NaNoWriMo 2012 Prep: Short Fiction

Since I decided to write my NaNo novel little more than a mental image of my main character and the thought that she has a huge chip on her shoulder, I decided to use a Flash Fiction Challenge (Sundays at Absolute Write!) to capture a thought or two about her before November 1. You know, like her name. Or what has pissed her off so mightily.

And since I never really post my work publicly, I thought I’d do something different this year in that department, too.

Without further ado, my prequel thingie for my NaNo novel!

Bones of My Father

The bones of my father rested at my feet. Alister cleared his throat behind me.
“The hour approaches when we must cast the spell, Karenna. Are you ready?”
I sighed. “What if I don’t want to know my future? What if I am happy on the path I travel now?”
He stepped up and put a hand on my shoulder. “These things are never easy, but you must accept your destiny. You father did not die for you to shun your family.”
“My father did not have to die at all.” I stared at the ground and noticed cuts in my father’s bones. Such a vicious way to die. Sword fights were never easy, even for the victor.
Alister cleared his throat and said, “Some pains never ease, my dear child. Now, come, help me lay out the herbs and get the fire lit.”
I bent over and lit the small fire and watched Alister toss herbs into the flames as he murmured various incantations. Spells were never my thing, so I stared at the fire and waited for the next instruction.
“There. Now, Karenna, hold your hand into the flame for 20 seconds.”
“What? You’re not serious, are you?”
“Yes, my child, please hurry.”
I glanced at my hand and at the fire before sticking it there. Twenty seconds is a long time when flames lick at your skin. Alister moved around me and I realized he had stuck my father’s bones into the flames as well.
“You can remove your hand now, Karenna. The spell is complete.
I pulled my hand out and it was immediately wrapped in a cool, damp cloth.
“So what’s next?” The world seemed to spin around me. “I don’t feel very well, Alister.” In an out-of-body experience, I watched as my body fell to the ground, my head lowered softly by Alister’s weathered hands. A movement made me turn my head and there stood a shadow of my father.
“Father?” If I wasn’t a shadow as well, I would have cried.
“Walk with me, Ren, for I have much to share with you.” We turned away from where Alister sat next to my body.
“The world is in chaos. You may not see it yet, child, for sometimes the shadows see what the living and breathing cannot. There are those who oppose your brother’s seat on the crown.”
“There are always those who seek what they do not have.”
“This is true. Yet few have the will to act upon those wishes. In the coming years, there will be one who changes all the world for his goals. You will both hate him and love him for what he can do and what he does. You will be part of the change and make great impacts upon the world.”
“And if I refuse to be a pawn in this change of the world? If I shun these responsibilities and leave this country to make my own path?”
“My dear, destiny has a way of sucking you back into her deeds no matter how far you run.”
He touched my shoulder and looked deeply into my eyes, pride and love upon his face. “My dear, you will have an impact. I doubt you will be able to sit in the back of the carriage when all the action happens outside. Now, go. Return to yourself and give my thanks to Alister.”