Thirty Days of Genius – Day Thirteen

Away, I had to get away.  The cayenne and garlic would not throw them off for long and I needed to cover a lot of ground.  I looked longingly at the lantern clutched tightly in my left hand but I dared not use it.  I was still too close; it would be a beacon in the night, leading them straight to me.

I had purposefully chosen the night of the new moon, for though their eyes were sharp in the darkness, even they would have trouble seeing tonight.  It was little comfort that they would be as blind as me.  I ran onward, using my other senses to guide me safely through the forest.  This was my home, here with nature, and the trees sang at my passing.

My steps were light but the run was taking its toll.  I could tap into my magic to aid me, but that too would lead them straight to me.  No, tonight I had to do it the hard way–all sweat and determination.  The wolves would not give up until I was well out of their territory, and even then I would not be completely safe.  Though I had carefully covered my scent it would be obvious who had broken into their compound.  Only one item was missing from their vaults–my mother’s necklace.

Technically I was not stealing it so much as returning it to its rightful owner but the Weres wouldn’t see it that way.  They were highly possessive of anything they thought of as theirs, myself included.  I’ve been dodging their pack leader for the last few years.  The man was sexy as hell and twice as irritating.  I swear he loved to rile me up just because he could.

The fall caught me by surprise.  The sensation of falling momentarily stunned my brain and I cursed myself for not paying better attention.  That damn man had distracted me again and he wasn’t even here.  I whispered a spell under my breath.  The falling stopped as I hovered in midair, an unknown distance from the ground.

My cover was blown anyway, so I whispered another spell, deeming speed more important than stealth.  I felt the magic course through my body and suddenly the world exploded into my vision.  My senses heightened and I could hear my pursuers far in the distance.  The ground was only a few feet away; a couple more seconds and I would’ve been seriously injured.

I let the first spell go and fell gently to the ground.  Energy zinged through my blood, causing my heart to race.  Now it was really time to run.  I would show up like a beacon to anyone with even a slight amount of spellcraft talent, but I didn’t care.  I could sense the pack leader getting closer.  Let’s see if he could keep up with me now.

I laughed as I sprang away.  The magic coursing through me made me giddy and I had to focus on getting away and not just racing him through the night.  He had gained quite a bit of distance in the time I had wasted and he was closing in.  However, with my new magic-fueled sight, strength, and speed I was able to pull ahead, putting more distance between us.

His pack stopped pursuit at the edge of their territory but he continued on, determined to catch me.  The magic made me playful and I slowed until I could just discern him behind me.  He had not Wered and was running breakneck through the dark forest with a surety that I envied.  It must be the instincts.  Either that or he was drawing power through the pack to help him see.

He saw me and shouted.  I grinned at him and leapt back into the race, my magic making me careless.  It was a good way to end up caught, but if push came to shove, I could always teleport myself out.  I would be laid out for two days afterward, which is why I only did it as a very last resort, but I had a safe house hidden just for that reason.

I concentrated on running and tried to decide where I would spend the night.  I couldn’t return to my apartment tonight, especially after I’d been spotted.  What had been speculation was now fact and the Weres knew where I lived.  Though my wards should protect me, I wouldn’t leave it to them alone.  No, I needed somewhere safe to spend a few days and I needed it fairly soon.  Though my magic could sustain me all night, the more I used, the longer it would take for me to recover.

Writing prompts:  lantern, sensation, fall

Thirty Days of Genius – Day Twelve

I shook his hand, keeping my face blank as he attempted to intimidate me with his strength.  I smiled as I slowly clasped his hand tighter, matching and then surpassing his grip.  He winced and let go.

I was here to work, not to play games with a wannabe bully.  “Mr. Andrews, a pleasure, as always.”  The sarcasm was just subtle enough to leave him wondering if I was actually being honest or sarcastic.  “Shall we begin?”

“Of course, sir, please follow me.  We have a room set up,” he said.

“I’d like to look around first, if you don’t mind,” I said, my tone telling him that he wouldn’t mind.

He looked nervous.  “Ah, sir, we have all of our financials ready for you.  We have meetings set with the CEO and CFO.  A tour now would conflict with our arranged schedule.  I’m sure we could tour after the meetings.”

“I will tour now or not at all.”  My tone was final.  This company was hiding something and I would figure out what it was before I considered a merger or buyout.

My escort was positively sweating now.  He looked around for someone to save him but everyone else had already left.  “Let me just call to cancel your meetings,” he finally stuttered out while starting to walk away for privacy.

“That won’t be necessary.  I’m sure they will figure it out.  I would like to tour now.  A surprise visit, if you will.  Alerting them would not make it much of a surprise now would it?”

He paled.  He knew that if he allowed me to tour without notice that he would be in deep shit.  However, not allowing me to do so would cause me to suspect they were hiding something.  If I suspected they were hiding something, the merger would be called off.  I was in the position of strength here and he knew it.

