiction story from Ima Erthwitch.

Image credit goes to Cut out and Keep.

Little Spells

His hand trembled as he held the sealed vial to the window. I watched his face pale in the filtered sunlight as it
illuminated the words on the tiny scroll.

”What is this?” he asked, handing it to me.

He wanted me to lie. My little spells always made him nervous. His slight tremor was enough to give me reason to carefully consider
my response.

”What do you think?” I asked. Great tactic. Answer a question with a question. A few seconds passed.

I put the vial on the floor. Smashed it with my shoe.

”There,” I said. “It’s gone.”


 

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Handful of Trouble

January 5, 2017 • erthwitch
White baneberry, doll's eyes, Actaea pachypoda

White baneberry, doll’s eyes, Actaea pachypoda

Handful of Trouble

And she thought a handful of baneberry would keep me at bay. Another one rolled from beneath the pile of cushions where she hid. White ones no less. I reached down and smashed one between thumb and forefinger where she could see it.

A fresh round of muffled sniveling.

“Do you really believe the old-wives’ tales?” Surely not. Not in this day and age. “Come on.”

Not that I expected her to be obedient, but this was getting old. Aconite last time, baneberry this one.

What next? Maybe a neck-bag of garlic. At least I could do something with that.


 

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In the Blink of an Eye

December 21, 2016 • erthwitch

I set out to write a new first sentence, maybe two or three, for The First Hunt.

500 words later I realized I’d rewritten the entire first chapter. And so it turns out that in the blink of an eye my story has a new beginning that better sets the tone and introduces the protagonist, Treya.

Here’s the first paragraph:

Many people say life can change in the blink of an eye. I can testify to that. My name is Treya. A man who smelled of mold materialized out of thin air on a crowded street in Bentonville . Right in front of me. He muttered a threat and then disappeared in that same blink of an eye way. Totally disintegrated my notions of how the Universe operated and propelled me toward today’s life-changing event.


 

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So Many Doors

November 23, 2016 • erthwitch
So Many Doors, a rural fantasy 100-word flash fiction by Ima Erthwitch

So Many Doors

So Many Doors

So many doors. Too many.

Too many options and not one single hint. What is the world coming to?

It’s not as if I can go door to door checking to see which one I want to take.

No. Instructions said “only choose one”. That’s all. No clue.

Not a hint as to what might happen if I chose two. Or six. What then?

How am I to know if the risk is worth the consequences?

Someone I knew once said “just hold your hand over the doorknobs, you’ll feel the one”.

Whatever. They all feel the same to me.


 

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