The Cave

The cave echoed with magic as Marie used everything she had to wrestle loose from the vines. She cheated to the right, towards the lip of near the back of the cave where the vines had trouble reaching. Marie shot another fiery blast at the snake-like vines slithering at her feet. The blast knocked her towards the edge of the cavern ledge off-balance; she listed to one side and fell over the edge into the underground river.

Mare floated along looking up at the view of glistening stalactites. “I should just let this current’s flow take me to meet fate’s end. I’ve got nothing to lose. That witch’s tricks have left me alone with no one to share my life with. It’s not worth living,” she wept.

“Have faith my child, you will reunite with you love, though the path will not be easy,” a whispered voice whooshed through the cave.

“What? Who said that?!”

“Have faith my child, you will reunite with you love,” the voice whooshed again pushing Marie out of the cave, tumbling down a waterfall into a serene pool.

Marie swam to the edge; dusted herself off and made plans for her next time jump. No time to wallow in self-pity anymore.

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Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #309

#25 – 2/19/13 – CHEAT

Josie Two Shoes

Kings Character Sketches

Long ago, on a moonless night when the kings were appointed the guardians of man. The goddess crooned of duty and honor. The red king, the blue king, and the white king, each knelt before her granite temple solidifying their oath by cramming down the caramel colored acid she offered. An eavesdropper gave a low shriek of disapproval.

The kings banded together to rid the world of the magic folk. The few they allowed to stay bought  their peace with gifts and offerings. Man was now safe from the magical beings, though this was not what the goddess had intended the kings to do with the honor she had gifted them. The kings angered the goddess and so she paid them a visit on another moonless night.

“Good eve, Red King.” The goddess commanded as the Red King knelt before her beauty.

“Good eve, Blue King.” again the King she commanded fell to his knees. Before she could speak his name the White King knelt and bowed before his goddess. She smiled, “Good eve, White King.”

“You have taken advantage of the honors I have bestowed upon you.”

“Your Beauty, let me explain,” the Red King started.

With a flick of her hand the silenced the Red King.

“I am very disappointed in all of you.”

“Your Grace, if I may,” the Blue King tried, but was also silenced.

“If you do not change your ways you will all fall to ruin. If you can turn to your true purpose, you will find true riches,” goddess finished. She gave a lasting and knowing look in the White King’s direction. The only king who had not interrupted her. Perhaps there was still hope yet for the kings. Perhaps there was still hope left for humanity.

 

Excerpt from Writing Challenge: Map It Out-Voodoo Time

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Marie first met our three Kings  in Poisoned. What a sight she must have seen as she entered their throne room. I didn’t really go into much detail describing the kings then, because I wanted to keep each scene short. But with this Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters asks us to do a character sketch, drafting up a detailed list of their special characteristics and traits. I thought I’d let you in on some of my visioning for each King and what Marie would have seen as she entered their throne room.

Red King

This arrogant king’s deep-set eyes sparkle like the finest emeralds at meal time. His long, curly, luxurious hair is the color of varnished wood, and is worn in a complex style. He has a rotund build. His uniform is mostly red, and it looks like a royal version of a monk’s outfit. The red king thinks he’s head king, and the others let him think so, but he’s dumb as a doornail and follows along with whatever the Blue King tells him.

White King

This brave king’s round eyes are as blue as the sky on a clear summer day. His long, straight, silky, midnight black hair is worn in a simple style. He has an athletic build and a helpful spirit. His outfit is mostly gray and white, and looks like a fusion of a cowboy’s outfit and a policeman’s uniform, including a collar. Some things just don’t sit right with the White King, he’s often outnumbered, and out voted, but he takes a stand for what he believes is right and for what he’s given a pledge of honor to uphold.

Blue King

This angry king has hypnotic; almond-shaped eyes are gold. His neck-length, wavy, hair the color of bleached bone is worn in an elegant artistic style. He has a thin build. His uniform is mostly blue and violet, and it looks like a fusion of a mysterious emperor’s formal wear and a sorcerer’s robes. The Blue King is the plotter, the string puller, the mastermind. He’s often the one making under the table deals to look the other way with magic folk in the realm of man.

 

Arguing With A Witch

“My dear Marie,” the old witch hissed,” you have reneged on our arrangement.”

“No, you misappropriated the terms of our agreement,” Marie replied, looking left and right for an escape. “You treated me like a toddler and played me like a puppet during this whole nightmare. I agreed to learn your time warp magic after you conned me into it, you eclectic old woman.”

