Muggle

Based from this Reddit Writing Prompt: [EU] Years after the War, Harry Potter receives a message from his cousin Dudley, requesting a meeting.

 

The letter had come through the mail slot, late one Thursday afternoon. This was unusual already; mostly I got my cases by owl post. Added to that, it was addressed in pen, in a rather untidy scrawl to boot.

Harry Potter – Private Eye

I read the mysterious request twice, after seeing who it was from: cousin Dudley. Hadn’t heard from the fellow in years, since the disastrous Christmas in ’06.

Harry, I need your help. Desperately. Come to my house as soon as you get this. I’ll pay whatever you charge. -Dudley Dursley

Well, he was family; not that that meant much. Still, I closed up shop and made my way to number 4, Privet Drive.

 

Dudley Dursley lived in his childhood home, moving back there when his parents passed on. He had a wife and kid, Stella and Anne? It had been a decade since I’d seen them, not long after Stella gave birth.

I knocked on the door, and it opened not five seconds later. Before me stood Dudley Dursley, a chubby boy no more, but a broad shouldered man who had risen above the pampered life his parents gave him. He worked in construction, at least last I’d heard.

“Dudley, what is it?” his face was white as if he’d seen Nearly Headless Nick.

“Come in and see.” I followed him through the hallway of my childhood – glanced at the cupboard under the stairs.

The kitchen was a mess: tablecloth pooled on the floor, cutlery and crockery strewn all over the place. What really drew the eyes, was the message in blood across the wall.

MUGGLE

“They took my daughter, Harry!”

[Story] Rain

It’s raining outside. Mother always told me not to go out when it rains, so I sit by the window and look outside.

We always have to clean up the neighbourhood after a good rain; urban wildlife that got caught outside, rubbish bins tipped over, or “Uncle” Barry’s backyard. Barry thinks he can grow plants in this weather. Everyone knows you can only grow in the dry season.

You can smell the rain; it’s fresh, but with a bite. That smell is because the rain cleanses the world, Father told me once. Fire does that.

I breathed in deep; it wouldn’t last long, this rain. I couldn’t wait to go outside, splash around through some ashes and see the world. Everything’s different after the rain.

Before long, the pitter patter of flames on the stone roof stopped. I rushed downstairs, to find Father already there with a bucket each for me and him, and wearing his thick rainboots. I slid mine on quickly and grabbed the bucket from him.

The streets were black with fresh ash, and there were a few little fires dwindling out along the way. I put out an overturned bin, with its contents spilled and burning. Father put out a few on the roadside, too.

Uncle Barry’s backyard was smoking again; Father tutted as we stepped over the little stone fence. We tipped the water from our buckets all over the ground there, and cooled down the smoking ashes of his garden. I kicked a few little piles of ash, watched them play in the air like insects. There was a bigger pile in the middle, and my eyes lit up.

“Don’t!” said Father.

I stopped my run and walked in a huff instead, kicking some ash along the way. I’d *really* wanted that big pile too. Father bent to touch it, turned it over. I gasped.

I’d almost kicked Uncle Barry!

“I’m sorry, Father, Uncle Barry…” they didn’t say anything. “Dad? Tell Uncle Barry I’m sorry.”

“He can’t hear you.” Father told me. “He’s gone.”

He was just playing, of course, we play all the time. “Good morning Uncle Barry! Wakey wakey!” I came right up to get him. Boy, he was covered in ash! I knelt down to shake him up, give him a hard time.

And he crumbled into ash.

Why I didn’t write today: A trip to Hahndorf

image

Pictured: My wife (top); Lots of food (bottom)

Today my wife and I had a day out at Hahndorf, a German settlement town that’s 45 minute’s drive from home (Adelaide). Our first stop was the German Arms Hotel, where we got the Feast for Two, and what a feast it was! A BIG pork hock, a pork schnitzel, two pretzels and four sausages (kranskies and wursts).

Apart from the opportunity to stuff ourselves with german food, there’s also a multitude of artisan stores and art galleries. That will have to be another day’s story, as I was so carried away seeing the sights that I forgot to get photo evidence!

