I decided that I would finally take myself serious as a writer. So I started reading Chuck Windig's blog again. He offers really great advice and these Flash Fiction challenges. He challenged us to come up with an awesome sentence Friday before last and last Friday we had to choose from said awesome sentences (not our own) to make a short story from.
This is my first published work if you don't count my poetry. The sentence I chose is by writer OzFenric. This sentence reads:
She rises through black waters, leaving the City behind, and as the light above glimmers and grows, she knows she will need to remember how to breathe.
She rose through black waters leaving the city behind, and as the light above glimmered and grew, she knew she would need to remember how to breathe. It'd been years since she'd been ashore. Water dripped from her now human skin. The blue green scales of her natural skin slithered upward, hiding.
She could hide all of her mermaidan skin except the gills, three on each side. And that wavy red hair.
The guards who stood post at the edge of the city tried to stop her. She ignored them and pushed the gates open. Their screams of protest fell limp to her ears. One grabbed at her. She used his body as shield for their quick arrows. Her scales, diamond hard, slid from underneath her skin and protected her back side. Those arrows went back to their owners. Two bodies fell from high. One fell from her arms. She left the last guard staring after her.
The city was asleep except for beggers and whores, who alike, hid and watched her naked figure walk past them with reverence. She found the castle gates with ease. If memory hadn't served its purpose, the salt in the air and the extra heat led the way.
The castle stood on the highest cliff over looking the sea she once called home. The cliff itself looked almost a monument for the battle between her people and the humans. Its high rise and pointed peak towering above the sea, daring it to strike up that high.
When the two guards at the castle gates saw her, they converged. "Halt," said the shorter one. "We won't need a a whore tonight. Go away."
"But," said the fatter one. The other gave him a look. "Go on then. Whore. Get out of here."
"But you look so tired. Let me help you rest." she said. She blew a kiss to the shorter one.
"We said-" the fat one saw the bubble leave her mouth. It grew the size of person and enclosed the short one. She smiled and blew him a kiss too. She leapt over the gate, leaving the two guards stuck in a bubble gasping for air that would never come.
She landed silently by one guard and snapped his neck. Two were talking intimately a few feet away and looked up when she dropped their friend's body. They drew swords. She stabbed one in the heart with his friend's sword. The other she grabbed by the chin and twist until she heard a pop.
Three levels of stairs before she reached the top of the castle. Six guards on each level. She dipped into a runners lunge and ran. She hopped on a bottom step and catapulted to the top. Her foot collided with one guard's stomach. Blood squirted in her face and he fell to his knees.
She head butt another and took his sword and stabbed another through his neck. She turned her weapon on the others.
One with curly hair challenged her. They fought with swords, cling clang because he was good with his weapon. So she dropped the sword and used her speed to jump on his back and twist his neck. She fell with him. His sword landed in front of his comrades. When she looked at them, they ran.
She entered the castle and closed the door, then pushed a statue of a lion, that took up the foyer, in front of them. She listened to the quiet castle, wondering where everyone had gone. But she only heard, sleeping. She heard the king's snoring reverberating as if coming from her own chest.
She heard the cough of someone younger, the pitter patter of a faster heartbeat. She left the king to sleep to find this heart.
Once she did, she let her hand rest on the door knob to listen to him breath. It was different than she remember. She knew it would be. Years had passed in both her world and this one.
He had grown.
Inside a child slept curled in a ball. In his hand he held a crown with a single turquois teardrop in the middle. His hair twirled in forever going black ringlets. He legs stretched out. She paused in her walk to him.
When he didn't move more, she grabbed his shoulders and turned him to her. She touch his chin and brought his face next to hers. He looked like she remembered.
His eyes flickered open and rested on her. He yawned. She dropped the boy back on his bed and moved from him.
He rubbed sleep from his eyes. "Wow!"
"Who are you," she asked.
"I am the prince." He held up the crown.
"Where is the other prince?"
"Its only me. I'm the only one."
She ran to the king's chambers. The king was missing from his bed. His lovely wife, soft and elegant in her lavender night robes lay asleep. She looked down to her own unruly hair and rough hands and wondered if the queen would still look elegant in death.
"Ariel." Her name was called from an open door in the wall that she hadn't noticed before. She closed her eyes before stepping in the room and closing the door behind her. The room held piles of books, a roaring fire and two grand ruby red chairs.
"As beautiful as I remember," the king said. She approached with caution. Some of her scales slid from her human skin in reaction to her anger. King Eric looked just as beautiful as the day they met years ago. She knew that humans aged differently than her people yet he looked exactly the same.
"And just as quiet. Ursula put another spell on you?" He laughed. She did not. "He's not here. I know that's why you've come."
"You replaced him. Like you replaced me."
"It was not like that."
"You sold me to my enemy."
"No. They wanted your father."
"Where is he?"
"He was changing. I had no choice."
"Where is he?"
"I gave him to your father. Wait, wait, please Ariel. Your father said he could help him."
"My father hated him. Its why we ran away to you. I told you this!" She hit a pile of books and dust and paper scattered across the room.
"I didn't know."
"You didn't want to know. I know you looked at me differently when you found out about my heritage."
"That's not true. I loved you."
"And who gave you your youth? A spell?"
"Not for our son."
"For me then?"
Eric hung his head. "Neither but the Sharknid tricked me. Your father was sinking all of my ships. The Sharknid said if I kept you here long enough, Trident would coming looking for you. And they would take him and I would be free of his wrath."
"So you made me fall in love with you!" Anger coursed through her. Tears and sadness were distant memories from years of torture by the Sharknid.
"That was real Ariel. My youthful curse was long before you came into my life."
"So you sold our son for peace of mind and you stole my heart for protection?"
"Its not that simple."
"I couldn't control our son. He would thrive in Atlantis."
"He can't breath under water. No gills." She raised up her arms to show him the gills on her side. "Our son never got them. I told you that too."
"I'm sorry. I didn't know what to do."
"So you handed him to the one man who wanted him dead?"
She walked over to the king and touched his face. She put her arm through his stomach and pulled at his intestines until the light left his eyes.
Ariel went back the way she came. The queen waited for her and fell to her knees and begged that she spare her son's life. "He doesn't know of the things his father has done." she said. Ariel twisted her neck.
The boy stood in the door way watching. She crossed the room and opened another secret passage that led to the ledge leading to Atlantis. At the edge of the cliff, she could almost see the Atlantian markers.
Her son was probably dead. Her father was probably still immortal. She couldn't even kill him on his death bed with him there daring her to finish what the Sharknids couldn't.
She'd escaped the Sharknids prison. She had no Father, no Eric. No son. What else did she have to live for?
"Halt," said one of the dozen guards approaching.
Nothing. She had nothing left to lose but a whole lot of bones to pick. She turned to the guards, her scales slid into place. "Yes?"