I submitted another short story for the NYC Midnight challenge. This time, the story is so short that the word count is only 100. My assigned genre was fantasy. “Picking berries” is the required action and “lean” is the word that I must include.
It didn’t take long for me to come up with something. In fact, I wrote a few stories. It was hard to choose one. I ended up submitting the one about the goddess in the cloud. I wrote a few drafts, improving the final one by adding dialogue.
Here’s my story:
Make them stop
“It will remove all their pain and sorrows,” she says. The goddess sat in the clouds high above the city. In her hands was an elixir made from rare spineberries that she’d picked.
“Wouldn’t this be nice? I’ll no longer have to hear their cries.”
She leans over the rain clouds, ready to pour when her sister interrupts.
“Stop! Are you mad?” she says. “If people consume this, they’ll no longer feel anything. Are you sure you won’t regret it?”
The goddess sighs heavily with bags under her eyes. “I guess I’ll leave them be.”
Here are the other two stories that I came up with:
Girl in the tower
She lived in this tower for twenty years. Her mom said someday a prince will save her. But so far, no one came. By the windowsill was an eversomnum. She knew better than to eat its berries; they would put her to sleep for a millennium. It could be lovely, she thought. In her dreams, she was as free as Pegasus. She leaned over and plucked one, seeing the ground below. The tower didn’t seem so tall. The branches along the walls were thick enough. Maybe I can make my own freedom. She took a leap of faith, and climbed.
He desperately wants her to love him. They had all the ingredients: unicorn hair, vampire blood, and loveberries that he handpicked from the alps. The witch leans over the cauldron.
“It’s almost ready,” she says. “But are you sure you want her to drink it?”
It was silly of her to ask. Of course, it’s yes. He is madly in love. The unrequited love is too much to bear. The witch hands him the vial.
“You need to drink this first for it to work.” He takes a gulp, feeling a good dose of self-love.