While definitely worth the day, I’m inspired to write more now! On the list next is a multi-part adventure series, featuring Nicholas Flamel. I’ll be writing that in my spare time, between the short stories that I’ll post here.

For now, have a great day and see you next time with a new story!

[Story] Last Dance

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I’m getting married today. And I can’t stop crying. God, how I love you.

I know that our married life together will feel like an eternity, and no time at all.

You’ll say you love me, and I’ll tell you I do.

‘Til death do us part.

So tomorrow I’ll have to say goodbye.

And tonight, you’ll dance with me in your burial suit.


Inspired by a writing prompt (‘make me sad in 100 words or less’) from Reddit

[Story] Glitch Day

Original Prompt: Scientists devise an experiment to test if we’re living in a simulation. They realize too late that its developers didn’t fully anticipate the corner cases (meaning, there may be a few glitches).


Have you ever stopped and noticed how, as the centuries passed and humanity’s knowledge of the universe deepened, myths and legends all lost their power? We weren’t scared any more, and Halloween just became a dress-up and free candy day.

Today, though, is the one year anniversary of ‘Glitch Day’, as people call it. It looks like October 31 will be forgotten in favour of the 25th. People are hiding out in their homes, scared to death that that fateful day will be repeated. You don’t know about Glitch Day? You must have been under a rock that day. Well, let me tell you about it. This was my experience of October 25th, 2015.

The morning started out like any other: The sun, glaring into my room. The alarm clock, blaring music. Me, snoring. Third round of snoozes and I finally get up, and start cursing myself while I rush through a shower and shave combo. I switched on the TV for some noise while I wolfed down some breakfast.

‘-Appears that the island of Britain has…disappeared. Planes flying to Heathrow Airport have reported that they are turning back after circling England’s…usual whereabouts for a time.’ Wait…what? They had a video of planes circling the sea, and before/after views from some nearby Isle of Man. Realising I had a spoon still halfway to my mouth, I dropped it to the bowl and turned up the volume. ‘Let’s hear from an expert-‘ I laughed *’-on alien abductions, and other supernatural phenomena, Stephen Wight.’ The image changed to show an unshaven man in a suit that looked around thirty years old. The suit, not the man, that is; he was about forty.

‘Thank you, Ellie. It’s common knowledge, of course, that aliens abduct humans to carry out tests on them. But what I believe is, after the years of abducting one or two humans at a time, they’re now going to abduct and test a whole country worth of us. If I’m correct, the country should return after ten or twenty years-‘

‘Sorry we’re going to have to interrupt you there, Stephen. I’ve just received an update, it seems that Britain has now reappeared. We’re going to try going to our UK reporter, Alex Riggs. Alex, are you there?’

‘Hello, yes Ellie…what are we reporting on?’ he asked someone off-screen. I’d have laughed at his eyes comically widening if mine weren’t likely doing the same.

‘Well, Ellie, it looks like we’re…back…from wherever we went. As far as I know, nobody in Britain even noticed.’ He looked around for a second. ‘Yes, it looks like we disappeared for a minute, without ever knowing-‘ he looked to the side, ‘What do you mean, half an hour?!’

The screen cut back to the studio. ‘So, if you’re just tuning in now, the island of Britain disappeared for around half an hour in total, from 7.23 until 7.55-‘

7.55?! Damn it, I was going to be late again.



After getting my coffee fix – keeping clear of Sarah in case she disappeared again – I decided to go for a walk, clear my head a bit.

It was a beautifully warm day today, a good day to go for a walk. I headed to the nearby park to get some fresh air. Seemed like most were doing the same thing, too, and gazing up at the clear blue sky. I looked up too…the sky was not just a fine blue, with few clouds in the sky. It was ‘Blue Screen of Death’ blue, with literally nothing else up there, even the sun.

What on earth?

Not my business, I decided, and carried on with my walk. I steadfastly refused to look up again; that was enough crazy business already and it was really freaking me out.

Others were freaking out a bit too, if the guy running around without any pants was an indicator. “The sky is crashing!” I heard him yell as he ran off into the distance.

