Reasons

The days of the week lined up like buckets, ready to catch whatever fell in. Just dribbles at first, rumors and best guesses, barely enough to dampen the soles of our boots. I dipped my cup in pail after pail. I filled my head with names and my mouth with the taste of ash, until the buckets overflowed and nobody saw it but me.

They will say I caused this, that the city burns because of me and in a way, this is true. It was my hand that set the flame. But the sky was already raining metal before I made my choice, and it is raining still. There is nowhere left for the ships to land.

From my vantage high over Verdure, the city is almost beautiful. Smoke wreathes the silent fountains, igniting stone and steel and leaving trails of blue-green luminescence where water once pooled. I can hear footsteps on the stair below. I wonder if my children are safe. I wonder if they will tell me, if I ask, before they take me away.


If you liked this, you might like my Jade Dragon stories. This piece is not consecutive, and falls outside the larger story, but provides some context from another point of view…

12 responses to “Reasons

  1. You blew this away. And in well under the word limit. Wow.

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  2. Intriguing, inviting writing. I’ve tried some fantasy and rarely does it excite me. However, magical, wonderful, and strange calls out to me. I’m hearing this!! Thanks.

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  3. Wow, this is really good. Makes me want to delete my entry!

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  4. This is so *beautiful*! I could read it again and again. You set the scene, describe a world in stunning detail and emotion, and develop the character to the point I care about her and her concerns. In so few words, too! You are now my shining example of how to meet the shortened word count challenge 🙂

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  5. “Smoke wreathes the silent fountains, igniting stone and steel and leaving trails of blue-green luminescence where water once pooled.” …oh, I like that line.

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  6. Who knew a description of a city on fire could be so beautiful? And I second Silverleaf’s comment about nailing a setting, a conflict, and some characters in less than 600 words. On a side note, is Anna the narrator?

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  7. I agree with everyone about nailing a setting, conflict and characters in a smaller place. You prose is beautiful and a joy to read.

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