O for Orange light reflected from its eyes: #atozchallenge fiction

Today’s story starter (at the beginning of the story in bold) comes from Jocelyn Rish and to go with it I chose this picture by Joseph W. Richardson.

Orange light reflected from its eyes as it paced towards me, unhurried, its hooves clacking on the ice on the pavement. So this is how I would die, five minutes past midnight into Christmas, on an empty road as I walked back home, after a day spent gallivanting in disguise.

Christmas always gave me that creepy feeling, as if everyone were making merry and eating, pretending for all their worth as if nothing were wrong, when they knew the world was about to end. And today it would end for me, notwithstanding my own years of training as a warrior, the many sermons I had attended in both school and church, a púca with its black horse-body and its clarion clear voice would mark my end.

So boy, are you ready? it said, whinnying and stomping the ground, clanging the chains about its neck, its orange eyes now a pale gold, its breath a mist of spoiled blackberries.

Trying to stand tall with my body that was no longer that of a boy, not yet of a man, I said, No one is ever ready. The gas light above my head dimmed and flashed.

Will you fight or submit, Brian Boru?said the púca, grinning through its horse teeth.

What will be, will be, but if its is all the same to you, I’ll fight.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death

If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year

As a co-host, I end with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have five other blogs.

3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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Add Yours
  1. Damyanti

    Joe, the privilege is mine– I love that I have your permission to use your photos as springboards to my attempts at fiction.

    I have used another one today, for the letter "P"–the bell tower pic.

    It is the pic I loved best of all your work, but I'm not sure I've done justice to it.

  2. Joe Richardson

    Nicely done, Damyanti. Nicely done indeed. Remarkable, that an image caught in a small, Midwestern town would prompt a story of dark fantasy grounded in Irish myth.

    That so rocks!

    Thanks for building something beautiful from my photo.

    Best Wishes,

  3. Arthur Brill

    Love it!

    The A to Z challenge is rewarding. Thanks for visiting my Main Street Arts blog mainstreetarts.blogspot.com

    When you have time, check out my fantasy setting Shatterworld. Your Puca story would fit rightin.


  4. Damyanti

    Thanks everyone for the comments. For those who haven't met púcas, they're part of Irish folklore, a sort of faerie, the most feared and mischievous of all the faeries in Ireland. It is a changeling appearing in many guises, the most common a sleek black horse with amber eyes.

    The only time that a mortal has been able to ride one of them and tame it was the the High King of Ireland Brian Boru. He got the Púca to agree never to attack a mortal, unless they were drunk and on evil business.

  5. Jocelyn Rish

    Great creepy vibe – just how I imagined when I submitted the story starter! 🙂

    And I love the use of Brian Boru and a puca. Nice!

  6. Kern Windwraith

    This is a great imagining of the Brian Boru legend! Loved the line "a púca with its black horse-body and its clarion clear voice would mark my end" — very melodic.

  7. rch

    Nice, sounds like my kind of story, now all we need is an evil sorcerer and a magical quest, great writing.

  8. Mina Lobo

    1. That's a gorgeously ominous picture, full of promise as a writing prompt!

    2. I'm piqued by the idea of Christmas being a creepy holiday with undertones of doom…actually, that's kinda how I feel about New Year's Eve, a little bit.

    3. No fair leaving us hanging like that! 😉

    Some Dark Romantic

  9. klahanie

    Hey look at me!
    Right after the legendary Alex J.
    Nice to meet you Damyanti. This story you have put up reminds me that the future's bright, the future's Orange. No, I have no idea what I'm talking about.
    I tell you what, I shall have a check of your postings for last year's, thrilling beyond belief, challenge:)
    Take care and seriously, happy writing and happy A to Zedding. Kind regards, the 'anti-A to Z spokesman', Gary