That’s a typo in the title up there. I’m leaving it because I like it.
Writing has been a bit of a slog lately. Very few new words. It’s also back to summer weather this week and I never work well once the temperatures begin to float above 80 degrees. The only thing I can claim to have accomplished this week is a piece of flash fiction for a contest being held over at Booknest.eu. They’ve posted all the entries – so far – over there, but I’ll plunk mine down here just because. The only requirements (beyond the 300 words rule) was that it contain the words “black” and “wing.”
I didn’t expect to see him on my doorstep.
“All sales are final,” I said, shutting the door before he could speak.
“Wait!” He shoved a booted foot in the gap, the oak slab crushing his toes. “I only want to talk.”
I opened the door, releasing his foot back to him.
I shook my head. “You gave up permission to call me that.”
He sighed. “Miss Delaney.”
“… is fake,” I interrupted him. “I told you. Some herbs and spices. A dash of honey to make it go down smoothly. At the most, it might cure your bad breath.”
“It wasn’t for me.” He lowered his chin. “She wanted it, thought it might strengthen our love.”
“She’s a fool.”
“You’re a fool,” I added. “Go home. Back to your lovely house and lovely girl and all the riches she’s brought you.”
“Moira,” he repeated. “I’m sorry.”
My hand went to the latch. “Go home, Finn.”
“I should’ve never left you,” he whispered. “But I couldn’t stand to be poor anymore, to toil and slog my way through life.”
I nodded along with his words. “And I gave you nothing,” I said. “Except everything I had.”
“You mix concoctions.” His lip curled upwards. “You’ve no real power, no skill with charms. And I was to work my fingers to the bone, for both of us?”
“You’re right.” I looked down, a study in penitence. “I’ve no skill with charms.”
A whisper from my lips, and he diminished. A plop on the doorstep, and there he sat, all soft black feathers and pointed beak and two small wings.
“No skill with charms at all.” I scooped up the bird. “But that was transfiguration. And if you were smart, you would’ve learned to tell the difference.”