To Be Free – Serious Short

“You don’t understand, if you don’t free me we will all be doomed-”

“Are you threatening your king!” the man with the crown demanded.

The weather-worn woman before did not tremble from his anger, merely bowed her head in exhaustion and weary resignation.

The king did not wait to see what she would say before continuing, “You are guilty of the crime of sorcery!”

A smile flitted across her tear-stained face as she finally looked up, “That’s why I came to Camelot.”

The king was not surprised in the least, “To destroy us.”

For the first time, the woman frowned, “No, to be free. You slaughter all with magic.” she seemed to take courage from somewhere and stood straight for the first time since she’d been brought before the king, “Surely you can bring permanent death even to a phoenix.”

There was stunned silence in the court of law, even the king found himself speechless at this declaration.

“Death is a freedom I desperately need.” the woman, no, the phoenix trapped within human form, “Please, King Uther, you must execute me.”

I’ve been thinking about BBC’s Merlin lately and the fact that King Uther was very anti-magic. He killed anyone even hinted at using or being near magic, including magical creatures who were born with magic and, at the time, were believed to have no kind of agency for themselves.

(I extrapolate the last comment based on the fact that animals weren’t believed to have a soul at the time and only those with a soul would have a mind and be able to actually make choices and thus have agency to choose for themselves what they wanted to do.)

What if someone came to Camelot, not because they wanted to attack King Uther with their magic, but because they wanted King Uther to know they had magic and kill them?

Well, I thought about it and this little snippet wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it. I was never certain just how it would end, but maybe now I can write on something else.



There comes a point where you have to decide what you’re going to do with your life. His sister had made her choice long ago and while he hadn’t wanted to live with her decision, he’d had to.


Now he had to make a decision about how he was going to live.

For someone that hadn’t made a decision that affected just him not even once in his life, that was going to be all but impossible.

But he would learn.

It wasn’t like he had a choice now.

(You always have a choice.)

Stranger To Me

There are times when she wasn’t sure what to do anymore. Her children were grown and visited her less and less. They listened to anything she had to say with distressingly less regularity. Her husband had grown distant, only coming to see her maybe once or twice a month. During months that held anniversaries like their marriage or one of their birthdays, she’d see him a third time, but no more during any of their children’s or grandchildren’s birthdays. She didn’t even see him at night anymore as he had started sleeping in a separate room, something that had been unthinkable until just four years ago.

She wasn’t even certain of when it started happening. He’d been working longer, but only one night every now and then at first. It had slowly grown from once a month to maybe three or four times a month and then several times a week.

Then, one day, she woke up and realized that her husband hadn’t shared her bed, not even just for sleeping, in over a year.

Then she realized that not only did she wake up to his side of the bed cold and untouched but she didn’t even get to see his face during the day, never mind getting to see him smile.

She was a stranger to the man that she’d pledged her everything to and he was a stranger to her.

“How did it come to this, my dear?” she whispered into his pillow from where it was pressed into her face.

It had long since stopped smelling liking him.

Follow Through

It’s not gone entirely, but it feels muffled and faint, like the memory of an emotion instead of the actual emotion. –unknown


It was less a memory of the emotion and more a memory of the memory.

If that made any kind of sense.

She remembered what it was like to actually love someone and not just anyone, but a human man. She’d loved him enough to marry him and to have his children. But at the same time it wasn’t a memory that she could call up and experience within her own mind’s eye.

It was like reading about something in a book that had happened to someone else and then finding out that it hadn’t happened to someone else, but to the person who had read the book.

Her life was full of all kinds of screwy things it seemed.

Case in point:

“Are you certain that this is the right thing to do? She might not even be the real one…”

“You just don’t want to do this!”

“I just don’t want to screw this up…”

“I knew that you wouldn’t have the guts to follow through!”

“If being wrong turns us into nothing more than murderers then I would gladly be labeled a coward!”

There’s a breath as if the second person hadn’t even thought of that before they shrug and disregard it.

“We’re not wrong and if the thing you’re slaughtering isn’t human then it’s not murder. That thing isn’t human even though it looks like one.”

“You know that you sound like all of those crazy hunters from the movies and t.v. shows now, right?”

“Only cheesy people or people who are legitimate psychos sound like those characters.”

“You’re trying to talk me into ritually sacrificing this girl in order to bring us some kind of power or wealth or whatever.”

That last was said in a very monotone sort of voice. If she wasn’t still regretting her life choices that had led up to this moment (and actually written the book on how to do this kind of ritual to someone like her) then she might have been…something like impressed? She didn’t know and honestly? She didn’t care what kind of personal growth the first person was trying to instigate in the second, the fact of the matter was they had ambushed a six year old, knocked her out, dragged her…somewhere and then tied her up to some kind of crudely put together alter and were now standing over the groggy child debating on whether or not to finish what they’d started when they’d cut several runes (badly done runes at that) into the soft flesh of said child and now were supposed to slit the child’s throat, drain the blood and then drink it from the ceramic mugs ready on the side of the alter.

The fact that this wasn’t the first time the child had gone through this was more than aggravating. It was the reason she’d had to be born all over again (for the umpteenth time) and was only six despite the fact that she was always reborn within ten years of her previous life’s death date and the fact that she rarely lived to be more than thirteen years old after the first several decades of being sacrificed.

But other than guesswork and research and just plain dumb luck these two didn’t know that. For all they knew, just as the first person was arguing, they had done more than commit a felony they were planning to kill a helpless little girl just on the off chance that she was some kind of regenerating mystical creature for their own gain. They had no way of knowing if what they’d read about was real or not.

