Writing Prompt: Day 240

240 (2).jpgDay 240 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Put a strange curse on your character.

Shannon: “You think it’s funny to make fun of the parts of people you deem undesirable?” My teacher looked at me with a disappointed stare down, but it didn’t faze me. They wanted me to be kind, but where did kind ever get anyone? “Fine you’re not hurt by anything, then this won’t her you either,” she filled in my silence. “The next time you criticize a person for what they look like, you will share that same trait you despise so much. Be careful about who you hurt, because it will come back to you.”

I crossed my arms, “Is that a threat?”

She smiled and shook her head. “It’s a curse.”

Erin: I was cursed from a young age. Parents used to judge my mother for not being strict enough with me. I remember not understanding why she was getting yelled at for what I was doing to my own hair. Dying hair could damage the health of it though. That was the only explanation normal people had for my hair being blue one day and red the next. If they knew my mood was responsible for my color and highlights their concern would turn to me and I didn’t need that kind of attention.

What curse is your character under?

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 240

  1. As it turned out, after a lot of dancing and more than enough wine, the gentleman I’d thought must be a prince or magician of high standing wasn’t either of those; he was, in fact, a charlatan from one of the outlying villages in the kingdom, and was deeply mistrusted. I’d only found out after John came to fetch me under the pretense of breaking their sister out of the competition. They’d already spoken to the elated Rue, who told them in unsavory terms where they ought to go, and to go there swiftly before they managed to get her kicked out. During their stint as con artists they’d been privy to some sensitive information about some of the higher-ranking guests including how they all despised the man I’d been dancing with.
    In a fury, I caught his coattails on fire on my way out, and I could still hear his cries of horror echoing loudly throughout the ballroom. I was staring out my window, my new shawl hung delicately above my bed to remind me of the wholly wonderful evening I’d had, as I thought back to the events. Most moments were, of course, ideal even if they weren’t with some great prince from a faraway land. After some thought, though, I decided I wouldn’t have wanted to leave Cor anyway.
    When I made my way hurriedly downstairs for my day off, I nodded to Kyle, who was now nursing a pretty severe gash on his arm. He partook in far too much ale and wine with Vivian, and had gotten into a fight with an equally-wasted castle guard, which he obviously lost. Passing him a potion to take away most of the wicked hangover he had, I made my way to the door swiftly.
    “Hey, Gem, what’re you doing today?” he asked weakly, taking a small swig of the rancid draft, his face contorting with the horrid flavour. As soon as he put the tiny bottle down, though, the colour began to return to his cheeks and the droopy look to his eyes lifted slightly.
    Chuckling, I rolled my eyes as I replied, “Well, John, Paul, and the guys wanted to go to this witch out in the country to have Rue’s fortune told. Apparently,” I continued with a disbelieving tone, “you can simply bring a piece of clothing to a true fortune-teller, and they can use that as a stand-in. I don’t know that I believe it, but they do, and it’ll be a nice trip.” I fidgeted with the strap on my satchel as Kyle squinted at me.
    “So, you don’t think this fortune-teller’s gonna be a little ticked when she finds out yer not a true believer? ‘Cause I’ve heard some of ‘em are for real, and have the kind of magick you do,” he stated as a matter of fact, with that look siblings got when the other was about to do something really stupid. But then, in true Kyle manner, he added, “Besides, it’s not as though you don’t already have yer whole life planned out.” Grinning smugly, he nearly fell off his chair when I tossed the bag of seeds at his head as I slipped out the front door and into the blinding sunlight.
    Once out of the confines of our tiny residence, I stretched my arms wide to take in the crisp fresh air, and headed off in the direction of the market. Since Rue’s brothers had to work in the field this morning we’d decided to meet around noon at a particularly ragged-looking wagon that held a totem-merchant in low standing. Her wares were not only dirty and disgusting, but they never seemed to do what you bought them for; if you wanted your husband to return to good health, he would run off with the baker’s daughter, as an example. As it was, the only reason we were meeting there was she knew the correct paths to take in our effort to find the kingdom-renowned fortune-teller.
    As I rounded the corner and came into full view of the picked-over vegetable stalls and fabric merchants hocking their goods in piercing voices, there came an inexplicable hush over the vendors. I hung back at the entrance, pretending to admire a bushed of bruised apples, as I assessed the situation. At the far side of the space was the tailor’s husband who was waving jovially to me over his cart of spectacular fabrics; his ruddy face was alight and pained with the effort of summoning me.
    Bowing my head, I strode around the outside and came upon the happy man sitting on the end of his cart smoking a rather large pipe. “’Ello, Gemma! I still cannot thank you ‘nough fer ‘elpin’ me. Thank you,” he bellowed, shaking my hand violently as a few of the others stared at us suspiciously.
    “Oh, well, sir, it was my pleasure. I have a, uh, uh prior engagement, but it was lovely seeing you,” I lied, grinning from ear to ear as he finally released my hand. Scurrying away with my cheeks on fire, I blended in to the moderate crowds as they made the rounds, admiring this and that. I finally hopped out of the lane as the wagon came up, and breathed a sigh of relief; I seemed to be making a name for myself with that one little thing I did for that loud-mouthed man.
    Glancing around, I realized I must be terribly early, as no one else had arrived yet, so I decided to grab a few apples for the road ahead. In my satchel were a few gold coins jingling away merrily, excited to be spent. I picked a few rosy red pieces from a full table and waited in line to pay for them, munching away on a particularly juicy one. As the grey, old woman in front of me passed her fruit to the merchant, she plucked a small handful of dusty coins from her bag and waited for the total.
    When the woman behind the table gave her a number, she gasped, glanced at the two pieces of ripe fruit that she’d picked, and told the woman she’d just take the one. A little boy came skipping up to her with a cap and bare feet, calling her grandma in that innocent way children used to get away with anything. She passed the one apple to him and patted his head warmly, eyeing it hungrily.
    Giving over the three apples I’d chosen, and motioning to the one I was currently enjoying, I paid my dues and stuffed the remainder in my bag. I watched the woman limp away after the young boy with a pit in my stomache the size, unfortunately, of an apple. As I tapped her on the shoulder and handed her one of my purchases with a slight smile, her face lit up like a lantern.
    I was back at the wagon before I realized the tailor’s wife had seen my act of kindness, and was now crying over his fabric cart. Just then, Darren waved from the other end of the wagon and I struck up a conversation with him before anything else could happen. “Hey, man, isn’t this great? We’re gonna find out what Rue’s future holds. Wonderful!” I chirped, keeping my eyes trained on a large tear in his vest to avoid the gaze of anyone else. In a whisper, I added, “I saved the tailor’s wife yesterday and now he seems to think I’m this great hero. Act like we’re having a conversation.”
    “Well, honey, we are having a conversation, but that will be short-lived as everyone else is about to arrive,” he replied, waving toward the group of our friends. With a little giggle, he commented, “I’m quite excited to be going to a real fortune teller. I wonder what’s in store for us all?”

