Photo © Ioniangraphics

Hanalae drank in the sweet garden scents, her eyes feasting on color, ignoring the icy whiteness beyond the shimmering dome.

When her father sent her to rule here, he’d praised her strength.  His people were like their weather: sharp, hard, slow to warm.  She tried, but remained separate, “other”.

For years she’d retreated to this oasis, her only reminder of home.  But no longer.  With the war surging closer, the magruks could attack by spring.  This artificial sanctuary required considerable magic; magic these people – no, her people – needed.

The wizard coughed politely. “The spells will fade on their own.”

Hanalae stared at the lush green while she still could.  “Do it.  I have to see.”

The moment the barrier disappeared, the freezing winds swept in.  Tender leaves sagged, already rimed with frost.  Blue flowers poked from snow drifts, not yet understanding their fate.

They were not hardy enough to survive here on their own.  She would have to be.

Hanalae raised her chin against the gale and went inside.  She had another battle to plan.

Word count: 175.  Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.  Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting, and to Ioninagraphics for providing the photo prompt, above.  Click on the link to see the other stories, or to join in with your own!

28 thoughts on “Adaptation

    • Glad you liked it, Lynn! And just think if I could have included the other 200 words… 😉 Well, I’ll sneak in a few extra words, if nobody minds… It’s not exactly spring she’s recreating. She’s from the warm plains of Pyann (where her father moved to marry her mother, a higher-ranked royal). The flowers and other plants she’s used to don’t grow this high in the mountains, even in summer. So she’s imported plants from home to this land she finds so inhospitable, and set up what amounts to a magical greenhouse (which was a fad among nobles in the big cities during the high-magic heyday of the Pyanni Empire). Once she lets these non-native plants die, they won’t grow again come summer. She has symbolically cut her ties and allied herself with her new people. (Whew, I feel so much better telling the rest of the story!)

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, and commenting — I’m always happy to hear that I’ve intrigued a new reader! In a way, all of Eneana is one big fantasy series, with lots of different characters and glimpses into different chapters of its history. But given how hard I’m finding it to finish a single novel, I have no plans to write a *series* of them. Not yet, at least. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve created a fascinating and intriguing scene for this prompt, Jo. The shimmering dome reminds me so much of the Eden Project in Cornwall, where there are several man-made biomes. I love the world you’ve created for Hanalae and the problems she must face in her new domain. Lovely descriptions of the flowers, which contrast so well with the icy whiteness and freezing winds. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does seem like a biome, doesn’t it? I was picturing a greenhouse, only without the glass or frame. I was worried it would sound too much like the circle of summer in my story “Icy Oasis” which (not that it really matters, but) is using a different type of magic. I do like to think about how groups interact in Eneana. I think too often, fantasy worlds either have a lot of different races (and even species) all getting along perfectly fine, or the opposite, everyone from one group is Evil with a capital E, period, and you just can’t do anything but fight against them. In the real world, prejudice is a lot more nuanced than that, and half the battle is getting past the initial barriers of “otherness”.

      Thanks for reading and commenting – it’s always interesting to hear your reactions!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Wanting to know more is a great sign! This isn’t part of a larger story, unless you count being part of the overall world, and all the other stories about Pyann and the war with the magruks. And there will be more of those, I’m sure. Thanks for reading!


  2. I picture this beautiful sanctuary freezing, tropical images almost. But I guess for this woman ruler it’s facing reality, removing the magic, the rose coloured glasses and becoming a warrior queen in the reality of the cold winter. Wonderfully written.


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