Wednesday 12 June 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 111

This week's prompt is an image by an artist called ZjChun, in China. The best I can understand it, they sell art on a site called DH Gate, and this is a DIY diamond painting kit. I'm not quite sure what that is, but it looks great! An inverted version is in various places on the web sold as wallpaper for your computer. 

I explored a different idea here, and had to edit it hard to bring it within word count, but I still think it works. 
The General Guidelines can be found here.

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

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Electric Souls

We saw them at night from our mountain location. They shimmered in the moonlight, reflecting the glow, intricate patterns outlining them: horses. Each of them had their own design; it must have taken someone hours to paint them – or so we thought.

We were new to the land. Our ship had wrecked on a shore that appeared on no maps, on a landmass that was more than just a coral cay: it had undulating forest-covered hills and mountain peaks. We were baffled by where the storm had thrown us, but we recognised the creatures we saw, the decorated horses leading us to suspect there were tribesmen.

We journeyed inward keeping watch for any signs of people, but there were only animals. The horses weren’t the only ones to glow; a strange effervescence covered all living things. At night it looked like a celebration.

The horses sensed our presence, throwing up their heads and whinnying in our direction, on occasion running towards us, but veering off at the last moment. It was mystical and intriguing. We were drawn to follow them.

Then one night a herd approached our camp, trotting slowly and surrounding us. The six of us stood, back to back, unsure of their intent. Then a voice spoke, one we heard with our minds not our ears.

We have tried to make contact by vocal means, but you don’t seem to understand us, so we are hoping non-vocal works. Please indicate if it does.

As leader of the group, I raised my hand and spoke, “Yes, we can understand you, although we don’t know how.”

We are speaking to your souls with our minds, and although we understand your spoken words it seems you don’t understand ours. You seem lost in our country, can we assist you?

“What is the name of this land, it is not on our maps?” I opened the papers I had with me and proffered them.

One of the horses stepped forward, its glowing flower-like decoration obscuring its colour. It looked at the papers then lifted its head.  We don’t know these markings; they make no sense to us.

“Are there other men here?”

Men? What are they?

“Creatures like us?”

No, there are no creatures like you here. We know our ancestors were enslaved by creatures like you, but they were freed when the creatures brought about their own destruction.

“Ancestors? How long ago?”

There is no knowing, our history is told through our connection to the soul, all I know is it was before our beginning, before we developed our electric souls and let them glow bright – before all creatures did.

“Electric souls, what are they?”

Your energy within, all living things possess it. It grows and develops as you do. It is part of our existence and connects us all.

“So we possess this too?”

All living things do.

“Can we learn to develop this?”

It’s possible. To begin you all need to place a hand on our necks.

Five horses stepped forward. We looked at each other, knowing that this was the only way forward, there was no way back. We needed to live alongside them. We each stepped to a horse closest to us and tentatively placed a hand on their necks.

Close your eyes and feel only with your heart, concentrate on the energy within your body. Listen with your inside ears. We will do the rest.  

We all did as we were directed. I bowed my head and concentrated on my breathing and my heart beating. I felt like I was waiting, but I didn’t know what for. The sounds of the forest grew louder and the temperature rose, starting at my feet. Then I heard a gasp from one of my companions and opened my eyes. He was looking at me in awe. I looked down at my hand and saw a blue pattern decorating it all the way up my arm. It was different from the one on the horse I was touching, it had a different cursive scroll. Then there were more gasps and I saw all of us were experiencing this. A feeling of euphoria consumed me and I smiled, seeing the same reflected in my ship mates. Then I could hear them, and they could hear me, and I could hear the thoughts of all the horses around me, like the babble of a river in the background.

You are now one with us. We are connected. All souls together.  


  1. Magical Story, Miranda. This is my favourite one of yours so far.

  2. Here my story for this stunning horse. I decided answer some of your questions from last weeks so here is The Door -part 2 hope it solves a few mysteries for you.

    1. Certainly ties it up nicely. Thanks for joining.

  3. By the Light of the Binary Moons

    It’s not fair.

    Indira hadn’t heard that whiney voice in a while and she shoved it away. It didn’t matter what was fair or wasn’t. It didn’t even matter what she wanted. Diana was the Keeper and she had to take her place in the palace. And Indira had her place as the head wrangler. They’d be close but not close enough. And the royalty never mingled with the common working folk.

    Her throat closed as hurt swelled in her chest. Diana was different, no question of that. But they both had rules they had to live by, and those rules didn’t include love between a royal and a working class woman. Hellwinds, it didn’t even allow for two women to love each other in most circles.

    She swallowed hard against despairing tears and set her bowl aside. No use crying over spilt choiah. They couldn’t change the system, only work within it. And Indira worked best with the brightmares. And Diana.

    Squaring her shoulders, she glanced over at her lover. Diana poked at her food.

