Mar 5, 2017

Short Story: "Sheltered"

Your OC wakes up in an odd location with a dull pulsing pain in their head. They’re not really sure why they are where they are and can’t remember much of the events that lead them there. They get up and make their way around looking for anyone familiar. But there’s no one. They move outside. No one there either. Soon they’ll find that the whole town is empty. They return to their house to find a note. Where did they wake up? What does the note say?

(This is a prompt I found on tumblr. My answer ended up turning in a short story, so I figured I'd share it here. My stories/books do actually have a place that looks like the real world where there aren't any people, so I had to run with this!)

Unexpected Inspiration Short Story - "Sheltered"


Before you tear this letter on sight, please know how deeply sorry we are to have done this to you. We are well aware of your dislike for this mirrored world but we needed the reassurance that you would be safe. You would protest if you knew you could not come with us and there was not time. Blythe tells me that your headache from her healing-induced sleep will fade within a few minutes. Please remain in this location and try not to attract the attention of the shadows. While they should ignore you as they have always done, they may become curious if they sense movement. We left your bag containing your tools by the door. We will return as soon as possible and explain why this was necessary. 
With love and apology, 
Etri


Adair glared at the paper he held in his hands. Paper torn out of his sketchbook, which they knew he hated. So this is what it had come to. His sentinels were the big, strong, brave ones. He was just the useless artist who had to be tucked away somewhere safe when there was a hint of danger. Whatever it was this time couldn’t be worse than what they’d faced in the past! It was always the three of them against any challenge thrown their way. They’d faced thieves, magical disasters, coercion by a fair-weather friend, and a conclave of evil priests who wanted Etri dead. Why would they think he needed to be tucked away like a piece of fragile glass now?

He crumbled the letter into a ball and hurled it at the corner where normally a waste basket sat. It bounced off the wall and rolled to a stop at his feet. Their house may still be here, but nothing temporary was contained inside except what was brought here with him. As far as Adair knew, this was only the letter, whatever was in his pockets, and a backpack of art supplies.

No, not fragile glass. A child needing to be kept occupied while the adults did something heroic. He was a grown man, for Petra’s sake.

Well, he wasn’t just going to stay here and doodle the time away. He was going back where he belonged and his sentinels would damn well accept his help. His eyes fell on the bag sprawled alone in the corner of what was his art studio back in the real world. Blythe and Etri may have left him with his tools to keep him from boredom, but what they had really done was supply him with his ticket out of here. In their hurry to protect him, they had clearly forgotten that an artist wasn’t just an artist.

Shadows were curious and occasionally dangerous. Etri hadn’t exaggerated that. They were also incredibly stupid. It would be a cinch to get them to believe one of his illusions. Adair pulled his favorite paintbrush out of his bag and grinned at the bristles as they began to glow violet. Give him ten minutes and he’d be out of here.


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