Payment For the Theft – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 31 March 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Glass
  • Flame
  • Grim

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



Taylor had a grim look on his face as he entered the door. We had expected him back hours ago with news of the hunt. Bran had all but decided it was time to move from this place when we heard the spell go off indicating someone had entered the small hallway that led to this musty room we were hiding in.

We all sheathed our weapons and Bran turned up the flame in the small lamp that sat on the crate that was acting as a make-shift table. The glass was marked with soot so the light shined shadows made it seem that even the night was against us.

The quiet that seemed to be heavy in the room was broken only when Tara, the only elf in the party said “We know it is bad, I suggest we get on with it so we can prepare.” Her tone a mixture of fear and hostility. Not the normal sing-song lilt her race is known for.

Taylor took a deep breath and let it out slowly “They know we have it” he sighed “and they have sent a Reaper to retrieve it plus payment for the theft.”

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Rory held the glass blade over the flame before softly beating the small imperfection away. He held the blade up to the light finally satisfied with his work. His face grim, he cooled the blade in his water bucket and then gently dried it and slid it into its handmade leather sheath. He turned to girl who had been waiting not so patiently near the door. A smudge of jam was on the corner of her lip, left over from the bread he had served to calm her into waiting. It seemed the Lord’s runners were getting younger each year.

“One last thing,” he said. He kneeled at door, looked up at the bright moon and whispered a prayer to the fae Queen. He knew she would hear him no matter her locale and give him the blessing this night. It would be the gift she owed him and then he was finally free of involvement. He handed the package to the girl.

“Run like the wind, girl. The Lord will need this if we want the land to be free once more.”

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The hot flame danced and flickered as it was pushed and pulled by the cool breeze. Its movements captivated me and I could not look away. It felt as if I was falling into the orange and yellow light, my mind unable to escape. Images began to unfold before me. A woman with long dark hair was holding a glass filled with a purple liquid. The look on her face filled with grief. Then the image changed to a village filled with people falling to the ground. One old man, whose face was wrinkled by his years of labor, reached out to me. I strained to go to him, but could not. With a start, I was pulled back into the present, Sam having slapped my hand away before I had reached into the fire. His expression was grim. He knew that whatever I had seen, was coming our way.

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Clara looked at the flame struggling to survive inside the glass with a grim expression.

“We don’t have much time,” she told her companions.

“So we must open the box?” Hordan said, displeased with the prospect. Clara looked to the twins, Yena and Malva, and they both nodded. Clara had no choice but to agree. What was the use of having seers with you if you refused to accept what they told you.

“Telma should be here any moment,” she said. “He has charge of the box for this passing of the moon.”

They waited, and waited. Hordan began to fidget. The twins did not move, but their eyelids sank slowly down, until Yena looked to be asleep, and Malva looked drunk. Sitll Telma did not appear.

“I’m going after him,” Hordan said, his voice loud in the silence. “Something is terribly wrong.”

Clara did not want to second the motion aloud. Speaking things gave them power. The flame was fluttering in weak spurts. Sometimes it looked as though it had gone out, and a cold gripped her heart, but then it would spark up again, a faint golden warmth.

“That doesn’t look so good,” a voice said, and she turned to find a creature with large, glowing eyes, and a pair of white wings falling from his shoulders to his ankles like a cape of silver feathers.

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1 Comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

One response to “Payment For the Theft – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: The hot flame danced… – Alanna Cormier

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