    “Would you like some more?” Indira pointed at her half-full bowl, but Diana shook her head.

    “No. I guess I’m not very hungry tonight.” She set the bowl aside and stared up at the stars. “I really like it here. It’s quiet and peaceful and homey.”

    Indira nodded. “Yeah, that’s why I picked this camp. A home away from home.” She set aside her own bowl. “Are you thinking about tomorrow?”

    Diana shrugged. “Back to the Palace and the Court.” Her voice had grown dull.

    “Right.” Indira rubbed her arms, trying to find something positive to say at the end of their idyll, but nothing came to mind but loss.

    “I hope you know I don’t want to go.” Diana raised her gaze to meet Indira’s, sorrow pulling down the edges of her mouth as her ears flattened. “This has been the best summer for me, bar none, and I’ve learned so much about the people I’m supposed to lead thanks to you. I have no interest in going back to an ivory tower and ruling from on-high.”

    She stopped and glanced down at the matching braces on each forearm, one holding the sacred Moonstone and the other the blessed Sunstone. Indira had never seen Diana take them off and wondered at their significance. She’d seen other members of the Court wearing small versions of the sacred stones, but never ones this size. Other stones she didn’t recognize ringed the larger ones, five around the Moonstone and six around the Sunstone.

    [continued in reply]

    1. “But it’s my calling and my responsibility because I wear these.” Diana lifted her wrists.

      Indira frowned. “What are they?”

      Diana sighed. “If I tell you, you must keep this secret from everyone. It’s a dangerous secret.” She stopped and bit her lip. “Maybe I shouldn’t burden you with it.”

      Indira rubbed her chin. What could be so dangerous that she had to hide it in plain sight? “Tell you what. I’ll trade you secrets. I have something only very special wranglers know about the brightmares. I’ll show you in exchange for the knowledge of your braces.”

      Diana tilted her head. “Yeah, okay. Which of us goes first?”

      “I do.” Indira stood up and held out her hand. “Come with me.”

      Diana took her hand and they strolled toward brightmare herd. The animals grazed or relaxed as the night world settled in, and the light of the moons glazed the ground with blue light. Most of the brightmares had their wings down, folded tight against their sides, and the blue light turned them various shades of turquoise, cyan, indigo, royal and navy blues.

      “Look at Mirror.” Indira pointed.

      Diana’s personal mount pulled her head up and turned to watch them with one eye and an ear. The light hit the horse just right and glowing runic designs appeared on her neck, shoulders, and rump. Diana gasped as she took in the glorious view.

      “Sweet glory, I’ve never seen that and I’ve been here all summer.”

      Indira smiled. “It only happens to the lead mares under the late summer binary moons. The light has to be just right for it to be visible.” She met Diana’s gaze. “It’s my gift to you before you return to the palace. No one else will ever see my love written on my heart. But you will, in the light of the binary moons. No matter what happens tomorrow, I’ll always hold you close in my heart.”

      749 #WIP365 words excluding title

    2. Wonderful tale. But now I need to know about the stones in her braces! Thanks for joining.

    3. Great story, beautiful done.

  4. By David Lunn Milburn
    Twitter: @DavisLunnThe3rd

    Title - Anchovies

    Not to be ironic but I never partook of heroin. Neither know nor care why it’s called Horse and even though I lived through the Age of Aquarius and knew a hippie or two, I never joined them in La La Land and never regretted that decision either. I think I was put on this planet to be an accountant or a banker. Straight hair, “Short back and sides please.”

    To me, LSD meant Local Subaru Dealership. My buddies called me square and I wore that as a badge of honour. I finally took a trip through the looking glass when someone ordered anchovies on our pizza. I hated the taste, way too salty for my liking but that night, I had the weirdest dream. I was watching myself being eaten by a lion in a nondescript room. Very odd.

    Years later, it happened again. Still too salty and that night I dreamt of being attacked by a giant octopus. I escaped by tickling his tentacles, sent him into some kind of reverie and he just floated away. I actually made a mental note, just in case it ever happened in real life.

    Those friends are long gone now, so I thought it might be fun to try anchovies one last time. I went to bed with the anticipation of a child in a toy shop. The alien horse that showed up wasn’t scary. If anything, I was drawn towards him. He let me step up beside him with just a single scuff of his hoof. His breath was heavy but eased as I gently stroked his neck and his first neigh was one of pleasure. I marvelled at his iridescent coat. I was suddenly struck by a powerful desire to stay with him forever.

    I awoke in a hospital bed. The nearby nurse called for a doctor. He arrived with a smile and said, “Welcome back David, you’ve been gone awhile.”

    Confused, I replied, “How long?”

    “You’ve been in a coma for ten years, sir.”

  5. This ones out there, clever interpretation of the picture, well done!