Thursday 6 July 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 302

This week's picture prompt was taken by Juuso Hämäläinen over on Instagram. It was taken in Levi, Lappi, Finland. He has some stunning shots and art. Worth taking some time to enjoy them. 

Another Tricky story this week as she is at the forefront of my mind. The lst one was on Week 300

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.

Path through snow on a hillside, with conifer trees heavily laden with snow, and a clear night sky, full of stairs and the sweep of the milky way.


Tricky was utterly unprepared for this. Her clothes weren’t made to deal with all this white, thick, cold stuff. She was wet through, and felt weighted down. She’d never experienced snow before, only read about it. Apparently some big old jolly man, all dressed in red, was going to come careening over the slopes on a sleigh pulled by some funny looking animals, and offer her a present – at least that was what all the old books said when it was the season for this stuff to fall from the sky, back before the shift.

But the only big old man likely to show up here was Douglas Bottle, aka Gandalf, and Tricky knew his jolly disposition was more a sinister sneer. No, she didn’t want any old men showing up to give her anything, thank you very much. She was doing just fine on her own.

But why was he traveling this way? He was way too easy to track in snow. He knew she was following him. Or was that the point? Was he thinking he was setting his own trap? Tricky chuckled to herself. He really hadn’t learnt, had he? He was helping her implement her own plan. She just needed to know where he’d gone soe she could pull all the threads together.

She stopped by one of the snow laden trees, a strong spruce. She put her hands on its trunk and received its high jittery, lime green energy. When she visualised Bottle, she saw his brightly dressed garb rushing off ahead of her, slightly downhill, then it paused by a large conifer and vanished.

She passed on some of her own energy to the tree as thanks, and stuffed her hands back in her pockets, attempting to save them from the cutting cold. As she looked at the path ahead, she couldn’t help notice the heavens above. Up high on a mountain side with air sharpened by the cold, the clarity of the night sky was striking. It seemed full to bursting with bright pinpricks denoting other stars in other universes. Tricky wasn’t familiar enough with constellations to know if the patterns were different from her own time, though she suspected they were. And the streak of distant nebulous cloud which outlined the arm of their galaxy gave it more depth. She inhaled a deep lungful of crisp clear air and gave herself a moment before continuing her pursuit.

Even though she was here to weave a little magic of her own, she still embraced the awe and wonder at passing through these locations. And there was no shortage of them, as this particular stunt was proving.

Tricky knew Bottle thought he knew what he was doing, leading her into a trap, but he clearly underestimated her crafty nature. It was a merry dance alright, but one he wasn’t going to end up enjoying, she was sure of that – oh yes she was. She smiled to herself as she set off down the hill. She wished she could see his face when he realised how he’d allowed her to ensnare him.

When she arrived at the large conifer, she closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. The crystal air made everything a little bit sharper and she quickly saw the remnants of the line Gandalf had opened into the next time. But the energy colour had shifted slightly, as she suspected, because he was trying to lead her into his own trap.

To those that could read energy as well as Tricky, this ploy was obvious. He’d already tried it twice and she hadn’t fallen for it either time, but he hadn’t seem to have realised that. And what it enabled Tricky to do was create her own little net of deception. The fact he was still clueless meant there was a greater chance of success.

She took another breath and blew out gently across the line causing it to glow. She took out the obsidian still wrapped in germwort and scraped up a grain of creasy from the few loose in her pocket. She didn’t need much, just a spark to open it a slither. She held them in the air against the line, and when she dropped the creasy onto the covered stone, it opened a crack as she’d hoped. She took a tiny piece of aluminium foil out of another pocket and stuck it in the gap. It fizzed and crackled, but closed, leaving a barely visible scrap of metal in the air. Few people would notice its existence.

Such metals were a rarity in Tricky’s world, but she’d come across a roll buried in some rubble where there’d been a dwelling before the shift. She’d only ever used tiny scraps, learning early on its use as a replacement mirror.

A raucous cackle escaped her and echoed off the snow covered hills. Oh this was going to be so much fun. 

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