On 23 August 2017, these three words were chosen:
And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!
Marcus looked up into the sky, the unforgiving sun beating down on him. He sneered at the yellow orb, as he silently cursed it for bringing the drought upon his people. It had been a long summer, in fact the longest ever recorded, and in the last three years of this unending heat, there had been no rain. Many of the villagers began to think it was a curse brought down upon us by the two sisters that lived in the castle on the hill. Marcus turned his attention in that direction and observed a flock of black birds diving amongst each other above the turrets of the stone castle. From here, he could see the slippery surface of its rock walls, slick with a dripping red liquid.
The drought had chased away most of the animals but it was the birds Sharn missed the most. Their pleasant song in the morning always helped to shake away the cobwebs of the night and bring a joy to the day that no song maker could quite duplicate.
Stepping into what once was the garden, Sharn let the sun surge into her skin and revitalize her form. This planet, this little village had been her peace for so long she hated to leave it but the drought had taken too much and she would not let it take her too. Lips curved downward for the first time in months, Sharn went to pack up the treasures she had collected and prepared for the four-day hike to her vessel.
As she closed the first sack, the house darkened and the air smelled like ozone. Sharn smiled and leapt to the window. The walkway outside would soon be slippery with rain and the animals would return. Her world was hers once more.
“The birds all disappeared with the rain,” the old man’s voice was ominous, and sent chills sliding over Tam’s skin, like cold, slippery snakes.
He tried to edge around the dirty, hunched figure at the side of the road, but fate had other plans for Tam, and the sound of pounding hoof beats made him lunge for safety out of the path of the frantic rider. Coughing and choking on the dust left behind, Tam saw the old man’s bright eyes trained on him, and gave him a fright. He could’ve sworn the old man was blind.
“Do you remember before the drought?” the man asked.
Tam shook his head. He was only five and thirty and the rain had been gone since his father was a little boy.
“I remember,” the man said, a wistful look in his eyes. “I remember green.”
Tam nodded, and stood up. He dug around in his pocket for a coin, figuring the man had shared his little spot on the side of the road so Tam didn’t get trampled, and that was worth a penny or two. He held out the money, and the man stared at him for a long time before reaching out. Bony fingers closed over Tam’s wrist, and the man pulled him down so they were nose to nose.
“Only the black can bring back the rain, but first he must be found,” the man said in a fierce whisper, then pushed Tam away.
Tam stumbled back, and when he looked at the man again, he was hunched over his begging cup, white, sightless eyes staring out at the dusty street.
Malcom walked towards her with the cube as it shrunk until he held it up.
“It looks like a bird” Heather said.
Malcom shrugged. “It is one you don’t want to hear sing”.
He slid the cube in his pouch.
“Were done here then?” Heather asked desperate to get home to try to wash the glitter veins off her skin.
“No and they won’t come off” Malcom said walking past her.
“How did you….?” She began.
“It is what I thought when it happened to me” he said and scanned down the hallway.
Heather wanted to say something more but there was movement up in front of them.
Malcom started to move forward but before he took a step Heather grabbed his hand and pointed at the slippery substance coating the floor in front of them.
Malcom shook his head.
“The fairies ignoring the drought huh?” Heather said pulling some sand from her pouch smiling.
Malcom just sighed pulling out his own sand.
“Dude, you just need to get some,” Sam told him.
The vampire turned to his roommate, face dead serious. “You do not get to say such things to me,” Thomas told his companion. “And I am not a dude.”
“Duuudde,” Sam let the word trail off. “Seriously. You need to leave this apartment, go out into the city, do your voodoo charm thing on some hot sexy thing, and let off some steam.”
“I do not need to let off steam. I am not remotely steamy,” Thomas defended himself.
“Exactly,” Sam snapped. “And you need to be. You are intolerable.” Sam walked across the living room, then turned back to his friend, face more concerned than teasing now. “How long has it been?”
“It has been…” Thomas let the words trail off.
“Yes?” Sam prompted. After another moment with Thomas scrutinizing the ceiling for some kind of clue, Sam burst out. “You don’t even remember!”
“Of course I remember,” Thomas snapped. “I was just doing math.”
“Doing math? Come on! I thought this was a dry spell, but no, man, this is a literal drought. You need to just relax and let loose.”
“You do not want me to let loose. Believe me. That is a dangerous slippery slope. I don’t know that this city would survive it.”
“Well, you’re a vampire. You can’t survive without human blood. I know you love your birds and cats and rats and whatnot, but come on already. Eat the damn Snickers.”
John stood, alone, in his bathroom, looking at things which only he could see. Or, rather, any faerie could see, but if there were in his bathroom to do so, they were in some serious trouble with him.
These thoughts moved around his head for a moment, before he shook them loose like he’d seen his wife do in that odd, but rather cute, human way, and cast out his hands. The room had some tinges of trickster’s spells on it, though they were small and slippery—not liking to be looked at for more than a few seconds in their green sparkling form.
He squinted though, finding one that was caught on some tile. The exposed minerals oddly the right combo to hold magic in place. With practiced fingers, he brought forth a small shape in the air and breathed it toward the spot.
The spark, though, did not like this idea and blinked a few times. The spell summoned a bird, a blue bird to be exact, instead, and it chirped with a panic around the room.
“Everything okay in there?” Heather asked, off somewhere. John yelled back an uncommitted confirmation and went back to his work, deep-frying the bird out of the air with a quick spell.
The smell was not great.
“Alright, you little…” he said, revving up another spell aimed for the small green dot. At that moment, it again blinked out a spell in retaliation.
This time nothing was obviously gone wrong until Heather ran into the room and asked why and how he had managed to make California have another drought.