Friday, September 15, 2017

Fiction Friday - The Wishing Stone

By the time I’m ready to write my wordage report on Monday, I should have a significant number of new words added to my current WIP, Wandering Wizards, just not yet. I have added a few hundred so far this week, but there’s not really enough for an excerpt. Instead of working on my WIP I got a jump start on the story for my picture prompt, and then I wrote a poem for the Brazen Snake Books prompt.

So once again I dipped into the vault, this time pulling out a story that is the first in a planned series of five stories revolving around a crystal necklace. I’m not sure why I abandoned it - I like what I have of it and I think I’ll be moving it up on my list of stories to return to in the future. And though it’s a series, each story is a stand-alone. While some of the characters know each other, the only real connection is the necklace.

At any rate, our heroine, Annalise, has had an incredible run of bad luck so her grandmother gives her the wishing crystal (without telling her what it is) and sends her off to the cabin no one in the family knows she has where she is supposed to fulfill her dream of becoming an author. Only the magic in the necklace manifests itself in ... unusual ways.

The Wishing Stone

The shriek of some animal dying rent the night. Like a switch being thrown, the night was suddenly still. The quiet lasted for several seconds and then the crickets began chirping again followed by the bull frogs.

All at once the night lost its magic. Annalise scrambled to her feet, suddenly chilled to the bone. She stumbled on the path back to the cabin. The moon was behind her now, casting ominous shadows. There was a rustling in the woods beside her. She halted, staring blindly into the underbrush.

The brush rustled again but she couldn’t tell which side of the path. She had the strangest feeling of being watched.

“Hello? Is someone there?”

A bird shot out of the brush, right across the path in front of her. Annalise gave a shaky laugh. Just a bird, nothing to get nervous about. She took another step up the path, stopping when she heard a growl.

“Whoever this is, this isn’t funny!”

Glowing, yellow eyes stared at her from the underbrush.

Annalise backed away a step, then another. Again she heard a low growl. The breeze shifted and the growl became something else. A cloud slid across the face of the moon, taking what little light there was with it.

More movement in the brush, coming closer. Almost before she realized what she was doing, Annalise turned and fled up the path towards the cabin. She could hear something behind her but was too terrified to look back to see what it was.

Sobbing with relief, she saw the cabin, just ahead. She was almost there when she tripped on a protruding root. Before she could scramble to her feet, whatever had been chasing her caught up to her. It landed on her back, planting her face in the dirt again. Her breath left her in a whoosh. Whatever it was it was large and heavy. It snuffled the side of her face and neck.

Rapid fire thoughts shot through her as she lay there, waiting to be torn apart. This was it, she was going to die. They’d find what was left of her body eventually and Grams would blame herself for sending her up here in the first place when really it was her own stupid fault for not being more careful. Or maybe the creature was going to drag her off and they’d never find her body and they’d always wonder what happened to her.

The creature, however, did not tear her apart but continued to snuffle the side of her face, her hair. Its breath blew out in harsh huffs. Her knees and hands started to sting where she’d tried to break her fall, she shifted minutely. The creature growled, low in its throat, but shifted as well.

Any relief she felt when its weight left her was short-lived as she felt herself being flipped over onto her back. No sooner had it done this than it was on her again. Though she struggled, he held her down easily. She could tell it was a man now, laying his full length on her to keep her still.

“What do you want?” she sobbed. “Why are you doing this?”

The moon slipped from behind the cloud and in that instant she could see the glowing yellow eyes and the long, furry muzzle with sharp, white fangs reaching for her. Annalise opened her mouth to scream.

She woke with a start, heart still pounding as though she really had been chased through the woods.

“I can’t believe I fell asleep at the typewriter.” She took a deep breath and let it out again.

Covering the typewriter for the night, she glanced at the pages she’d typed out earlier. Gathering them up, she tossed them into the fireplace.

“I’m thinking werewolves are just a little too paranormal for my taste,” she said. With a yawn she headed up the stairs.

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