How are you all today? I hope you're well, and excited for another installment of Flash Fiction Friday. This week's prompt was awesome and completely different! I bounced around with a few ideas for each choice, but decided on number five in the end. I hope you like it and make sure when you're done here to check out the other Flash Fictionistas. Have a good day!! :)
Prompts: This particular character...
1.Is flirtatious towards the character, and is stubborn about it. They get their beliefs about the character from local gossip. Not likely to act on these feelings.
2.Is somewhat worshipful towards the character, and feels passionately about it. The source of their attitude is first impressions.
3. Is highly unfriendly towards the character, and feels very strongly about it. Their feelings spring from a business contact.
4. Is extremely suspicious towards the character, and feels very strongly about it. The source of their attitude is a recent event involving the character.
5. Is unfriendly towards the character, and not looking to change their view. The source of their attitude is from past experience
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The Great Mage (Week 4)
Aneris seized the card from Seth. “Tarot cards are going to save us from trolls? That is to say I actually believe in trolls in the first place, but really? This thing here?” He waved the card. “Didn’t know this was Magic the Gathering.” He snorted.
“Don’t insult the Gamemaster.” Seth flicked Aneris on the shoulder. “How rude. He was kind enough to give us invitation with the White Lady. He doesn’t do that for everyone, you know. Besides, just because we’re allowed to speak with her, doesn’t mean she’ll speak with us. Trolls are the least of our worries.”
“Of course.” Aneris struggled to get down from the horse. He lost his footing and fell on his ass. “I hate it here. This is bullshit.” He flipped over on all fours, sweeping his cape behind him to stand.
“Come now, my little mage, don’t be bitter. We’ll get enough from that the White Lady. From what I hear she’s a bit hard to win over.” Seth slid from Fia’s back, then patted her back. “Good girl, come along.” He wrapped her reins around his hand. “You too, Aneris. Don’t give me that look.”
“And just where are we going, Seth?” Aneris stomped after him.
“I didn’t bring you here to play stupid, Aneris.” Seth stopped and smiled over his shoulder. “While I may have my own reasons for choosing you, the Gamemaster’s reasons are more important at the moment. He wants us to speak with the White Lady as the card depicted you near the lake. So, we shall proceed with what we’ve been offered.”
“Are we going for a swim first?” Aneris followed Seth towards the water’s edge. “I’m not getting naked for you if that’s what you have planned, you slimebag. God, why did I like you? You’re an arrogant piece of—”
Seth whipped around and pulled Aneris to his chest. He tilted the mage’s chin up. “I never lied to you, my dearest mage. I only withheld the truth until circumstances requested I reveal it to you. Don’t doubt what you feel for me is real, for what I feel for you is very real. The friendship we shared the past four seasons has bound me to you in ways I do not understand, but I know with certainty I won’t let you go because you are angry with me. I will spend our quest showing you how much you mean to me.”
Aneris took a deep, shuddering breath. “I don’t believe you,” he whispered.
“Believe this.” Seth dipped his head, pressing his lips to Aneris’s. Light and sweet, their kiss still burned Aneris from the inside out until he was so hot, skinny dipping sounded like a wonderful idea. He moaned, opening his mouth, but Seth drew back. “What…”
Seth wiped his thumb over Aneris’s bottom lip. “Adorable,” he murmured.
“I am not adorable.” Aneris batted his cape and walked around Seth. “And don’t kiss me like that.”
“Then I may kiss you in another way?”
“That’s not what I meant!” Aneris scowled and bent to take a drink from the lake. His mouth was dry.
“Don’t do that!” Seth’s arms stopped him. Fia backed up and lowered her head next to them. “See? Even she knows not to touch the lake without permission.”
“It’s just water.” Aneris smacked Seth’s hands.
“No, it’s the home to the White Lady.”
“There’s someone down there?” Aneris squeaked. “Get away. Oh my god. Burn it with fire!”
“You fool; you can’t very well burn a lake.” Seth put a hand over his face. “Give me the card.”
Aneris passed it over. He watched Seth pitch the Gamemaster’s invitation into the lake. A small ripple spun the card in the water. Aneris observed as the card was sucked under water and fingers emerged from the middle of the lake.
His stomach bottomed out. Aneris scattered to Seth and hid behind him. “It’s a zombie.”
“Oh no, she’s very much alive. And zombies don’t exist here, only ghouls. And they only come out to feed if you desecrate their graves. Pretty reasonable punishment for someone stomping on the dead, I would think.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you? You didn’t have to tell me that. There’s an arm!” Aneris pointed, bouncing behind Seth.
“People do have arms.” Seth sighed. “Would you act like a sane individual for a moment? Important business is at hand. Don’t want to make a fool of yourself.”
“There’s a woman who lives under a lake, coming topside right now. I’m not the crazy one here.” Aneris keened through his teeth, then buried his face in Seth’s back. “Tell me when it’s over.”
“Ah, there’s a head. A lovely face if I might say so. Younger than I would have imagined for the mother of the earth and what not.”
“Shut up, Seth,” Aneris cried.
“She’s swimming over; a good swimmer, very fast too.”
“She’s gonna kill us. I’m sorry about what I said before. You’re not a slimebag. You were really nice—a bit arrogant, but nice.” Aneris hugged Seth tight. “Don’t let her kill us.”
“By the King, Aneris, would you stop your whining? She’s not going to kill us.” Seth cleared his throat. His body stiffened. “Hello, there...your grace?”
