Friday, September 01, 2006

Flash Fiction Friday No. 2: "The Finding"

Getting an earlier start on Flash Fiction Friday this week! It seems that even though I have always HATED prompt writing, this is destined to become a regular, if not weekly, thing. Curse you, Laurie, for having such interesting prompts! I have other things I've been wanting to do, you know! :p

The Finding

There are Objects of Power all over the world.

Some are obvious, like the Mayan pyramids or the Stonehenge standing stones or the Nazca Lines of Peru. Some are hidden deep within the ground or lie in dusty back rooms of museums. Some things that many ordinary people think are powerful are not. And then there are some that are hidden in plain sight-- they stand there for all the world to see, but most people don't recognize what they are.

I encountered one such Object last summer, when I was visiting southern Alaska, where my friend moved five years ago.

It looked like most other totems, with its animal shapes carved into weathered wood and decorated with fading paint. It wasn't the oldest one I'd ever seen, nor was it the newest, and it was definitely not the most spectacular. Most people who visited the spot either ignored the totem in favor of the spectacular view, or half-heartedly read the plaque at the bottom, dutifully taking in the cursory information provided about its history.

What the plaque didn't say was that the maker of this particular totem had imbued it with Power. I didn't know who he was, but I felt the Power radiating from the totem, buried deep within, laying dormant until it might be needed. I wondered idly what the maker had needed an Object of Power for, but knew that it was not for me to Know at this time. For all I knew, it had been made by a Far-Seer for me to find, and would play a part in my quest later. In any case, if I was to Know, I would find out in the fullness of Time.

As I watched, I saw a family with several boisterous children tromp noisily up. The children ran eagerly to the totem and exclaimed very loudly over it, drawing disapproving looks from others nearby. The parents tried in vain to contain their energy and direct them to the excellent educational value of the site.

I noticed then that there was another child. A small girl with fine bones held back from her siblings, quietly gazing at the totem. And with a shock, I recognized that she, too had the Sight, the Vision of the Hidden World that comes so rarely, for though it was just beginning to wake in her, she, too felt the Power in this totem. As I looked at her, she turned to gaze at me, and I had another shock. A Knowing passed between us-- a Knowing that we would meet again.

The small girl smiled shyly but somehow assuredly at me, then moved on to join her brothers and sisters as they stormed the Visitors' Center and began to harass the ranger with many questions.


Bk30 said...

I like the concept of hidden powers. But you left me with the same feeling..where's the rest of the story! It's a great start to a piece and I would keep reading,but right now I feel like someone just handed me the first page and said "sorry, the dog ate the rest and this was the only copy."

I would so keep reading though :)

Laurie said...

"Curse you, Laurie, for having such interesting prompts!" If that's the best you can do at cursing me... :D I'll just have to say thank you for the compliment. :)

I'm with bk - what now? What happens next? And why'd you let the cat eat the rest anyway? :p Don't'cha know it's bad for their digestion?

Anne/kq said...


Sorry, I'm evil that way, I guess... I just take what the Story Gods hand me!

the granola said...

Hi ketchupqueen, it's Amka from Hatrack.

I just tagged you with a meme:

Uprooted said...

Oooh, I like it and I feel like it's a complete description of a moment in time, needing no additional story. But like the others, I'd read it if you wrote it!

larisse said...

Oh, you are evil. I, just like the others, want more of the story. I wanted to scream, "It isn't finished already is it!".

I was wondering if the capitalization of some of the words was deliberate? I found it interesting, like you were personifying them. Or, were you just emphasizing them?

It would be very cool if you expanded this story.

Anne/kq said...

"I was wondering if the capitalization of some of the words was deliberate?"

You ask me, a grammar Nazi, if my capitalization is deliberate? The nerve. ;-)

Yes, those words were capitalized because they mean something different to the narrator than to your typical English-speaker. I think that the best way to put it is that they're capitalized as proper nouns, referring to a very specific Power or Knowing, rather than generic power or knowing, in the same way you capitalize the word "Mother" when someone is speaking to her but not when speaking of your mother.

I might have used italics instead, I suppose, but you know that Mr. Carpenter's last words to Emily were, "Beware of italics." ;-)

I suppose I could expand the story, if I first explored what it actually meant. Stories tend to kind of just... come to me. I think this one came because I just re-read The Dark is Rising.

CaySedai said...

I enjoyed this. I think you do a good job of encapsulating a moment but including enough history of the main character to make them seem a full and rich character.

Cave Dweller said...

For the record, my grammar sucks, but I got the caps. Must be from what I read, and have been known to do it myself. Yeah, where's the rest of this?! It's good, very good! My kind of story!