Flames and Havoc

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Short Stories
Tags: , , ,

This is a short story I wrote based on a prompt from the Terrible Minds blog (quick note – there is some language on the blog, but also some great points).  The characters here are from a larger story I’m working on at the moment.  The plan is that I’ll write short stories as background pieces for the larger one.  The prompt was to write an unlikable, but compelling protagonist in 1000 words or less  This comes in at 998 words.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Willow lounged in front of the fireplace in the townhouse she shared with Ian and Kendra.  Usually people flocked in and out of the house at all hours; alone time was a luxury.  For once, no other Fae were using the house as a hostel.  Kendra was in her room reassembling a computer.  Ian was “on a date,” which would end either here or at the girl’s place.  Either way, it would probably end badly for the girl.  Unless date wasn’t actually a euphemism for make-out and then drain body of blood.  It’s been a while any which way, Willow shrugged.  She didn’t care about Ian’s late-night urges.  Human safety wasn’t high on her list of priorities.

She took a sip from her wine glass and laid her head back on the puffy couch, her red hair draped over the cushion.

Kendra suddenly pushed aside Willow’s feet and plopped next to her on the couch, plucking Willow’s wine glass out of her hand and taking a sip.  “Ugh,” she made a face.  “It tastes like feet.  How can you drink that stuff?”

“Some of us would rather have finer things than beer and whiskey,” Willow retorted, snatching the glass back.  “You just have no culture.”

“Culture?” Kendra snorted.  “Weren’t you just saying the other day that we should make our own culture?”

“Yes, and my culture happens to like fancy wine.  Occasionally humans get something right.”

“Whatever,” Kendra rolled her eyes.  “So…Lucas might be coming over to talk soon.”

Willow narrowed her eyes.  The fire leapt up, green and angry.  Kendra jumped up and grabbed the always-handy fire extinguisher, just in case the fire escaped or Willow lost more control.   “Will, relax!  He just wants to talk!”

“He never just wants to talk, Kendra!  He’s going to try to make us change our minds.  Again.  He wants us to go back to New Avalon and I’m not going!”  The fire hopped onto the stone floor and back into the fireplace.  Kendra quickly shot the stray flame that stayed behind with the extinguisher and glared at Willow.

“He’s coming, whether we want him to or not, so get a grip!  I’m sick of covering up scorch marks.”

The door opened quietly.  Ian just glanced at the girls, dejection written all over his pale face.  He silently sat in the middle of the couch.  He frowned at the new scorch mark and then at Willow.  He grabbed the bottle of wine from the floor and tipped it into his mouth.  After a few swallows, he spoke.  “Is there something wrong with me?”

“Of course not, Ian,” Kendra sat and wrapped an arm around his shoulders.

“She said I creeped her out.  That I looked like Dracula or something,” he laid his head on Kendra’s shoulder.

“Sounds like a compliment.  Why didn’t you drain her?” Willow asked.

“I would’ve had to follow her; she left pretty early.  With another guy.”

“So?” Willow asked.

“Willow,” Kendra admonished, shaking her head.

“I was on the drunk side of tipsy by the time they left.  It wouldn’t have ended well.”

A knock on the back door interrupted the conversation.

“Lucas…” Willow clenched her fists.  Kendra got up, still holding the extinguisher.

“Why’s Lucas coming?” Ian frowned.

“Because he’s an idiot.”

“Oh.”

“Hi, Kendra.  Are Willow and Ian home, too?” Lucas’ low voice rolled through the rooms to reach Willow and Ian.

“Yeah, they’re in the living room,” Kendra replied.  She lowered her voice to a whisper, still audible to the two on the couch, “Be careful, Lucas.  Willow already has a fire going.  There won’t be a warning if she gets ticked off.”

Willow snorted and stood, arms crossed, to greet the man.

“What do you want?”

“We need to talk about the company you three keep.”

“We like our company just fine, thank you.”

Lucas sighed and leaned on the mantle.  “The Council isn’t happy.  They want you to come home.”

“We are home.”

“They want to talk about what happened two years ago and get you some help…”

“I don’t need or want the Council’s help!” smoke wisped from Willow’s hands.  “What do they want to do, send me through some freakin’ 12-step program or something?  I’m not apologizing for anything.”

“Yeah, well, the window for apologizing is closing pretty fast.”

Kendra paled.  “They’re sending Hunters, aren’t they?” she whispered.

Lucas swallowed hard and gave a slight nod.  “Soon.  I’m here to warn you.  You took an offer from them and now you’re using it to give shelter and provision to their enemies.  They want this over.  Now.”

Willow’s jaw clenched.  She held her hands away from her sides and small flames engulfed them.  The fire-tongues licked her skin, but didn’t burn her.  She unleashed a small fireball into the fireplace with a muffled boom.

“What we did wasn’t wrong!” she exploded.  “You know what people can do, what they did to Nora!  You’re her mentor; you’ve heard her horror stories!  How can you not just want to rip them all apart?  Besides, that ‘offer’ was just what the Council owed us anyway,” Willow’s pupils held a small flame.

“How long do we have?” Ian asked.

“A few days, a week,” Lucas shrugged.  “Not long.”

“We were just stupid teenagers!” Ian pleaded.

“And now you’re adults and need to start behaving like it.  If you come crawling back, begging forgiveness, if you agree to confinement on the complex, they’ll let you live.  But that’s only if you come back now.  Of your own accord.”

“No,” Willow spat.  Her hair drifted around her face; heat billowed from her skin.  Lucas gulped; he had seen her lose control before and didn’t want to see it again.  “Get out,” she demanded.

“Fine, don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Lucas took long strides out the door.

“What’re we gonna do?” Kendra whispered.

“We’re not going back,” Willow decided.  “We’re stronger than we were.  We can handle ourselves.”

“What’s your plan?” Ian asked.

“We wreak havoc.”

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Comments
  1. Mike says:

    I like it, interesting characters. Good challenge to ensure we don’t paint people as black and white, but all slightly flawed. Looking for more short stories from your work in progress.

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