Wake of Evil

Melbourne.JPG

St. Kilda Pier, Melbourne, Australia | ©  Paul Huang Google Maps



The sea was sunny blue that day.  I still felt fearless, unbowed, immortal.  The sails on the horizon looked wrong, my father said.  I led the ships to meet them.

Closer, we saw the women and children, the small boats overloaded, barely afloat. The shouts coalesced: they were refugees from up-coast.  Port Ajka was under attack.

Helping an old man onboard, I reassured him.  “You’re safe here.  Makzal has never fallen.”

He squeezed my arm, terror strengthening his grip.  “No, we must flee!  You don’t understand. They are already dead.”

 

Afterward, they razed most of Makzal, rebuilt from scratch.  But I see the ghosts of those buildings, inhabited by all those I couldn’t save. The temple where my sister was blessed.  The bakery my father always took me to.  The garden where my wife said yes.

Now I scan the horizon constantly, studying the sails, my hands shaking with mortality.



Word count: 150.  Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge.  Click on the link to read the other stories inspired by this location, or to add your own!

Eneana world note: Sabiron was a powerful mage who led an army of undead across the eastern coast of the lands of the Pret.  You can read another account of one of her attacks in this flash fiction story: Silent Shore.  The damage Sabiron did was immense, contributing to the instability that eventually led the Pret to renounce their traditional gods and embrace Anandani as their sole protector (the event we visited in the previous story, Razing Faith).



 

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31 thoughts on “Wake of Evil

    • Thank you Penny, I’m so glad to hear it comes across that way. I have this very “big picture” view of all these events that take place in Eneana, but I most enjoy portraying them through the eyes of the individuals who lived through them.

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  1. How terrifying, to go from an unshakeable faith in your own safety to watching the world you knew – all those cast iron landmarks of his life – vanish beneath a tide of undead. Wow! You captured something huge here in so few words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the sweet comment Lynn, I’m so glad you liked it! I was trying (as I often do) to get an individual’s insight into the effects of these huge events in Eneana that can otherwise come off as boring backstory.

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      • My pleasure. I’m always impressed by your level of understanding and knowledge of your own world – you couldn’t be more steeped in the place if you actually lived there. 🙂

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      • Or…. I’m just really good at making it up as I go. 😉 Really a blend of the two. I desperately need to sit down and organize all these worldbuilding notes, it has gotten completely out of control.

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      • No spreadsheets at all, strangely enough (given how much I do LOVE myself a good spreadsheet). All the worldbuildng notes are in a series of documents which in theory have a very reasonable outline format and structure. Except that over the years, the “to do / think about” sections are almost as long as the real sections, and almost all the real sections start off with notes that say “OKAY, new plan, forget that part below, maybe this is true instead.” Or has some other new ideas with a note to myself to “integrate”. Yeah, I’ll just go *integrate* that stuff. That shouldn’t be hard at all. (Cue hysterical laughter…)

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  2. He’s bursting with strength and confidence in the beginning. I love how you draw the circle from feeling immortal to being aware of dangers constantly. One of these days I must read all the Eneanna stories. When did you want to put them all into a book again? 😉

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    • Thanks for the great comment! It’s hard to get much character development with this short of a word count, but I do try. One of these days I should probably read all the Eneana stories too (again). I’m a little scared in case I’ve totally messed up the magic rules or the history somewhere in there! As far as compiling them… I’d never expect to put all of them in a book. For one thing there are already over 200 flash fiction stories and a few dozen short stories (many of which I’m hoping to get published in magazines). These days it seems like short story collections are expected to have themes, with related stories– and I can definitely do that I’d like to pull together stories from a particular region of Eneana, or from different perspectives on a specific event. But as soon as I start thinking about that, I come up with ideas for *new* stories. So we’ll see. Maybe when I’m famous and my fans are begging for more Eneana. 😉

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  3. An intense and very well told story, Joy, full of human weakness and fallen pride. The city of Mazkal obviously couldn’t withstand an attack by the undead and would take many years to recover. I particularly like the reference to the ghosts of all who lost their lives.

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    • It became a ghost town in more ways than one. There’s something about this event — the war brought on by this insane necromancer commanding an army of undead — that seems like it should be an action-packed hero epic, and yet I keep thinking about the everyday people, helpless to stem then tide, and how their lives would have been affected by it.

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      • I suppose you could develop it well either way. If this event comes into your Eneana book(s) you could always develop the action-packed hero story as an offshoot later on.
        You said your “one-off” book has now become a trilogy. I had to laugh when I read that. Two years ago, I wrote a post titled, ‘On writing a trilogy’ – or something like that. I still remember your comment, declaring how you had no intention of writing a trilogy. It seems you found exactly the same thing as me: stories have a habit of growing, seemingly all on their own! Lol With me, sometimes my characters just seem to take over – and I allow them to! I started out to write a single book about King Alfred and now I’m writing a fourth. Well, it keeps us busy, eh? 😀

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      • That’s what I think too– lots of ways to develop a range of stories around these events. Right now neither of my novels in progress and none of my other novel/novella ideas deal directly with the War of Sabiron, but that path is obviously open.

        As far as the accidental trilogy goes, I was pretty terrified when I realized what I’d gotten myself into. Still am! As I’ve said on these pages before, my problem there is that apparently I’m rubbish at outlining. I’m better at outlining than pantsing it, but obviously I still need more practice and experience before I’ll have a better idea of how many words of “chapter” I’ll need to cover one line in the outline. I was off in my estimations that time by about four-fold! And the funniest part was that I turned toward that book idea last NaNoWriMo because I thought it would be simple and direct! I wanted a break from my Corwallen Manor novel, which I was absolutely stuck on. But Corwallen has been sizzling on the back burner and now I’m getting excited about it again, and feel like I’ve solved the big plot and genre and theme problems I was having. So now “all” I have to do is write the (almost completely new) revised version! There, how easy! (ha ha!)

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