Glad you could join us for the next terrifying episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Please allow me to introduce you to a few Members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Mansion. They are here to collect your Donation.”
Scritchy-scratchy tiptoes scraped from every crack and crevice as tiny green versions of the large orange stranger closed in on Elliot in a creeping, tightening circle. He swiveled his eye stalks wildly searching for Cassandra. He didn’t find her. She must have escaped, he thought. I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened to her! But he kept looking. He needed to be sure.
The stranger stepped up onto a rocky outcrop against the far granite wall beneath a sheltering overhang, and observed the scene with a look of beneficence.
“Little Brothers!” he called, “The Great Spirit Man’Tis, Granter of Prayers, is well pleased with the Work you have done so far. Now, in answer to our Prayers, he brings us yet another Gift — a fine, if smallish, Donation of Construction Materials! This Child of the World, heavy with the World’s Burdens, has come here of his own Free Will. It is your Job to relieve him of the Weight he bears and transfer it to our Hallowed Hill of Shells.”
“Wait!” Elliot yelled. “I’m not giving you my home!”
“My Child,” the stranger said, “of course you are. Imagine the Glory of Sunlight gleaming through Walls built of Shell. Pinks and Ambers, Golds and Purples, suffusing the Holy Mansion with Magnificence beyond Imagination! It is your Destiny.”
“NO!” Elliot bellowed as one of the Brothers leaped onto his back and stabbed his neck with a needle-sharp finger. Elliot jerked forward in pain leaving the edge of his shell exposed to the vice-like grip of the determined thief.
With a sluicing slurp, the shell began to separate from Elliot’s writhing body.
To be continued…
Today’s twofer from April 26, 2016:
I injured my dancing doll. I don’t know how old she was, but I was four. It was kind of an accident, but if I’d understood the physics of stress, I might have saved her.
She was lying on the bed with one of her arms stuck out between the mattress and the foot board. I was going to take her with me, so I grabbed her arm and pulled. My four-year-old brain assumed that because she was soft, her body would smoosh down to fit through the narrow space, and expand again when she came out on the other side. You know, like real babies do when they’re being born.
She was not a real baby, and I was stronger than her stitching. A brief ripping sound and I was bouncing on my booty with Dancing Doll’s detached arm dangling in my hand.
“Oh, no, Dancing Doll!” Me. Jumping to my feet, horrified.
I yanked the rest of her off the bed and ran to my mom as fast as if my poor friend might be bleeding to death. (No one said “bleeding out” back then.)
Mom was busy homemaking, but when I showed her Dancing Doll’s pieces, she said:
“Calm down. I can fix it.” Mom the Homemaker
And so I entrusted my dear Dancing Doll to Mom’s care.
I waited what I thought was long enough — days, weeks — all right, I forgot about Dancing Doll until I remembered. It might have been months later. When I asked Mom if she’d sewed Dancing Doll’s arm back on, she looked at me like I’d asked if she’d made mud pies for dinner. She said:
“That old thing? I got rid of her a long time ago.” Mom the Trust Breaker
If I’d understood Dramatic Effect, I would have fainted.
Flash forward approximately one year. I was five, and I was playing with my stuffed dog, Ebony, my oldest surviving toy. (Grandma Ranscht had given him/her — I never could determine Ebony’s gender — to me for my very first Christmas.)
Somehow, Ebony ended up covered with something that might or might not have been bath powder. I tried my best to dust it off, but there was no removing the fine particulate that changed his/her black fur to a dark, dusty charcoal. I was prepared to live with it, hoping it would eventually leave of its own accord, but Mom came in and saw the mess. She might have been putting laundry away, or maybe I’d been quiet too long. She said:
“Here, I’ll fix it.” Mom the Homemaker/Toy Vanisher
Reluctantly placing Ebony in her outstretched hand, I asked in a quavering voice:
“Are you going to throw Ebony away?” Me. Remembering.
She looked at me like I’d asked if she planned to drown my little sister Kim during her bath.
“Of course not. I’m going to throw him in the wash. Why would you think I’d throw him away?” Mom the Forgetful
Dancing Doll and I knew why. I followed Mom to the laundry room. Just to be sure.
I was there when she took Ebony out of the washer and the cloth under both ears was slightly blue. She offered to wash him again to try and get the blue out, but I wasn’t willing to risk that it wouldn’t work and she’d think Ebony was unfixable and I’d never see him/her again. So I told a fib:
“No. It’s okay. I like the blue.” Me. Fibbing.
And I was there when Mom emptied the dryer. Just in case. Ebony’s ears were still distinctly blue, but I hugged that warm little stuffed dog and took him/her back to my room. Eventually, the blue left of its own accord. As you can see:
Most of the time it takes a major betrayal to shake our trust in someone we love, but sometimes, it’s a small thing they aren’t even aware of. Do you remember the first time you lost trust in someone you loved?
#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
- Andrea’s fantasy novel, “The Impatiens Chronicles”, as writing instruction at Andrea Lundgren
- 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
- Diane’s 100-word tales at LadiesWhoLunchReviews,etc
- Dipanwita’s 100-word stories at Cocktails Mocktails and Life
- Iain’s alphabet puzzle-inspired murder mystery serial at Iain Kelly Writing
- 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
- John’s flash fiction crime stories with a twist at John Davis Frain
- 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
- Natalie’s “Secret Diary of a Serial Killer” at Natalie Westgate
- Raven’s 100-word flash fiction at everywhere and nowhere
- Shailaja’s 100-word oxymoronic stories at The Moving Quill
- Shilpa’s 55-word crime stories at A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose!
- 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