“Now-now, there is no need for name calling dear,” the witch replied coyly, backing Marie towards the ground’s vibrating mouth.

“There is if you do not tell me where he is and what you have done to him.” Marie, now agitated, demanded. She could not let the witch back her into that dark, putrid cave. She need to think up of another escape, and think it up quick.

“What makes you think I have done anything to your dear king, perhaps it was one of those other two kings he calls friends,” the old woman said with a sly smile as she edged Marie closer to the cave opening.

“I know it was you; it could only be you!” Marie began to panic as thick vines slid over the cave mouth, like dog hungrily liking its lips.

The old witch laughed evilly, “You want to know where he is,dear?”

“Why don’t you also tell me when he is?”

“Ah! So you learned something,” the witch circled even closer, showing her displeasure.

Hoping she could gather the answers she needed before the sour shadows consumed her, Marie implored from the edge of darkness,”I’m waiting.” The wizened witch gave her pupil one last push into the darkness of the cave, laughing at her victory.

“Your beloved king is…,” the witch taunted as dark, leafy tentacles wrapped around Marie pulling her in before she could hear the old woman finish.

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Trifecta: Week Sixty-Two

Please remember:
  • Response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • Must use the 3rd definition of the given word in post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in response.
  • May not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join.

MOUTH
1a : the natural opening through which food passes into the body of an animal and which in vertebrates is typically bounded externally by the lips and internally by the pharynx and encloses the tongue, gums, and teeth
b : grimace <made a mouth>
c : an individual requiring food <had too many mouths to feed>
2a : voice, speech <finally gave mouth to her feelings>
b : mouthpiece
3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as
     a : the place where a stream enters a larger body of water
     b : the surface opening of an underground cavity
     c : the opening of a container
     d : an opening in the side of an organ flue pipe

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Photo Credits: Tree-root cave, Black Rock Gorge

Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

Marie was a pretty, luscious auburn curls and fair skin. A little older and a lot wiser than when she first set foot in the apothecary shoppe, her emerald eyes no longer sparkled with mystery and wonder.  The Voodoo woman in New Orleans had only confused her more; as small frustrated wrinkles teased her brow she made her next trip through time in search for her true love. She would have like to stay to try and ask the woman more questions when the moon was right, but she must keep moving lest the old, wizened witch find her and cage her or worse.

Her latest journey through the canvas of time crashed landed her in the kitchen of a sushi restaurant (circa 2000 New York City) with such force that she lost conscience. The immaculately dressed workers thought she had been attacked. Once she convinced them not to call the police they insisted that she sit and have a meal on the house. The restaurant workers were much nicer than anyone she had encountered on her last trip to New York. Despite the awkward landing, this trip was looking up. Maybe her White King made his home in the city that never sleeps. Maybe this was the end of the journey to finding him again. Maybe they would be able to settle down without fear, finally.

As Marie waited in the dining room for her complimentary meal, her hopeful thoughts turned to a pounding headache. In the center of the dining area, a large rock fountain dominated the room. The water noisily tumbling and splashing over every rock down to the pool at the bottom; split, splot, spat, cludink, cludunk. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the dining room décor consisted of wispy, swirled clouds painted on the wall with hypnotic Buddha art above every booth. The room started to spin as pounding in Marie’s head became louder like temple drums. Clouds fused together on the wall as the Buddhas began to laugh, “Hahahahaha.” The waiter brought out Marie’s raw fish just as she could take no more. One smell of the wasabi and she passed out.

 
Writing Challenge: the Devil is in the Details

Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #301

Writing Challenge: Map It Out-Voodoo Time

Story re-posted with Maps:

Marie jumped from boiling shrimp in wok oil for dinner in the Philippines to St. Louis, Missouri.

“Talk about an assault on the senses!” Marie exclaimed as she reminisced of exotic spices while sail down the Mississippi River on the River Boat Queen. Closer to shore near one of the smaller towns south of the city she spotted a peach vendor in long johns and overalls. Despite the vendor’s idea attire she found herself daydreaming about the taste of juicy, sweet peaches instead of the previous exotic spices.

“So must be the life of a time traveling witch,” Marie sighed.

“Why did I use that word. I am not a witch. I am not like her. I am a time traveling adventurer.” Marie tried to convince herself with clenched jaws. She was no villain. She was no witch like the old shoppe keeper who had taught her to leap through time and space. She would not use her knowledge to manipulate and harm others.

