This is a FridayFlashFiction from Chuck Wendig’s terribleminds.com blog. The challenge this week was to combine two of the following genres of writing; Southern Gothic, Cyberpunk, Sword and Sorcery, Femslash, Black Comedy or Picaresque. Word limit 1000. I never thought I would be able to trim the original 1800+ words down to 1000, but I did. Then, I almost lost the story twice when it wouldn’t print. So I am publishing it here, and hope I can somehow print it off too. I really love computers.
Sea Watch August 22, 20111 Louise Sorensen
“You‘re welcome,“ said the soldier.
“You don‘t have to come with me,” the elf replied.
“Sorry…can‘t ignore a Dragon‘s orders. How about lunch?”
“Do you have enough coppers?”
He jingled his pockets. “A light lunch.”
She ran her bare foot over the hard packed road and picked up a coin.
“A gold. How did you know it was there?”
“I find things. That‘s how I found the bracelet.” They entered The Sorcerers Pub.
“I love sushi,” said the elf, swallowing a writhing eel. “How can you eat those oysters?”
The soldier took another crunchy bite. “Delicious…try one.”
“No thanks… never seen a human eat the shell before.”
“I’m not all human. It wasn‘t fair you got banished.”
“My third banishment. And that Dragon was being very fair.”
“You mean you stole the bracelet?”
“No… found it. But it did come from his hoard.” The elf downed another eel. “He was very good to me when I was young.”
The soldier dropped his oyster. “That dragon is your father?”
“Pointy ears, curly hair. Outside of those oversized feet you look like an elf.”
“My DNA says I‘m all dragon.”
“Draco nucleic acid. I’m Lissa.”
“Zimm.” They shook hands.
The serving maid leaned down, and the soldier pulled her in for a kiss. “Sorry Sweetheart… not today.”
“That maid really liked you. If you want to go back, I can escort myself.”
“Not my type.”
“Believe me, I love women. She just wasn‘t my type.”
“Oh. I like…ah, women, too. Not my type either.” They passed shooting stars, time windows, forever lights, moon shadows; the Wizard‘s Fair.
She picked up a black band.
“Mother of pearl… Monday, Twosday… it‘s a watch… inscribed: ‘I must go down to the sea. The distant waves are calling me.’ That’s odd.”
“I’ve had this yearning lately to live by the sea.”
“I’ve never lived by the sea in my life.”
Lissa turned in a circle. “The arrow on the face moves… always pointing…it’s a sea watch.”
“Don’t you get it? I find things. I’ve had this terrible yearning to live by the sea lately, and all of a sudden I find a sea watch? I’m going to the sea.” She slapped the watch on her wrist, then tugged at it.
“See? Won’t come off.”
Sparks from the camp fire floated into the night.
“Zimm… you weren’t very nice to that big guy.”
“He had it coming. What kind of Barbarian name is Ralf?”
“What can I say… all the good names were taken…” Lissa said in a gravelly impersonation and laughed.
Zimm stretched and took off his breast plate.
Lissa stared. “I thought you were a man.”
“It helps me keep a professional distance in the King‘s army. Sorry I didn’t mention it… what with the dragon, the pub fight, the bandits and all.”
Supper was silent with fish and crustaceans from a nearby brook.
“Let’s get this over with.” Zimm kissed Lissa. They held each other; ran their fingers over bare skin. Kissed some more.
“This isn’t working.” Lissa said pulling away.
“You’re right… something’s missing. Oh well… it was worth a try.” They slept under Zimm’s cloak.
The next morning Lissa found a house in the woods.
A woman greeted them. “Come in… I‘m Tabby… your spirit guide for this forecast.”
They looked at each other. Zimm put her hand on her sword and they went in.
“You’ll be wanting this… the Cone of Possibility.”
Lissa put the orange Cone on her head.
“I don’t think it’s my color.”
“It’s a predictor.” Tabby said. “It’ll help you and your sweetheart with your quest.”
“We’re not sweethearts,” Zimm and Lissa said together.
“Right… give it a minute while it analyzes your brain.”
“Nothing’s… oh…” Lissa froze for a moment, then took the Cone off.
“We’ll meet an enchanted frog who’ll help us get through the woods, almost die crossing the desert but then find a water hole that swallows us up and washes us out at Goblin Town where we’ll try to take a train through the mountain tunnel with tickets I find, but the true owner will show up and we’ll get thrown into a dungeon; I’ll find a key to open the door just before they butcher us. Then, I can’t find anything to get us on the train except a latrine so we cover ourselves with Goblin poop and can stay on the train because no one wants to get close enough to us to throw us off. Then we get to the sea.”
“Is there fighting?”
“The streets run with it.”
“It’s tempting. But there’s that…” Zimm frowned.
“I just had my hair done… you can’t get it out… you might as well shave your head…”
“We could try to find an easier way, Zimm.”
“Don’t just stand there then… go.” Tabby shooed them out.
“Here’s something… a zip drive.”
“Do you know how it works?”
“Sure,“ Lissa said. “It translates us into a spell and sends us through the ether to our destination.”
They materialized on a seaweed strewn beach. Lissa threw off her clothes and ran into the water.
“It feels so good… come on in.” She sank under the waves.
“Zimm dove in. Lissa was curled up on the golden sea floor. Her body was growing; hands and feet webbed and clawed. Zimm’s surprise was cut short. Iridescent scales, fused legs, gills; a mermaid stared through the water at a sea dragon. Lissa surfaced a few hours later.
“It’s … perfect.” She splashed Zimm with her tail, then drew the mermaid to her with a scaly arm.
Zimm tickled Lissa’s chin.
“This feels right now, doesn‘t it? Whatever was missing before is here. Do you think you could love a dragon?” Lissa’s voice was low but pleasant.
“We have all the time in the world to find out.” They kissed.