MFtS: Oracle

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

Photo Prompt: © Barabra Beacham
Photo Prompt: © Barabra W. Beacham

Oracle
Genre: Fantasy

Arriving at the beach, she reflected on her life.

Many years had passed since she’d arrival on the island, delivered by the tribe’s elders to take her place as oracle. She’d neither asked nor wished to be Chosen but she’d done her duty as expected.

She gazed absently at the approaching boat, remembering that long ago day.

She’d expected to be lonely, to be overwhelmed by responsibility but her fears had soon been eased. Leala had met her upon the shore with a merry smile on her aged face, ready to pass on a lifetime’s wisdom. The next ten years spent under the old oracle’s gentle supervision had been the happiest of her life

On the day the gods summoned Leala’s tired spirit home she’d taken on her role, determined to do her mentor proud.

The boat arrived at the beach and she smiled at the nervous girl who disembarked. Now it was her turn to train a successor.

Word Count: 150


This story is a companion piece to one I wrote for PJs flash fiction challenge a few week’s ago, The Weight of Tradition – though you don’t have to have read that to understand this. For anyone who has read that one, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the woman on the beach or the woman arriving is Jinetra.

For a while today I thought I wasn’t going to manage to post anything. This morning I had to attend a meeting that I was told would last an hour. It ended up being over four hours long! By the time I got away I had a raging headache and wasn’t really able to think creatively. All I could do was lie down in a dark room for a few hours. This evening I’m going to the cinema to see the new Avengers film so I knew I wouldn’t be able to write tonight. Luckily I’d had this idea and it didn’t take too long to write – though usually I’d spend more time polishing it before posting.

Because I’m out tonight I won’t have time to do the rounds of anyone else’s posts this evening but I’ll try to make it onto everyone’s tomorrow.

mondays-finish-the-story

To read other entries or to submit your own, click the little blue frog.

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48 thoughts on “MFtS: Oracle

  1. Having a headache is my number one creativity killer, too… Hope you’re feeling better.

    I think this is one of the stories that come out the way it’s supposed to be. I couldn’t tell that you didn’t spent less time polishing it than usual. It’s a great story on its own, and a brilliant companion piece to Jinetra’s story. Nice work 🙂

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    1. A headache is the one thing that will stop me writing – feeling ill with anything else just tends to make my writing more angsty! I’m glad you liked the story. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 My headache seems to be gone today – though once I’ve spent a few hours staring at a computer screen it may well be back!

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    1. Thank you, Desley. I still had a bit of a headache during the movie but I was distracted enough by watching Thor on the big screen that it didn’t bother me too much! 🙂

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  2. I think it is wonderful that she fulfilled her obligation except for the last one, to be a mentor to the newly chosen. Very interesting story. I enjoyed reading it.

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  3. I read the first story, and immediately thought of it – how you would make it fit. But now, I don’t know. You have me in a quandry. How do the “Oracle” survive? Must be quite something to accept the certainty of “passing on” when the boat brings your successor. Nicely conceived, though, and as always; well written.
    Hope you enjoyed the movie.

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    1. The oracle is the mouthpiece of the gods and people come to the island to consult. I think these same people would provide them with all the essentials of life. 🙂 I also think the old oracle has a good few years left – she has to train her successor before she can ‘pass on’ – but her certainty of an afterlife with her gods eases the certainty of her passing. I’m not religious myself but I’ve always felt that believing in an afterlife must be a great balm when faced with death.
      And the movie was very good, thank you. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! I couldn’t resist this week’s prompt. 🙂 A story involving the training would really depend on how prompts inspire me – but I’ll see what I can do!

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  4. Very well written and creative linking the two together.
    Passing on the torch of tradition is a great thing to do.

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  5. This is really beautiful. I like that the Oracles are cyclic passing knowledge from one frightened student to the next. There was so much texture and detail to this story. You made it real for me. Beautifully written!

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    1. Headaches are one thing that can stop me writing! The film was great, thanks. Watching Thor on the big screen always makes me feel better. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

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  6. In that short time, you came up with a really good story. I followed the link and read the other story. I’m glad I did. I loved your description. It brought the stories to life. Well done, A Fairy Mind. 🙂 — Suzanne

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