“I am a good person.” Marie continued.

“And a good lookin’ girl too,” one of the crew added.

Marie rolled her eyes and continued to stare at the passing scenery in front of her, lost in thoughts of true love and the witch keeping her from her king and of the decadent foods she explored through her travels. How she longed to share these experiences with her white king.

A sudden crash and call to port brought Marie back to her senses.

“I guess I’m here.” she said hesitantly as she climbed on to the dock.

Marie had made it down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. She headed over to Basin Street and ended up at a roaring little jazz club. The music was delicious, like frozen  mangoes covered in chocolate sauce. So gooey you needed a spoon. The trumpet player was a monstrous man who clutched the tiny instrument like it was his favorite toy and he was never going to let go, not even for bath time. In total contrast the, base player was the runt of the liter, but artfully wield his instrument like a weapon. Marie wished she could stay and listen to the music some more and indulge on some of the fine New Orleans fare, but she was here for answers. Voodoo was still one of the existing forms of real magic still in practice and Marie was searching for a Voodoo seer in New Orleans.

Marie exited the club and made her way to Jackson’s square where fortune tellers, palm readers, and tarot card readers had all set up shop in the pale moon’s light. None of these merchants were the seer Marie sought answers from. Because Marie was magic she would know magic when she found it. As she rounded the corner to avoid Cafe du Monde, a shop down the street caught her attention.  When she made her way down the street to the shop she noted that it sold souvenirs and voodoo trinkets, but in the back through the netting, led to a room. Marie followed it back, despite the signs the did not read, saying, “Employees Only.” Marie knew her seer was beyond the netting. All she was focused on was getting her answers. Nothing and no one would stop her tonight.

The air was still in the back room, yet a single flame from a candle flickered.

“I’ve been expecting you.” a dark woman with braids and colorful markings motioned Marie to sit at across her.

Marie did so cautiously. Her experience with proprietors of magic had not been stellar.

“You will not find the one you seek in this time, child,” the see said as her eyes glazed. Marie’s heavy heart sank.

“You have many trials still ahead, but you will find him again. True love is the most powerful of all magic. And will triumph.” At this Marie smiled.

“To find your love you must first understand the mistakes of the past and the power that you should not hold.”

“I’m sorry I don’t understand.” Marie asked with a new sense of boldness or urgency, she didn’t know which.

The seer entranced, motioned to her crystal ball,

“Long ago, on a moonless night when the kings were appointed the guardians of man. The goddess crooned of duty and honor. The red king, the blue king, and the white king, each knelt before her granite temple solidifying their oath by cramming down the caramel colored acid she offered. An eavesdropper gave a low shriek of disapproval.”

“The witch!” Marie interrupted.

“Yes,” the seer replied possessed,

“The kings banded together to rid the world of the magic folk. The few they allowed to stay bought bought their peace with gifts and offerings. Man was now safe from the magical beings, though this was not what the goddess had intended the kings to do with the honor she had gifted them. The kings angered the goddess and so she paid them a visit on another moonless night.”

Within the crystal ball Marie could see the scene unfold.

“Good eve, Red King.” The goddess commanded as the red king knelt before her beauty.

“Good eve, Blue King.” again the King she commanded fell to his knees. Before she could speak his name the white king knelt and bowed before his goddess. She smiled, “Good eve, White King.”

“You have taken advantage of the honors I have bestowed upon you.”

“Your Beauty, let me explain,” the red king started.

With a flick of her hand the silenced the red king.

“I am very disappointed in all of you.”

“Your Grace, if I may,” the blue king tried, but was also silenced.

“If you do not change your ways you will all fall to ruin. If you can turn to your true purpose, you will find true riches,” goddess finished. She gave a lasting and knowing look in the white kings direction. The only king who did not interrupted her. Perhaps there was still hope yet for the kings. Perhaps there was still hope left for humanity.

I don’t understand,” Marie asked more confused as the scene ended. “I need more information.”

“Who are you? You shouldn’t be here! We’re closed!” The seer back to her normal self demanded as Marie raced out of the shop.

 

Poisioned

whiskeybottle

Marie entered the palace with an offering  for continued protection from the Kings, an offering of the finest whiskey from the apothecary shoppe. The vast entry hall was adorned with early art and  badges of  battles victories from floor to ceiling. Marie gazed in wonder at the flawless specimen of man positioned next to a tapestry of the Elvin Wars. Marie wondered which of the kings had posed for the sculpture. Surely these powerful men,  commanding a powerful army, must also be handsome Marie thought as she continued towards the throne room.

