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!