Friday Fiction: Hand (A Bird in the...)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Going with a trend on Twitter, I'm going to start posting some of my fiction work on - you guessed it - Fridays. Here's the first installment of a short story that I'm working on:

When the moment was right, Sera snatched the paper crane right out of Sister's hand.

Indifferent to the gasp and then wail of surprise that followed, she ran fast, the green colored paper shining in the glow of full sunlight, as she heard the clomp clomp of little shoes - Sister and Sister's friend - beating down the grass behind her. Faster! She sprinted, weaving away into the small copse of trees at the edge of their backyard, where the old post marked the start of unsafe territory. A broad grey cloud covered the sun. She could no longer hear the footsteps, but she continued running, looking down at her crumpled prize and then around at the gnarled trees that looked like goblin men.

She had only ever been here with Sister when they had played at being witches. She looked out for their symbol - an old dead tree trunk where they both sat, waiting for the sticks and stones they'd gathered to transform. When she found it, she hoisted herself up onto Sister's usual spot, crossed her legs, put the paper crane in the center of the tree trunk, and closed her eyes. She could see tiny tiny shapes behind her eyelids. Green and red and orange oblong shapes connecting and bouncing off one another: a kingdom of green royalty, giving orders to legions of red and orange. There was a wispy voice that spoke to her above it all, a lot like Sister, but she couldn't make out the words. The shapes began to recede and Sera opened her eyes.

A dozen paper cranes had formed a circle around the tree trunk - red and orange. The green paper crane, seated at the center, started to dance back and forth, flapping its wings and raising its head to the grey cloud above. Sera began to shake - Sister said that witches made happy things, but these were creepy. She tried to stand, but succeeded only in pushing herself off the stump, a girl-shaped heap in the dry grass. She snapped her head up and pushed herself backward, just as a peal of lightening lit up the sky. Blinded, Sera struggled to her feet and tried to find the path back to their house.

"My my, you are not the little girl they promised me," The wispy voice rose up, bored, this time more like Mother's voice than Sisters,' "But I suppose you'll do."

Where once there had been the pretty green crane, a giant green woman stood, surrounded by red and orange trolls. Her teeth hung down like fangs and her eyes pierced the darkness with a hypnotic glow, like all the children's stories Mother had ever read to her. Sera, shaking, bolted for the tree cover. The tiny troll people followed, growling and hooting, interrupted only by claps of thunder from the sky above. Sera looked over her shoulder... and her next step connected with air.

Does Sera live to see another day? Perhaps next time for my Friday fiction, I will continue this story. Stay tuned.