“Cut the shit,” a woman’s voice sliced through the air.
Aneris slowly peeked under Seth’s arm. From the waist up, a young woman with long white hair and a glittering white robe stuck out of the water. Her eyes were crystalline blue, glowing from the inside. Her porcelain skin was luminescent, flawless, which added to her eerie presence. Her eyes snapped to Aneris. “What are hiding out for? Aren’t you the one who summoned me here, bothering me from my nap?”
“He’s a bit shy.” Seth smiled weakly. “You’ll have to forgive him.”
“Forgive him? I don’t think so. Just when I think I’m finally at peace with my eternity in this damn lake, here you come along to tease me. What is it this time? Do you wish for immortality, tiny hero?” She rubbed her eyes, sobbing sarcastically. “Boohoo, you twit. I refuse to grant any more wishes. I’m not a genie, you know. I’m a fool who played a stupid game, only to be sucked into this realm on a silly quest, and ended up here. That damn witch. Damn her again.”
“I beg your pardon, White Lady, what is the problem here? We were summoned to you by the Gamemaster. I do not understand your hostility.” Seth raised a brow.
“My hostility? You’re men. That’s my problem. You’re the wrong men.” She slithered to the shore, putting her hands in the grass. “I can already see you’re together, bound as a couple. Look at how the weakling clings to you.”
“I’m not weak!” Aneris pushed Seth’s arm up and got in front of him. “What is your problem with us? So we’re guys. Big deal.”
“You’re not my man.” She turned her nose in the air.
“Okay, I’m lost.”
Seth gave Aneris a look. “I find myself confused as well.”
“There’s nothing to be confused about. The Gamemaster sent you here to toy with me. He wants me to give you this, doesn’t he?” She reached into the lake, producing a pearl the size of her palm. “To light the way through Death Valley on your quest, I assume. What a crock. I wouldn’t help you or that asshat for anything in the world except my one true love. That’s how I got into this mess, the Gamemaster. He tricked me, just as you will.”
“You’re going to have to explain a little further. I was under the impression you would help us on our quest if the Gamemaster summoned us here. Death Valley was not on my list of to-dos but that pearl is quite sizeable and looks of magic, anything to help us if we’re to go through the valley.” Seth reached out to touch the pearl.
The White Lady pulled her hand back. “You mean you don’t know about me?”
“Uh, no.” Aneris scoffed. “Except that you’re kind of a bitch.”
She growled. The water started to boil around her. “I was an outsider once, just like you. You smell of it.” She squinted, eyes becoming glowing slits. “I was the White Lady in my LARP community. I guarded the pond where my Queen hid from the enemy. I used elemental magic, water, to combat our enemies and protect our Queen.”
“You LARPed?” Aneris crouched down. “Seriously?”
“Don’t breath on me.” She splashed water in his face. “Yes, seriously. I was chosen by the Gamemaster to breach this realm for a quest, just like you.”
Aneris gulped. “What happened to you?”
“A witch cursed the water of the Silver Realm, drying up resources so everyone would die of dehydration while her and her sisters lived to rule. I stopped them by bringing water back to the lands with my magic, but paid a price.”
“You’re stuck in there?”
“Why don’t you think I’m so angry? Yes, I’m stuck in the water, because if I were to leave there wouldn’t be enough magic to keep the water from disappearing. I killed the witches, but not the hex they left behind. The only way I can step foot out of this water, without killing everyone by draining their water source is to find my true love.”
“How will that help?”
“His love will relinquish me from my magic and leave it here, in the water, so that life may continue in the Silver Realm and I can be free to live on land with my love. But it’s not going to happen, so don’t act like you care!” She swam back to stare at them with her nose at water level.
“Let me get this straight, you need your true love, and we need the pearl to go through the Death Valley? How does anyone win here?” Seth scratched his chin.
“Why do we need to go through Death Valley at all?” Aneris sat down.
“Because the road to the mountains has been taken over by the Black King. The only way to continue your journey is through Death Valley, where you will definitely require this.” She held up the pearl and laughed. “Poor little hero can’t continue his quest. What a shame.”
Aneris looked up at Seth, then leaned over the water’s edge. “What if we made you a deal?”
“Oh, no, don’t do that. Deals have consequences around here, my little mage.”
Aneris shook his head. “Quests always have side quests. It’s part of the game. If I’m stuck in this realm, I’m not sticking around to listen to her for the rest of my stay. If she wants her true love, we’ll find him.”
“Really?” She ducked under water, surfacing inches from Aneris’s face. “And what do you wish to barter with?”
“Give us the pearl and we’ll find your love on our quest. I think that was part of the plan.” Aneris leaned back. “The Gamemaster’s plan, whoever he is.”
“No good. You’ll have to make a real deal to get me to hand this over. The magic inside the pearl surpasses anything you could conjure.”
“Don’t do it.” Seth hummed, shaking his head. “She’s a plotter.”
Aneris rolled his eyes. “What do you want for it, White?”
“I’ll make you a little deal. I’ll give you the pearl, but…” Her lips curved in a wicked smile. “You have until the next full moon to bring my true love back to me or your life is forfeit by my magic.”
“She means she’ll drown you.” Seth sighed.
“How long is that?” Aneris ignored him.
The White Lady reached out and touched the medallion over his chest. A moon surfaced within the stone, a tiny sliver floating in a smoky black dome. “When it’s full your time is up.” She lifted the pearl to his eyes. “Do we have a deal, mage?”
TO BE CONTINUED…