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 air taken into or expelled from the lungs.
2. an inhalation or exhalation of air from the lungs.
3. the power of breathing; life
Amy tugged at the stiff layers of her ballgown and closed her eyes.
Just breathe, she told herself.
She felt the chiffon scratching at her legs, already scraped from her tumble earlier that day. Under the voluminous crimson skirts, nobody would be able to see her skinned knees. Her heart stumbled as she approached the stairs. The shoes pinched her toes and the thin heels wobbled as she tried to keep her chin high as she walked. The cursed corset dug into her ribcage if she tried to take anything more than a deep breath. In the sea below, she would be invisible, but here on the precipice, Amy felt like a stain.
Of course, there was that one thing missing. Her wings.
As a human, of course she didn’t have wings. She would never blend in with the Fae, not truly. She didn’t want the wings, but she also didn’t want to be walking across the grassy field in a dress that did not suit her to stand at the arm of a man who kidnapped her. And yet, the command upon them, her feet kept moving.
Amy’s body was not her own as long as his magic urged her forward. She was trapped, a prisoner in a blood-red ballgown. Her lips parted in a smile, revealing the illusion of falsely perfect teeth that had been painfully tugged and twisted by magic earlier that evening. Ten years of dental work completed in an hour, with only a screaming headache as payment. Amy would cry from the pain if her eyes were hers to control.
The only thing she could do was breathe, and she hung on to that small mercy as through it was her lifeline.
The sea of faeries parted. Out of the corner of her vision, she thought she saw the quirky faerie who carried her from the ship to the hall. Her gold and ruby curls piled high atop her head – a vanilla swirl with a maraschino cherry to top it off. Amy couldn’t make eye contact, could please Help me! because her gaze was held straight forward, focused on the man who had whisked her away.
I adore humans, Rasputin had told her, dangerous delight twinkling in his disturbingly black eyes. I think you are fascinating mutations of the Fae, prime subject for experimentation in genetics and pleasure. I look forward to watching your progress, my dear.
The memory turned her stomach as she rotted on the inside. On the outside, she sparkled like an array of diamonds scattered in a velvet sky.
His long, bony hand reached out to her. His jagged black wings arched over his head like a throne of obsidian nightmares that followed him wherever he went. “My dear,” he said in a voice like anise and hemlock.
Everything within her screamed, NO! but her body betrayed her. Victim to the curse, her own hand reached out and took the offering, while her lips smiled and smiled and her eyes wailed to anyone who could see beneath the facade.
Help me! Just breathe. We’ll find a way out.
But the only thing Amy saw was Rasputin’s enchanted, greedy eyes.
Sprite was a story I penned for NaNoWriMo several years ago, and it was one of those stories that once written fled my mind. Faeries aren’t my usual magical-creature-of-choice, but that summer they were my inspiration. Rasputin, their leader, was a wily and devious character. He had no qualms about stealing humans of all shapes and sizes and treats the world as his playground. It makes him a dangerous Fae, and Amy is caught in the middle.
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Remember to read everyone’s ficlets, and to have fun! 🙂