He sighed, resigned.  “Very well, Mr. Stevens, please follow me.  What would you like to see first?”

“We will start with the lab,” I said, watching him closely.  He cringed and paled even further.  Ah, so I was correct.  The lab was at least one of the places he was trying to keep me from visiting.  Excellent.  ‘Let the games begin.’

Writing prompts:  conflict, work, hand

Thirty Days of Genius – Day Eleven

At her age, she was happy to be able to say that she had lived a good life.  Marriage agreed with her.  It was a pleasant surprise considering the first years were very rocky.

She was to be married off to another noble’s son to cement some agreement between the two families.  It was expected that she would comply quietly, like all good daughters, so her blatant refusal both shocked and dismayed her parents.

It reached the point that she was guarded twenty-four hours a day so she wouldn’t try to escape, again.  She was forcibly dressed and escorted to her wedding where her father threatened her with violence if she didn’t behave properly.

Her words were stilted as she said her vows, her father’s glare firmly on her.  The wedding night was another disaster as her new husband didn’t understand her fears or concerns.  It had taken them nearly a year to figure out how to live together in some semblance of peace.

After two years they figured out how to get along and enjoy each other’s company.  At five years she woke up one morning to find she was hopelessly in love with her husband.  He had been patiently been waiting for his love to be returned and it was a joyful day indeed when it happened.

Now, fifty years later, surrounded by friends and family, she looked back with fondness on each of the years of her marriage, even the rough beginning.  ‘All things happen for a reason,’ she thought.  Looking at her children and grandchildren, she knew she was looking at the reason.

Writing prompts:  marriage, age, cement

Thirty Days of Genius – Day Ten

He stumbled over the clock in the dark.  The face read exactly 7:03, same as every other clock that had been working at the time of impact.  He was just a child when the meteor storm hit nearly twenty-five years ago.  It was the largest the earth had ever seen, with over twenty giant meteors hitting various places nearly simultaneously.

Besides the massive damage to the impact sites, the meteors also created a worldwide EMP, knocking out power and shutting down all electronic devices.  In a matter of days the looting and rioting started.  In weeks people fought over the food and water.  With no communication system, anarchy reined.

Millions were presumed to have died in the first few years as the dust clouds blocked the sun.  Plants started dying.  Without the plants, animals died off as well.  Cities could not support their populations, so those who could fled to the country.  However, without shelter and readily available food and water, many perished.

Most people had never had to hunt or farm or forage for food.  Only a slim few survived, most who had already been living close to the land.  He had been lucky.  His mother was living in a city, but had went to stay with her parents when the news of the asteroids had first broken.

He shook himself out of memories of the past.  The wind was whistling strangely though the skeleton of the tall building he was standing in.  None of the buildings had any windows left, not after twenty-five years of riots, gangs, and turf wars.  Nothing was standing in the wind’s path tonight.

He had returned to the city, always a dangerous task, to retrieve a photograph for his mother.  It was her dying wish to see her long lost husband just once more.  He promised to get it even while he neglected to mention just how dangerous retrieving it would be.

The city was eerie at night but it was safer to travel under the cover of darkness.  The city was viciously guarded by whichever gang was currently winning the war.  He only had vague memories and even more vague directions from his mother to guide him to the right apartment.  It was going to be a long night.

Writing prompts:  wind, meteor, clock

Thirty Days of Genius – Day Nine

The mantle of responsibility has fallen to me and that is why I find myself writing this letter.  Llamas.  It may seem like a random topic to some, but to me, it is dire indeed.  At the tender age of four years, six months, and nine days old–yes, the date has been burned irrevocably into my memory–I was the victim of a vicious llama attack.

My mother laughs it off to this day.  “Gregory,” she says, “that llama did not attack you.  I was standing right there.  He just nudged you to see if you had any food.  You really should let this go.”

To that I laugh.  I must warn others of the impending doom upon humanity if these vicious creatures are allowed to roam free in petting zoos, real zoos, or anywhere else.  What happened, you ask?  Well, I will tell you.

I was minding my own business, just walking around enjoying my first trip to the local petting zoo.  I had already petted the goats and sheep.  I was deciding where to go next when I was viciously pushed to the ground from behind.  I scraped my knee.  I bled!  It was horrible!

Looking up to see what had caused this tragedy, I came face to face with what can only be described as a monster.  A pointy head with those beady eyes on that long, long neck that was attached to that round body; it was traumatic indeed.

Now this is where most people start laughing, but this is no laughing matter.  If it wasn’t for my shout of surprise, I’m quite sure the llama would have continued its attack.  I could have died in a petting zoo that day.

And so, Mr. President, I’m sure you can see why llamas must be banned from our country.  I’ve grown up scarred for life and I don’t want this terrible existence for anyone else.  I anticipate your prompt attention to this matter as the course of action is clear.  Thank you for your time.

Writing prompts:  mantle, llama, writing