Thankfully, it's finally Friday, the kids are back in school, though my house is a mess from having five people trapped inside it for four days. Our cars are still stuck in the snow and ice, the only one able to move this morning was my husband's Jeep. He ferried the kids to school, even went grocery shopping yesterday... Ever notice when the guys shop, you spend twice as much money? Never fails. And everything is so expensive to buy here in our small town, but the roads to Mattoon or Charleston are still icy, and besides, I don't know which stores are power and which don't, still lots of power outages here. In case you didn't know, Illinois experienced one of the worst winter storms in it's history. We were fortunate, we had loads of ice, but only about four inches of new snow, Springfield had eleven inches of new snow, they're still out of school today. I worry about the kids at school, because the power has been randomly turning off, but at least the school, the Red Cross has generators to keep the building warm during the outages. Probably better there than here!
Well, anyway, it's time for the response to Monday's prompt picture. It was another wonderful Luis Royo image, (Amy discovered this one had been used as part of the cover art for a book a few years ago). I love the feel of this image, but I found it hard to write for. Hope you enjoy what became a struggle to complete.
The Legend of Tolenado
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 520
This had always been a place where she could find herself, not the warrior princess, just Alera. She crouched down, bending to brush her hand across the glass-like pool, ripples flowed away from her fingers. It always brought a feeling of calm, and it did once more. Alera rolled her shoulders, feeling the tension leaking away. But when she closed her eyes, the destruction replayed itself.
They had been attacked at dawn, the warning bell booming through the village as the invaders, pirates, roamed through the forest triggering Tolenado's defenses. As they had crept closer, the spikes surrounding the village sprung from the forest floor, and the first screams of death reached their ears. It wasn't the first time the village had been the object of an invader's desire.
Those who fell littered the ground, creating a crimson carpet of bodies for the others to cross, a bridge to the very edge of Tolenado. There, catapulting balls of fire were released, wiping out at least half of those trying to breach their borders, burning the pirates to crispy ashes. The magic created by their master wizards burned like hellfire through clothing, flesh, and bone in an instant.
The remaining forces struggled through the combination of bodies and ash pebbling the ground, screaming in outrage, the deaths had been costly, and not a single villager had made a strike against the invading force.
With rage pouring from their bodies, shaking with the need for revenge, the pirates entered the village where Alera waited with her warriors, their claymores fisted in both hands. Their village of Tolenado appeared to be a peaceful beautiful oasis in a land of darkness, but it was only because of their defenses that it remained so.
The first of the persisting invaders stumbled through their barriers, finding the village still resting. “Fools!” One of the bastards uttered, and Alera glanced around at her warriors, catching each eye, making sure each woman was ready for the fight to come.
As one, the warriors separated and encircled the encroaching pirates, bracing for the blood to flow. Upon seeing them, a few at the rear bolted back into the forest, but it was too late, Alera's warriors now surrounded them. There was no where left to turn except into the waiting arms of death.
The claymores began to swing, and the blood curdling screams followed. Each mighty swing brought certain death, and one by one the invaders fell. Within the time it took to draw several deep breaths, the conflict was over. It wasn't even a battle, it ended too quickly, leaving the bodies as it's only evidence.
The wizards came and magicked the bodies, blood and gore, to the coast where they were left as a warning for others, a lesson most learned, but a few still had to try. The spikes laid flat against the forest floor, catapults hidden away. Alera breathed a sigh, and headed back to the cave, where she found herself now. It was her responsibility to keep her home safe, Queen of the Warrior Princesses of Tolenado, fabled warriors of myths and legends of old.
So, that's my flash, I'm done trying!! LOL I should have let Amy pick this one, she's much better at it than I am!
If you chose to play along, I'll be by to have a peek at your flash! And remember to join us again on Monday for another edition of
Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!
Everyone, remember to stop by Amy's and wish her good luck on her new job!! She starts Monday morning, bright and early!!
**Fingers Crossed Amy!!**
Good Luck Sweetie!
All Good Wishes For Your New Job!!!