Masters tales · Short Stories

A Quirk

This is an extract of my novel. The ‘thing’ is a woodland fey trying to explain his quirk. Dai is a boy from Wales who is trying to save his sister from a hag…

The thing notices and frowns as if I have made some huge mistake in taking a step back, but I just don’t trust it.

“You shouldn’t,” it says.

“Shouldn’t what?”

“Trust me.”

Now I take a few more steps away. It heard my thoughts.

“I did,” the creature says and takes another step toward me. “Only me though. It is my quirk.”

“Your quirk?”

“Yes, everyone here has one.” He stops just within arm’s length of me. I can’t back any more because a tree is pressed against my back. At least I think it’s a tree. I want to look but I daren’t take my eyes off the creature in front of me.

He reaches a hand out and looks at me in wonder. I decide it is a he because his voice is low and husky. And it somehow feels wrong to refer to the creature as an it all the time.

“How did you do it?”

“What?” I’m getting confused.

“Cross the circle?”

“I really don’t know.”

In the distance I can hear a scream. It’s Meg. Ignoring the creature I lunge forward and around him. Taking off I run toward the noise. Briefly I realise I am running fast, much faster than I ever have before.

A twig snaps next to me and the creature is keeping pace. He is looking at me in wonder. In front of us the trees are thick and I weave in and out, moving faster and faster, until the trees are a blur. I can see Meg in the distance, still being held by the tall evil-looking hag. The creature beside me sees the direction I am looking and shakes his head.

“No,” he says. And I hear him as if he has whispered in my ear. “Not yet.” He is in my head. I shake it but do not stop. I must get to Meg.

“She will kill you.”

I answer the creature in my head. She will kill Meg.

“No she needs her.”

“Why?” I ask. I have slowed so that I can keep them in sight, but I’m not gaining on them.

The creature shrugs and taps an ear. He can’t hear me, not when we are moving this fast, so I ask the question in my head. Why does she need Meg?

“Stop and I’ll tell you.”

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt – Quirk of Habit.

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22 thoughts on “A Quirk

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