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I’ve been working on this piece for almost a week now and each time it tries to tell me something new. I even wrote it as Forest Inferno for Saturday’s Cracked Flash Fiction Competition – I like what the story told me, so if you want you can read that rendition and tell me your thoughts here in the comments.

Right: I’m still doing #FlashFicHive as I told you last week. For details, go here.

This week’s prompt:

“Write a story inspired by a GIF.”

The GIF I chose for story 1:

Of course the #KnysnaFire last week (and weekend) also inspired this story – check out the hashtag on Twitter for the horrific tale of a South African town and forest going up in flames.

I’ll share my second story with you in July.

Now for the flash fiction story as promised.

Wanweird

By Ronel Janse van Vuuren

The fire whooshed past them, consuming the valley and creeping up the mountainside. Flames surrounded them: there was no way out.

Meara watched with gritted teeth as Imps popped in and out of existence, taking animals, insects and saplings with them. Only the tree nymphs were stuck. As was she.

Maniacal laughter came from the shore. Goblins and Ly Ergs danced, celebrating their success: when the forest dies, their master will win.

She worked on the chains binding her. With each struggle they tightened, shimmering in the light of the flames.

Screams rent the air as dryads caught fire. It tore into her very essence and she broke lose.

Her magic filled her being and she did what she could to help the other Fae. Dryads were finally free from the land, their trees shrunk to a manageable size for them to flee.

The fire roared in rage as it consumed only trees and underbrush.

Meara grinned even as the strain to help the other Fae was taking its toll: she was sweating. Swallowing away the fear that she was going to sweat away her very existence, the water Fae pulled more magic from the ocean.

Ly Ergs and Goblins giggled and danced on the beach as they watched their handiwork. With a sniff in their direction the ocean swallowed them up and kept them suspended above the flames. Their screams joined that of the animals and Fae that were still trapped.

The inferno moved steadily up the mountain, leaving nothing in its wake.

Meara closed her eyes, sweat pouring from her. She knew that her power was limited. Raising her head, she glared at the blaze.

With determination she did not know she possessed, she willed the ocean to flood the beach and the forest, to hunt down the flames.

Nothing can keep back the ocean, she thought as she smirked at the dark Fae on her beach.

‘Yeah. You saw that. Boom! Mic drop.’

Sizzling filled the air and all the screams disappeared as the Dark Fae were returned to their realm for punishment.

Meara disappeared with the water, not sure where her consciousness stopped and the ocean’s began.

The final word count is only 361… It feels longer.

For day 10 I had to share my “battle” lines.

Maniacal laughter came from the shore. Goblins and Ly Ergs danced, celebrating their success: when the forest dies, their master will win. She worked on the chains binding her. With each struggle they tightened, shimmering in the light of the flames.

I thought it showed how only the MC can save the forest and how everything is going downhill…

Day 11 challenged me to share my best lines with another hashtag and then quote-retweet it to #FlashFicHive (I forgot to add in my retweet that it was for day 11… oh well). I met lots of writers with #SunWIP and so many different writers loved my lines!

The lines I shared:

With determination she did not know she possessed, she willed the ocean to flood the beach and the forest, to hunt down the flames.

I really like the imagery.

Maybe I’m a bit morbid, writing about the tragedy on the coast like it was some struggle between the Dark Court and other Fae… I do write Dark Fantasy, though, so maybe that was the expected result from my Twitter timeline.

You’re probably wondering about the title…

wanweird (noun) misfortune; an ill or unhappy fate or an unfortunate outcome. Scots etymology: ‘wan’ + ‘weird’ = fate, fortune, destiny

Got it from “The Word” – a fortnightly newsletter celebrating lexicology and language in all its intricate beauty, one word at a time.

And what did the GIF do for the story? I used the GIF to inspire the theme – the expression of triumph after a successful event.

Which, of course, is why I love writing: no matter how horrible things are, I can always write a happy ending (if I want one).

As for the MC’s powers: Meara is an Irish name meaning “sea”. I thought it an appropriate name for this Water Fae.

What do you think of this story? Do you follow trending Twitter hashtags?

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