    We’d been walking for several hours, in exactly the direction the woman had told us through the beaded curtain in her caravan, when we came upon a tiny sign carved right into a tree trunk on the side of the road. “This way to the cottage,” I read aloud, turning to everyone else, who wore various expressions of intrigue and uncertainty. “Well,” I replied to the complete lack of decision, “I guess we follow this dark and twisting path into the deep, dark forest just before sundown.” Traipsing through a bush that covered half the trail, I listened intently for the next set of boots to follow me into the unknown; when it was Jesse’s metal-soled dragon-tamer shoes, I was surprised, but that didn’t slow me down.
    It took all of ten minutes to get to this adorable, famed cottage that was nestled in a lovely little grove. With flowerboxes, vines flowering vibrantly up the side of the building and a stream babbling away at the edge of the clearing; it was perhaps the most fantastical place I’d ever been. As the whole lot of us came to stand in the patch of sunlight filtering through the trees, there was muttering about a waste of time and awe at the setting. We took up practically the entire lawn with two burly farmhands, a thief who just didn’t know it yet, a dreamer, a soft-handed baker’s daughter and a hero who didn’t want to be one.
    “Nah, I ain’t goin’ in there,” stated Jesse without a hint of his normally-playful tone. His arms were crossed as he wandered over to the stream and stared unwaveringly into it.
    With a glance at Jesse, Darren nodded and added, “I’m with ‘im. ‘Ave a good reading, though.” Joining his friend, the two of them muttered in low tones as those of us remaining glanced around nervously.
    I was the first to move, walking over to stand before the bell pull with my fingers itching to tug on it, even if I really didn’t want to know my fortune. “Alright, everyone ready?” I asked no one in particular, and received an uncomfortable silence as a reply. Yanking the rope gently, I listened as a church bell rang somewhere in the tiny space.
    When the door suddenly opened and a woman with dreadlocks and a glass eye answered, I nearly jumped out of my skin. She gazed at us all with her unseeing eye before pointing at me with a jagged fingernail and whispering in a raspy voice, “You, Gemma Vox.” With that, she turned and disappeared into the all-consuming darkness of her cottage, and I felt the pull to follow her. No one said a word, so I ducked my head and entered the lair letting out a silent prayer as the door shut behind me.
    “You, sit, now,” she commanded, muttering something in Latin under her breath and riffling through jars in an enormous, dusty cabinet. From outside I could hear my friends’ muffled voices as they conversed quietly, but I couldn’t make out a word they were saying. When the woman turned on me and took the seat opposite me, gestured for me to put my hand out, which I did. Gripping it painfully, she murmured something, tracing a sigil into my palm and rubbing some mix of earthy herb into the sign. She held my hand for a long, quiet moment before a sickly grin spread across her lips, exposing a row of jagged, rotting teeth, and hissed, “You didn’t believe in me, so you will pay for their fortunes.”