“Who goes there?” Demanded the king on the left, a large man clad in all red shoveling cakes into his mouth. He was definitely not the sculptor’s model.

“It is I, Marie, I come with a preemptive offering from the Apothecary asking for your reinvestment in the shoppe.” Marie managed to squeak out.

She must have said something wrong, because the kings looked from one another and began to whisper in bewildered tones. As the hushed conversation continued ever longer, Marie got up the nerve to quietly ask the Kings, “Excuse me?”

The king on the right, a tall thin man, clad in all blue with a mess of a mullet, answered, “We do not understand how, but we demand that you relinquish this disguise and use no further magic in our presence witch!”

“I assure you gentlemen your claim is unsubstantiated. I am using no magic to disguise myself, I am but a humble apprentice whom the apothecary shoppe keeper sent with this offering for you,” Marie answered his claim quietly but with confidence. She had nothing to hide, but was now wondering if the old witch was trying to double cross her. The kings’ response was to what she expected. “Why did they think she was disguised. Who did they think she was.”

The Red King pressing on, “If that be the case, then you’ll be the first to taste the offering,” instructed from the left throne.

“Ok,”Marie agreed nervously as she opened the bottle of whiskey and took a swig.

As she fell, the King, clad in White, sitting in  in the middle thrown who had remained silent, rushed to catch her. Marie’s last sight was of the tall, broad shouldered, clean shaven King  who had most definitely been the sculptor’s muse. However, Marie  the sculpture was unable to capture the song the King’s blue eyes sang. Marie knew it was love at first sight, or maybe last sight.

The White  King inspected the puddled whiskey next to Marie, “Poisoned,” he confirmed. He knew the other Kings would want to get rid of her, but something deep inside his soul, told him the beauty in his arms was not to the mastermind behind this. Perhaps he could convince the others and save her life as well.

“She said she was an apprentice, perhaps we can learn from her who after us.” The White King said to his compatriots.

“You really think she will side with us,” The Blue King relied.

“I will make her see that there is no other option,” the White King resolved.

“The see to it,I have other thing to attend to,” the Red King ordered as he waddled off to the kitchen leaving the White King to tend to Marie.

 

Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #297

Apothecary Shoppe

Fire

Marie was a pretty young girl with luscious auburn curls.  Though, she was in no mood to flirt with those who admired her looks as she made her way to the apothecary to find a cure for her father’s tick. She made it through the whole of the town without stopping to talk to anyone.

Marie entered the shoppe and would have thought it abandoned except for the fowl smelling smoke. When the smoke settled, Marie noticed the wizened, old woman attending the shoppe.

The  shoppe attendant muttered a curse as she waved a wand over some shimmery objects she pulled out of the oven and placed on the counter, unaware of her customer. Marie hesitated and lingered at the door until the keeper noticed her arrival.

“Can I help you?” the shoppe keeper hissed with displeasure as she cleaned up the shimmery objects with a flick of her hand and then deposited her wand in a deep pocket on her apron. Marie’s eyes followed every movement the old woman made. If only she could get her hands on that wand. She could heal her ailing father.

“I..I..” Marie stuttered tucking an errant curl behind her ear.

“Well spit it out child.” the old shoppe attendant impatiently implored.

“I’ve come for some antidote for my father’s condition.” Marie finally uttered with a following sigh of relief.

“Is that so, or is there there something else that you might be wanting?” The old woman interrogated as she edged ever closer to Marie. Once eye to eye with her, or as close as she could be with the height difference, she continued “I saw you watching my magic, I saw the desire in your eye, I know the magic that runs through your very blood.” She grabbed a hold of Marie’s wrist and inhaled the scent of her blood. Unable to believe how lucky she was to have fate send her a naive young girl with magic.

“Look, your father is lost to his disease.” The woman demanded as she showed Marie her father’s last breaths in the crystal ball on the mantle. “You’ve come too late for an antidote, even as we speak you father draws his last breath.”

“No,” Marie cried in disbelief, shaking free from the old woman, sinking to the floor in tears.

Ignoring the sound of the the girl’s sobs, the old woman launched her devious plan. Holding out the wand, she offered with a crooked smile, “I can teach you.”

 

Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #296