The flower looked like brass bells, felt like brass bells, had the weight of brass bells, but didn’t make a single sound. A whole field of them wouldn’t even make a rustle if a breeze blew through the field.
For the locals, the ubiquitous fauna was just another plant, but those outside the valley would travel for days just to see the unique sight.
Because once the silent bells left the valley, its solid brassy exterior turned brittle and made a dull thunking noise as it crumbled away, making the valley the only place people could see the silent bells.
And the locals were willing to fight the world if that was what it took to protect the unique flowers.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #30: Slither.
He’s just about to take a tea break when his colleague taps him on the shoulder.
“A girl who’s afraid of humans snuck into our kitchen, can you help?” she asks.
“How did she get in?” Even the staff have trouble entering the office sometimes due to the combination of the intense security and need to update their access codes every two weeks. “What if she’s afraid of snakes?”
“That’s for security to find out.” She shrugs. “No harm trying.”
“Alright.” His stomach chimes in with a little grumble. “As long as you bring me food.”
He rolls his shoulder and shifts into his much slimmer snake form. His colleague kneels to give him easier access to her shoulders. Wearing him like a large scarf, she carries him down the familiar corridor to the staff kitchen.
A child curls into a tiny ball in the corner furthest from the door. He is gently lowered to the ground, and keeping his movements slow, he slithers across the beige tiles towards the little girl.
He stops an arm’s length away from the girl and curls into a loose ball, feigning disinterest. The girl flinches when his colleague sets a plate of steamed chicken on the floor for him, but watches curiously as he swallows the bird in one bite, then pretends to take a nap.
The floor’s cold, which sets off all his cold blooded instincts to seek warmth. But he resists it, knowing from personal experience how scary spooked people can be. Finally, his patience pays off when tentative fingers prod his swollen belly. Taking that as permission to approach, he slowly follows the touch to curl around the girl’s warm body. The child stiffens under him, but when he shows no sign of further movements, she slowly relaxes, even runs her fingers over his scales.
He doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do at this point, so he gives into post-meal drowsiness and takes a nap. He’s done his part. It’s up to the others to figure out what to do with the girl.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #29: Patch.
~His Bald Patch~
His schoolmates tease him because of the bald patch on the back of his head.
They don’t know that it’s a scar when from he blocked his sister from a mugger’s attack.
He used to try and explain himself to the bullies, but there are many who don’t care, and plenty who don’t believe him. Now he’s just tired. There’s no point in throwing pearls to the pigs. If they tease him because of his appearance, they’re not worthy of his attention.
Hi there. It’s been awhile. Even though Logical Dreams had new posts every two days or so, I haven’t actually logged in for a month, and that’s because of my October goal.
In October, I joined my friend for the Inktober challenge. Considering that I’ll be challenging NaNoWriMo in November, I decided to use this opportunity to build up some buffer. The results of the October goal can still be seen in the next week or so, as the last few Inktober stories are posted.
For December, my goal is to extend this alternate day scheduled posts. For that, I’ll aim to write at least 15 stories this month.
If I can own only one thing in the world, I’ll choose a noise cancelling headset.
On a good day, I can hear the whisper of my neighbour’s cat padding over their soft carpet.
On a bad day, I can hear the rapid tapping of a centipede’s many feet as it crawls over the bark of a tree further than my eye can see.
With ears like this, I don’t need to read restaurant reviews to find the crispiest anything. All I need to do is follow the sound of sharp snapping.
These same ears are also the reason why I avoid those highly rated kitchens. It’s hard to enjoy food that explodes like firecrackers in my mouth, and those who are willing to forgo crunchy options when dining with me are my true friends.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #27: Spark.
The north and south clans hated each other the way the sun rose from the east and set in the west. After generations of revenge killing and other atrocities, just the mention of the other side was enough to spark a murderous rage.
This was a problem, because both clans jointly managed the central city district, where more than half the people in the region worked. And it was embarrassingly common for street signs to contradict each other because they were set up by one clan and they other wasn’t happy about it.