    I didn’t remember the next few minutes, but I found myself sitting in the grass with Violet holding my hand in hers and murmuring lightly to me. As my eyes blinked rapidly in the sudden light, she exclaimed and sighed, “Oh, thank goodness. I thought we’d lost you. She just said you would be fine, but that you gave her something in return for our fortunes.” There was a look of pure concern in my friend’s eyes that made me feel horribly self-conscious.
    “I, uh, I’m very dizzy and I can’t remember what just happened, “I replied in a stupor, having attempted to say I was fine. Clearing my throat, I tried again to say that they didn’t need to worry, but it came out as, “She did something to my hand, but I don’t speak Latin, so she might have done anything to me at all.” The look of concern didn’t go away, instead, Jesse and Darren joined Violet in the grass, exchanging looks between them. “Come on guys, I might have a curse on me, but that might be terrible,” I sighed, wishing desperately to tell a lie, any lie.
    When Rue’s brothers returned from their stint in the fortune-teller’s house, they looked downtrodden and exhausted. “She’s not gonna win, according to this witch,” spoke Paul in an even tone, answering the unasked question on everyone’s mind. That meant, really, that this whole trip was a waste; and whatever she did to me as payment wasn’t worth that. “Are you alright, Gemma?” he asked, leaning down to be at eye-level so he could assess me properly.
    “Something’s wrong with her, guys,” admitted Violet, who was starting to get up until I gripped her wrist as tightly as I could. Shooing the others away with my free hand, I glared at her, attempting to get across that I needed to talk to her alone. After a minute she squinted and guessed, “I think she wants you guys to go away so she can tell me something?” I nodded excitedly, and the guys all wandered to the other side of the clearing. “What’s up?”
    Drawing in a deep breath, I spoke as calmly as I could muster, “It was a truth spell. I can only say the truth. I realized that a few minutes ago, but there was something I needed to tell someone before I exploded.” Violet’s eyes went wide, but she remained silent. “I have magick. And I hate it with a burning passion,” I admitted at long last.

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  2. August knew it was a bad idea.
    Sure. ‘Storming the castle’ wasn’t the best move to make on a villain you barely know.
    In August’s defense, he wasn’t storming the castle.
    No.
    He is a martial artist with skill in stealth.
    He snuck into the castle, a seemingly decrepit mansion somewhere at the edges of New York. Right along the coastline, too.
    It was dark. It was quiet. And it smelled like whatever Apoth-caeri was last working on. August didn’t think he had much to worry about.
    Except his brother and their dysfunctional team thought they could tag along; help. In their defense, this wouldn’t have worked anyway.
    August got in, passed some security, didn’t know what he was getting into. Josh caught up to him, with Jacey on his shoulder as a mouse. August didn’t know where Finn was; and he didn’t bother asking.
    ‘Rick probably told them,’ August moped. Rick confirms it with the ear piece August brought with.
    They then made it to the laboratory. Apoth-caeri currently wasn’t there. The team wasn’t sure what to do with the vats and the vials, let alone any of the set up that didn’t make sense to them.
    Jacey had the brilliant idea to destroy the place.
    Josh thought that wasn’t a good plan, but they should do something.
    August thought recon was the best option, and the reason he went alone in the first place.
    Rick agreed with Jacey. That’s all she needed to start.
    Apoth-caeri came in with guards, hearing the noise and seeing his minions down the hall taking a nap. There was a fight. Apoth-caeri kept out of it, though. August went to stop him, but the villain sent something his way.
    He didn’t see it.
    He couldn’t have.
    All he felt was a blast going up his arm and his wrist burning like it was dipped in lava.
    And black.
    Storming the castle was not as easy, or fulfilling, as they make it look in the movies.
    When he woke up, his wrist was bandaged. Rick had observed it, and decided that August will be able to use it. Soon, actually. The only difference was that the bracelet, the tech that Chris gave him to become a shadow, is now grafted onto his arm.
    There are little lightning marks on both sides of the metal, but it feels cool now, instead of the intense heat from before. The lightning marks don’t spread any further, and Josh informs his brother that they found him with a strange substance on his elbow and upper arm.
    Whatever it was saved August instead of allowing the electricity to kill him. August doesn’t know what…
    But it’s something close to a curse to be in debt to your enemy.

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