Nora crouched at the edge of Fischer’s Gorge and pulled a braid of human hair from inside her jacket. Each strand in this braid had been woven together from the remainders of uncounted childhood games, battles fought and forgiven, and secrets shared among four friends, over nearly two decades. She pressed it to her face and breathed in their memories, then began the unraveling.
Rickard’s sleek brown hair had bound their different shades tightly together, even as Kara’s sooty curls poked and twisted for release. Peter—Oh Peter!–his hair had darkened from a toddler’s brittle carrot to the rich auburn that easily warmed her own white-blonde locks. She’d strengthened their bond over the years, collecting and braiding these colors together in word and song, but now it was time to break the spell. Things had become unbalanced. Kara was meant to be with Rickard, but Peter belonged to her.
She stood in the bitter night wind and raised the braid to the moon.
Colors break free
Will rebind them
The breeze softened and swirled around her thin body, questioning. Was she sure? So much time and love in the spelling, why loosen the weave?
Nora visualized Peter and Kara bursting from the barn, bareback on a single horse under the Midsummer Moon. Thundering up the twilight road to the far meadow, the two had returned just before sunrise. Rickard’s face, twisted in jealous shadow, had mirrored her own unspoken fear.
Kara had to go.
She straightened her back, ignored her tears, and shouted.
As we do
So mote it be”
The wind moaned, but obeyed. The braid reformed in brown, blonde, and red, and Kara’s dark knots lifted and dropped into the Gorge.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2017)
Carrot Ranch Rodeo#3(10/19/2017) The Rodeo Event challenge is thus; create a piece of flash fiction (200 -300 words) including a Septolet or two as the spell or charm that helps your character out of a bind (or go where the prompt leads you).
(For Carrot Ranch Rodeo #3–Spellbinding Septolets. Honored to have been awarded 3rd place)
2 thoughts on “Nora’s Mistake”
I love this! Such a unique take on the prompt, and what an enjoyable read at that. Brilliantly done, Liz.
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