Second thoughts now, while all well and good, would have meant nothing if the little girl hadn’t been a mystical creature with regenerative powers. Just because it wouldn’t leave her dead in the long run did not in any take away from the criminal and horrifying acts that these two had planned and mostly already carried out.

Shackles are the Key to Freedom

I hadn’t thought about how I was going to do this, hadn’t thought about it at all when it came to me.

I have nothing on me, not a scrap of clothing nor very long hair. Anything that I might use as a focus has been stripped of me and any time I am with child I have not the energy with which to infuse into the bedding that I am only given then.

In my despair I had overlooked the one thing that is with me always whether I am with child or alone in the tower.

My shackles.

Opposing Rituals – SoC

Being the opposite of her husband helped with the prolonged ritual, for him at least. He was greedy and grasping and, above all else, a murderer of the innocence of the world.

She was the very antithesis of this and it had helped him to become more powerful.

Now she was finally able to use such a thing, the different ends of hope and despair in order to fuel her own rituals, small though they would be in order to build up the power stored within her shackles.

“The only way to keep something truly caged is to kill it within its cage.” she whispered in the silence of her own mind, “and it is impossible to kill a phoenix, husband.”

This little snippet is brought to you by the Stream of Consciousness prompt of opposites. I was going to go for a longer post, but I just kind of died at this point.


There are days when I wonder if I will ever find peace.

Days when I sit and stare out the window and know that this will not last long.

Everything in my life has come at a price. At first, the price did not seem high; I simply had to leave home and though I would miss my brother and miss the trees of my youth, I knew that the life that was laid out before me was worth the cost.

How foolish those days seem now in hindsight.

I thought that he would hold me gently in his hands like the bird he’d been quickly whispering to when I first saw him. I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.

I look around at the cage I’m in and I know that it’s not even a gilded one to keep me safe in the comfort of my captivity.

If only I could go back in time and stop myself from letting him take me in his hand.

But I can’t.

There are things that my kind can do, crossing time and the space between one world and another is one of them, but to change our own timestream is something that I cannot do. I cannot go back to myself because it would do nothing. I would be invisible to myself and unable to make any kind of action that would change what has already happened.

My brother used to tell me stories about those that tried to change their own past and it never worked. They couldn’t even find a loophole to do so through another person. It just wouldn’t happen, no warnings or moves that could cause my doom to be turned from me. I couldn’t even go back and affect his timestream because that would affect my own.

I could do nothing about the past, about my past, but I could try and do something about my future. I can travel away from here should I be able to harness my own abilities in such a way that he doesn’t detect. He keeps close watch on my energies and everything that I can do. He makes things from my blood and my abilities. Makes himself rich and powerful while I am left with only enough to survive through the day and then the night.

My words have been silenced as there isn’t even enough in me to be able to speak words of power to focus what little life force I have to escape.

My husband certainly did his research before he captured his ‘pretty little bird.’

This little bird will peck her own eyes out if it will help me escape. I have seen enough animals gnaw their paws off in order to escape when necessary. I may hold the shape of a human but I am just as wild as the birds beyond my barred window.

This was actually a little work hat I started several months ago, but hadn’t been able to finish. I was inspired to finish it by the picture prompt from the First Monday prompt for the Light and Shade Challenge. Sorry it’s kind of depressing, but this little story universe is really sad in my head.

image: courtesy of Wiki commons, taken by monica navarro aranda and used under the Creative Commons Agreement


End of the Day

She lay in the bed, exhausted but satisfied. The day had been hard. No, that was an understatement.

Today had been the worst day of her entire life.


But today was also the best day, because the hope that would come from today’s actions outweighed the downsides of the cost.

At least, she hoped that it would.

This little snippet is all I’m up for today I’m afraid. I won’t be on here a whole lot. Too exhausted for much more.

The Grass IS Greener – SoC

She smiled at the others around her, glad more than ever that she had managed to excuse herself from the situation that her youthful folly had landed her in for so many decades.

In fact, it had been pushing close to a hundred years since she’d foolishly agreed to marry a man that had captured her attention as a young phoenix. The marriage had been horrible and a lot closer to her being a kept ‘pet’ that was used to create an ‘elixir of life’ for the man than anything else.

The woman shook her head slightly to clear away the cobwebs that such thoughts always caused and returned her attention to the young people that had come to visit her daughter and smied once more.

This was a much better life even if it was likely she’d outlive her own child.

Inspired by the prompt for this weekend’s Stream of Consciousness from one of the awesome people substituting for Linda.


Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions


Don’t Even Think About It

By hook or by crook.

There wasn’t much more she could do to hide. Her children were sent away, she’d never see them again. She’d make certain of it. She didn’t want to leave any trace of her magic where he might pickup on it and find the only bright things left in her life.

So she ran and ran and ran and tried her hardest to never even think about the varied places she’d sent her young ones. She didn’t think about how they might not be so young anymore. Some were sure to have grown up over the years and become adults. The time between worlds didn’t run the same, some went faster than others and some might not even move at all.

That was the trouble with dealing with her kind. Time and space and what is or isn’t were very hairy things.

That was why she had to run, because he had, had access to her abilities for so long. Too long. He had done truly monstrous things with them, but even he had not found the furthest reaches of them.

For that she was grateful, even if she could never find peace for herself, she knew that eventually he would run out. His time had not been stopped like hers, only delayed and he could not stop it again unless he found her.

She could not allow that.

Overhead the birds flew and played and had a breezy time, either not knowing or not caring of the troubles beneath them.

Most of this sat in my draft folder for a really long time. I was looking at it again for a bit when I also wandered over to Three Word Wednesday and saw this week’s words.