Day 62 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Use the words: glow, wild, and invasion.
Erin: There was a red glow in the distance. “What’s that,” Elie asked tugging on my shirt.
“I don’t know,” I whispered walking slightly closer. The glowing started to pulsate.
“Who’s that,” Elie pointed to the creature making it out of the light and casting a large lopsided shadow.
“I don’t know and I don’t really want to find out,” I hoister her into my arms and started running further and further into the wild.
“Mommy what’s happening,” she started crying and her arms wrapped tight around my neck.
“Nothing we’re going to be okay,” I lied fully aware that we were in the middle of our prophesied invasion.
Shannon: “Did you witness the invasion,” I questioned the guy lying on in the cot next to mine. He was turned on his side, so I could only see his back, but I hoped he was still awake. I needed someone to talk to, and it would have to be a stranger. In this huge room, I didn’t see one person that I recognized. I prayed I wasn’t the only survivor in my family, and that we just found refuge in different locations. I had to keep telling myself that I’d find them again, otherwise I wouldn’t have the strength to go on.
“I was there,” the voice revealed after a pause. He turned his body to face me. I couldn’t see him perfectly in the darkness, but there was a faded red glow reflecting off his face from a dim light nearby. I could tell he was around my age, as were most of the faces I saw nearby my bed as I walked in. Maybe they were organizing all the misfits by age. “Were you there,” he questioned.
“No, but no one will tell me what happened. Can you tell me,” I begged for a better understanding.
“It’s not something you want to know,” he tried to stop me there.
“I believe you but I’m so confused. I don’t know how bad it is. I don’t even know what the enemy looks like. Please, there has to be something you can tell me,” I tried not to appear too desperate, but I was failing.
He rolled his shoulders, looking like he was struggling with the memory. “They are like no creatures I’ve ever seen before. I don’t know how to describe them. They are not more human or more animal. They speak another language, and they are all eight feet tall and very strong. I got a look into one of their eyes and they were wild in the way they didn’t seem to be searching for anything in particular. They just wanted to kill. You don’t have to worry about them blending in. You’ll know when you see one,” his description gave me what I asking for, but didn’t put me at ease.
“Do they have weapons,” I whispered.
“They are the weapon,” he clarified.
Multiply these words into many words.
I woke to the pounding of war drums and heavy boots outside my window; an invasion of deep, rhythmic noises that promised fascinating imagery. But I didn’t want to unravel the cocoon of comforters and warmth charms just yet. Listening to the steady beating on the lawn, I snuggled further and eyed the lightening mountain range. As the sun peeked over the edge, beginning to cast its life-giving rays upon the world, I sighed and began to untangle myself with great difficulty.
Just as I was swinging my feet around to touch the floor I heard something creep along in the hall, making me freeze in anticipation. When Anise cracked the door open I let out the breath I’d been holding and smiled at her wryly; at least I hadn’t been armed with the tiny dagger from my bedside table. Shutting the door softly behind her, Anise moved to stand beside my window, peering through the veiled curtains. From the bed I could see her shivering slightly, though she wore her pink fleece-lined hoody and plaid flannel pants. She hugged herself tightly and her breathing was shallow.
“Hey,” I whispered, padding slowly toward the window, “are you alright?” When I was actually there, gazing out at the waning night, I could just make out the brilliant glow of hundreds of torches. Though I could see nothing more, the entire town must have been picketing on our lawn; obviously a part of Serena’s enormous plan, the one I was doomed to foil. But Anise couldn’t peel her eyes from the flickering radiance, though I could see the horror in her expression.
When I stepped out from the curtain, into the full vision of the crowd, the racket ceased and Anise turned to me. Gazing out the open window, I watched in awe as the flames were extinguished with the rising sunlight. Light stretched across the empty lawn as we stood still on a chilly autumn morning with our arms draped around each other, just observing a moment of silence before the drumbeats would return and the sky would run red with blood.
