by Kajsa Forden | Mar 16, 2018 | From the Author, Prompts
Prompt updates! Here are the latest bauble word prompts, added to baubles posted over the last few years. Have a Bits & Baubles suggestion? Contact us with the bauble number and your suggested bit!
“The James, at Lake & Honor, welcomes our luxury guests to this exclusive all-inclusive weekend. Be sure to check in at the front desk – we wouldn’t want any… oversights, would we?”
“Look at that.” “What?” “He’s… Well, he’s smiling.” “He was laughing only a few minutes ago.” … “We’ll have to find his fiance.” “What? Why?” “He was getting married, Miss Jones, I’m sure the bride will want to know he’s dead.”
“Has she done this in front of an audience before?” “What do you mean?” “Radio talents don’t always hold up on stage. I just want to be sure of my… investment.” “Don’t you worry, Mr. Connor, I’d say your investment is safe.” “It had better be, Mr. Reed. It’d better be.”
One of the other girls found her and assumed she had passed out drunk. The champagne bottle nearby was empty and no one questioned it until the governess tried to wake her up. She was dead and everyone panicked.
She paused as she reached out, the jellyfish pulling back from her. The group glowed with a soft blue light and shimmered as they floated around the room. She took a deep breath, partially to steady herself and partially to prove to herself that she wasn’t dead.
“It almost feels like your real wings, I’m sure.” His words echoed in her mind with every step as the golden feathers brushed against her bare skin, every touch a reminder of what he stole. It was a game, but she refused to play by his rules.
The smoky ring swirled over him and the deserted road, as if it knew he was the sole witness. Who else could he tell at two in the morning? No one. But he knew, from the twisting knot in his gut, that someone needed to know.
“What?” Her hand wavered over the girl’s ear. The girl shrugged and started to walk away, but she grabbed her arm. “What did that mean?”
The girl smiled at her and said, “I get it. She chose you for a good reason, didn’t she, Violet?”
Violet tightened her grip, searching for the meaning behind the girl’s words. She let go: “I don’t know what you mean.”
She wasn’t quite queen yet, but no one was particularly surprised by how eager she was to inherit the crown as her father became weaker and weaker. Her stepmother was furious but didn’t dare speak out for fear the princess’ wrath would fall on her too. Survival outweighed common sense in this court as everyone waited for the coming storm.
The energy throbbed around and through the outer hall, emerging at the back and dying off as it reached the front, with small sparks and a whine. The observer stood at the deck rail and carefully avoided the walls; they eyed the semi-hidden door in the smooth wall surface, taking a deep steadying breath.
“Let my hand be steady, my heart be strong, and my mind be firm.” The blade shone dimly as it wavered in her hands. With a deep breath she lowered her arms and gazed through the mist. “Today is a dark day. I’ll be fighting the fear before I even reach the battle.”
To the crowd, they were pretty bows. To her, they were part of a high-fashion straitjacket, and the people who forced her into it weren’t going to let her out any time soon.
The sheer fabric over her eyes did little to obscure their route through the building. She supposed it was purely ceremonial, until she noticed the other girls voluntarily keeping their eyes tight shut.
Stay tuned for more prompt updates!
by Kajsa Forden | Mar 15, 2018 | From the Author, Prompts
Newest updated prompts – new bits for each bauble!
Talons scraped the rock, snow breaking away as the hands sought the long engraved sigils. Whisperings and hissings poured over the stones and soaked the air around this quiet place.
He paused, glancing in either direction before approaching the fence. No matter how quick I thought I was, dodging behind the wall at the corner, my heart skipped a beat and I knew his eyes met mine.
Each step made her toes more froze, and each step seemed to make her heart beat louder, and each step was another leap of faith. She didn’t see anyone, not even the person she was expecting to see, and she started to worry her heart would pound out of her chest.
“How did you steal the matches?”
“I traded for a box of cigarettes.”
“How did you get a box – actually, I don’t wanna know.”
“You really don’t. Let’s just get started.”
“You hear that?”
“We all hear that. How could we not hear that?”
“We should head home.”
“What, are you scared?”
“You know what that sound means, we should go.”
“It’s just a stupid legend.”
“Or maybe you’re just stupid. Let’s go.”
“Hang on… There. We can find the arrow tomorrow and see just how much of a legend it is.”
He could see her eyes flash momentarily, and the warmth fade in favor of cold logic. Her decision required logic without feeling, she finally realized, and he knew the logical outcome meant nothing good for himself. It was perhaps a selfish thought, and he considered it for only a full minute, but he allowed himself the vain hope that those emotions were still there, speaking in the guise of logic.
The sharp nails scratched the back of his hand as they shook on their deal. He shivered, giving away the subconscious fear of his partner, and the other hand tightened around his own. “Not to worry, you couldn’t have made a better deal.”
He slammed the paper down on the table, scratched his chin, and consider for a minute. A door closed downstairs. He struck a match and watched with sad eyes as the letter rolled and charred and disappeared into ash in front of him.
“Why are they all here?”
“Why shouldn’t they be?”
“But why not in the garden?”
“Perhaps they found a sweeter nectar on the walls.”
She slid into the statue’s arms as a joke, pretending to play the aged silent flute. It was a joke. She didn’t set out to cause any real damage or offense; and she certainly didn’t expect the flute-player himself to be offended.
“There’s something so dramatic about yellow roses.” He squatted beside the flower and took a quick picture. “A survivor, despite everything man might build on its ground.”
The back of the bottle had a small label with a nearly illegible scribbled date. “It’s just some white stuff.” She angled the bottle, up in front of the light, and, with a loud gasp, she nearly dropped it. “There’s… There’s something inside!”
Shallow breaths echoed in the silence; he wasn’t gasping anymore, or even struggling. Reality felt limp and unfocused, and he hardly registered the sound of footsteps before he was turned over, a blurry dark mass standing over him.
“We’re the ones staring at the ceiling, at the walls, out the windows, at anything that isn’t reminding us how crappy life can be, at anything that lets us freely think.”
“You’re kind of dark, aren’t you?”
“So, you don’t sleep?”
“I do. Sometimes. Eventually.”
“I’m glad we’re sharing a room.”
“I like the way your mind works.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
“Let’s be dreamers for a little longer.”
She shuffled deeper into the shadows, her bright blue eyes bouncing around, watching carefully for any movement. A nearby box fell with a thud. Her breath caught, her eyes flashed, and she shivered a little. A cat appeared around the side of the box and, with another flash, was reduced to a scorch mark on the tile floor.
It wasn’t just a flash of lightning, but something sustained. She pushed through a couple more bushes above the dunes, watching the light flicker over the water – and into a small boat. She laughed a loud “ha!” and hurried to turn on her camera before the light disappeared.
Stay tuned for more updates regularly!