Friday, February 28, 2014

Wishbone 2.0

100 words for you today, and a little fantastical... after all, shouldn't wishes be?

I was tempted to keep going with this one, but my arm was protesting a little too much, plus I'm taking my grandmother out for lunch today and spending the afternoon with her. It's nice now that she no longer lives a 5+ hour drive away.

It was too late to change my mind after the wishbone snapped in half.

The size of the wish depends on the size of the wishbone. A chicken might grant you an easy day’s work, a sparrow, perhaps, finding a coin on the ground. You could ask for hurt feelings to be greased and repaired from a goose, or a meatier wish, the return of an unrequited love, from a turkey’s hard breastbone.

A swan will only grant something pure, and something earthy, good weather maybe, from a pheasant.

On a dragon’s wishbone, I foolishly wished to unmake the world.


  1. This was cleverly done. A dragon's wishbone, on a "scale" of 1 to 10, your story gets an 11 :)

    Gary :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed it :) I'm not much of a fantasy writer, so these flash fiction exercises are a little like colouring outside the lines... gives me a chance to practice with a genre I'm not as comfortable playing with :)

    2. That rocked :) And yeah, playing around with genres one doesn't normally touch are awesome fun, if only to put spins on it other people might not consider. Esp. for flash fiction....

    3. Well, since most of my flash fiction pieces read like 100 word puns... trying new things is probably a good direction to take :p

  2. Yeah I want a dragon bone!!

    so your flash lately is prompting me to write longer stories so will be a while

    I see tag lines have changed...

    1. Ha! Me too ;) ....hmmmm what would I wish for?

      Yeah! Well, post it when you're done!

      tag lines?

    2. The Wedding

      It was too late to change my mind after the wishbone snapped in half. The people around the dinner table clapped and eagerly asked what I had wished for. “I can’t tell you then it would not come true.”

      If we were going to speak of truth I couldn’t tell them. I couldn’t tell them the shocking truth. Here they were gathered at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding tomorrow What did I wish? I wished I didn’t have to marry Bob. I still missed Terry. I put a good face on my thoughts and carried on with the dinner joking with friends speaking to relatives I hadn’t seen in a while and occasionally feeling Bob’s eager lips on mine. He couldn’t contain his anticipation for the ceremony in less than 12 hours.

      Butterflies fluttered their wings slamming into my stomach and piercing my heart. I stood on wobbly legs next to my fiancé, soon to be husband. The guests behind me settled down shifting on the uncomfortable metal seats. Someone coughed. It sounded like Claire. She told me she had a cold but she insisted on attending anyway.

      I peeked through the gauzy veil. Bob looked so handsome in his tux his hair reflected the soft lighting from the crystal chandlers. He stood tall and confident, a small smile of excitement playing around his mouth.

      We had been dating for two years, marriage was the logical next step forward. Right?

      I wished I felt as confident as he appeared to. Terry sat somewhere back there. I begged him not to come, but he did, with his girlfriend Darlene. They couldn’t be the only ones to not show up. The entire office staff was here. If they had stayed away it would have raised too many questions.

      He was moving on just as I was. Right?

      The music stopped. The pastor shifted from foot to foot and pushed the bridge of his glasses higher up on his nose.

      “I love you and I think you still love me!”

      I heard the clatter of the fallen chair after the words penetrated into my mind..

      Terry? What the hell is he doing? He’s ruining it. The perfect wedding.

      The butterflies clamored at me to answer, they flew faster and faster. I shivered. Sweat dampened my torso. My heart nearly burst through my chest.

      I didn’t think. I spun around and raced toward Terry before he could speak and change his mind.

      We grabbed hands and he led me out of the reception hall, across the grand lobby and out the door. My mind registered the gasps of surprise and the horrified faces of the staff. But Terry held me firmly by the hand, with warmth and love.

      Water splashed on my face. It tickled but I let it be. The rain felt gentle and warm. We ran through the parking lot not saying a word. My pretty white satin shoes would be spoiled but it was nothing.

      He clicked open the door of his BMW and stuffed the dress around me after I sat. A BMW really was not a car to accommodate a long puffy wedding gown..

      “What’s the plan?” My voice squeaked. I couldn’t look at him.

      “Will you marry me?” He turned met my eyes and grasped my hand. “I know a chapel where they don’t ask questions.”

      Well I had the dress anyway right?

    3. Huh. All I call feel is just how utterly pissed off and hurt Bob must be ... and, eventually, relieved he never married her. I doubt that is the intent of the story, but I do know someone who was dumped at the altar so that sort of colours the events in favour of, well, them, in my head :)

    4. ...or maybe he'll hook up with Darlene?


      Nice non-fantastical piece, Sue :) Lots of great small details that set the scene & the atmosphere :)

  3. Well not your kind of thing, desperately needs editing but not time. It comes out of your prompt and something else I was writing. thanks for the prompt My original starting was awkward.

