I should do more of these, because most of them are quite cool. Once again, Chuck Wendig has posted up a Friday Flash Fiction Challenge, and wants us to write 1,000 words. Today, we are to go over to Flickr, and it will randomly generate us 9 images from an “interestingness” algorithm. We pick one, and write on that theme.

Slightly odd, but hey, unusual writing prompts are fun.

So, over I go, look at my selection. And I quite like the look of this one, Forgotten Flame. (All rights and stuff belong to photographer, link to photo here)

Forgotten Flame

Roselaine drew her cloak around her, the early morning air chill against her skin. The woods were already alive with the sounds of the early birds, tweeting to each other, their mates, already building nests for the coming spring. It wasn’t light yet, but between the moon and the lightening sky, there was enough light for her to navigate by.

These woods felt strange, almost unnatural to her. Not, welcome, but as if she was an unexpected guest. She had never felt trees respond to her like this, Dryads were always welcome in woods and forests. It made her too nervous to even try and commune with the trees, so she drew her leaf cloak even further around herself and carried on walking, hoping that she could find another wood further east.

The tinkling sound of water reached her ears, and she stopped, feet slightly burying themselves in the loam. It was fairly nearby, her throat tickling ever so slightly with anticipation as she navigated by the sounds and came out into stream. The water was slowly slipping past her, but the sound she had been following came from further up, a small waterfall that scattered water over layers of rock she saw as she glanced.

Kneeling down, she used her hand to scoop up a few handfuls of water, the ends of her green hair trailing in the water as she leaned over. Her eyes flicked back up to the waterfall, and double took as she saw a flicker of light from the middle of the waterfall.

Roselaine took another mouthful of water, eyes watching the waterfall, as the light played and danced again, just briefly.

Wiping her hand on her dress, she got up, on silent feet, and padded up the stream bank, until she came to the rock, and the water splashed over her feet and sprayed up her legs, leaning up to have a look. The light flickered right in front of her, and with a start she pushed back, feet slipping on the rock. Her backside hit the rock, and she rolled backwards down the last few chunks of rock, mind filled with the single, panicked thought ‘Fire!’.

The tiny flame elemental that was almost hidden behind rock and water flickered back and forth between two spaces, watching her panicked retreat.

Why so scared?

Roselaine’s eyes were wide, chest heaving as she gathered loam and dirt in her hands, grabbing onto what was solid and firm.

It’s been so long since I saw anyone. Stay.

She shook her head, Fire consumes.

The flame elemental billowed out, almost like it was shrugging, no, sighing, You must be a young one. Dryad, yes?

Roselaine didn’t move, still gripping onto the earth. The flame elemental twirled, and then erupted out from behind the water curtain, blue and red sparks fizzling off from its little body. She started back, pushing away, but the sparks died out before they hit the floor, tiny flecks of ash settling on the loam. And nothing caught fire.

Flame may consume, but nature will always grow back. Better and stronger than before. Like the phoenix, good things arise from ash. But I do not burn. Not today. Stay awhile, it’s been a long time since I saw anyone.

Roselaine watched in astonishment as the fire elemental twirled through the air, eventually coming to rest on a low hanging branch nearby, and the branch didn’t burn. Not even a black mark where it was sitting. A few silent moments stretched out between them.

You have a name?

She blinked a few times, Roselaine.

Like the pretty smelling flower? That’s nice. I’m Phyre.

Fire?

Phyre. P-H-Y-R-E. Sounds the same, but my spelling is much better. Phyre billowed out again, like it was sighing, Forgotten spelling. Forgotten Phyre.

How can anyone forget you? I thought, well, aren’t elemental meant to go back to their home plane?

This home. My rock. My water. My home. It waved a tendril of flame in the direction of where she had first seen the flickering light.

But, where’s the fire?

Below.

She looked down at the earth that she was grabbing, Below, you mean, from the centre of the earth?

The form of the little fire elemental waved from side to side, More or less.

Then why are you up here?

Lonely down there. No one else, just Phyre. All alone. Forgotten. Thought surface would have more people, but no one come past. Not in seasons and seasons and seasons. Lonely little Phyre, all forgotten.

Roselaine looked around at the forest, she’s been walking through it for some time now, There should be other elemental’s here, this forest is huge.

No one but me. And now you! Phyre twisted the flame that was acting as it’s head around. Why you come to the forest?

I was…my sisters… there were humans, and our forest was attacked.

A streak of flame, and the elemental was by her side, bathing her hand. She flinched away, withdrawing her hand, except, it didn’t burn. Cautiously she reached her hand back out, just near enough to the flickering elemental. It was warm, not matter how close she got, it was just warm. Slowly, very slowly, she reached out, and touched the tip of its head.

It, Phyre, almost seemed to purr as she did so, a slow, slightly crackling sound, that reminded her of the cats and wild rodents that had been in the last forest.

Your tree, is it gone?

A tear slipped out from her eye, and dripped onto Phyre’s head, Yes.

You stay here. I like you, you make good company.

But, the trees. They’re, I don’t know how to describe it.

They just lonely. You come, bring sisters. Then they not be forgotten. And I not be forgotten either.

Roselaine looked around. The forest did seem a little different. Maybe, a little warmer than it had been before.

Not many of my sisters like fire.

They’ll like me, and I’ll make fire work for us. Little fires, not big ones. And no stinking humans.

A tiny giggle slipped out of her lips, before she bit it back. She took another look around the forest, as the flames of Phyre just licked around her fingers. Maybe, it could work. She wasn’t entirely sure, but any forest without humans, that was a forest that she wanted to be in.

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