Fifteen Minute Ficlets (#15MF) is a weekly Sunday writing challenge hosted here on The Literary Phoenix. Based on a single word, write a short story in fifteen minutes. The word count is irrelevant. Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word. You never know what you’ll end up with!
1. the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.
2. the penalty inflicted.
3. rough treatment or handling inflicted on or suffered by a person or thing.
What You Sow
Pain wracked Olive from all sides, wrapping around her torso in little electric tendrils. Her stomach rolled over as bile spilled into her mouth. She tried to swallow it back, but her body heaved and sour yellow spittle spilled out of her mouth. She choked for breath. Her fingers clenched into fists around the warm, rusting chains. A trickle of blood spilled from her nose – she smelled it, like the first nick on the field of battle.
She spat blood and vomit on to the floor. “I won’t tell you where she is,” Olive snarled, even though every bit of her body screamed to make this torture stop. Her shoulders and wrists ached from being chained. Every breath she stole sent waves of pain from her broken ribs. Her legs stung and screamed in the places skin had been flayed from them. Blood matted her hair. But she would not, could not tell this vile woman where Alice hid the White Queen.
A shadowy figure emerged form the shadows, her dark eyes flashing with hunger. Delusia held a coiled black whip in her hands. It’s edges sparked with blue lightning. If the electricity bothered the witch, she didn’t show it. Sparks arched into the air and crackled. Her long black velvet dressed swirled around her like a thundercloud. She smiled, her pale pink lips calm and malicious. “You will tell me what I want to hear,” she informed Olive, assured. “That isn’t why I torture you. Or are you so short-sighted you have forgotten?”
Olive had not forgotten.
Once upon a time, when they were all children, the world had been different. There had been wars, and when children were the only warriors, they fought. After all, it was the Other World, the Dreamlands. Nobody died here, not really. They just woke up.
Delusia and Olive had led battalions in their time, when the yellow plague settled over their twin lands. Oz blamed the pollen from Wonderland’s magical flowers; Wonderland blamed Oz’s crumbling yellow brick road. Either way, people were dying of the cough and the yellow dust needed to be stopped. A scene played in her head, a flash: a girl with the same brown, angry eyes staring up at her from a pool of sticky black blood. Her green helm lie an arm’s length away and her fine pale neck was easy to slice.
Olive hadn’t sliced the girl’s throat that day, although she should have. Decades of battles could have been avoided if the vicious child had been woken. Instead, Olive stabbed for the girl’s heart and left her to die on the sands of the Chessboard Desert. Obviously, the girl had not died, because the woman stood before her.
With two quick steps, Delusia was right in front of Olive. Electricity arched off the whip and bit her neck, her shoulder. Olive tried to swallow a scream, but a whimper still escaped.
“You brought me to the brink of death,” Delusia grinned. “Now I will do the same to you. I think that’s a fit punishment?”
Olive summoned whatever strength she had and spat in the woman’s face.
The dangerous expression transformed to murderous. Delusia let out a feral cry, like a drying beast, and slapped Olive so hard across the side of her head that the dank dungeon spun for a moment, then she slipped into unconsciousness.
This is my current WIP! Olive and Delusia are two of the voices in the story. This scene does not feature – it happens long after the end of the book. If you want to know more about The Land of Dark and Broken Things, click the image below!
To join, link up in the comments below with the URL to your blog POST (not your blog), and I will make sure that you get added to the post!
Remember to read everyone’s ficlets, and to have fun! 🙂