There are a number of very good reasons to participate in writing challenges. It hones your skills, it showcases your writing, and it forges connections with other writers here in blogland.
One of the challenges that I am enjoying is from Diana Wallace Peach and here is The March speculative fiction prompt
A moment of alignment
The child walked the darkened streets unafraid of the shadows. With bare feet, she disregarded the grit and gravel underfoot, and skimmed across the surface of the odd puddle or two in her path. Her shoulders were back, and her head held high, with arms swinging confidently by her side. A faint smile touched her lips as the ring around the moon glowed brighter.
It was almost time for the perfect alignment of sun and the moon and for a brief moment there would be a window of opportunity. She only had minutes to reach her destination and she quickened her pace. From the shadows a dog barked in warning to those within their homes to remain inside. The animals knew how special this event was and were unafraid, but knew their human masters would cower in fear of the unknown.
Inside a house in the square, a woman sat in a rocking chair before a dying fire, tears falling onto her chilled hands as they rested on her lap. The house was silent except for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall; a sound that reverberated around the empty rooms. Empty of life, but also of love and hope, snuffed out like a candle a year ago when her daughter had been taken by scarlet fever. Her beautiful child, the light and love of her life, gone with a last faint breath.
The girl reached the edge of the deserted square and hurried towards the blue door so rarely opened to the light these days. As the two celestial orbs reached their perfect conjunction in the sky, she knocked three times with her small knuckles. She heard footsteps on the tiles of the hall behind the door, and then a click as the latch was raised. The door opened and the woman stood silhouetted against the gas lamp on the wall. She gasped and fell to her knees at the sight that greeted her.
In the diffused light from the hidden sun, she saw her lost daughter smiling at her, and warmth spread through her body and into her broken heart. She reached out a hand to touch the girl but it passed right through her. Mesmerised she stared at the apparition as it began to fade.
‘Mama, I can only stay for as long as the moon is ringed by fire, but I came back to see you for this brief moment, to tell you to grieve no more.’
As the sun began to peer around the moon’s edge, the girl turned to walk away, but looked back once more. ‘You have love to spare mama, give it to others who need you.’
With that she disappeared completely, and the woman remained on her knees for a long time as the street became bright with sunlight.
The years passed and the house in the square became a sanctuary for many homeless children, and the rooms and halls were once more filled with love and hope. But on the days when the sun and moon were in perfect alignment, there would be three taps on the door, and for a brief moment, mother and daughter were reunited.
I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of fantasy prompted by Diana Wallace Peach’s lovely image… Why not have a go at the challenge: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/01/march-speculative-fiction-prompt/
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