Friday, April 12, 2013

Prompt: Concrete, Crystal ball, If I never knew you, Pursuit, Aurora, Trail (Use at least three)

“It’s my fault!” I sobbed as I watched the last of the concrete walls poured in around him. He turned to the tiny window and looked up at the moon, reflecting my image through the crystal ball. He couldn’t hear me, but he knew my anguish.

“No, my love,” he mouthed. “They would have come for me anyway.” I heard his words in my heart as clearly as if he whispered them in my ear. “It was my pursuit of the Aurora Trail. If I never knew you, I would never have found it.”

Tears flooded my eyes and I could no longer make out his features. I touched my hand to the crystal ball, and light flared around it. I hoped he could feel my fingers caressing his cheek. I lay my head on my arm, still touching the globe, and cried until I fell into an exhausted sleep.

The Aurora Trail. The end of the rainbow. The treasure, not gold, but power. For good or evil—that depended entirely on who held it. People spent their lives in search of it. Their fortunes, their kingdoms. Men like my father, who would have wielded it with strength and wisdom to make life better for all.

Grant had come to join him in the search, and we fell in love at first sight, never mind what the cynics say. I begged him not to follow my father’s path. I watched my mother sicken and die without him by her side because of the lure of the Trail. It glittered always just out of his reach, and he was so locked into his quest that he lost sight of the world around him. I wanted a life with Grant, and I knew if he followed the Trail, he would never find his way back to me.

And so I went to the sorceress Candesse and pleaded for her aid. She had been a friend to my family for generations. How could I know her own quest for the Aurora had overtaken her heart? She gave me the crystal ball so that Grant and I could at least see each other, reflected in the moonlight. And she sent her own men in pursuit of him on the Trail.

During the crescent moon, Grant and I could not see each other. He believed he was close to the end of the Trail, and during the New Moon, he found the Treasure. And Candesse’s men found him. They had already constructed his cell by the time the moon waxed enough for me to see him again. I didn’t know why Candesse didn’t kill him outright, but I was grateful. Grant alive meant hope lived.

I took the crystal ball and the few meager supplies I could pack in minutes and fled on horseback into the Black Forest. Noone knew of Candesse’s betrayal. How could I trust anyone again? Now I had to retrace Grant’s steps along the Aurora Trail and find his buried prison. Once free, he and I would face Candesse and retrieve the Aurora Treasure. My love for him would not weaken me. It gave me strength and courage for the search. I knew in my heart that love, not power, was the true treasure.

Dogs in house:

Time writing:
~25 minutes

April word count:


  1. Prompt: Concrete, Crystal ball, If I never knew you, Pursuit, Aurora, Trail (Use at least three)

    The crystal ball showed the traveller walking beside his pony along the dark trail, the same aurora Milena could see through the open tent flap flickering across the sky. Milena wiped her hand across the crystal's surface and the image vanished. He pushed hard, though could not know as Milena did that the band of sword-wielding toughs had long since given up their pursuit.

    She stood and stretched. Unfortunately, the land he trekked through was as undistinguishable as it had been for the last two weeks, since her evening scryings had become fixated on this unknown man. Despite trying to actively wrench her vision elsewhere, all she saw was the traveller. She left the tent and looked up at the aurora. She dare not hope, yet, that he be the one they awaited.

    1. Nice start! Good world-building sketch, and a mystery hook at the end. I want to know more!

  2. Really ill yesterday! Still not thinking great, but at least I can sit up and type...

    1. So sorry you've been under the weather! Hope you feel better soon!