Wednesday 7 October 2020

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 169

This week's photo prompt is in the public domain for use and not attributed to anyone, so untraceable, which I always find a shame.

Another Tricky tale - the last one was Week 167. As I get closer to National November Writing Month and having a bash at putting down the first in what I believe will be a series of Tricky books, she seems to be appearing more and more MidWeekFlash prompts. At least it gives me something to work with. 

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. 

Feathered Fatality

She saw the bird fall out of the tree and ran to it, but by the time she reached it, its life was gone. Tricky picked it up gently in her hands and examined it. There were no visible wounds, or signs of sickness or old age. She fanned out its wings looking for any breakages. Nothing. But she took a moment to admire the stunning blue feathers that glinted with luminescence in the morning light. It also reminded her of her mother.

Her mother had used feathers liberally: in her clothing, in her rooms for decoration, and in her magic. Well, people called it magic but Tricky knew better. The energy feathers contained was high, and watching her mother easily manipulate people while covered in them, she knew it was powerful.

People thought finding one feather was lucky, but one feather alone could do little unless added to a potion of some kind. Her mother never needed to use them in potions though; she had mastered their use without having to combine it with other elements, and blue had been her favourite. She’d said it carried the most power being a unique colour in nature, so rare and unusual.

Tricky remembered a particular frock her mother used at special occasions, at a public gatherings where she could show it off. It had layers of coloured feathers adorning it, and the blue especially had stood out, highlighting her mother’s eyes that reflected the same piercing shade of blue.

Tricky’s smile faltered as she recalled the end of the frock; wrapped around her mother the day of her execution. They’d gone with the tradition of burning at the stake. Tricky had been proud her mother hadn’t screamed.

This thought brought her back to the bird in her hands, which hadn’t cried out when it died; it had fallen silently from the tree. There was something unnatural about it. And even though she knew such deaths of wildlife were common, particularly since much of the world had died off, a feeling in her gut told her otherwise.

This wasn’t just any bird, it was a Jay, one of the Corvid family and in her circles they had a deeper meaning. For one to fall dead in front of her portended something dark had being wished against her.

Carter. It had to be him and his cronies. Had they tapped into feather energy or had they just used an old witch ritual? Did they know what they were playing with? Tricky couldn’t be sure. Carter was wily and slippery, you could never be sure what he knew or what he could find out. He had his fingers in many rotten pies.

Tricky shuddered. She wrapped the bird in her scarf. She would take it home and perform a parting ritual. She would then remove the feathers. They might contain information about what had passed. Maybe she could glean something from them about what he was up to. 



  1. Managed to get some words for Withered Legacy - a story I haven't worked on in while!

    1. Really good. Intrigued to know more. Thanks for joining.

  2. Hercules strained his neck, fixing his eye on the cook.

    “And you,” he said, glaring across at her from his perch. “You had a perfect opportunity to poison him. You could have prepared his breakfast in seclusion while the rest of us were asleep, leaving it out in the kitchen for the maid to deliver. You wouldn’t need to be there with him while he ate: the toxins were like a time-bomb, ticking unheard on his plate. You could arrange to be called away, create an alibi, let somebody else take the fall. It’s known you’d had a disagreement with the maid. She was a junior member of the staff, a newcomer to the house. Who better to frame for your crime? She was a little too young, most definitely too glamorous, and yes, too self-assured. She was a stranger in the town, her accent setting her apart. Nobody would take her side if she was challenged.”

    The others all gasped, subtly shifting away from Mrs Danielson. She was one of the longest serving of them all. It was rumoured that she’d assisted in the birth of the late Lord’s sons, being one of the first to be sent for when the Lady’s waters broke. One of the coppers filled with water, a clean set of towels: who better to call when the Lord was unavailable? Cook had the authority of her position and a voice that was rarely ignored. She was a sergeant-major of a woman: a woman with stature in the house. It was almost inconceivable that she could be involved.

    And yet, the bird-detective had a reputation of his own. He had uncovered the deceit of the deerstalker wearing fraud; the one who’d purported to be the possessor of the finest mind in the country. If it hadn’t been for the superior reasoning powers of this detective’s avian brain he would still be at large, claiming to solve heinous crimes and extorting enormous sums of cash, promising never to reveal what it was he’d deduced. He’d had an easy familiarity with both sides of the law, serving himself instead of the moral majority who’d been wronged. Who would have thought he would be nothing an opportunist with a drug habit and a violin?

    Parrot Hercules; that’s who. Hercules, the world’s greatest bird detective.

    But the woman in the apron was made of stronger stuff. She had large hands, thick fingers, thumbs which could break a bone with a quick flex of her wrists. You could imagine that she was planning her escape from this room right now. Or perhaps she was pondering on how she’d serve the famous detective in a sauce derived from his own juices, with his head wrenched off and his legs adorned with fascinators fashioned from paper.

    Maybe she would be more than a match for him.

    Maybe this would be the end for Hercules, the parrot.

  3. Oh, by the way, Preview isn't working for me. So, I'm posting this blind.

    Blue Angel Wings

    1. It's here & it works & I love this tale it's perfect.