This week on Trifecta, the word was:
1a : to squeeze or force by pressure so as to alter or destroy structure b : to squeeze together into a mass2 : hug, embrace
Head over to submit your own response, or read some other takes on the prompt. There are some fantastic authors who submit weekly to the Trifecta challenge, and they’re always well worth the read.
This story is a continuation of the Which Witch series of stories. It is pretty much entirely stand-alone, but you are certainly welcome to read back through the story pieces, by following the Fiction tab at the top of the page and clicking on the links under the title Which Witch.
I try to include a piece of artwork that I think goes with the story, and this week is no different. Only I put it at the bottom of the story, because it’s not just me that thinks it goes with the story – my sister drew it, in response to reading this story ahead of time. She didn’t even roll her eyes too much when I changed the original, accidental deadline of friday to “um, no seriously, you have to have it done Wednesday night, because I have to post it tomorrow”. You can check her out at her blog, Drawn in and Quartered, or over at DeviantArt. She doesn’t have too much of her personal artwork up on DeviantART yet, but I’m working on it – peer pressure is key! This is one of my favourite pieces she’s done – it hangs on my wall, and when I eventually have the option of painting rooms in my own house, will likely the colour-inspiration of one of them.
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I could totally kick her ass at drawing… when she was 4… and I was 10. She claims it probably had something to do with the development of fine motor function, but that’s just a cop-out. She’s just a sore loser. What sibling rivalry?
Comments and critiques are always welcome, I hope you enjoy the story,
Agata clapped her hands over her ears as the howl reverberated down the canyon, followed by the distant thunder of landslides. Dust from the ceiling settled on her meal.
Removing the hand cupped protectively over her own pint, the barbarian woman took a swig and continued, “There are some nasty beasties out there, Miss, so you really ought to hire on a guard to get through the pass.”
Gunilla brushed her short blonde hair back, the heavy musculature of her shoulder and arm rippling, and jerked her head towards the rest of the barbarians. “And I suggest you hire me, ‘cause some of the lads have trouble hearing ‘no’ when they want to hear ‘yes’, if you know what I mean.”
Agata shuddered. Such large, heavy-set men. Such tiny loincloths. Barbarians are quite barbaric, she decided, firmly averting her eyes from the manly display of body hair and scarring.
“What do you hear when you want to hear ‘yes’?”
Gunilla let loose a full-bellied laugh. “Me? Depends on how much I want to hear ‘yes’, I’d imagine.” She grinned and winked. “But my tastes don’t lean towards scrawny pretty little things like you, eh!” She produced a small painting of a statuesque woman wearing a horned hat and a bustier that left too little to the imagination. The barbarian woman stroked the side of the picture in a surprising show of tenderness. “My Vilhelmina is an opera singer!”
“Very nice.” Agata cleared her throat. “So what is so dangerous in the pass?”
The inn-door burst off its hinges and slammed to the ground. A gigantic figure shouldered its way into the room, towering with its one-eyed head amongst the rafters.
“GRAGH CRUSH!” It swung its club down hard in a shower of dust that had once been a solid oak table.
“OGRE!” the barbarian woman yelled, sweeping Agata out of harm’s way. Potential client safely stowed, she let out a berserker yell of her own and leapt to join the fray.
<– Quack! ||