Lilea - Flash Fiction

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Today's flash fiction story, with which I start my day of writing, is inspired by Atlanta artist, Sven Bybee. #svenbybee

Hey guys, today I need to submit a new chapter of book two, in the romance trilogy I’m working on, to my critique group. We basically tear each other’s work apart with edits, discussions, and lots and lots of questions on characters and plot.

I like to get my creative juices flowing by looking at pictures on Pinterest. My favorite type of images is in the fantasy genre and concept art. I usually choose a picture and write a piece of flash fiction to get the creative juices flowing.

LILEA PULLED HER red cloak tight against the misty air as she stood and stared up at the massive archway before her.

Why would anyone build a gate in the middle of the forest?

The elaborate metal swirls, with patterns of flowers and vines, should be rusted in the damp air. At the very least, it should be overgrown with the underbrush, or covered with moss. Instead, the metal shone like glass—as if it was brand new. And, if that wasn’t puzzling enough, there was a pair of glowing-green crystal orbs—one at each side of the gate.

She turned full circle. Everything else in the forest was as expected: a thick canopy of leaves, the dense underbrush, and the moss-covered tree trunks. Was this part of Elunore´? The ancient ruins for which she’d been searching her entire life?

Probably not.

Still, except for this strange discovery, everything else in the forest was as it should be. There was a constant symphony of birds calling to each other, braided vines clung to tree trunks, and insects flew about and scurried along. She knew there was water ahead. As with the forest and trees, she’d always been able to sense water. Her body tingled with the sensation, and she could smell the fresh, clean, rejuvenating liquid as the lifegiving essence swirled in the air. Even without her abilities of water, she could hear the whooshing sounds of a waterfall somewhere up ahead.

She adjusted her pack and looked up through the trees, to the golden glow of the sky. It would be dark soon. Lilea needed to move on and find a place to camp for the night. Though, she wasn’t going to take any chances with this strange gate. She would walk around the thing and be on her way.

Taking one step, Lilea felt the sudden urge to pass through the mysterious archway. It seemed to be calling to her.

The narrow path she’d been following for hours led straight through the gate. She decided it was silly to go around, especially since she would have to climb over the rocks, which were damp and slippery with moss. Taking a deep breath, she climbed the three steps which were carved out of the dirt and proceeded through the mysterious gate.

Gazing at the crystals as she passed, her eyes watered from the warmth of the bright glow. The orbs pulsed with energy as if it was the slow heartbeat of life itself.

Making her way out the other side, Lilea froze at the sight before her. Her heart pounded. She felt as if a blanket of blindness had been lifted, unveiling the vast city before her. The forest she’d seen from the other side, was far different from what stood before her now.

Lilea had wandered the world for many years. She’d seen cities and towns, large and small. She’d climbed mountains, boated and trekked through valleys, and she’d even gone underground into the cave dwellings of the Gardrit. But this was far different from any place she’d ever seen. It was a city for sure. However, this city was made entirely of nature itself.

Multiple structures, with the same green glow emanating from sections inside, were carved into towers of trees. They appeared to be dwellings with windows, doors, and winding stairways. Each tree was the circumference of an entire village, and they towered toward the sky.

Looking upward, Lilea realized there was no sky... none that was visible anyway.

Instead, the trunks of the tree-towers and vines wove and wrapped themselves into and around each other, growing upward and spreading out. They formed a twisted and matted ceiling of sorts, with gigantic crystals wedged-in, giving the city a soft green glow. The contorted covering of the city stretched as far as the eyes could see.

Lilea’s heart felt like it would burst with joy. There were hundreds, perhaps thousands of tree-towers. She dropped to her knees and let her tears of joy flow into her hands.

She’d found it!

Finally, she’d found the thing for which she’d been searching for decades. It was the birthplace of her ancestors. However, instead of being an ancient ruin, this city was alive and well.

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