Fifteen Minute Ficlet: “Star” #15MF

April 3, 2017     Michelle     15 Minute Ficlet

15 Minute Ficlets is a rekindled weekly writing challenge hosted over at The Literary Pheonix. (She’s doing it for fun, but I’m joining in! Woohoo!)

Based on a single word, write a story in fifteen minutes.  The word count is irrelevant.  Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word.  You never know what you’ll end up with!

This week’s word: Star


Suylhaun itself stood just inland from a rick cliff. The southern penninsula of Svaenskjot jutted out into the sea in steep, jagged turrets. It was a wonder that they managed to control the ships entering and existing the channel leading to the sound, given how high up the fortress controlling access was.

Taylin found herself wandering along the cliff’s edge after dusk, watching the stars blink in and out in the sky. It was a gorgeous sight — she had never spent much time along a coast, and certainly not one as vast as this. She could see for miles and miles without her eye catching a glimpse of land. And even if she looked up and down along the coast, the only obstruction to her view was the fortress and the light house. A flame blazed at the top of the light house as two men busied themselves directing the light with mirrors and shadows.

She watched them for a time, amazed at their ability to do something very similar to her own magic with man-made tools. It was beautiful to watch.

Soon the light made her eyes ache, and she turned back to stare at the ocean in the distance.

Razken had insisted she meditate every night back in Fife. But here, she could truly meditate.

Maybe it’s time to try something new, she thought, watching the fireflies flitting around her.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, slipping into the mental space she visited whenever she attempted an experiment. She had no idea if this would work or not, but she was in the right frame of mind to try, and she wanted to take advantage of it.

Slowly, as if approaching a deer in the woods, she reached out with her magic toward the nearest firefly. Come here, she thought, holding out a finger. It sputtered for a moment, then changed course toward her. Her mouth dropped open in shock. Had she directed its path because it was projecting light, or had there been something more to it?

Draw a circle in the air, she tried again.

The firefly wiggled on her finger and looked at her, as if disagreeing with her. After a moment of hesitation, it took flight. Disappointed, Taylin let her hand fall back to her side. Perhaps it had just been a fluke.

Then, all at once, every single firefly around her started flying in circles, leaving trails in her vision as they repeated the pattern over and over and over again. The sky around her was ablaze with firefly circles, and it had all been because of her.

She grinned, then started directing their flight by gesturing with her fingertips. She was an artist, the night sky her canvas, and the fireflies her brush.

It was exhilarating.

This short is from the first third or so of The Demon’s Assassin. Taylin has been learning all sorts of things about her magic (just a few months ago she hadn’t even known it existed!), and has been enjoying experimenting whenever the mood strikes her. Typically, she has fairly advanced control over shadows, and by consequence can do a few things with light too.

Read the blurbs of my WIP and check out the Shadow Assassin world’s map here.

  • What a pretty image this is! Shadow magic is usually so dark… this is a lovely contrast. 🙂

    • Michelle

      Thanks! And thank YOU for the word prompt — I never would have had this scene otherwise! 😀

  • Pingback: Starlit Sky – #15MF | The Literary Phoenix()