Rustle

The following is an entry for the Fairy Ring Flash Fiction Contest over at Anna Meade’s blog, Yearning for Wonderland. I’m a horrible procrastina-pod, and I waited till the last second — or more accurately, the last twenty-eight minutes. But here you go!

I didn’t expect it to be so wet.

Oh, I knew it rained in Scotland. How else would everything be such a virulent shade of green? Somehow when I pictured majestic mountains shrouded with twilit silver mist, that mist lacked the power to turn my hair into a fro.

Right now the expanding mass of curls atop my head didn’t make number one on my list of problems, but it also didn’t help my visibility as I squinted into the engine of my rental.

Steam rose from the metal, along with the acrid tang of seared rubber. One end of the betraying belt flopped against the oil dipstick.

I’d come here looking for magic. I’d found wet feet and a fro. Two hours to wait for AA – that’s what I got for picking a nameless glen in Sutherland over a pub in Fort William. My brain taunted me with the memory of malt vinegar over chips and Glen Ord scotch.

The forest to the west looked drier and less cramped than the tiny car. I squished into the underbrush and picked my way to an oak tree, sitting on the cushion of moss to wait for my rescuers.

The air smelled of peat and crystal water, clean. A deep breath afforded a small comfort against the damp seeping through the seat of my pants.

Bright in the gloaming, eyes met mine through the trees. Breath held tight, I pushed my back against the tree, feeling the bark crease my skin. Eyes. Deep green-gold set into a face of leaves. The pat of the misting rain fell silent as I stared across the clearing.

Someone called my name.

My head swiveled toward the road and the flash of reflective yellow jacket. When I turned back, only the rustle of leaves remained.



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About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on February 20, 2012, in urban fantasy, writing process and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Love all the imagery. Can tell your heart belongs to Scotland.:) Wish the was more.

    • Thanks!

      I didn’t think I could convincingly write fairies…the only thing I could think of was a girl stepping in gum and tripping to fall face down in a fairy ring of mushrooms.

      Hm. Maybe I’ll still write that. But anyway…I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the green man. So this is what transpired.

  2. You set the scene beautifully Emmie, and the photo was perfect. Well done!!

  3. Very nice. I like there being just a glimpse of magic in a mundane situation. And very well written.

  4. Very good, Emmie. I really enjoyed that. I perfect flash, complete but says so much more.

  5. Beautiful story, Emmie. The imagery of the setting is lovely, it practically made my hair frizz. Good job.

  6. Such commanding use of the senses! Absolutely great!

  7. This is great, Emmie, and impressive for 28 minutes. That’s about 3 days worth of writing and editing for me. I’m sorry I just have to mention one thing, though — one word, really, at the very beginning, that I suspect was inadvertent on your part, but is causing a grin that I will not be able to wipe from my face until I say something. My internal editor just won’t leave me alone on this one. Anyway, I think that perhaps you meant the word, “verdant,” perhaps, instead of “virulent.” Virulent, in this context, just made me think of green pus. Thanks for the giggles, Emmie — and don’t fret; I’ve done things like this countless times, perhaps just not on deadline. You can change the word and delete this comment if you want; I won’t mind at all.

    • I actually did mean to use that word — Ms. Protag is stuck in the middle of nowhere, and instead of seeming beautiful, the green seems infectious to her because it’s tied to the rain that’s giving her wet feet. 🙂 She feels like it’s almost mocking her. So I wasn’t going for pus so much as a vaguely malicious and infectious color that usurped the entire landscape. 🙂

  8. Vivid detail. Really sets the scene. Great flash fiction.

  9. Fine words. Fabulous photo. 28 minutes for magic.

  10. “The air smelled of peat and crystal water, clean. A deep breath afforded a small comfort against the damp seeping through the seat of my pants.”—Loved this line! So many senses!

  11. That was beautiful and very descriptive. I almost felt as though I was there.

    And yes, moving to the UK made my hair become frizzy which being born and raised in California had not prepared me for. lol!

  12. Emmie, did you ever expand on this story? I’d love to read more.

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