Renee forced herself to walk slowly, calmly, up the beach to the village. Her mother, Sporia, stood transfixed and angry, watching her go. Renee mourned for her mother, who would not attend her wedding, and for herself. As she walked, the cool sea spray cleansed her spirit and reminded her of things to come. She had chosen her path, and it wouldn’t do anyone any good to look back over her shoulder at the path not chosen. Renee breathed in the salty air and set her shoulders. She had a wedding to attend, and her bridesmaids would need help finishing the decorations. They had remade the village square into a fairy’s garden of white and red roses.

Behind her, she could feel the electricity in the air as Sporia gathered her power. She should have known her mother would not accept her defection without a fight. Renee kept walking, watching the ship that sailed at the horizon. This evening, her lover would turn the ship toward shore and stand before her in the village square.

“My daughter will be free!” Sporia’s voice carried over the deserted beach.

Renee looked back, tensed to feel the brunt of her mother’s gathered power, but the blow never came. She looked full in the face at her mother, the woman who raised her, taught her, and who would not let her go. Almost negligently, Sporia waved a hand at the sea. Renee watched as a green bolt of pure energy struck the mast of her lover’s ship.

“No!” She screamed, her self-control shattering along with the wood of the mast. She gathered her own power, ignoring the certain knowledge that she was no match for the older woman. She released the pale pink bolt of energy, which her mother countered easily, sending sparks raining down around them both.

“It is done! It is time you grew out of fairy tales, child. You are a woman now, with a woman’s power. In time you will thank me for saving you from your own childishness.” Sporia’s voice was calm, even patient.

“No. I will not.” Renee tried to keep her voice calm, but could not quite erase the rebellious tone she acquired as a teenager. She watched the ship flounder, its mast destroyed. “I will be free. I will claim what is mine, and you will not take it from me again!”


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

This is my interpretation of the weekly Red Writing Hood prompt. The theme is “Freedom.” If you missed last week’s installment, the story begins here. Part three is available here.

I’m writing this story a little differently – normally, I’m a plotter. I have reams of background research, character sketches, and so on before I write a single word. For this story, I’m writing by the seat of my pants! It’s a fun way to write, and it gives me the freedom to ask you – the reader – what you want to know about these characters. For next week’s installment, what questions do you have about Renee, her lover, or Sporia?


Sporia held up a single fistful of hot sand and laughed. Her hands, like the rest of her body, were smaller than one would expect for a woman of such power. Renee sat silent as familiar waves of enchantment washed over her.

“When the last of these grains fall, you will forget your dalliance with that simple man, and your mind will be clear, daughter.” Sporia opened her fist. The sand began to fall, a single grain at a time.

Renee, watched the sand, then smiled. Her mother was not the only powerful woman on the beach this morning. Another grain of sand fell, then a moment before it touched the ground, reappeared at the top of the unnatural hourglass. “I forget nothing.” She whispered.

“And if he returns, as he promised?” Renee spoke aloud.

Sporia laughed. “Men do nothing as they promise!”

“But if he does?” Renee pressed on.

Sporia turned to face her daughter. “Forget him! You had your bit of fun, but do not forget who you are. You are not some merchant’s daughter to fall in love!” The grains of sand began to fall faster than Renee could catch them.

“I am exactly what I am, Mother.” Renee said as another grain of sand reappeared at the top of the floating pile.

“You are a spoiled child. You have no idea how I fought for you, what I went through to escape with you.” Renee’s mind drifted as her mother lectured about the prison of marriage and motherhood. She had heard this story many times before, and could have recited it from memory. She noted, a bit sadly, that her mother’s face was more pinched, more angry than usual. “I did not waste my life teaching you the secrets of power, and strength, and knowledge, only to have you become some stupid wife!” Sporia spit the word out like so much bile.

Renee stood to face the sea, her simple white gown fluttering softly in the ever-present breeze. She smiled as her lover’s ship sailed at the very edge of the horizon, guarding the shore. When the sun began to dip toward the sea, that ship would turn and set course back to shore, as the night watch sailed out to take its place. In the evening, he would return to her, as he had every evening. As he would continue to do.

“I gave you the power to choose your own way!”

“And no one – not even you, Mother – will take that choice from me.” Renee spoke softly as she walked back to the village to continue preparations for her wedding. The falling sand froze for a long moment before gravity reclaimed it. The spell was broken.


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

This is my interpretation of the weekly Red Writing Hood prompt. This week’s theme is “sand” and the word count is 450. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece!

Want to read more? Installment #2, Fighting For her Freedom, is up now!