Dark Bends and Dead Ends

Story A Day September 2015

Day 3: Prompt: Your character is lost in a maze with the instructions to find a very important document or treasure hidden in its center. Or perhaps the character has lost this important thing, and must find it before the wrong person does. Added bonus points if they must battle a minotaur, dragon or fearsome magical villain.

At cliff’s edge, the gusts of wind were furious in their assault against that which stood upon the land. Little grew there, yet the grasses were a lush green, with the dark gray faces of stone peeking through. Scattered here and there were low granite walls, moss covered on the north side. It was a lonely place, yet it suited the purpose of one whose life was kindred to desolation. Her long blue dress swirled around her legs, as her lengthy flame colored tresses whipped around her shoulders. Her deep green eyes seemed to search the vast ocean beyond. She did not, however, see out, but, rather within.

The words of La Curandera played over and over in her mind. Going to see the healer was a last resort. The melancholy which had overtaken her heart only grew deeper, as if it was an endless abyss. It was on a trip beyond her town that she found the elder woman, during a celebration that was foreign to her own culture. The very name caused her to depart the carriage which carried her toward an asylum, recommended by the woman who ran her parent’s estate. The trip paused for all the passengers to partake of food, and allow the horses to rest.

She wandered aimlessly through the town square, turning down small cobblestone lanes as they appeared, and found herself staring at a spectacle, where folks were dressed in the dark colors of mourning. Candles decorated tables which lined a small courtyard. A cloth banner was stretched across a fountain in the center of the festivities, with ghoulish figures painted upon the material, surrounding a phrase she did not know. “Dia de los Muertos.”

The tables were like shrines, with pictures, and some fruit, and small pumpkins and orange and black flowers. The scene seemed more like a dream. The scent of burning herbs wafted upon the air. Slowly walking past these miniature tabernacles, for a moment, she felt the heaviness lift. She felt oddly drawn to the strange costumes and the ironic celebratory feel to what she understood inwardly was, if not a funeral, at the very least, a memorial to lost loved ones.

Standing before an older woman, wisps of smoke drifting up from smoldering herbs, her mind drank in the sights. “You have lost something,” the woman said.

This was the moment when she knew someone understood what so many others could not. The woman was not specifically kindly in appearance. Her demeanor, in fact, was a bit coarse. Here was someone who did not make pretense of feeling sorry, only stated a fact she saw in the stranger who stood before her.

The words felt more right than she had been able to tell of her own state of being. It was automatic that she dropped her gaze, as if out of resepct, though it was, in truth, a gesture of shame, but for something which she could not say.

“It is not lost,” the elder said, matter of factly.

They looked at each other again, the woman maintaining an aire of assurance, and the younger searching the strangly twinkling eyes for mockery.

“Can you help me?”

The Elder looked into her eyes, holding the gaze for several long seconds. She nodded. “Return here at the end of this night’s festivities.” She paused momentarily. “Now go.” The older woman turned her attention to her own table.

Slipping into the mingling crowd, the young woman found a spot to sit by the fountain and looked into the water.

A great gust of wind swept in from the ocean, and her thoughts returned to the present. It was not more than one month hence, and she had learned what was at the crux of her current circumstance. As well, she learned what she must do. There was an arduous journey ahead, leading her places that would be terrifying, and the twists and turns would test her beyond anything she had been through before.

She knew, to find what was lost, would mean entering a Labyrinth.

To Be Continued


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. calensariel
    Sep 04, 2015 @ 17:14:53

    How does that work since you didn’t finish it? Won’t the prompt be different for tomorrow? That’s very mysterious!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Fimnora Westcaw
    Sep 04, 2015 @ 18:59:47

    You know with he prompts we get from the daily post, or in Writing 101 prompts? We could choose to do them, or something else. I didn’t finish the story, so I’m choosing to do continue the story. 🙂 We can write what we want every day, as long as we write. We don’t even have to post our stories if we don’t want. We just have to post at the site that we wrote.

    Oh, good, I’m glad the story is mysterious. I wasn’t sure if it was. I thought might have been more confusing as opposed to suspenseful.



  3. shanjeniah
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 05:12:57

    I was a little confused, but I think it works with the story. I need to finish some revisions, get all my stories posted, and share the links….

    Waiting to see what’s next, because I’m intrigued. =D

    Liked by 1 person


    • Fimnora Westcaw
      Sep 05, 2015 @ 12:15:26

      That’s a cool way to do it… write, finish (or not) and then share the links later 🙂 It would work well for me since I sometimes don’t get mine posted until after midnight.
      Looking forward to reading your stories 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


      • shanjeniah
        Sep 05, 2015 @ 19:07:25

        I learned about the challenge only a day or so before it started, so joining in was very last-minute for me. I’ve got lots of other things going on, and my laptop is broken . We’re a few weeks from having a repair or replace budget, so I’m using a very elderly machine that’s functional, but neither flexible nor fast.

        I had to make some allowances, but Trip and T’Pol insist that they have considerably more than 30 more stories to tell, so here we all are….

        I am finishing each day (mostly because I’ve told them they have a 999 word limit each day). So far, two stories have needed enough revision that it just about amounted to a complete rewrite, and three have needed some, but not to that degree.

        I try to write them before I go to bed, since I’m a night owl. I reread before I sleep, so that they’ll be in my head while I’m dreaming. I spend time the next day with two revision passes (I got a little backed up the day the prompt was late, for the maze I think, and yesterday, because the story needed a near-complete overhaul, which ran past midnight.

        I’m making the final revision pass on today’s story this evening, and will hopefully be all caught up with posting before midnight.

        You can find my first two stories at the “Victory Dance” right now. Or, for other TnT stories, there’s a page of links over in the blog sidebar – those are from last May, but I’ve put them all in handy-dandy chronological order (I didn’t write them necessarily in sequence, but I wanted people to be able to read them that way).

        Eventually, I’ll be posting these stories to my main blog, and also to at least one fan fiction site.

        Looking forward to more of your stories, too!

        Liked by 1 person


        • Fimnora Westcaw
          Sep 05, 2015 @ 19:40:16

          Wow, I do wish I was that organized. I remember in May they said we could take weekends off, but I didn’t. This time, though, I am.

          I’ll be looking for your links 🙂

          With this being a holiday weekend, it’s a bit difficult to get online. *sigh*

          Liked by 1 person


          • shanjeniah
            Sep 05, 2015 @ 21:14:03

            We’re not big holiday people, and my Accomplice is a chef, so he works weekends. He will be off tomorrow through Thursday, so I might be online less, but then, I might not, too…he has his own puttering projects he’ll want to play with.

            I like the writing every day, and I don’t think those two are going to let me take any days off, because they haven’t had my full attention since May, and they don’t like that!

            Liked by 1 person


  4. kim
    Sep 06, 2015 @ 04:07:52

    Intriguing story… I especially liked the way you set the mysterious scene. Look forward to reading more. Enjoy your week xx

    Liked by 1 person


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