Freebie Mondays: The Birth of a Wood’s Witch (Flash Fiction)

Freebie Mondays: The Birth of a Wood’s Witch (Flash Fiction)

As I mentioned last week, I don’t often write flash fiction. I have trouble with short. Most of my stand-alone novels grow into at least trilogies, and most of my trilogies turn into longer series. Even the shorts I share on my blog here rarely ring in at under 1,000 words.

But every now and then I feel the itch. Recently I started thinking about The legend of Kantis and how much fun it was to write a bite-sized chunk of a character’s history.

I also enjoy playing with writing concepts, and sometimes I think the details left unspoken paint as much of a picture as the ones you choose to share. I wanted to write something not necessarily vague but that would serve as an outline, a shape into which the mind of the reader can insert the blanks.

Since I haven’t written much about my Winds of Chaos guest characters, I thought that might be a good place to start.

Yfema, my original guest character, is the opposite of Darfin in just about every imaginable way. While he is quiet and introspective, she is outgoing and expressive. In fact, Yfema isn’t afraid to speak with confidence about a topic whether or not she actually knows the details she spouts. (Which is what lead to the ‘Dear Yfema’ section of the pre-show!)

Yfema has also shared her past with the WoC PCs, so instead of creating an overall sketch of it, I decided to focus on one specific moment – when she met her patron for the first time.

This is probably my last attempt at this kind of flash fiction for awhile, so I hope you’ve enjoyed these little shorts as much as I did!

Blood is a strange substance. It starts as a liquid but, once freed of its container, it congeals into a solid mass. Over time, its color changes, moving from red to brown and, eventually, turning black.
Blood, once spilled, cannot be returned to the body. Believe me; I’ve tried.
Even after I accepted that everyone I loved was dead, I wasn’t strong enough to bury the bodies – so I burned them.
Later, I stood in the ashes as they dispersed in the wind, sobbing so hard I thought my eyes might melt.
That was when I first felt the hand on my shoulder.

* * *

For most of my life, the world was small and simple. It was composed not of the mountains, trees and roads that made up the space between villages, but the people that dwelt within the four solid, wooden walls of my home.
Without those presences, my world shattered into a million tiny flecks of dust, impossible to reassemble.
It’s funny how a singular moment can change everything – how a brief glimpse of the vastness of the universe can open a whole new world to the eye that beholds it.
My world now is made of stars and planets and the sparks that inhabit the spaces in between.
But it would have been nothing but darkness if I hadn’t taken that hand when it extended toward me.

* * *

The promise was simple, and all I had to do was speak the words.
Do as I ask and you will have life and power beyond your wildest imagination is hard to question, especially when you’re staring down the edge of an abyss.
The only questions I could think to ask were, Who are you? and, What do you want?
The answers were, A friend, and, To see you happy – neither of which I expected.
Had I been in my right mind, I might have stopped to wonder about the power and influence that could be wielded over a person who committed to such an open-ended promise.
But when the door opened to reveal a forest unlike any I had ever seen, I wanted only to be far away from where I started.
Perhaps if you had been standing in my position you would not have acted with such haste.
But I rushed across the threshold and have never looked back.

. . .
Incidentally, I streamed the creation of this post in case you want to watch it come together!

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