Sometimes, Rovina would lean against his headstone and watch the world go by.
Sure, she’s trying to let go, and she’s succeeding. Somewhat.
It’s just… hard, sometimes.
Her blood brother, her father, they were easy. They were gone too early, too fast for her to feel anything but regret and a ‘what if’, every now and then. That was inevitable. It was also easy to ignore.
Ashton to her, because that lying little critter never gave her his real name while he was alive. In the end, even the name she thought was his was just a pseudonym.
Learn to say goodbye.
It’s hard, but it’s inevitable. Someday, you’d have to say goodbye to everything you hold dear. Don’t let that catch you off guard. You cannot refuse to let go, either, son, because it isn’t always up to you.
That’s the first thing his father taught him.
It’s a lesson he never forgot, but it didn’t prepare him for the day he had to say goodbye to them. He wasn’t ready to be responsible for Mira, he wasn’t ready to say goodbye, to let go, but the doors closed and the tube retreated and –
They were gone.
He knew he can’t win.
After all, the game tested your competency at handling a phaser and those things absolutely despised him.
But he can’t lose.
It’s his sister’s future at stake. Winning this won’t change anything for him – he’d still be the Council’s property, but if he made it, then, at sixteen, he can get her out of Redirection. She’d have a proper life as an Elite.
Thinking it through for a moment, he realised that it wasn’t just about shooting your target – it was also about hiding from your hunter.
And he’s always been the best at hide-and-seek.
When taking the quest, he had acknowledged the possible dangers. The full impact, however, was only hitting him now.
Sliding down the wall he had just been tossed into, he tried his best not to cower as the Minotaur joined the Yeti, crowding him in. About then, a third shadow joined them alongside a fireball.
‘Oh dear’ he thought faintly, looking up. It took him precious little time to figure out that the ‘sky’ was the underbelly of a dragon.
A dragon about to sit on him.
And that, my darlings, was the start of a wonderful friendship.
Prompt: Between A Rock and Two Hard Places
Prequel to: Hang-10, Ghoulish Treasure
When he blearily opened his eyes, he saw the grey ceiling. It registered a few seconds later that the bed felt like concrete. He bolted upright.
He was distracted from the throbbing, though, when he noticed the bars. And the guard standing behind it.
A rat scuttled across the floor.
He frowned at it for a moment before…
What had he done? And, what about his call? Wasn’t it a right?
“Hello?” he asked tentatively.
There was no reply.
“Guard!” He reached for the bars, ready to make a rackus.
His hand passed right through.
Prompt: Who You Gonna Call?
Follow-Up/Companion to: Lost , Hang-10, Ghoulish Treasure
The queue wound around the block. I glanced back, glad to have avoided the rush hour. The thing was, I wasn’t not entirely sure why this vendor was so popular. Sure, even the stingiest critics gave this stall an extremely high ranting, however, I can’t see what’s so special. It’s just hot dogs. John insisted, though.
As I walked away, I took a bite.
That… was unexpected. I paused, lifting it up, studying it carefully. It strongly resembled a normal hot dog. I sniffed it. It smelt… normal? There wasn’t any chili or pickles.
But it made my tongue tingle.
Prompt: “…but it made my tongue tingle…”
The lights flickered.
Irritated, she glanced up. Before long, though, her attention returned to the life flourishing in her hands, the little tendrils thickening and lengthening, strengthening, slithering up her arms, winding itself around and around – tight enough to have a presence, yet slack enough that it wasn’t uncomfortable.
She looked on, wide eyed, enchanted by the rate at which this precious thing – no, life, that she had created, was blossoming.
Except, it wasn’t stopping. As it continued extending, it strangled her, silenced her, suffocated her and it didn’t, doesn’t – wouldn’t stop.
Not until it was lights out once more.
Settling into his car, he fought the urge to return and retrieve the keys to the castle, to reclaim his post as the sole guardian. That the sorcerer, the replacement the voice had chosen, had the audacity to arrive with the Minotaur and that other creature, had not helped.
He did succeed eventually by reminding himself, repeatedly, that this was just an overdue holiday. To the beach, as suggested helpfully by it.
When the amnesiac duo washed ashore, though, mindful of the voice’s presence, he had to bite back the curse.
He really should have known better.
Prompt: Hang 10?
Follow-Up/Companion to: Lost
Huddled behind the counter miserably, she mourned for her perfect day.
Sure, the milk’s expired, she’s running out of cheerios, the cupboard’s almost empty and the rent’s due the next day, but all in all, it was actually the best day she had had in a month. She wouldn’t have bothered leaving the house, if not for her friend’s helpful reminder that “You could stay here, but you need cash, don’t you?”
It truly wasn’t her fault, though.
All she did was walk into a bank.
The bank robbers just happened to do the same thing at the same time.
Prompt: “…but you need cash…”
Chasing the light at the end of a tunnel created by the oppressive foliage, pressing deeper into the belly of this forest in search of somewhere to turn around at? Neither appealing nor a choice, since there’s no one, no signal – no way to find out where he was. Edgy, he daren’t leave the car, not even when the next turn revealed gates padlocked with chains.
Beyond, a stone driveway led up to a looming castle guarded by three.
His eyes widened.
He knew this place.
A lifetime ago, he’s been here, lost, in a world going down in flames.