Reincarnated Enemies

“You get uglier every time,” she said. He also smelled worse every time but if she started listing all the things that got worse with each reincarnation, they would be in the next incarnation by the time she finished.

The bared his teeth at her in his version of a smile. “And you, smaller,” he said, raising his eyebrows. He peered far down to trace the length of her with his eyes. She barely reached his chest.

She bared her teeth right back, but it must’ve lost some of its potency in the long distance between her face and his. Insults and barbs to volley back gathered on her tongue like a lingering bitter wine but her steward cleared his throat and she had to sigh them away.

“As difficult as it may be, we’ll put aside the matter of your appalling face and discuss more important matters,” she said. “Such as the one that in a twisted, laughable turn of events, you are my champion for this tournament.”

With that, she picked up her skirts and turned to go. The steward cleared his throat again.

She sighed, a deep sigh from her belly. She half-turned back and said, “Perform well and I won’t have you killed.” With that, she left the hall.

The steward wanted to slap a hand over his face.

Is that original prompt and picture response not darling? I get so tickled every time I see it. I really wouldn’t mind doing a short story or two to expand on this situation. Reincarnation but in a fantasy setting? I don’t see that too often. Or reincarnation hardly ever, for that matter. Write what you would want to read, they always say!

If you click on the pin btw you’ll probably be able to read the original written prompt. The fantastic photo is another response to that prompt, which is about reincarnated enemies.

Little Witch, Pluck

At the very least, I had to give her marks for enthusiasm. She may have had a storybook idea of what a witch looked like and of what supplies she’d need to start training but at least she ran into the wall full speed.

“How’re you keeping that cat’s interest?” I say, pointing at the black, green-eyed cat sitting patiently at her feet, staring up at her.

“Tuna treats,” she says, raising her chin.

I smile. Delight pops in my chest like champange bubbles. “Come along then, Pluck, and I’ll train you.”

“My name isn’t Pluck!” she says, and her broom scrapes along the ground as she scampers after me. The crack of something small and hollow hitting the ground tells me she’d lost the plastic owl she’d glued to her hat. But her voice stays at my elbow when she says, “My name is–“

“Doesn’t matter what it was,” I say, flinging open the screen door wide enough so she has time to come in behind me. “You’re Pluck now because that’s how I see you. You were whatever to your parents because that’s how they saw you. You will be many things to many people, so make yourself okay with that now.”

At the threshold to the kitchen, I spin on the spot and she startles to a stop. Good to know she can be startled. I look her over. “Broom goes in the corner. You’ll be using it for sure but not for flying. Hat off at the door, we’re civilized here, and shoes as well. If you’re comfortable in that dress, we can start. Otherwise there’s clothes for you in there.”

I would love to write more about these two. And I want to know more about this wider world. I imagined something along the lines of an Ella Enchanted type whimsy? Some kind of whimsical AU, that’s all I’ve got right now. But yas to grouchy mentor/overenthusiastic mentee dynamic!

Fantastic art by ThornBulle

Love Isn’t Always Enough

They both knew–they had to know–that it would never work. Making a mermaid trade in the vast sea for the upstairs bathtub, even if she did so willingly, was no proper fix. And it didn’t matter how many books he read to her about human history or newspapers about current events, how many board games he taught her or how many candles he lit: the legends were just stories. You can’t change what you were born to be and Stella was born a mermaid and my brother, a human. But they tried. Of course they did. Because they’re in love and the impossible doesn’t feel insurmountable when there’s a glow like the sun in your chest, burning so hot you can’t sleep and you hardly want to eat for fear of smothering it. Even breathing feels risky, as if it were a flame that one deep breath could blow out. He was burning bad.

So they talked, their voices murmuring down through the floorboards, humming down the hall when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When they weren’t talking, they were watching movies. Or he was sleeping in the bed of blankets he’d made on the floor. Or they were kissing and he was telling her how to close your eyes. The burn in my chest was a sucking wound, a muffled scream. It won’t work, the scream tried to say. I know. I already tried.

This one haunts me a bit, I’ll be honest. There was something about the twist of this being the sister watching from a distance while her brother slowly sets himself up for heartbreak. I might do something with this one day. It intrigues me.