Saturday, October 29, 2016

Silver Moon Tomb Prompt

Another prompt! Hooray!

  Once the daymoon was swallowed by clouds, Jenny hustled from the forest into the dark of noon on Myrkurtag--the darkest hour of any day. The wind blew in from the North, moaning like a dying animal, its biting blue fingers encircling the exposed skin on her neck and face. She hunched her shoulders, but still she shivered as she walked between the mounded graves. The way was not unfamiliar, but the shadows seemed more determined than they had been before. She lifted her lantern, and, just for a moment, looked up. The light worked as it should--shadows retreated, spiteful, swelling with hatred at their momentary defeat. The trees were bare  of their leaves, the browns of their bark dark and eternal. The once green grass had withered to yellow. Even the exposed dirt of the paths was barren. It was all horribly appropriate. Horribly symbolic. Horribly dead.
  Gaze back on the ground, Jenny kept moving toward the farthest edge of the cemetery. As she neared her destination, the shadows seemed to cling longer in the spaces between hilled graves, as though reluctant to part. Or as though some force darker than the shadows lingered near, granting them some, but not quite enough, power over light. 
 Five graves away, the cold lessened. She was growing numb. She needed a warmer coat. One with a leather strap that enabled the hood to gather tighter around her face. 
  When she reached the second to final grave in the row, she stopped, blew out her lantern--for the dead did not appreciate waking to firelight--and knelt before the foot of a grave. And she waited.
  The mist gathered, hovered, tested her presence and her resolve. Jenny, gaze straight ahead, did not move, not even as the mist drew tighter, seeped under her clothes and laid its head against the bare of her skin. 
 When the daymoon reappeared, chasing away the lingering shadows and parting the mist, its silver moonlight illuminated a familiar name upon the tombstone. 
  Elstha Bjorn. Her mother.
  All was going to be made right.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Halloween prompt

A writing prompt! It's been so long. And I only have ten minutes. So here it goes.

Judgement is Mine. It used to be an almost-forgotten proverb, one with no real meaning that our parents would chant when we complained of grievances. Like a muttered curse when a toe is stubbed or a hopeful prayer to ward off evil. But with the Death that took the old ones, the mantle of rulership fell upon the oldest living woman in the village, as protocol dictated. It was supposed to be just until the wisemen again came through the land and formed a new council. But they took too long.

There were reasons seventeen-year-old Veronica and her cronies were tasked so heavily with menial chores. It kept them busy. Out of trouble. But once she come into power, she branded the old proverb upon the wood above the gathering house. And she sat below it, on the only silver chair not yet destroyed, to condemn those her friends brought for judgement.

I was one of the first to be taken. When Justin came to my house, I was still weak from the mourning. He dragged me across the wooden floor and out onto the dirt street. Justin, who a month before had come round my house to escort me to the Harvest gathering. Justin, who had held my hand when it was dark. Justin, who's fingers clamped so tightly into my forearm that the pain encompassed my shoulder, sped up my neck and pulsed against my left temple.

Veronica judged me. The Death was determined to be my fault, for my whoring. But really it was because I was the next in line after her, younger by only 23 hours. Derik burned my house. Cynthia shaved my head. And Hilary shredded my clothes.

There was only one place to go. I found sanctuary with the witches. They were the only ones who would risk taking me in. They've promised to keep me. Until judgement can be mine.