Roc


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
This week’s prompt for Write on Edge’s Red Writing Hood was:

to write a fiction orcreative non-fiction piece set entirely in an airport. Take us on an adventurein 450 words or less

It really didn’t work with the firefly piece (she only just left the airport!), so I figured I’d go back and catch up with Agata (you can find the storyline in Which Witch under my Fiction tab above).  If you don’t want the whole story, the overview to make this story more understandable is quite simple:  Agata is a witch.

a picture I found on public domain, click the pic to go to its source

Agata coasted gently down into the woodland alongside the field.  Her hair was wildly tangled from the wind, and her boots sank ankle-deep in the swampy ground under the trees.  With a sigh of disgust, she hoisted her broom and pack over one shoulder and trudged out to the unusual building sitting in a long and narrow, hard-packed clearing.

It stood at least three storeys tall, a half-tube constructed of bits of scrap sheet metal and canvas.  One end was sealed, but the end she could see into was one enormous door that had been slid aside to allow her a clear view of something even more bizarre.

A mechanical monstrosity stood in the middle of the building, balanced on two wheels and an end-piece, looking awkward and extremely unstable.  Like… almost… a duck.  Agata wondered what purpose it could possibly serve.

From somewhere within the construct, a steady clanking rang out, interspersed with some very creative cussing.

“Hello?” her voice echoed in the large space.  “Is anyone there?”

The clanging fell silent, followed by a clatter and a crash.

A large man emerged from within the beast, scowling and brushing his grimy hands off on his equally grimy coveralls.  He dabbed at his forehead with an oil-smeared cloth, leaving a black streak above his eye.  Wild tufts of hair sticking out haphazardly on his head.

Agata realised the man had spoken while she was taking in the bizarre scene.

“Pardon?”

The scowl became fiercer, but also more ridiculous with the single surprised black eyebrow he’d given himself.  “What’d’ye want, girl?  If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, I’m not mad, I don’t need a nurse, or to be taken to the mental hospital, and no, you can’t buy my land, it’s mine, and I need it.  I’m a busy man.”

“I’ve never seen you before in my life, I’m not a nurse, and what on earth would I do with a narrow, hard-packed strip of land?  As for your sanity – ”  She hesitated, glaring at the machine.  It was too intriguing.  “I’m withholding judgement until I find out more about that.”

He was transformed, a broad and delighted grin on his face.  “Curious, are ye?  Excellent.  Can’t stand folk without curiosity!  Hang on, it’s almost ready to take out for a spin!  Just you stay put!”

And with that, he dove back under the machine, clanking enthusiastically.

Agata crouched to peer beneath.  “Um… I mostly just wanted to know what it was?”

“Eh?”  Rattle, thud, clang.

“What does it do?”

He scrambled up, grinning.  With a proud hand across its beak-region, he replied, “Why, It’s a flying machine!  I call it the Roc.”

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19 Comments

  1. Brilliant – love your writing (my hubby would love it as well).

  2. I want more. More. More. MORE!

  3. During the very first line I was saying to myself that I hoped she was riding a broom. I loved the juxtaposition of old/new world and magic/science, and I wondered if their two commonalities, flying and wild hair would bring them to a, um, closer relationship.

  4. I do not know the back-story to Agata, just by reading this one post, she is very likeable! I will have to go back and read more.

    • The storyline doesn’t have much continuity… just a series of kind of closed-in incidents… so it’s pretty easy to catch up on.

  5. You’ve made them both interesting without a lot of background. I like that they’re rather skeptical but also excited about what they’re seeing, in different ways.

    • That’s exactly what I’m aiming for – both are used to people around them not being interested in the same way as they are – him because they think he’s nuts, and her because she’s, well, a witch (and thus, used to people trying to kill her before getting to know her)

  6. Oh, you have a gift. Fabulous fiction, and now I find myself wanting more….

  7. This is a great prompt; I always loved people-watching at the airport.

    • They do come up with some great ones… some of which cause me to stare blankly at the empty word document… but always something to make interesting

  8. One should be very wary of any flying machine called Roc. I can’t image it would fly as well as it would fall.

    The scene was quite charming, especially the conversation. I’ve had similar conversations (minus the whole witchcraft bit) with cantankerous “crazies”. Very well done!

    • I was thinking in terms of the giant mythological bird… not the thing that you can sink like 😛 But hey… either way, it’s not something that can really fly…

  9. Oooo a flying machine. 🙂

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