Glad you could join us for the next fiendish episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Wait! Wait!” Elliot screamed.
The bird belonging to the beak above him jerked back in alarm. “What?! What?!”
“Please,” Elliot begged, “please let me go! Surely you can’t have rescued me from that spinning siren just to eat me? Please! I implore you, have mercy!”
Mavis stood her ground between Elliot and the stream. “Why? Why should I show mercy to you, a lowly creature that creeps along the ground and hasn’t even legs to rise above the dirt?”
Not needing to be reminded that he couldn’t outrun her, Elliot put on his most humble manner. “You have saved my life and I am indeed grateful. The debt I owe you is indefinable–“
Stanley broke in, “Let’s just define it as lunch and call it even.”
“Shut it, Stanley! I want to hear what he has to say.” Mavis brought one beady eye down to stare into Elliot’s. “Go on.”
Her breath reeked of death and garlic. Shivering with fear, he felt his shell shaking. “I owe you a debt so great I would die of shame if I never repaid it.”
“But if you’re going to die anyway,” she reasoned, “what difference should that make to me?”
Her fumey breath made his eyes water even as his mind focused to a point. “Everyone knows shame has a bitter taste,” he offered.
Mavis cocked her head to turn her other eye on him. “Maybe I like bitter.”
“Why would anyone who can taste the sweetness of flying among the clouds settle for bitter?” Elliot’s hackles rose just a little. “Although I can never hope to rise to the heights you know, I am following my dream in my way, and I would think that deserves some consideration.”
Mavis considered. “What do you think, Stanley? Shall we let him slide on his merry way?” She chortled at her own joke.
“Well,” Stanley acknowledged, “he wouldn’t make above half a mouthful apiece, so I suppose if he were to agree — on his honor — to bring us back two mouthfuls of something scrumptious, he might just persuade us to let the whole thing slide.” And he chortled even louder.
“I will! I do!” Elliot interjected before they had the chance to reconsider. “On my honor, I will return with something so delectable you’ll be glad you let me go.”
Mavis and Stanley hopped aside, allowing Elliot to pass.
“You’ve got gumption, I’ll give you that,” Mavis said. “Off you go then!”
Giving thanks, Elliot took off along the edge of the stream as fast as his foot would take him. He wasn’t out of the woods yet.
To be continued…
#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!
- Aditi’s Indian myths from a female POV at Aditi’s Pen
- Arpan’s horror stories at Tales of Unusual Strangeness
- Atherton’s Victorian murder mystery, “Stranded!”, at Atherton’s Magic Vapour
- Debs’s song-inspired fiction at Bunny and the Bloke
- Dipanwita’s 100 word stories at Cocktails Mocktails and Life
- Jo’s upbeat emotion stories at Jo Hawk the Writer
- Joe’s excerpts from his upcoming post-Civil War historical fiction, “Steel Horse Saviors”, at Fiction Playground
- Keith’s everyday life in fictional Amble Bay at Keith’s Ramblings
- Lenni’s speculative fiction, “What Are They” at J Lenni Dorner
- Marquessa’s short stories spun from her larger work, “Living to Die” at Simply Marquessa
- Shailaja’s 100 word oxymoronic stories at The Moving Quill
- Shweta’s Tiny Tales at My Random Ramblings
- Sorchia’s Gothic fantasy, “A Cold Spring” at Sorchia’s Universe
- S.T. Ranscht’s fantasy/adventure serial, “Elliot’s Adventures” at Space, Time, and Raspberries
Vanessa’s build-a-30-word-story at Vanessence
Today’s twofer from April 7, 2016:
I was four the first time I flew in my dreams.
Mary Martin’s Peter Pan inspired me. Mom made sure Patty and I watched the Broadway Production when they showed it on TV, and I remember it in color, even though we had a black and white set. I saw the “V” of the wires behind everyone who flew, but it didn’t matter. They were flying.
So why did Mom get so upset when she came into our room to investigate all the thumping, and caught us climbing up on Kim’s crib, clambering over to the dresser, and jumping off pretending we were Peter and Wendy? Didn’t she realize how mature we had been to deliberately decide not to jump off the top bunk?
“There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The dreams were inevitable after that. For years, they happened every now and then, never resulting from any particular waking event I could discern. When I flew indoors, I’d take off by jumping off a bed or a toy box — or the dresser — and the ceilings were always 12 feet high. I’d circle round and around a light fixture, usually to keep out of some adult’s reach, and spend the entire time laughing.
When I flew outdoors, I’d run down an incline till the wind picked me up and then I’d fly as far and as fast as I wanted, always with my arms stretched out in front of me and joy in my heart. (A friend once told me she only had to wiggle her toes, and up she’d go!)
Those dreams don’t happen as often as they used to, in fact, I haven’t dreamt of flying in years. Maybe I’m happier on the ground now than I was then. Maybe I have a harder time imagining I could get off the ground. Maybe the joy in my heart has grown so big part of me is always flying anyway. Whatever the reason, my inner child — who is never very far from the surface — keeps waiting for just one more flying dream. Maybe tonight.
How about you? How do you fly in your dreams?