A bold entrepreneur approached the heads of both clans with an idea. There would be no change of ownership, but since they hate each other so much, why not get a neutral third party to mediate?
It had been 32 weeks since the idea was first pitched. After weekly appeals, both clans were slowly warming up to the concept, but not yet ready to commit. It was week 33. The single entrepreneur had evolved to an organized team, all sharing the same dream. Holding the hope that this was the week they finally succeed, they set out.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #26: Connect.
~Hidden in Plain Sight~
When they have new guests, they love bringing everyone around on a house tour. They’ve worked hard on their home, why not show it off?
Most are appreciative. Some are quiet about it, letting their alert eyes or silent nods do the talking. Others are more vocal with praises and inquisitive questions. No matter which type they are, everyone inevitably asks the same question.
“What’s that door for?”
‘That door’ is an ornate wooden panel installed next to the main entrance. Although it has an equally extravagant handle, the door doesn’t open, and the other side of the wall is completely blank.
They shrug. “It looks pretty.”
So the door is relegated to ‘eccentric decor’ status, and no one gives it more than an amused glance when they pass. That’s why no one figures out the truth hidden among the outlandish veneer.
The fancy handle and event fancier surface distracts people from a little circle smaller than a fingernail that is the real key to opening the door. Why the subterfuge? Because the door connects their world to another realm.
Once, a burglar snuck in and got lost on the other side. The police came knocking when they guy was reported missing, but fortunately didn’t find anything incriminating. Still, once could be written off as a coincidence, twice would raise suspicion, and three times would make the cold case detectives come knocking.
It’s hard to hide a suspicious door at their entrance, so they cover it to draw the wrong kind of attention. No one has stumbled through the door since, and they have an outrageous piece of art that’s the talk of the town. The perfect hiding spot.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #25: Splat.
Supernatural beings existed. He knew this for a fact because they were his housemates.
Of course, no one actually admitted their identity to him, but they were such poor secret keepers that he had to actively change the topic or remove himself from the situation so that they didn’t reveal more than what they already had. None of the others noticed, because he was much better at keeping secrets than they were.
But no secret could remain hidden forever. He knew they’d hit the point of no return when he walked into the kitchen to find them skewering whole raw fish on an oni’s tusks like marshmallows on a stick.
“Hi… getting a snack?” he tried for a casual smile but could only muster a grimace.
Stunned wide eyes returned his greeting above slacked jaws. A fish slipped off the oni’s tusk and fell to the tiled floor with a loud splat in the awkward silence.
“If it helps, I’ve known your real identity for ages. So nothing’s changed. You continue your stuff. I’ll… take a nap. Wake me up for dinner,” he said and fled the scene.
Written in response to the Inktober prompt #24: Extinct.
~The Forest Guardians~
As the settlers cleared the land, they also killed the forest, carving out more than nature could safely give.
The forest guardians did their best to re-establish a new balance, but their strength came from the grounds they protected, and as the borders of the forest diminished so did they, fading away one after the other until they went extinct.
All this went unnoticed by the newcomers, who considered the guardians as nothing more than local superstition. Indeed, the tools they created easily masked the symptoms of the dying land. But no matter how skilled the settlers were, it was impossible to create something out of nothing.
In fear and growing desperation, they searched their barren lands for the forest guardians they dismissed in the past, but all they found were hollow trees on exposed earth.
The settlers built their home with their own hands, they decided that if they couldn’t find a natural guardian, they would create their own. Gathering all the folklore they could, they birthed their own forest guardian.
They forgot that the core of forest guardian wasn’t to service them, but the land.
Just as they destroyed the forest, the guardian destroyed their city, and as nature reclaimed more ground, the guardian multiplied. But the settlers weren’t giving up their hard work so easily. They allowed the creatures to grow enough that crops and prey returned to the land, then they jealously guarded the remaining ground for their own use.
So they reached a new equilibrium, both sides fighting hard to maintain their boundaries, carefully calculated so that both the forest and city could co-exist.