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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2172494
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2172494
Contest entries of my two original characters compiled after entering. Stars are winners.
The Stormy Leaf Debacle

The chilled autumn breeze left fall leaves fluttering beautifully in the wind. One particularly large orange leaf brushed Bec’s nose as it flew by, causing her to sneeze.

“Why do we have to rake all the leaves at the mages’ college? Don’t you all have fancy spells for this?” Bec huffed as she halfheartedly shuffled the rake around in her hands. Her close friend and traveling companion, Cynthia, glanced up from the pile she was accumulating.

“Of course there are theoretically spells for it. A simple wind spell would probably do the trick,” Cynthia smiled as she looked up at the sky. “But the archmages believe it’s a wonderful way to step back and absorb nature, the source of all magic. And the elves believe that as well so I think it’s calming and lets one find their zen.”

Bec arched a furry eyebrow. “Uh-huh, sure. Dumb elves,” she muttered under her breath.

“What was that?”

“Nothing, I’m going to go over to the west wing. We might as well divide and conquer.”

Cynthia shrugged and began to hum a happy tune as she continued raking. Bec began the journey as she trudged through the gardens and fields. Being a Felinx who grew up in the grasslands of the Whispering Steppes, the idea of dealing with leaves was foreign to her. There had barely been any trees with actual leaves until she came to the mainland.

Arriving at the west wing, Bec sighed heavily. She had forgotten about the giant oak tree that dominated the courtyard. The grass might as well have been covered with a crunchy orange blanket.

“There has got be an easier way to do this,” Bec grumbled. A beautifully mischievous idea began to blossom. She remembered a student talking about developing strong winds in a bottle for practical use for the non-magical. That might be able to send all these leaves away without having to do a lot of work, Bec thought to herself. Perfect. The high elves might believe this nonsense, but she wasn’t going to put up with it. Leave it up to Felinx intuition and adaptation. She remembered the student talking about the alchemical lab, which happened to be conveniently located in the west wing.

A short break-in with minimal trifling later, Bec found herself in possession of a small silver bottle, nearly opaque enough to see the storm brewing within. “This oughta do it,” she said smugly to herself. “No more raking for me.”

A small pop sounded from the cork as Bec pulled it from the bottle. Small breezes came from the bottle, ruffling her fur. Just when she was about to conclude it was a dud, it began shaking rapidly in her hand to the point she could no longer contain it. It wriggled out of her grasp and shattered when it hit the ground. Storm clouds materialized above faster than Bec had ever seen before; the menacing black clouds swirled over the college. Leaves picked up in the wind and whipped her as they followed the currents. They started to go in a circle, forming a thick leaf tornado in their midst. Realizing she was in very real danger of being swept away herself, Bec scurried up the oak tree to find sturdy branches to hold onto. The wind and the leaves spun faster and faster, until finally the leaves were all lifted into the sky and the clouds dissipated. Heaving a sigh of relief, Bec spotted Cynthia running towards her.

“Bec! Did you see that spontaneous storm? One of the students must be playing around with advanced wind magic again,” Cynthia said nonchalantly as though this sort of thing was completely normal.

“Yup, that was definitely a doozie. At least all the leaves are gone though,” Bec replied.

“Not quite, it seems as though the leaves were picked up and dumped into the city at the base of the college, so we’ve been tasked with helping them clear the streets. Come on,” Cynthia said as she began to turn away. “Let’s see if we can get it done before dinner.”

Bec nearly fell out of the tree and hoped the remaining breeze would carry her away. She groaned loudly. “Of course they’re not gone.”

***Spring is Sprung***
Writer's Cramp winner

A tiny yellow spec floating on the wind landed on Bec’s feline nose. She sneezed once. Twice. And a few times more.

“Isn’t spring amazing?”

Bec glanced up and glared at her traveling companion. Cynthia beamed, long elven ears poking through her golden hair as she twirled in the field of freshly opening flowers.

“The season of life and new beginnings,” Cynthia said while picking a flower to tuck behind her ear.

“The season of never ending suffering,” Bec mumbled through her sniffles. “I never had allergies until I came to the mainland, so many damn plants here.” She blew away a few more pollen particles from their relentless attack on her nose.

Cynthia chuckled, a noise like tinkling chimes on the wind. “Don’t worry, we’re almost done with this delivery and then we can return to Aeterna in the mountains. See?” She pointed to the base of the valley they were traveling through to where a small town nested. “Dolora is right there in the distance.”

“Thank Isros,” Bec let out a sigh before sneezes racked her body once more.

