Daily Prompt: Miniature

via Daily Prompt: Miniature

The rocking horse flew through the air, buzzing, neighing, doing loop-de-loops. Not a care in the world. The summer day was hazy with heat, showing the pollen that flew into the air as the rocking horse zoomed in and out of the flowers that filled the meadow. What a glorious day to be free! it thought. Free to fly among nature and all her glory. For the rocking horse had never been free before. At least he did not think so. All he remembered was the golden cage that surrounded him from his very first memory. It had been a large cage, filled with toys, a miniature barn with bedding his master called fluff, whatever that was. Plenty of food and water, and he was treated like a prize possession. All and all not a bad place to be, but it wasn’t…free.

With a long whinny that was its laugh, the rocking horse took off into the sky like it had been shot out of a cannon, leaving a trail of vapor behind it. Once it got to the highest point it stopped. Its small wings fluttered furiously to keep him suspended as he surveyed the beauty around him. Green rolling hills butted up against majestic mountains, the tallest peek raising up into the sky like a silent sentinel, watching over all below. Farms dotted the landscape with a village centered in the middle, a gathering place for the humans to sell their wares, catch up on gossip and celebrate their holidays and special occasions. Today was one of those days. A wedding was taking place and everyone one was there, decked out in their finery to help the happy couple begin their new life together. Which was why the rocking horse was free.

Sighing in contentment, the rocking horse looked down at the forest below it. Surely there were more like him. Maybe he should go down and start….

A shadow fell over him and then was gone.

What the…? 

Glancing around, the rocking horse could not see anything. Shrugging his shoulders, he once again surveyed below him, trying to figure out the best spot to begin his search. This time he saw the shape of the shadow floating across the tree tops. Large and silent, it drifted lazily around him. Taking a closer look, the rocking horse realized that the appendages that were out to the side of the body were wings and the large fan like thing in the back were…TAIL FEATHERS!

As soon as the rocking horse began his dive, a shrill shriek filled the summer air. Not daring to look back, the rocking horse streaked towards the safety of the woods.Dodging in and out of trees, he could hear the bird crashing and shrieking behind him. Must…find…shelter! There was a loud crash, then a crack of wood, then silence.

The rocking horse dared not slow to see if the bird had crashed into that large tree it had just flown through. No, it knew now where it must go if it was to remain safe. This outside world was a scary place, with things far to large that wanted to eat it for a morning snack. There was only one place it would be safe.

Sometime later, the front door opened to a small cottage near the woods and a young woman danced in, humming a lilting tune.

“What a wonderful day,” she sighed. “Full of laughter, good food and good friends. They really should have weddings more often, they are so much fun.” Putting her basket on the wooden table in the kitchen, she danced over to the small living area where there was a large golden cage and her childhood friend. “Hello, my little one. How was your day today? Uneventful, I suppose. Let me tell you about mine and we can relive it together, shall we?”

The miniature rocking horse neighed in response, rising up into the air and doing a somersault telling her it was happy to see her. With a small smile the woman did not see, it hung in the air, happily listening to his master’s voice as she regaled him with the days events. Happy to be safe and sound and alive in his home.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

Have a wonderful song filled summer day. 🙂

Sky

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There is a story to be told, hidden amongst the endless blue of the morning sky. Waiting patiently to be revealed as the sun decends and the moon’s light wains upon the hills. Secrets held until the time is right, words to be spoken whether we want to hear them or not. Are you ready for the truth, or would you like to hide from reality a little longer? The choice maybe yours…or not. For the only choice we have is no choice at all, because, in the end, fate is a fickle bitch.

© 2016 Heidi Barnes

It’s Only a Dream – FWF

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Source: Unknown

You wake up in a field with this note on your chest. Tell the story…

 

A dream? Was that what it was? A dream? How can a dream seem so real?

Glancing around the field not for the first time I wondered how I got here. The last thing I remember was walking through the woods on my way home. I had been told many times not to walk there because of the legends. For years people would walk in only to reemerge years later. There was the next question. What year was it? I glanced down at the paper I clutched in my hand. “Come now, Alice. It’s only a dream.” Only a dream. Did that mean what had happened before I ended up in this field, or what was happening now? And what or who was Alice? All questions that would only be answered, I suppose, if I tried to figure out what the hell had happened.

