A Brush of Cold Fire

The bonfire roared against the early night, pushed back the chill of an early winter.  From the southeast, about a mile away, came the rattle of a passing train, the first supply run of the night.  Across the fire, Andrew hummed as he finished his stew.  Gable’s bowl was on the ground by his feet, his hands occupied with methodically sharpening his machete.

Then, finally, Ronnie came out of the tent under the trees, hauling the prisoner by the arm.  She tossed him down by the fire like he was a sack of grain.

“Anything?” Andrew said, and I knew he was hoping not.

“Won’t give,” Ronnie said, and she looked at me over the top of the fire where the flames forked and split.  I felt Gable’s eyes on me, though the scrape of the whetstone across the machete blade didn’t slow.

The fire hissed as it began to gently rain.

“That’s a shame,” Andrew said with a sarcastic groan of disappointment.  “Padge, do your thing.”  He quirked his head in the prisoner’s direction and went back to his stew, slopping it around his mouth like a cow.

Gable’s hand paused halfway up the blade and he looked at me.  For all that he gutted anyone Ronnie pointed him at without blinking, he would look at me.  Because despite his excitement, Andrew kept his eyes firmly on his stew.

“Padge,” Ronnie said.

I stood up and passed around the fire opposite Andrew.  The prisoner lay sprawled in the dampening dirt, eyes clamped shut, breath huffing up clouds of dust.

Ronnie and Gable propped the prisoner up between them and I knelt down.  Rain trickled down the back of my neck, instantly dried by the fire.  Despite the heat, my hands were ice cold.

The prisoner’s closed eyes didn’t help them as I put my fingertips to their temples and cracked their mind open.

Hello, my darlings!

This post was meant for October 5.  The reason it’s so late is because Thursday thru Saturday of last week saw me painting three rooms in my house and then cleaning up the mess of having painted three rooms in my house.  Working on it twelve hours each day left absolutely no time (or energy!) for writing.

So on Sunday, I played catch up.  I’m still behind, but I’m determined to catch up and keep going!  I know if I just keep going, something magical will happen.


October 5’s prompt was: bonfire / trains on a track / toss

I started writing a response to this prompt that was just absolutely not working for me.  So before I got too frustrated, I tore up my notes and started again.

Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and start over.  And that’s okay.

Once I started over, the scene flowed much more easily.


I’m quite pleased with how this turned out!  Telepathy is a theme I constantly find myself returning to.  I’m fascinated with the idea of being able to read someone’s mind, and the possible ramifications of such a gift.

I’m also pleased with the way the character dynamics came through in this, with Andrew being grossly excited about the main character using her gifts on someone and Gable being something of a silent supporter and Ronnie the stone-faced leader.

It’s a piece I would like to expand just to understand the mechanics of the world a bit more, but overall, I’m very pleased with this.


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