[Sept20] Tribble Month 2: Inky Travelers

Prompt: Sunrise


By sunrise, Ria and I had gotten a decent amount of ink for her to use. I did have ink on my face but luckily none in my eyes — not that it eased reliving my childhood trauma — so it was safe to say that it had gone fine.
“Well, that should do it for a while. We might have to come back to get some more, depending on what the sewer says.” Ria put the last bottles into her bag. “Do you feel like walking or do you want to get some sleep first?”
The prospect of sleep did sound tempting, but I knew I’d prefer sleeping without any ink on. I put a smirk on my face to ease my companion’s worries. “Let’s go. I can sleep once we reach the town.”
Ria smiled back. “I saw a trail nearby. Follow me.”

I followed her, once again wondering how I’d learned to trust a fallen angel.

FFM 2020 30: Never Tickle A Sleeping Beast

No prompt used.


“Never tickle a sleeping dragon.”

They should’ve had the slogan say, “Never tickle a sleeping dangerous beast of any kind.”

I mean, the world of Harry Potter has other dangerous beasts than just dragons, so it’d make more sense, right?

Whatever. It’s too late anyway. The beast I tickled is now closing in on me.

I’m a dead woman already.

FFM 2020 27: Almost Home

No prompt used.


Veriwia stared at the Dragon Peaks. The journey towards them that had felt like it was never going to end was almost at its end. The mountains that had once looked as tall as her index finger were now looming over her. She could even hear the dragons’ cries with her ears and not just her soul.

With a new burn spreading from her heart to the rest of her body, Veriwia started to run again. She was almost there.

She was almost home.

FFM 2020 25: A Webby Carnival

No prompt used.

Day 25 was the day of the collaboration challenge, and we were given till Sunday to complete our stories. Therefore, this story came on the 26th because of that.

This story ended up being 1000 words long as well, so this is my third entry for Little Prose 2020.

The challenge: Team up with someone, pick a poison from the list and combine the poison’s challenge elements with your collaboration partner(s)'(s) own. Optionally, you could make an entry without collaborating with anyone, in which case you needed to pick two poisons and use them to make a response piece to another writer’s FFM 2020 story.

My poison gave me this challenge: 1) The story must include a fairground, carnival or circus and 2) it must feature one of the following things: something wrapped in silk, an animal companion, a cage full of butterflies, a grieving child, a toothless tiger, discarded candy-floss.

My partner, bookcrusher, got this challenge from their poison: 1) The story must have supernatural elements and 2) there must be something bloody and something delicate.

You can read bookcrusher’s side of the story (which I absolutely recommend that you read) here: https://www.deviantart.com/bookcrusher/art/A-Webbed-Carnival-849944116

Out of these elements, the story has these:

  • A carnival as a setting
  • My protagonist as something wrapped in silk AND as a supernatural being
  • My protagonist’s spiderwed as something delicate
  • The boy’s scraped knee as something bloody

The carnival is always the highlight of my year. When there is more than one, they are the highlights — the more, the merrier!

People usually couldn’t see me, so I could do pretty much anything I wanted without getting caught. I was smiling from ear to ear — not exactly literally, luckily; my ears would have gotten itchy if I had — when I entered the carnival area. Without paying the entrance fee, of course, because if anyone saw me, no one would believe them. Ha!

What to do first this year?

I decided to look around first, taking in everything. Whenever I saw something interesting, I conjured some spiderweb and marked the booth’s top corner.
“Mommy, look, Spiderman is here!” a human child shouted, pointing at the web I had just splatted at the cotton candy booth.
“Yes, of course, dear. There are people dressing up,” the child’s mother said. Her tone and lack of looking at the web made it seem like she did not care.
“No, Mommy, someone launched some spiderweb at the booth!” the child said.
“Of course, dear,” the mother said, still not looking.

I snickered, attracting the child’s attention, and scurried away, my silk scarf fluttering as I did. I made sure some spiderweb flew in the air as I went.

Once I had marked my targets, I got into action.

First stop: one of the game booths.