Sighing, I pushed myself to my feet. First thing first, was I in one piece? Nothing seemed to be broken. I wasn’t bleeding anywhere. The only thing that hurt was my head, which was pounding like a freight train was running through it. Shading my eyes, I looked up at the blue sky and the blazing sun that was doing nothing to relieve my headache. Now I was higher, I could see that the field I was in was surrounded by a forest. Behind the trees was a ring of mountains with jagged peaks covered in snow. I turned, following the high peaks with my eyes trying to find a possible escape. When I found none my panic started to set in. A long mournful howl sent it in over-drive. Great. Wolves.

Stuffing the paper the back pocket of my jeans, I decided that the middle of a field was not the best place to be. I needed to find cover before the wolves found me, unless it was too late. Before I could move, a very large shadow moved over me. Since there had been no clouds in the sky when I last looked, that could only mean something very large had just flown over. Not really wanting to look yet unable to stop myself, I looked up into the sky. Aside from the sun it was empty. Shaking my head at my own overactive imagination, I began to jog towards the wood. I was halfway there when the shadow once again passed by. The grass around me flatten and my hair whipped around my head as a gust of wind almost knocked me over. Okay, overactive imagination was one thing, but that was too much. This time I did not look up, I just ran faster. I wanted the cover of the trees before I stopped to see what it was that was taunting me.

Once I was in the tree line, I took a moment to catch my breath. Once I was able to stand up straight, I took a deep breath for courage and turned to look back in the field. It was as empty as I had left it. Frowning, I carefully moved to the tree that was closest and looked up in the sky. Once again it was empty. “It’s only a dream.” Well, if this was a dream I did not like it. Hopefully I would wake up before something ate me.

Another howl filled the air followed by a second. Great. They were calling in reinforcements. I needed to find shelter and build a fire so I would have some sort of weapon against the wolves. I turned to make my way deeper in the woods.

The wolves are not your greatest adversary here, a voice rumbled through my head.

I froze.

Suddenly the trees around me began to creak, threatening to snap in two as another gust bombarded me. Grabbing my head, I crouched down, trying to make myself a smaller target for anything that might fall from the sky. When the wind stopped, I slowly lifted my head. Again I was alone, but I had had enough. Something else besides the wolves was here, and it was big. Very big. Time to stop dawdling and run. Before I could take a step there was a loud thud that shook the ground. Putting out my hands for balance, I tried to keep my feet. Once the shaking stopped, I waited for it to begin again. Once I realized the earthquake was over, I took a step.

Little human, do you really think you can hide from me? the voice rumbled through my head again. Apparently the idea amused whoever it was because I could hear laughter in its voice. I wasn’t sure what worried me more. The fact I was hearing voices, or that it called me human.

“Who are you?” I whispered out loud.

The voice chuckled in my head. Why don’t you turn around and find out? it smirked.

The one thing that irritated me the most was when someone was laughing at me. I had never done well with it as a child, and as a young adult I was even worse. All my life my classmates had made fun of me because I was different. I could see and do things that they could never understand because they were ‘normal’. Where there were times I wished I were normal, the ability to hear other peoples’ thoughts, see their intentions, had saved my ass more than once. Aside from my parents, there was only one person I trusted with all my secrets and that is because he came to my rescue more than once. Unfortunately, John was not here this time. This time I was on my own.

You are never alone, little human. You will always have those who will protect you with their lives. Except for maybe now, the voice mused. This time you must prove yourself to me.

”And who are you?” I asked not really sure I wanted to know.

Turn around and find out, the amusement back.

Closing my eyes and tightly fisting my hands, I did my best to pull back my fear. I was not helpless. I had my ability and years of training. I knew there were those who wanted me and had prepared to fight back with everything I had. I just had thought John would be with me. He always had in the past.

