31 DaysDay 8: PHONE TAG {the prompt follows at the end of this post}


Destiny Awaits

Willow paced around the old oak tree humming an old Celtic tune wondering what was taking Poppy so long. She should have been here by now. The walk from her village to Willow’s was only 10 minutes, seven if you walked quickly as Willow usually did. She didn’t really like being alone once the sun went down. She’d heard too many of the old tales from the Elders of the strange happenings the angels of darkness like to carry out against the villagers when the sun sank behind the hills.

As the darkness closed in, Willow hummed a little louder and a little faster.

“That’s such a beautiful tune,” Poppy whispered behind her, causing Willow to yelp.

“Where have you been?” Willow grabbed Poppy’s hand and pulled her through the meadow to the abandoned train station.

“Chores,” Poppy said and rolled her eyes.

“Do you think it’s safe here?” Willow asked as she looked around the wooden structure overgrown with lush evergreens and wildflowers that sprung up through the warped and broken boards.

“None of it’s true,” Poppy assured her and squeezed her friend’s hands.

“Did you bring it?”

Poppy pulled a cell phone from her jacket pocket. “Fully charged and ready to go.”

“You don’t think he’ll miss it?” Willow asked.

Poppy shrugged. She’d snagged the phone from her brother’s desk where she knew it would be because he was attending the Meeting of the Elders tonight and phones were strictly prohibited. Many of the Elders had tried to prohibit phones completely, but with younger members like Poppy’s older brother on the Board of Village Relations now, ridding the villages of phones was almost impossible now.

Poppy handed the phone to Willow. “Are you ready?” Poppy asked her.

Willow swallowed hard and nodded. “We have to, right?” Willow slid open the phone and stared at the faint glow of the numbers and took a deep breath. “Here goes,” she whispered and punched in the 10 digits carefully, checking each one as she did. When she was finished, she looked at Poppy for a moment for courage and pushed send before she could change her mind. She gave a slight start when the ringing started in her ear.

“Yes, hello, I was hoping that I could speak to Charlie Oberon,” Willow said. She closed her eyes and waited. “Okay. Thank you.”

She nodded at Poppy who smiled and held Willow’s hand tightly.

“Yes, hello Mr. Oberon — okay, Charlie — my name is Wi — yes, that’s right, Willow Suantraí.” Willow looked at Poppy and shrugged. “So, then you probably know the reason for my call.”

Poppy rose and over to the boarded up station and peered inside.

“Is it possible to change one’s destiny, Mr. — Charlie?”

Poppy turned to look at Willow and Willow was pretty sure her friend was holding her breath as they waited for Charlie’s response.

“Yes, the Elders have conveyed more than once the strong sense of tradition associated with one’s fate, one’s role within the village. Within the community and we — I don’t mean to question or betray the Elders, my good sir. Surely you know that.”

Poppy seemed to wilt a bit in the shadows behind Willow, her bright eyes closing slowly and remaining as dark as the surrounding darkness.

“I’m sure the risks of such a request invite grave danger, but surely it is not beyond the realm of possibility to undertake such a risk.” Willow waved Poppy back to her side and wove her fingers through her friend’s.

“Surely there have been others who have sought to redirect their destiny. Who have come to you and who have succeeded.”

Please say yes, Poppy mouthed and Willow nodded slightly.

“Of course I understand what leaving means. The Elders are clear on such points from the time we enter our learning.”

“That’s the whole point,” Poppy whispered. “To leave and not return. Not to this.”

Willow squeezed Poppy’s hand.

“I suppose I do harbor fears, but my heart’s desire is greater than my fears.”

You are a warrior, Poppy mouthed to her and smiled.

“No, you are correct. Indeed I would not travel alone on this journey.”

Poppy looked up at the night sky and Willow sensed a strength building in her.

“If you could provide any direction whatever I — we would be deeply indebted to you, dear Charlie. Whatever you require of us, we will do,” Willow said. “Yes, I am certain of this, my good sir,” she added.

Next to her Poppy smiled for the first time since Willow started the call. But the smile disappeared when Willow sucked in her breath.

“No,” Willow exclaimed. “No, that cannot be. Surely if that were true, if one of us were meant to defeat the angels of darkness, that would have been disclosed during the Ceremony of the Fates. The Elders would have prepared us for such a destiny.”

Poppy shook her head. Those are just stories, she mouthed.

“We truly believed that those were just tales of the Elders, passed down through the generations like the music we play and the lullabies we sing to our babies.” As she listened, Willow shook her head slowly at Poppy.

“Indeed, my dear Charlie, we should indeed meet tomorrow evening at the Bridge of the Angels. We’ll see you then.”


{Just a reminder, we try to keep these writing exercises to 30 minutes maximum, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. And I will say that in order to keep my writing within the 15 to 30 minute time, I have created a playlist on Spotify that allows me to put together songs that come close to 30 minutes. When the final note plays on the last song…I stop writing.}

Writing Prompt: PHONE TAG – write a fairly long, complicated phone conversation overheard by someone in the room. All three people – the listener in the room, the caller, and the person on the other end of the line – are involved with each other (not necessarily romantically). Let us hear the other end of the conversation, without actually hearing it. So, with only one side of the conversation, you’ll have to work hard to make the side we hear intriguing and capable of carrying a story. {Exercise 63 from The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley. Note, this is an affiliate link}


5 thoughts on “Destiny Awaits

  1. So many questions that need answering. You’ve certainly piqued my interest in finding out more about these two. I can see this turning into a longer work. I’m wondering if this is supposed to be an alternate universe or something based in our own reality.

    1. I’m not sure that I can answer that question yet. As I was writing this one, I saw it as a cross between a dystopian-style {like The Giver} and Lord of the Rings…but with a mighty girl cast.

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