It was hard not to snicker as I planted some heavy-duty webbing on a few targets and retreated to watch what unfolded. As if ordered, a group of young men came there. I grinned and jumped in anticipation when the middle guy picked a ball and threw it.

He missed, ha!

The one on the left took their turn, threw and hit an unwebbed target.
“Woo!” the man shouted. “What do I win?”

The booth man gave him a big pink unicorn plushie. The other two men and I burst into laughter.
“Hey, this is fabulous!” the young man said and hugged the plushie, indignant. The others fell to silent grins, but I kept snickering.

Now it was the last man’s turn. He threw, hit a webbed target — and the ball stuck there !

I snickered next to him.

He looked around himself in confusion. “What’s going on? Who’s laughing?”

The booth man frowned, took the now webbed ball and gave out a tortoise plushie.
“Okay, you two look ridiculous with those plushies, but now I want one too!” the man in the middle grumbled. He put some coins on the table. “I’ll try again.”

I knew he was going to miss, so I decided to help out. I had my webs ready.

He threw.

I launched.

The ball stuck to a target with a satisfying splat. The man and I cheered. The booth man, on the other hand, just frowned when he took the new web off the ball. I think I heard him say, “So this is what the old man talked about…”

The man in the middle got a hilarious monkey plushie.

I snickered and left the scene, once again with spiderweb trailing me.

Then I felt I was being watched.

It was a child, looking straight at me, frightened. He turned to adults and said something, but they dismissed him.

Interesting. Few people can see me.

He looks nice. Maybe I should talk with him.

First things first, though. I need some cotton candy now.

Okay, okay, fine, I need lots of it.

Lots and lots of it.

I wonder if the same woman is still at the booth.

One delicious cotton candy lunch later — the woman was still at that booth, by the way — I saw the child again. His parents dismissed him again when he said something, so I decided to approach him. Maybe he needed a friend.

The moment he figured out I was going towards him, he bolted.

Huh. I guess he doesn’t need a friend.

I mean, surely he can’t be afraid of me. I don’t have terrible fangs or anything. I just float, am kinda transparent and wear silk.

Yeah, he just doesn’t need a friend.

Time to go mess up a game booth. I need something else to think about.

One game booth turned into five game booths and a popcorn booth raided. I could hear people talking about my webs and snickering. I snickered; if they could see me, I’d be in trouble.

Yet the only one who could see me was that kid. He’s the first one in years to be able to see me — at least as far as I knew. He had probably already left with his parents, though.

Except he hadn’t. I noticed him at the pancake booth with his knee hurt. Poor kid.

I hid behind another booth to make sure I didn’t get noticed. If he ran away with that knee, he could get hurt again. If I only could do anything…

Hey, I could!

I just had to be sneaky.

Very sneaky.

And have the web ready.

I dove under the table next to the kid’s table and waited to make sure he hadn’t noticed me. When I heard nothing from him, I dashed under his table. He didn’t look under the table. Good.

I took a look at the scrapes on his knee. There was dried blood and dust around them. Nothing my webs couldn’t deal with, though.

I smiled, trying my best to contain my snickering. I pressed the webs on his wounds as lightly as I could to avoid starting him and bolted.

If he noticed me, I didn’t know. However, I knew that I had done something good this year.

As I left the scene at sundown, I snickered at the new memories. This was the best carnival in years. So much fun!

I can’t wait to see the next one! Maybe that kid will be there too.

I sure hope so!

Maybe some year he’ll let me talk to him, too!

I can’t wait!

FFM 2020 22: Saved Plushie

No prompt used.


One of the bigger ice dragons came to us, carrying something in its paws. Once it landed, it presented the item: a familiar dog plushie.
“Pawsie!” my daughter exclaimed in joy and rushed to take the plushie.

I smiled at the ice dragon, grateful for its effort to save items important to us. “Thank you.”

FFM 2020 17: Hunting Inklings

No prompts used.


When the night fell, we were ready. Ria had managed to conjure a net for us both so we could carry whatever we managed to catch back to our camp without having the inklings dissolve on the spot; it would have been far more difficult to try to catch them — or as many as of them as possible — straight into bottles.

