I’m trying to practice writing shorter responses, with a setting, a climax, and a resolution for Mischief Corner Books’s next 300 word submission request. This particular story is only 188 words, but it fits well within my ‘Tales of the Navel’/’Shadow Forest’ mythos.
Mist rose from her tears, creating a mossy shroud around her withered stone skin. How appropriate that she’d taken the form of this elegant ruin from an acient empire! There’s been a time, when she stood in this very spot, dressed in white, before cheering crowds. All fell silent, right before she spoke.
This was before she’d created a Door to another world, allowing in the shadowy greenery. This was before she’d found him. What she’d been was lost, dissolved in the cool breeze of his whisper.
No longer. He was here to return what he’d taken from her. She’d brought him back from a hungry state of nothingness, reminding him of humanity. He could no longer just let her be, while he walked in human form, carrying around her stolen memories.
“Return,” he murmured, as he pressed a hand against her stone wall. His flesh chilled as its touch. All memories of her, proud and human seeped through his fingers and departed into the rock. It grew a little warmer, a little more alive.
He shuddered to lose that heat, but why? It had never been his.