Wednesday 4 October 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 25

I spent an awful long time trying to source this week's picture, but to no avail. It was not credited anywhere by anyone, but used a lot. It's tricky when that happens, and a little disappointing as I am always hoping to see more from the creator. Should you come across the owner of it, please let me know.

I planned on being quick off the mark with this week's entry, but despite starting it last Friday, the story took a while to appear and develop. I hope you enjoy it - and this week's prompt picture. 

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How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

My Pretty

“Pretty, oh so pretty, my pretty,” Genghis cooed out of the cell window at the raven who had become a nightly visitor.

He suspected who it was and appreciated the gesture. He hoped the bird would bring him a message, but wondered if the raven was also affected by whatever sorcery had been placed round the cell. He pondered how they had managed to create a place where no magic worked.

The raven cawed and turned its head back and forth indicating something in the sky. Genghis pulled the wooden stool over and climbed up, trying to see further out the window.

The moon was rising and it was getting fat.

Yes! That was it!

“Ha, ha, you’re more than just a pretty, my fine feathered friend. Thank you. I know what to do now.”

The raven cawed softly in response and flew off. Genghis remained on the stool, working out the zenith of the moon and when it would light up the cell. He only had 24 hours until it reached its full potential. It should be long enough.

The following day he ignored the guard’s visits: their jeers, their swears, and the gruel they brought him. Genghis had to cleanse himself ready for the moment.

Once the sun went down he prepared the floor. He had nothing to mark it with, but he knew the energy from his finger would be enough as he drew the incantation lines where the moonlight would hit.

He sat in the middle of the cell floor and waited, moving his mind into a trancelike state ready for transition. 

He felt the beams cross his body and reach the lines on the floor, the hair on his head rising in response to the two energy forces colliding - the moons and his.

Then blankness took him.

When consciousness returned, he opened his eyes. He was sitting on a polished marble floor which swept away in all directions to meet marble walls encircling him. There was a single large window cut into one of them and through it sunlight streamed.

Genghis smiled. He had arrived. He leapt up and went to the window to see the world outside, but all he could see was a white glare as though the sunlight was trapped in a mist. He couldn’t define his location.

The room had no exit either, which baffled Genghis. He was sure this was Maudlin’s home. She was the only one who could affect the shape of a raven; it had to be her.

Genghis heard a caw and the bird appeared on the window ledge, then materialised into the dark robes Maudlin liked to wrap herself in. She threw back her hood.  

“Genghis, you made it.”

“I did indeed Maudlin, thank you. But what is this place?”

The smile on her face increased. “Ah, this is my secret place.”

“Secret place?”

“Yes Genghis, where I extract payment.”

“Payment? For what?”

“For abuses.”

Ghenghis was puzzled.

“And how have I abused you, Maudlin?”

“You defiled my sister.”

“Your sister?”

“What did they arrest you for, Ghenghis? Did you think it was just for being a sorcerer?”

Ghenghis did think that. The girl had been used as bait, he was sure of it.

“She was nothing but a decoy, a fake, a peasant to entrap me.”

“Oh no, Ghenghis, she was real and she was my blood.”

“But I only did it to show them, to prove to them that I saw through their games.”

“It seems your paranoia got the better of you, Ghenghis.”

His eyes widened. “But Maudlin you have to believe me, I intended no disrespect, no desire to cross you.”

“It’s too late, Ghenghis, you are here now.”

“And where exactly is here?”

“A plane where things like to visit.”

Ghenghis felt his breath catch and his flesh ripple as cold swept over it. He knew the things that liked to visit in other planes; they haunted every sorcerer’s nightmares.

“But Maudlin, please you have to forgive me.”

She turned her back and walked to the window. He followed, imploring her further.

“You have to understand, I had no idea who the girl was.”

“I’m sorry, Ghenghis, it is already done.”

Her form shrank back until only a raven was perched on the windowsill. It cawed at him, its steely black eyes perusing him once more before it flew off.

Ghenghis fell to his knees in the pool of sunlight. Once that disappeared he knew his life was forfeit.


  1. Managed it this week! Sorry I've been dipping in and out so much!

    1. Wonderful and heartbreaking! Here is a link for other readers to enjoy it:

      Ocean Dreams

  2. And. I caught up. :) As usual. Don't ask where the story came from. I have no idea.
    Joe And The Crow

    1. Well, I can with what is currently going on in the world. A desperate tale, I hope no one is living through. Thanks for joining Mark.

  3. I loved everyone's tales this week, and the picture is so beautiful, I had to write! Wild Harbour

    1. Glad it brought you out. An emotional rollercoaster of a tale. Thanks for writing.