Over the next few hours we gathered our militia together; Aster with her powerful luck charms, Crystal who assured us she had her icy powers under control and Ember who wouldn’t let her little sister come without her, Delphine and Wren who’d just gotten back from their honeymoon brought their animal instincts, Julia with her control of light and wind, Nola who’d trained Nettle not to crush houses on residential landings, Riley with his fierce need to protect us and Savean who couldn’t stand to see me hurt even if I couldn’t love her fully with my destiny looming. Together, our motley crew clustered in the backyard under protective enchantments that shivered in the air and threw rainbows across the grass.
My master plans were spread out on the patio furniture, fluttering as everyone arrived under the canopy with navitasis and coffee all around. Stacked neatly, and colour-coded, were plans specific to each operative. When everyone had taken up a comfortable position I clapped my hands to break the silence and flushed as everyone turned to me. “Well,” I started, my breath sounding shaky in my throat, “I guess this is it. Today begins the last battle for Briarwood.” Silence met my words and they echoed in the expansive space like a hollow promise.
Before I could speak again Anise stood, setting her coffee aside and snatching up a set of plans, “Everyone saw the army this morning. They were seen all over town; by whoever might stand with us.” Her voice was strong and poised like she’d been rehearsing for this all her life. As my little sister stared into the faces of friends, nay family, she turned into the warrior she truly was, “They were meant to scare us off. Make us give up our town to the tyrant, Serena, but we will prove we are stronger than that and we will win against her!” Arm raised triumphantly, Anise bowed to me and sat back in her chair.
I looked to Anise; her hot pink hoody with the hood covering her hair, leggings that changed colour at irregular intervals between brilliant shades and deep tones, and a mug with rabbits chasing each other’s cotton tails forever. In all the time I was away, my little sister didn’t change a bit, but she grew into a resilient woman.
With everyone’s eyes back on me, I cleared my throat and began to explain my plan in general, leaving the specifics to be gone over individually. My hope was that, as long as no one but me knew the design in its entirety, it couldn’t fail; but I’d been wrong before. Sloshing around in my back pocket was my plan B, though I was loath to consider using it.
We spent the day practising all our parts; I spoke with everyone about their goals and back-up strategies. When we could do no more training, the parts I’d devised centered around my co-conspirators’ abilities so they would only need to know when to act, we all sat down for a final meditation. One by one, our partners left to prepare at their homes, saying tearful goodbyes. Aster bowed as she skipped from the gate, her arms swinging merrily. Sobbing ice shards, Crystal squeezed me so tight I could feel my heart slowing before Ember shook my hand dutifully.
Wren held Delphine as she sobbed, hanging onto my arm and digging her wild animal claws into my exposed flesh. Even Jules, who could act so strong, broke down at our final meeting. Before Nola could embrace me Riley took his turn, well, his first turn. When Nola shoved Riley, impatiently, out of the way I wasn’t surprised she didn’t shed a tear. Instead she whispered in my ear, “You’re gonna make it back. I know it.” Then she was gone and Riley was giving me another sloppy hug. He left hastily when Savean stepped up and he was gone.
As she leaned into me, I wished we could just stand like that forever, that we didn’t have to defeat and evil psycho and that I could love her freely. But she inclined to gently peck me on the cheek and I took the opportunity to kiss her on the lips, breathing in her salted coffee scent. When we broke apart I stated, louder than I needed to, “I’m going to come back. Destiny doesn’t exist.” She turned to hide her tears and I shouted, “I love you, Savy!” as she shut the gate behind her.
Sinking into the nearest patio chair I closed my eyes to grieve; I knew we could defeat Serena, but I wanted to tie up loose ends just in case. But as I thought about my friends, I felt someone rest their hand on my arm lightly, patting the cool skin. When I opened my eyes, Anise was checking my pulse with concern across her eyes. I coughed gently and she dropped her hand.
“Sorry, just had to make sure,” she stated monotonously. “I should get going. Gotta get to the library.” When she stepped toward the gate I jumped up and gave her a hug that lasted hours; I never wanted to let her go, let her get hurt. But when I was finally watching the gate wing shut I felt a weight lift from my chest and I knew she’d be alright.