  4. A scene that won't happen in my current WIP; because a) wrong pov and b) it would be too easy a reveal of what Qirjin is to some of the other characters. Still fun to do :)

    It was too late to change my mind after the wishbone snapped in half. It had been too late since I’d walked into the room. Too much on my mind, too many worries, and the wishing slammed full-tilt into me even as I tried to bolt back out the door. It was a hundred red-hot knives stabbing into my stomach. I could feel the wishes in the air, taste them, Ryan and Jill both wanting to know why the other wanted to date them. I can’t answer that kind of wish. I grabbed for the wishing before the pulse of it could reach my uncle.

    The floor. The floor of Jill’s home was rotting, and it wished to be whole. I hurled the power of the wishbone into that between gasps for breath, trying not to throw up as the pain transformed into a rush of joy so strong it almost lifted me off my feet.

    “Qirjin?” Jonas had one hand on my arm, shaking me. I threw his grip off, gulped in air.

    “Stupid. You idiot stupid –” I hissed, but realized I hadn’t been speaking english as Ryan and Jill stared in uncomprehending shock at me. “You broke a wishbone,” I said in English, trying for a calm I didn’t feel.

    They continued to stare in the same way.

    “I didn’t tell them about you,” Jonas said, and the hurt under the words was like snow dumping on me. “You told me not to,” he continued, and I flinched from that.

    “My family – I – we respond to wishes. Answer them. You can consider it a talent, only far stronger,” I said. “We can make wishes happen; sometimes we can’t not answer them. I put that wish into the house, fixed it. I cannot do wishes involving people.”

    “I just wanted to know if Ryan....” Jill trailed off.

    “Wishes,” Ryan said softly, not drumming the armrest on his wheelchair with an effort.

    “My uncle can grant wishes to people, but only the kind that do not work. Monkey paws. I stopped the wishing from reaching him. I need to-to make sure it didn’t,” I lied, and push past Jonas out the door as though he weighed nothing at all. I was showing too much of my gift, that I wasn’t like other humans. My uncle would learn of this, and make me pay in time.

    The fresh air was another cold and I gulped it in. I could hear the others coming to the door and I couldn’t take questions. They knew I was from the middle east. They knew Jonas knew my secret. It would not take time to put wishes and that together and spell out Djinn. And if my uncle found out I’d revealed us, he would kill them all.

    Which meant I had to kill him.

    1. ok - that sounds fascinating - I've been bad and not keeping up with your stories

    2. Love the repetition, gives this a nice rhythm. Alcar, you always have such interesting twists/viewpoints on familiar tales/critters/pointy beasts ;)

      ...took me a minute to remember the story behind monkey paws ;) I think a dead-man's hand is similar, yes?


    3. Heh. I set up the world in the second draft so that, people know minor 'talents' exist (to an extent, our idea of seeing auras, the future etc.) but there's no real science behind it and it's mostly seen as a quirk some people have rather than anything actually useful. 'Gifts', like what Qirjin has, are families with some inherited ability that goes far beyond a mere talent, but they try to hide as best they can since they have a history of being used/captured/killed. (The stories of djinn and magic lamps are basically echoes of 'Wait, this person can grant wishes! I will toss them in jail and keep them for me only!" for all intents.) Each member of the family can grant different kinds of wishes, such as Qirjin's uncle only doing the monkey paw/dead man's hand style wishes that always turn out so very badly... makes for a lot of fun at least.

      And yeah, I think I'll have to work in Qirjin trying to explain how one 'tastes' wishes at some point, because that is far too much fun....

    4. That's a cool way of going about it, especially the 'kidnapping' for wishes :D

      So, there's a wishing-well djinn, a blown-eyelash djinn, a birthday candle djinn, and 11:11 djinn, etc? (the birthday candle one seems the funniest to me since, if all the candles aren't blown out, does the djinn really have to find the birthday guy/girl the same number of girl/boyfriends for the number of candles still lit? -> I can imagine a very cynical djinn being in charge of that one... or one that works part time as a pimp)

      ...and does every member of Qirjin's family have part of the word 'djinn' in their name?

      Oh yeah, the taste thing HAS to go in somewhere :)

    5. Nah, he is the only one at present (though he doesn't know that yet). And nah, it's more that they can each grant wishes within a specific bailiwick : generally, the more broad it is, the less times they can do it -- the origin of the '3 wishes' stories; or perhaps those were born out of "Oh, sorry, I can't do anything else for you. Tough luck, eh?" and then legging it for the hills :)

      The gifted have been around a long time, but spent much of it on the move, hunted, hiding and the like so they don't have any cohesive narrative of their own past. I know each family began in one area (the middle east for djinn, etc.) and that they seldom stay in that area long when they can avoid it since legends go back rather far and people have longer memories than they know at times. They've kept themselves secret and apart and that's damaging as much as anything else. At least, that's what I'm going with.

    6. Sounds fun :)

      ...I guess as long as enough time passes, the memories turn into 'legends/myths', but the idea of it still remains, so it's not like they're ever 100% safe :)