Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday is Writing Day

When I bust out on Subspace's blog about fantasy books I seemed to take her a bit by surprise. Since it's writing Wednesday I thought I'd share a little jot of my fantasy fiction. Just enough to tickle without, hopefully, boring the crud out of you. There is more of this story in a notebook somewhere. Meanwhile, may I introduce Finley...

Beauty's Beast

Finley bustled around the table making last minute changes to his preparations. The dishes were laid out just so, the fresh flowers tilting elegantly in a golden vase. Wrapping his long silver and purple-scaled tail around him, he nibbled on the tip and fretted.

“Have I forgotten anything? Flowers, food, candles…..” He leaned forward and with a gentle breath lighted the candles.

“Oracle, she will be here soon, like you said, right?”

The delicate white light bobbed near Finley. “She will be here, as I predicted. In moments you will be able to see her from the mouth of your cave.”

“Moments? Oh my, oh dear.” Finley wrapped his tail around him twice and stared at the table setting intensely. Giving up, he streaked toward the cave entrance. His talons made a faint scratching sound on the rocks as he scrambled through a particularly tight spot.

“Where, where should I look?”

The Oracle had bobbed along at a more sedate pace and took up its position near Finley. “To the East, of course. New love always rises from the East.”

As promised, within a few moments a figure could be seen on the eastern ridge. Then two, then four figures.

“She travels with a group,” Finley reported to the gently glowing light while his soft leathery wings quivered in anticipation.

“That is to be expected.”

“Oh, I see her! She is lovely. Dark hair and a white flowing gown.”

“No,” replied the Oracle, “that’s not her.”

Finley peered more intently. “Well there is another. Fiery red hair and green garb. She reminds me of a wood sprite.” He suddenly seemed taken with the idea.

“No,” replied the Oracle, “look further.”

Finley’s brow furrowed. “The other two appear to be lads. A tall strapping fellow with dark hair and another lean one with dirty fair hair and a chest of plate mail.”

“Ah,” said the Oracle on a contented sigh. “She is come.”

“WHAT?” Finley looked at the Oracle in disbelief, and then rolled over on the ground covering his eyes with clawed feet.

The Oracle sniffed and said, "I would think you would be more grateful for a chance at true love."

Finley kept his eyes squeezed closed and asked, "Just tell me, which one is she?"

"The fair one, of course. The other really is a lad."

Finley flapped his arms out against the rocks and exhaled in a long, slow sigh that left his shiny, scaly body stretched flat.

"She's so…" He waved his front paw in the air. When nothing came to him he propped himself up on an elbow and looked out at the slowly approaching humans. "Unrefined."

The Oracle made that faint, buzzing sound that it did whenever it was irritated. "I would think that you of all creatures would be hesitant to make judgments at first sight."

Finley sprang to his feet again. "What? Me? Look at these scales. Check between. Do you see a mite? Dust? Dirt?"

"You think that the first thing she will notice about you is how clean your scales are?"

Finley sat and wrapped his tail around his feet regally. "Breeding shows in how one cares for and carries oneself."

The two sat in silence at the cave mouth for a bit. Finley broke the silence with, "Why do they travel together?"

"They are heroes," the Oracle replied.


Silence followed. Then Finley asked, "What do they quest for?"

"A horrible monster that lives in these mountains and carries children and calves off to be slaughtered."

Finley snorted. "I know every creature up here. There isn't such a thing about."

"The villagers tell stories of such a creature. It is blamed for droughts, missing livestock - most all of the ills that befall man."

"Do they call this creature by a name?"

"Yes," replied the Oracle. "Dragon."

"Dragon!" Finley sputtered. "Dragon! This is preposterous. Outrageous!" He began to pace. "Why, they… How could…" He stopped abruptly and his brow furrowed into a menacing line. "This is slander!"

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