I walked to the door but felt a cold chill break through the field around the house, unsettling my confident mood. Turning, I watched Serena glide through the gate and hover a few feet away, before stepping down onto the paving stones. Chuckling darkly to herself, she smirked, “We meet again, little Lily.” Though we were related by blood there was no love lost between us.
But I was out of energy to fight; I knew, when I heard the battle drums, that I wouldn’t defeat my cousin. I was just here to keep everyone else from losing out too. Carefully, I plucked the vial from my pocket, gripping in tightly “You won’t win the war, Serena, you know that.” All I had left were words to fight her with, but they would just have to be enough. “Give up. Go find Cor or whatever it is you want. Leave Briarwood alone.”
Throughout my short speech the grin never left her face until she flicked her wrist, sending my back-up plan to the wind. Cackling, she retorted, “No. I will win this battle, Lily dear, and you,” stepping forward, she twisted her hands and I braced for a spell, “you have already lost.” Taking a step backward I felt something slice through my chest, taking away my breath, and I stumbled. When I collapsed on my back, fumbling for the silver hilt jutting out of my body, I gasped painfully.
Warmth spread from the point of entry and I let go, drifting into a blinding light. Quin greeted me with open arms and kind, shining eyes.
Created to Write:
Mikio didn’t know what was happening, but she saw Ironman flying to the Avengers Tower. “Mom, is that Ironman?” Josh asks. August follows his brother’s gaze, but the hero was gone. Not long after, a figure crashes out the high window. People scream, glass crashing to the ground around them.
“Move boys!” Mikio yells, tugging them away.
A blast brings more glass raining on the people below. Mikio starts to usher her sons to safety. She looks away once a blue light heads from the Tower to the sky. The trio run through the crowd that’s already in a wild panic.
“What’s going on?” a girl asks.
“I don’t kn-”
“Oh my god what’s that!?”
Mikio didn’t turn around, using the shock to gain ground. She pulls Josh into a building, which ended up being a diner. She leaves the two at a booth, “Stay together,” Mikio tells Josh. She then goes to the window, where others are crowded around. Aliens are flying out of the sky, a red blip shooting them down. Some aliens fly lower and zoom past buildings, shooting at them. Mikio ducks as a blast heads for the diner.
“Alien?” a stranger whimpers in disbelief.
“It’s an invasion!”
August looks around, seeing the people in shock. He goes sees a child crying and goes to her. “Gus!” Josh yells, following. August sees the skinned knee of the girl. Then a blast goes off right outside the diner. Everyone is thrown off their feet. Josh and August are separated.
August stands up, his head ringing. He moves towards the front door, now relieved of its glass. He tries to yell Josh’s name, but he can’t hear his own voice.
He walks through crowds of people, running against him. His hearing comes back suddenly. There’s screaming, zooming, and sounds of a firefight. He looks up as a wave of aliens passes him. The one in the front is wearing a green cape and a gold helmet with horns. He stares at the man until he turns down a corner.
‘He doesn’t look alien,’ August thinks. There’s a blast at the next street, so August runs to see if he can help. There’s a car that’s overturned. Screaming comes from inside. He runs over, “I’m here to help!” he yells. The occupants don’t hear him, so he repeats himself. He tries to open the door, but it won’t budge.
An alien lands behind him. Josh hits the alien over the head, but it just turns around to shoot him instead. Josh takes the weapon out of its hands and uses the blade on one end to slice the alien’s head off.
Josh looks at August, “Mom told us to stay together, now come on.”
“They’re trapped,” August says.
Josh walks over. The two open the door by force and help the family to safety. Police officers jog to a group of people, “There’s a perimeter being set up. Follow this street until you get passed the barrier, you’ll be safer there.”
People start down that way, but August is reluctant to leave. “Where’s Mom?”
“She’s already down there,” Josh says. He takes his brother’s hand and pulls him with the crowd. August starts to jog, looking back up at the Avengers Tower, where the blue glow still extends to the portal pouring aliens into his world.