Upon arrival at the town gates, they were greeted by silence. It was odd that no one would be out during this time of day, it was only shortly after the sun’s highest peak. As they passed through the town’s main square, Bec tried to think of a reason for the absence, but couldn’t think of one.

“Where is everybody?” Cynthia asked.

“I’ve been thinking the same thing, this is weird.” Bec’s ears shot straight up. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear wha-” Cynthia was cut off when Bec sliced through an arrow aimed at her head. The pieces hadn’t even hit the ground when scores of rugged mercenaries flooded out from behind the nearby buildings. They bore the symbol of the Verseeles, a ruthless group known to plague the surrounding areas.

“Guess we know why everyone is hiding,” Bec snarked before a sly smile spread across her face. “This will be so much more fun than just a delivery.”

A thug with a half-shaved head and tribal tattoos covering most of his face roared and charged forward towards Bec. Crouched, she was ready to anticipate his moves. A slight twitch betrayed he was swinging from the lower left. She was confident in her ability to counter, when the slightest tingle spread from her nose to her chest. A sneeze strong enough to shake her core pushed her off balance, air rushing past her nose revealed how close she had been to losing it. As he sailed past her, she dug a dagger into his back while wiping her nose on her sleeve.

Shouts to her immediate right brought her attention to the mercenaries ganging up on Cynthia. Blade in hand, she cut down three more on her path towards her friend. A blur in Bec’s peripherals warned her to sidestep, but a sudden sneeze stopped her in her tracks. The force of a truck sent her petite frame flying into nearby crates that shattered under her weight. She groaned as pain shot up her spine. A flash of lightning knocked away her assailant before he could reach her.

“What are you doing, Bec? Get yourself together!” Cynthia shouted as she unleashed powerful elemental spells left and right.

“I don’t need any of that coming from you,” Bec grumbled as she tilted her head away from an incoming dagger that embedded itself in the wood behind her. A few quick sneezes later and she was back on her feet. Unfortunately for her, the rest of the mercenaries were already on the ground, defeated mostly by Cynthia.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a higher body count than you before,” Cynthia laughed to herself.

“Shut up,” Bec said as she wiped away snot dripping from her nose. “You had an unfair advantage.”

A few hours later, filled with gratitude and praises from the townsfolk, Cynthia and Bec were on their way back to Aeterna. They passed through the same field of flowers which spurred unrelenting strings of sneezes from Bec. Fed up, Bec pulled out some cloth, rolled them up, and stuck them up her nose. Cynthia noticed and snorted with laughter.

“Spring has sprung, my friend,” she chortled.

“Not a word, Cynth.”

Haunted House Doubts

A low snicker filled Cynthia’s ears which elicited a huff in annoyance.

“Shut up,” she grumbled through her teeth. Bec, her traveling companion, didn’t attempt to hide her laughter.

“Not my fault you stepped in the booby trap,” Bec chortled. “Also not my fault you’re so tall that the rope can’t lift you all the way up.”

Cynthia shifted her head and sent a pointed glare in Bec’s direction. The trap was meant to ensnare humans or Felinxes like Bec to hang them from the roof. Her legs dangled from the ceiling with a rope around her ankle. Due to her height, her shoulders were still on the floor in an uncomfortable angle. “Not my fault high elves are so damn tall,” she muttered to herself. “Wanna help get me down?”

“Of course not, now keep up,” Bec turned and started down the hallway from the entrance of the creaky old mansion they just entered. Cynthia had argued against it since it creeped her out every time she passed by. She wasn’t keen on the fact it has been abandoned for nearly a century, but Bec heard rumors there was something valuable hidden within and nothing keeps a Felinx away from treasure.

Crunching her abdomen, Cynthia lifted her upper half to meet the rope at her ankle. She conjured a small wind spell dense enough to slice through the rope. When the tension released, she slumped onto her back for a quick second before starting to chase after Bec.

Turn back.

“You don’t need to tell me twice.” Shivers raced down Cynthia's spine as she promptly turned around back towards the entrance after hearing the disembodied voice. There was a run down garden encasing the front of the house so she picked a large stone and sat to wait.

*Twenty minutes later*

Bec came sprinting out the front door, a ghostly apparition of a human woman forming behind her. The ghost looked furious, but unable to cross the threshold past the door. Bec stopped beside Cynthia, her hands on her knees and panting heavily. As Bec glanced up at her, all Cynthia could do was tsk at her friend and smile.

“What? How was I supposed to know it was haunted?”
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