As we crept further like predators, I started to hear chattering. Inklings! Ria and I exchanged a glance and started to circle around the snickering from different directions, nets ready. The more we managed to catch, the better.

It was tough to discern the inklings from the dark ground, but I saw them glimmer in the tiny shafts of moonlight which shone through the gaps in the leaves. I looked up to see Ria ready as well. I nodded to her. She nodded back.

We rushed at the inklings.

The snickering turned into high-pitched shrieks as we swung our nets at the inklings. Many got away, but we managed to secure a few. There was nothing to silence them, though, so we had bear with it all the way back to the camp.

Once we got back, I observed the inklings we had caught. I had seen an inkling up close only once before; I had been six when my father had taken me to see them at the forest near our village. I had managed to catch one into my hands only for it to make an explosive dissolution right at my face the moment I had touched it. The ink had stung in my eyes for hours after that.

As Ria prepared the ink bottles, I spoke up, “My father used to say that inklings are merely ink animated by a spell without an end parameter other than being touched, not actually living creatures. Is that true?”
“It is, as far as I know,” Ria told. “Why do you ask?”
“I was just curious. It always felt a bit strange since they seem so… sentient.” I gestured at the captured inklings as they chattered in audible horror.
“Back in the City,” Ria pointed at the stars above us, “they say that a mage once animated his ink for safer transportation when he changed residency, but he made a sloppy work with the spell, most notably not making an end parameter that would trigger anyway. The only end parameter was a living being touching them. Some of those inklings escaped mid-transit and, as sloppily animated things left to their own devices tend to do sooner or later, started to duplicate in the wild. It escalated to the point he could not stop them, so he gave up and reported the matter to the nearest sorcery school. That school eventually gave up on their inkling hunt as well and instead started to research them.” She smirked. “In the end, that school got a source of infinite ink from them, renamed itself ‘Inky Academy’ and started to sell their inkling ink for extra money. Eventually, they started to gain so much money from the ink that they could gradually lower their tuition fees into oblivion without cutting from anything.”
“Inky Academy?” I had heard the name before. “So, it’s not just a myth that they sell actual inkling ink?”
“Not as far as I know,” Ria told. Her smirk softened into a smile. “We could always visit it and see for ourselves. I may be a fallen angel, but I’m still an angel. I’m sure that they won’t pass up a chance to interact with one.” She turned to look at the inklings. “However, first things first. Could you help me with the inklings? We probably have to make multiple hunts, but I don’t want to lose any more drops than necessary.”
“Of course, as long as none of them explode on my face.”
Ria laughed softly. “If any of them does, I’ll get the ink off, don’t worry.”
I gave her a lopsided smile and braced myself to meet the horrific memories from that one night in my childhood. “Let’s get to it, then.”

FFM 2020 15: An Angel of the City

The prompt used: He was an Angel of the City. by SpearHawk.


Lasmis was an Angel of the City, one of the numerous. While there were many Angels traversing the Wilderness, most hidden from the Humanity’s sight, most of the Angels were in the City conjured in the stars.

Then there were the Fallen who had been cast out of the City into the Wilderness to fend off on their own. They were not welcome in the City anymore, not after breaking the rules. Once a breaker, always a breaker. They had to be cast out at the first offense lest they cause chaos and spread their rot further into the population.

The same applied to his friend Ria. Lasmis had been aghast to hear that she had fallen — she had never seemed to be one to fall — but after the shock had worn off, he had accepted it. Whatever had caused Ria to fall, she deserved whatever she encountered in the Wilderness.

Lasmis did not expect to see her again even if he chose to travel to the vast Wilderness to find her, let alone see her in the City to become one of the Reconciled, those who had fallen yet come back to take the oath to follow the rules once again at the risk of being forever cast out as a Demon, should they fall again. The Fallen hardly ever came back with such intentions, although he did not expect her to come back at all. Fallen or not, Ria had never been one for violence, not even after being wronged.

He could only hope that he was right about that when it came to her.

He did not want to raise his sword against his friend under any circumstances, no matter what she had become.

