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. clean with water and, typically, soap or detergent.
2. (of flowing water) carry (someone or something) in a particular direction.
1. an act of washing something or an instance of being washed.
2. the disturbed water or air behind a moving boat or aircraft or the sound made by this.
On The Road Forever
Lucy groaned and with a rebellious air, plopped herself down in the middle of the path.
George, who had taken the shape of an orange tom cat with bright yellow eyes, sat down beside her and promptly began washing his privates.
Lucy crinkled her nose. “Do you have to do that?”
The orange cat looked up at her, his leg still lifted. “I have dust and dirt in places you don’t want to know about,” he informed her, then resumed his grooming.
Lucy frowned. “I do too! But you don’t see me licking those places in front of other people.”
George did not deign to reply. Lucy sighed exaggeratedly and looked out at the horizon. The mountains were never going to come any closer. Just three days, they told her back at the encampment. Maybe three days on a horse! And she wasn’t allowed to properly use her imagination and call attention to herself. They were in the middle of nowhere! There was no way that anyone villainous could see her imagine just a single horse or car way out here!
No, Lucy decided. Not a car. It would be faster, but she didn’t know how to drive, and there weren’t any gas stations in the Other World. That would take a lot of imagining to keep going, and then she’d probably get caught.
Still, just a horse?
Just one, little horse?
Lucy made up her mind to just close her eyes and do it. She’d already started imagining him. He’d have a black mane like midnight, and he would nuzzle her hand looking for sugar cubes. He would trot from the other side of the pasture to meet her and- “Ow!”
George had sunk his razor sharp claws into her arm and was glaring at her with a look of agitated indifference best managed by cats. “Get off!” she yelled at him.
“Shut up!” he hissed, but he retracted his claws. He looked at the cloudless sky above them, and Lucy followed his gaze. Three ravens circled above them, waiting to swoop down for the kill. Lucy gulped. Spies. And she had nearly been caught.
Three little blossoms of blood appeared where George’s claws had broken her skin. She scowled. “Now I’m bleeding,” she accused him. His eyes were still on the sky. Lucy sighed. “I suppose we need to get moving, then?”
Lucy did not want to get moving. Her feet hurt.
“You were imagining something,” George accused.
Lucy paused, but there was no point in denying it to him when he had already caught her in the act. She stood and brushed dirt off her leggings. “I just want a horse!” she complained. “My feet hurt, and we have a long way to go, and if you would just be a horse instead of a cat or a bird or an alligator-”
“I am not your beast of burden, Lucinda Brown.”
His eyes flashed with warning, and as annoyed as Lucy was, it reminded her that he was much older and much more powerful than she. She back down, but still whimpered a little. “My feet hurt,” she repeated, but less angrily.
“You can soak them in a creek when we get to the mountains,” George promised, and he nuzzled against her shin. “I’ll see if we can find a hot spring.”
Lucy looked at the mountains again, wavering the brown haze on the horizon. “How many more days?” she whined, but she started forward again.
“As long as it takes.”
This is my current WIP! This scene would actually lie somewhere in the second or third book of the quartet – most like second. Lucy is an eight-year-old girl and one of my voices in the story. George, her companion, is a djinn. 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!
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