Trifecta’s writing challenge this week was:
1a : of the color black
b (1) : very dark in color <his face was black with rage>
(2): having a very deep or low register bass with a blackvoice>
(3) : heavy, serious <the play was a black intrigue>
2a : having dark skin, hair, and eyes : swarthy
b (1) often capitalized : of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin
(2) : of or relating to the African-American people or their culture
(3) : typical or representative of the most readily perceived characteristics of black culture
3: dressed in black
Head on over to submit your own or read some of the other responses. Also, if you missed last week’s prompt, the characterization of Death, I really recommend going back over to read the responses for that. So many hilarious and unusual portrayals of death, and all of them (to my mind), with the rich and ominous voice of Ian Richardson ringing in your mind, just like he gave life to Death in the movie version of Terry Pratchett’s The Hogfather. I was certainly attempting to channel a bit of Pratchett in my own response. If you have no idea who Terry Pratchett is… well… Get thee to a Library! Crivens!
For this week, I’m back working with my Firefly story. If you want to check out the rest of it, head on over to the Fiction Tab (top of the page). I think I might write it as a full… well… story for Nanowrimo this year. It starts off right after our leading gal’s aunt makes her a cup of tea and then heads on back to bed in Hearth and Home. For those uninterested in reading the rest of it, the key thing to note here is Laga = ritual leader or leader of coven for the purposes of my story. Though they aren’t witches.
The artwork I found to go with the story is a drawing by Raven S. Fox, known as Culpeo-Fox on DeviantArt. It’s pretty sinister, made even more so by the poem included as the description of the piece (click the picture to follow the link and read!). I love the texture of it, and the way the only barely drawn in background still makes me think of being lost in the deep dark woods at night, wolves howling in the near distance.
He’s amazing – some of his pieces look like photography, to the point that I’ve had to check the medium to confirm that it isn’t. He’s a German designer, illustrator and artist, with a clear love of foxes, though they are certainly not the only thing he draws beautifully. Check him out at DeviantArt, his portfolio.
Rachel sat by the banked fire, lost in thought.
The flames roared abruptly to life and Rachel’s head snapped up just in time to watch the Ember fox, the same one she’d seen in the fire ceremony vision, daintily step out onto the hearth stone.
“You… you can’t be here. I didn’t summon you.”
:I go where I please.:
The deep ember-glow of the fox dimmed as it stood in the cool air, soot cloaking the creatures’ fur in black. Its burning eyes showed frightening intelligence.
“Elementals can’t talk… they’re just…” Rachel waved her hand vaguely in the air, “Elemental.”
:How very astute of you. If we are done pondering my existence, shall we begin?:
“Begin?” Rachel’s head was reeling
:Your training to be a proper Laga, of course.:
“I’ve been Laga to my people since I was seven, I’m already a proper Laga.” she snapped defensively.
The fox cocked its head and said, deadpan, :Indeed? I could have sworn I walked you through a vision last night. Must have been some other kit with too much confidence in her own poorly trained gifts.:
Rachel gasped, “That was you? Was it true? Is it going to happen? How?”
:Too many questions for one so young.: the fox hissed, tail lashing. It stepped its front paws up on her knees, opened its mouth and exhaled in her face, the smell of burning wood rich in the dry heat of its breath.
Rachel found herself again in the hell of a fire that burned her. The smoke dragging her towards unconsciousness, she struggled forward, staggering and full of pain.
:The door: the fox commanded. : Remember the door, and remember your gift. Fight fire with fire or it will devour you.:
The door shimmered with ice, untouched by the heat. It felt unnatural, a bone-deep cold that made her body ache even as the fire devoured her.
“What’s behind the door?”
Rachel touched the handle and screamed as ice burned through her.