FFM 2020 12: Lost Home

No prompts used.

The ice dragons watched their old home fall apart. Buildings and countless of items started to float once they met the ocean.

They had made it just in time, but they still observed the area to make sure they had not missed anyone. It was their duty to protect their humans.

It had always been.

FFM 2020 10: Black Dye

No prompts used. Personal challenge continues.

I looked at Ria as she sorted the feathers she had gathered from the avian beast after we — more like she, as she had killed it while I’d been unconscious — had felled recently. She hadn’t explained how she would exactly use them for her clothing. It also seemed that the clothes which had gotten damaged were the ones in her ultimate form, the form I’d seen only once.

The memories of the damage she had done in that form made me shudder. If she ever decided to cross me in it, I was as good as dead.

“Okay, I think I’ve sorted through these,” Ria suddenly shook me out of my thoughts. “It’s only an aesthetic thing, but I want to dye these black before using them.”
“I didn’t take you for someone who was good at textile work in addition to music,” I remarked.
Ria shrugged. “I’m not, aside from the most basic skills that every angel is taught to ease survival in case of an emergency. I’m hoping that we’ll find someone who is better than me in the next town. If not, I’ll have to rely on my magic.”
“Okay. What do you need for dyeing?” I asked.
“Inklings,” Ria told. “I could use something else as well, but since you’re still recovering and I’d rather not fight before I’ve got everything fixed, it might be better to try and catch them at night rather than go look for and kill any monsters that could do.”
I didn’t like the sound of that. “What about normal dye?”
“Whatever we could afford isn’t going to last, especially not on feathers like these and in heavy magic use. Plus, while I know little about plant-based dyeing, I’m positive there aren’t any usable plants around here. Even if there were, there probably wouldn’t be enough for my needs.”
Huh. That’s too bad. “Very well. In that case, we’ll hunt inklings.”
Ria smiled. “Thank you.”

FFM 2020 8: Gathering Feathers

Warning: Gore

I kept the gory descriptions as vague as possible but I feel that this warrants a warning anyway.

No prompt used, so I resumed my challenge of writing in currently existing worlds.

When he sat up after regaining consciousness, Unar stared at the destruction around himself. Then he had to lean over to his side to throw up when the smell registered in his brains. The avian beast he and Ria had been fighting against — and which had knocked him out — was in multiple large pieces, scattered around him.

Whatever had happened, it had not been pretty. When Unar believed that he could speak up, he called out, “Ria?”

No answer. “Ria?!”

Still no answer. “Anyone?!”

Nothing.

Unar shook from dehydration, but he stood up anyway. He had to find Ria — or whatever was left of her. A quick look around showed that the beast had most likely exploded either from the inside or from the skin in the middle of its torso.

Unar doubled over and gagged, but there was nothing for him to vomit anymore.

One of the separated wings ruffled. Unar turned to look at it, the Harmony Blade shaking in his shaking hand.

Ria surfaced from under it, dirtied but seemingly uninjured.
“Ria?” Unar gasped.
“You ok?” Ria shouted.
“I… I guess,” Unar answered. He started to take shaky steps towards the fallen angel, trying not to slip. Ria flew to meet him with giant feathers in her hands.
“You don’t look ok,” she noted. “Here, take these. I’ll get you something to drink.”

Once she was free of the feathers, she flew off, leaving Unar standing with feathers in his hands. She returned with a flask and gave it to him while taking the feathers back. “Here, drink this.”
“Thank you,” Unar croaked and opened the flask to drink from it. The water was freezing, yet a blessing to his dehydrated body. “Why are you gathering feathers?”
“My clothes got a lot of damage during the fight, so I’m looking to fix and upgrade them. These feathers will do perfectly,” Ria explained. “Sit down on a dry spot. I’ll handle this.”

A dry spot was the easiest to find outside of the circle the beast’s remains created. Unar sat down on the grass and watched as his companion plucked feathers like a professional, checking and packing them up. He had no idea what she would actually do with them, but at that moment he did not care. He was merely grateful that he was still alive.

There was still hope for him to master the Harmony Blade and save his home village.