The past is the past. This is the present. Turn around and face your fate or run like the coward we believe you are. It is your choice, the voice rumbled. I could hear the shrug in its voice. It did not care either way what I did, as if it already knew the outcome. Well I was no coward.

Opening my eyes, I unclenched my fist, took a deep breath, gathered my wits and powers around me and turned around. What stood in the middle of the field took the fire right out of me. Oh…my…god!

Standing proudly in the middle of the field on standing on all fours with its wings extended out to the side as to emphases just how huge it was, was a gigantic purple dragon. The smooth scales shimmered in the sun, telling me that there was just more than the color purple in its hide. The huge leather wings flexed, bringing my eyes to them as if that was what the dragon wanted. They too shimmered, but what drew my eyes were the talons at the top of the end knuckle, large enough to gut anything that tried to attack the thing.

I am not a thing, it snorted, steam coming from it nostrils.

At least two stories high with those talons on his wings and more on its feet, I realized calling a sentient being a thing was probably not the best of ideas. Neither was fighting it, which it had insinuated it was there for. To test me. As she stared at it realized there would be no running away from this creature.

Another howl, only this time it was a course of many wolves. The dragon settled its wings onto his back and settled its belly onto the ground, his muzzle slowly swinging back and forth as it look around it. They come. It looked at me. You are running out of time, little human. Make your decision.

“What decision?” I asked stepping out from the cover of the trees.

Whether or not you will be a pawn or if you will fight. The howls became more frantic as they came closer. Hurry, little human. They are coming.

“Who is coming? I don’t understand,” I yelled in frustration taking a few more steps closer to the large beast. “What do you want from me?”

The dragon regarded me for a moment before saying with a tone that echoed in my head and sent dread throughout my entire being, Your life.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This a FWF prompt from Kellie Elmore’s website Magic in the Backyard.

A Doorway Home – FWF

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Source: Unknown

 

The winter had been long and I was tired of it. Tired of it all. The bitter cold, the sleeping outside, the loneliness, and never knowing if I was going to live one day to the next let alone through the night. This war seemed to have gone on forever. The killing, the fighting, the disease, the death. If something didn’t change soon I couldn’t promise that I wouldn’t walk away from it all. I didn’t even know what we were fighting for anymore. The reason seemed to have gotten lost over the years. Now…well now I was tired.

We were walking through the woods on our way to a small town that was rumored to have a safe house for those who wish for a warm bed and good food without fear of being shot. It did not matter what side you were on, everyone was welcomed. The one condition was no fighting. When you stepped through the threshold you left the war outside. A little piece of heaven in my world of hell.

Neither of us talked. My buddy was just as tired as I was. So it was with a profound silence that we trudged through the damp woods, each of us praying that we had enough strength to make it to our destination. I was about to call for a break when we broke through the treeline into a clearing. What we saw sitting in the middle stopped us in our tracks.

The deep rich mahogany was a stark contrast to the dead vegetation around it. At first glance the instrument look pristine, but as I squinted at it, still not sure I was seeing what I was seeing, I began to see scratches and dings. The big question that I knew was also running through my buddies mind was, what the hell was a piano doing out in the middle of nowhere?

Looking at my friend, I raised my eyebrows in question. He answered with a shrug of his shoulders. He had no clue either. Being we were in enemy territory, silence was the key to survival. This could also be a trap, but it had been so long since I had heard the sound of something as beautiful as music I could not resist the temptation the piano. Pulling my gun from my shoulder, I motioned my friend to follow. Grimacing he did as I asked.

Step by step we slowly made our way to the piano, each of us scanning the ground and treeline for any sign of danger, our rifle butts tightly against our shoulders, our fingers ready to squeeze the trigger at the moment danger reared it’s ugly head. When we reached the piano, my friend kept his rifle at the ready as I lowered mine and studied the piano for boobytraps. When nothing seemed amiss I motioned for him to that is was clear. Still vigilant, he moved closer to, glancing down as I slowly opened the lid to reveal the ivory keys. Unlike the rest of the piano that, on closer inspection, obviously had been sitting out in the elements for some time, the keys were pristine, the white and black shining in the waning light. I reached out to push one of the keys. His hand shot out stopping me. Pursing his lips he shook his head, clearly not wanting me to touch them. I saw his reasoning. On the outside it looked innocent enough, but on the inside…. Motioning him to stand back, I moved to the side and put my hand on the top of the piano. Taking a deep breath for courage, I slowly lifted the lid. When nothing exploded in our faces we both heaved a sigh of relief. Looking inside I did not see anything wrong. Quietly closing the lid I smiled that everything was fine.

