Flash fiction is one of my favorite genres–you can read a story with barely a glance and have seen it all. It’s like the Jetson’s food pills or the Lembas of the Elves. So short, so sweet.
The last of the emberspice berry was wearing off.
I looked down at my palm, framed by my knarled fingers. A bit of fire came from my fingertips, but it was nothing like the billows that had been there a year ago when I had fought Merku over that clump of raven’s claw grass.
The grasses all around me swirled with another blast of wind. The sun was gliding down the horizon and the moon came coming up to meet it. Another day was almost over. How long had I been there? I had no clue.
All my memories had dissolved at least another century ago, and now I knew nothing but my weathered skin and bag of herbs and this war that I was in.
I spotted some widow’s knife among the reeds of fireweed. Munching on their stems, I kept walking, hoping for something new, something to defend myself with.
Some blue windbit. I didn’t have a headache, so I didn’t stop to pick any.
A cluster of oxbane. A couple mistflowers. Nothing that wasn’t common.
No more raven’s claw, and certainly no emberspice.
I straightened and turned around. “Murku. We meet again.”
“I want your raven’s claw.”
He stood, arms crossed, the sun and wind beating his long silvery hair.
“And you shall not have it.” I said, slowly reaching for my sidebag. “I must say, I’m surprised the echo wolves haven’t eaten you yet.”
“Don’t even try taking more of that emberspice, Danea.”
“Murku, Murku, don’t I always play fair?”
He came running for me.
I dove aside and rolled to my feet in a bundle of crownthorns, covered in blood in a matter of seconds. My hand went to my bag and I found a cluster of fireberries.
Murku came back for me. I launched a handful. I heard them sizzle as they burst against his bare chest.
He flew into me, and we fell into the tall grasses, tumbling and beating each other.
It was only this close that I noticed his eyes were slightly differently colored from each other. One was a pale green, the other a dull blue.
A kitchen table.
It all came back to me with flash.
The door that appeared in Farmer Hicky’s field.
Walking through it with Joe, Joe Milsom, with the one green eye and one blue eye.
Using the fire left from the emberspice, I blasted Murku, or was it Joe? backwards. As he stumbled into a stand of waspweed, I reached into my bag and took out a small black leaf, the last of my raven’s claw, and swallowed it.
He climbed out of the bushes, but it was too late. I was already running, coursing over the endless prairie and soon, I was invisible. I was gone. I had vanished with the wind thanks to my raven’s claw.
I left Murku far behind me. But I had left my memories with him.
All I could remember was remembering.
But now, to find more raven’s claw before Murku did.