Colleen from Silver Threading kindly set me this intriguing challenge. The rules are simple:
Post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo. The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose. Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.
Gobowin seethed behind his stone prison. His home, the great Durin Mountain was under attack, which meant his brother, his entire family, were in trouble. The irony of his fate was not lost on Gobowin. He was part of the mountain, it bent to his will, and yet he had been transformed into a hunk of rock. There was nothing remotely funny about being buried beneath the land surrounding his home.
He caught a blur of movement; the shimmering shades of autumn meant only one thing. The witch had returned. If his mouth hadn’t been frozen in a macabre grin, Gobowin would have smiled.
They had once battled head to head in an arena, a fight Gobowin lost because she had changed the rules and used magic. But the witch was honourable, and as crazy as her snake-like hair. At least the way Gobowin saw it. Maddison channelled power into the silken lengths, bringing them to life to create a weapon.
His fury at the injustice of their earlier battle had given way to a begrudging kind of respect, when she arrived a few weeks later; strolling into Durin Mountain to offer him a rematch. That’s when Gobowin saw what she was truly made of. The battle was exhilarating, and though Maddison held her own, sticking to the rules of combat, Gobowin’s brother had to carry her out of the mountain. Her limbs so weak it had surely taken days to recover.
Grendel had his own axe to grind with her, literally. Maddison had robbed Gobowin’s brother of his cherished weapon, and the pair had been enemies ever since. It would surprise Grendel to know she was their ally today, that she had aligned herself with his people to defend their home against the ogres.
Gobowin watched her now; green eyes searching, sword raised, ready for battle. Her hair was bound in a tight braid, adorned with harmless looking adornments. But those rings were made from elfin metal, infused with magic that was hers to control. Her gaze landed on his stone features, assessing even as she sheathed the sword and stepped forward.
“You still in there, big guy?” she asked, palm outstretched as though she could sense him.
He hadn’t thought he could laugh, but when the emotion bubbled up inside him, the ground shook beneath Maddison’s feet.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Maddison’s eyes snapped shut, her hand making contact with the surface of his granite features. She began to chant, her lips moving so fast the words were a blur.
The ground continued to shake, and it was ridiculous but it was the effect of her power as it merged with the stone surrounding him – it tickled. It wasn’t until he felt his shoulders move in response to the wracking laughter inside him, that he realised he was free. Maddison had released him from the stone prison.
“Are you feeling more reasonable?” she asked, grinning.
“Fine, I’ll talk to Grendel. Now get your crazy ass moving, we have a mountain to defend.”
“Lead the way, dwarf.”
The flash fiction was inspired by my latest fantasy novel. A huge thanks to Colleen for presenting me with this opportunity to have a little fun.
Today I would like to offer up a challenge to Callum McLaughlin, because his photographs are wonderful and his poetry is truly magical.
Until next time. Thanks for stopping by.