Frowning, my friend once again moved to my side. We still had no clue as to why this piano was sitting in the middle of a clearing in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere. Again I reached out and touched one of the keys. To my surprise, the soft sound was in key. Moving so I was centered, I placed both hands on the keys and ran a sequence of chords. Every one of them were in key. I looked at my friend in surprise and again all he did was shrug. Unable to help myself I played a little tune my mother had taught me at a young age. One that always brought back memories of apple pie and milk. Of sitting around the table with family and friends laughing and eating. Memories I thought long buried under death and destruction. Suddenly the world did not seem like such a dark and dismal place. Suddenly I realized that one day I will have that warm safe feeling again. I would make sure of it.

My friend tapped me on the shoulder. Glancing at him, he pointed with his chin across the clearing, his rifle once again in his hands. Looking where he pointed, a small child stood at the edge of the clearing watching us. With a motion of his hand to follow, he disappeared into the trees. Curious as to why there was a child alone in these dangerous woods, we cautiously followed. Maybe he was the trap. Even so, leaving a small child alone and unprotected did not sit well with either of us.

What we found shocked us. The piano was not a trap, but a test. If we just passed it by without touching it we would be allowed to pass unharmed. If we destroyed it then we too would have been destroyed. By playing it, we showed those who were watching that we might be able to be trusted with the biggest secret of this unending war. That we could be brought home.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is to a response to Kellie Elmore’s FWF prompt on her website Magic in the Backyard.

Dreams Unleashed – Prompt 31 Free Write

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Source: Unknown

 

Sinking into the mattress,
my pillow beckoning.
A night where the sheets
are heaven against my skin.
Eyes closed,
my mind begins to wander.
The days events
racing, tripping,
melding into one chaotic
mess of stress.
Tossing, turning,
nesting further under the covers,
I push those thoughts away
wanting instead to fly,
high in the sky.
Where real life is far, far away
and fantasy reigns.
Darkness descends
thoughts fade away
as sleep consumes.
The curtain slowly raises
revealing tonight’s festivities.
Whether it be light
or darkness perceived,
let the fun begin,
dreams unleashed.

Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes

This is a free write from the website Writing Outside the Lines. If you would like to see other submissions or try it out yourself go to this link.

Focus – A Freewrite

Focus. Something we all strive for. Whether it be focus in our work or focus in our life, at times it seems just out of reach. Just at the edge of our fingertips. If only we reached a little further, tried a little harder, we just might see that fuzzy distorted goal snap into crystal clear focus and we would finally see that ever elusive end. However, before that can happen, we must first put all the puzzle pieces in their place. We must line all our ducks in a row. There are many metaphors that I could use, but those are the ones that come to mind right now.

We are in the middle of a renovation. As I look around me at all the boxes, dusty shelves that no matter how many times I dust them it does not seem to help, and I cannot find anything. Even if I had just sat it down I lose it. I don’t mind a messy house, but this…. This is starting to get on my nerves. I need to work on my book. I am late with two birthday cards. I have them already to go except for the stamps that I can never seem to remember to buy. My yard is a mess. I just can’t seem to keep focused. There are too many things I need to do and half of them I can’t do until something else out of my control is done.

Normally these free writes come out as poems or a short story. Not today. Today my mind is too scattered. This week will be the finish of a major piece of the puzzle. Then, hopefully, I can start getting back on track, and the pieces will start to fall into place.

Enough of my ramblings. I wish you all a wonderful week and whatever in your life is out of focus will one day soon become crisp and clear, if only for a little while.

2015 Heidi Barnes

If you want to join in this free write exercise go to Sharyl Fuller’s site Writing Outside the Lines and check it out.