Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Anticipation's Storm

I feel as though it has been a while since I have shared any sort of "creative writing" post and so today, that is what I shall do.  The short snippet below was originally a squabbling challenge for CleanPlace.  We were told to select one of three images and write a story centering on that character (not necessarily the setting they are in, but who they are).  The image I selected is included below.  This story is related to another snippet which I might share soontimes.  I like the ideas that are planted within Evy's life and I might revisit them at a later date.

For now, I hope you enjoy Anticipation's Storm.*
*Working title.
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Darkness pressed down against the earth, sucking up the light like a parched root thirsting for water.  A blaze of light cut the sky, a brief flash into the army of trees below, and then vanished into the void.  Following came a sudden loud clash and bang as the clouds thundered their hunger.  In a lone and  battered cabin,  Evy's hand stilled for a moment as she glanced at the thin ceiling.  Water crept down the wooden walls to pool on the dirt floor.  It was a miracle that no water leaked in from the tiles overhead, leaving the center, where Evy sat on a small crate, mostly dry.  A cold draft licked beneath the edge of the boards, pulling back to howl in anger at the door that denied its entrance.  Panels creaked in protest, but stood firm in rebellion against the wind.   The stale, damp air kept the smell of mildew potent and fresh and Evy cringed every few minutes when she forgot to breathe through her mouth.

via the internet... not sure main source
Another hungry rumble sounded overhead and she bent back over her sewing.  Sheltered between her feet sat a small flickering candle that cast a dim glow on the taught piece of leather in her hands.  Her fingers trembled as she reached for the thick sinew cord.  Scowling at her hand, she pulled back and tossed her long orange hair over her shoulder. 

"Get a hold of yourself, Ev," she muttered, pulling her ponytail tighter.  Her right hand paused on a beaded necklace, rubbing the sculpted rocks a couple of times before she reached for the sinew again.  This time, with sure fingers, she pushed the needle through the leather and pulled it tight.  She added a few more stitches and then tied off the end before severing the cord with her teeth.    Pulling it back, she admired the odd trapezoid-shaped piece.  A strand of sinew formed a loop between the corners on the short side of the trapezoid while a clasp of sorts was connected to the other two points.

A crashing directly above her head caused her to jump, eyes wide and heart pounding.  The candle fell over in her sudden movement, and the darkness gobbled the small morsel of light.   She pulled her new makeshift glove onto her left hand and fumbled on the ground for the candle.  With a soft scratch against the crate on which she sat, she lit a match and relit the candle before lowering it back into its holder.  Evy then wiped the grim from her fingers onto her long and worn skirt as she pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her toes on the crate's edge.  With the next boom from above, she squeezed her eyes shut and whispered a count to ten.

A tap from below the crate startled her out of her concentration and she reached back for a long thin spear resting against the far wall.  The tapping continued with three quick beats followed by two slow.  Evy slid from her perch and pushed the crate back against the wall.  Beneath the box was a small latch.  While holding the spear poised at the ground, she twisted and pulled up with her free hand to open the hidden passage.  Her friend, Thom, stood down in the opening and she released a breath.  She flicked her pinky over a rivet in the shaft of her spear and it collapsed into a small cylinder that nestled comfortably in the center of her hand.  Knocking the spear onto a rope at her belt, she reached down for her candle and attempted a smile.

"Is it time?" she whispered.

Thom nodded, his shaggy brown hair glinting in the flickering glow.

"Are you sure?" She licked her lips and tucked some stray strands of hair behind an ear.  "'Cause you know the weather is kind of bad tonight and if we waited the storm will pass and we could do it then."

Smiling, Thom walked up the small steps and into the room, his head nearly scraping against the ceiling.  "Evelyn, what better night to face him than on a night you fear?"

"Well… never, really."

He chuckled softly as thunder vibrated through the air.  She squeezed her eyes shut, her hands clenching until her knuckles went white.  A cool touch pressed against her forehead and she opened her eyes to find Thom's brow against her own.  He looked into her eyes unblinking and she swallowed.

"You're right… I know," she murmured at last.  She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. 

"I'm ready," she said after a moment though the candle shook in her hands.

He grabbed her free hand and pulled her toward the stairs.  As she followed him down, he leaned over to blow out the lone flame.  Above them, the dark sang, at last content.


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