This Spells Trouble (Fiction)

I’m trying out Diana’s challenge in response to a found image. Please check out her challenge, and other entries! I elected to try a short story, so please tell me if it is terrible. I usually stick to poetry, since there are less rules and words to misspell. 🙂

Photo from pixabay, by Marianne Sopala

Rolland fell backwards, out of the tree house as the magic spell exploded all around him. Strange popping noises detonated like a cacophony of fireworks as he was launched through the door. He cried out in terror as he tumbled in midair, not realizing the changes that were already happening to his own body.

Odd, the impact on the ground did not feel as painful as he thought it would. And wasn’t it curious that his hands and feet seemed to naturally twist around in the air, moving almost cat-like to an all fours right before the ground rushed up to greet him?

The ground trembled as he landed, it was as though someone had dropped something very large, causing the tree house to sway back and forth.

It took Rolland a few seconds to get his bearings, but he wasn’t hurt at all. The fall should have at least taken the wind out of him, or stung his hands as he shoved them forward to brace against the snowy grass. Yet he was fine.

Well, something felt different. He felt slower, more constrained somehow. Was it some residual effect of the spell? What was that spell anyway?

“Wait a minute…” Rolland had just brought one of his hands to his face to wipe away snow that was sticking, annoyingly blurring his vision when he suddenly stopped. It wasn’t his hand at all. Why did it look an awful lot like it was an elephant’s foot?

It was!

“This is incredible!” he exclaimed. “I can’t believe it!”

“Are you okay Rolland?” A squeaky voice asked from the tree house.

Rolland had forgotten all about his friends. Michael, Frank, and the Duncan twins had all gathered together in the tree house that night for a sleepover. The last thing he saw before he was expelled out the door was Michael holding the magic book he had brought over as they all excitedly shouted the incantation.

“Hey man, you guys gotta see what that happened!” Rolland said, trying to stand. As he tried to get up and put weight on his legs, he felt himself wobble forward. He looked down in surprise at his legs and his breath caught in his throat.

“I think it turned me into an elephant!” Rolland gasped, as a feeling of terror rushed into his stomach. How was he ever going to change back into a human? They didn’t even know what they were reading when they said the magic words. What on Earth were they thinking?

“Yeah, I think we have you beat. You should see what happened to us!” Said another squeaky voice.

Why did they sound so funny? Rolland peered into the tree house, and in his haste his trunk pushed against the door frame. He really wasn’t used to being four tons of flesh and his spatial awareness was not holding up very well.

The entire tree bent backwards, tree limbs snapping and protesting from the strain Rolland was putting on them. But the house was empty. His friends were not to be found.

All Rolland could see was the magic book sprawled in a corner, spine open in a dejected heap. He tried to reach his trunk through the broken doorway to grab the book but his added weight only caused the house to move even further backwards. The book slid even further out of reach.

Shrill cries of alarm came from above the house. “Hey now! What are you doing? You are going to knock us off!”

“Wait, are you guys on the roof? How did you get up there?” Rolland asked, hurriedly he tried to turn from the door but as he moved, his trunk rubbed clumsily against the exposed wood.

His eyes watered as his trunk erupted with stinging pain from the splinters wedging deep in his skin. It all was going wrong. Very wrong.

Why did Michael insist on bringing that dreaded book over? What had possessed them to dare each other to say that silly spell? Who could have guessed how dangerous reading could be?


Duel (Tanka)

Clear this idle deck
I’m to force friends to duel
Planks won’t walk themselves
When laggard swords aren’t talking
Love pains me to be shipwrecked


For Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 121, “Slow & Work,” #SynonymsOnly, I used idle and laggard for slow, and force and pains for synonyms of work. This time ’round, my usage of “dual” synonyms gives this a bit of fun with having “duel” as a title.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Honor (Poem)

He ran straight against
Another painful consequence
For his helmet’s fallen down
Worn armor scraping ground
True he gave it all he had
Faithful sword now broken in half
Cast off like other soldiers in the dirt
Bruised from the conflict of words
Not all battles lead to conquest
When the brave omit finesse


Photo from pixabay.

Stygian White (Etheree)

Old roof
Bathed in pools
Of cloud’s sad gift
Vexing sullen shack
Who trembles holding back
To spite the stygian white
Marred branches of uneven size
Four frail panes worrying one weak latch
Windows of danger close nigh the rain’s pass


Photo by Alex Dukhanov on Unsplash

For Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 120, “Cold & Storm,” #SynonymsOnly I used sullen and rain.

Joke (Etheree)

joke’s on you
at the expense
of me, laughably
simple, yet blind to see
tears hot and riddled by truth
crashing through this spiteful lampoon
inner voice rails with the unanswered
stricken to rise from your luring banter


Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash

For Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 119 “Mystery & Attract,” #SynonymsOnly I used riddled (as a verb rather than a noun) and luring.