She saw the blazing inferno creeping toward her. Smoke filled the air so she could barely see the forest animals racing past her to escape. She couldn’t move, the flames already surrounded her.
Fire seared her skin and she spared a moment of worry for the treasured tattoo she’d worn for the last fifty years: K + J. It was a reminder of a gentler time.
As the heat rose she released her children, hundreds per cone. They had waited twenty years for this fire to free them. The flames were painful but the joy she felt as she watched the seeds spread in all directions sustained her. She would survive as she always did.
It would be many years before her offspring were tall enough to touch the sky but the forest would grow stronger because of her momentary suffering.
Rough draft 141 words
“But Gregor, she’s a redhead!” Thalen complained and lowered his short throwing knife.
“It doesn’t matter,” his brother replied, hands on his hips. “You gave your word, no more killing.”
“Surely this one is an exception. She’s clearly a witch.”
“Stop it. Remember what we talked about? Not everyone with red hair can use magic.”
“But she’s the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. Surely it’s to entice us, then murder us!”
“No. Well, yes. She could tempt us, but it’s up to us to resist. She hasn’t shown any signs of having the power. Besides, killing is wrong if it’s not a witch. You know this. We both promised to stop assuming beautiful women with fiery hair are evil.” Gregor gave his brother that superior look Thalen hated so much.
“She has dimples,” the younger man added quietly.
Gregor’s face lost all expression and he handed Thalen his crossbow. “Here, this will work better than your baby knife.”
“I thought you said we couldn’t.”
“Dimples, brother. You’re either going to have to kill her or marry her.”
Thalen smiled and took aim. The witch turned and met his eyes.
The wedding was lovely.
Rough draft 194 words
The one word prompts I used for these two stories were: Sear and Dimples. I wrote a few more stories but need to get them typed up. I’ll post them soon.