A tree nearby flickered out and back like an old neon sign. I quickened my pace.

Coming along the path to me I saw Jimmy, an old mate from high school. “Hey, Joe! What a crazy day! Can’t stay to talk, I’m going to bunker at home where it’s saf-GLARHBAHG.” What had been Jimmy was now an amorphous green blob. I quick-stepped my way past, nearly jogging to get away. I cast one glance back and saw that the Jim-Blob was rolling its way home. You go, blob.

The sky turned dark all of a sudden, and I couldn’t stop myself looking up. It looked like it was back to normal, but suddenly night-time. A few seconds later the orange glow of sunrise took over it, followed by it finally looking like a normal blue sky. A few clouds scattered across the blue expanse, and the sun was showing its face again.

You know what? I thought to myself, I think it’s time to go home.

I braved the horrifying sight of the Jim-Blob, and the neon tree once more. I braved a sudden rain of penguins and at one point my car turned into a big rubber duck. So with the newfound knowledge of what the inside of a rubber duck looks like, I eventually found my way home, and safe.

I spent the rest of my day just hiding out at home, turning on the TV whenever it wasn’t in the form of an anvil. It seemed like the rest of the world was suffering pretty much the exact same fate.

The lost city of Atlantis was discovered ten times, in ten different places. People were turning into chickens, or fish –‘Police are asking to please prepare a bowl of water if you see a fish on the streets’ – or in one case, a piece of toast in the likeness of Jesus.

So, that was Glitch Day. The governments didn’t have much to say on the matter, except that what happened was ‘classified’ and that it would not be happening again. I think the boss won’t mind though, if I call in sick again this year.

It’s the kind of story that people will be telling their children, and grandchildren, for years to come. Except for Jim-Blob. Poor guy.


 

Inspired by a writing prompt from Reddit

[Story] You dare awaken me, Witch?

Credits to CryptCrawler

Continued from yesterday’s Witch story.


 

A deep thunder echoed through the cavern, and the whole place shook in a fierce rumble. From the depths before the witch came a titanic clawed hand that could have crushed her, and her extended family, in one grasp. Following it was a head topped with gnarled horns, that dwarfed even the claws.

“You’re up quick, I must have caught you dozing,” said the witch cheerily.

“You dare disturb my slumber, witch?”

“Well yes, yes I do.”

The beast let out a deafening roar, pushing her back with the reeking wave of breath.

“You will leave! You have no right to be here, little girl.”

“Actually,” the girl’s face turned serious, “I do. I’ve come here with a proposition. My great grandmother told me all about you. Granny Macy said to say hi.”

“You DARE to say her name! That witch made me into the monstrosity you behold. Begone, spawn of Macy!” He spat to one side; the rocky terrain began to smoke where it landed.

“Wait! I’ve got something for you, first. I promise, I’ll drop them here and then I’ll leave. You don’t have to see me again.”

“What could you possibly have that I desire? Your precious ‘granny’ could do naught for me.”

“Well, now she has,” said the witch simply. “It took four decades of her life, so give it more than a second’s thought, okay?”

“I make no promises.” The creature puffed a volatile breath. “Show me.”

The witch set two small cauldrons on the rocky floor. “The blue one will return you to your old self. You won’t need to hide any longer, and you can do as you wish.”

“And the red?”

“The red…will end your suffering. You can pass on to the next life.”

“Hmm…” rumbled the beast. “Interesting. Leave me, spawn of Macy. I shall decide in my own time.”

The witch turned away, leaving the beast to pore over the fate of his life. Her face shifted as she walked, growing wrinkles and sagging with the signs of a great age. She let out a sigh.

“I’m sorry, Pan,” the old witch mumbled softly, “I hope your choice brings you peace.”


 

Inspired by a writing prompt from Reddit

[Story] The Witch

Credits go to Burari

Credits go to Burari

“Okay, almost there. Just need to add some, let’s see..powdered sheep heart.” A young brown-haired girl stirred the cauldron with her feet, while reading from a thick leather tome in her hands. Behind her lay her favourite broomstick, Old Faithful. The thick bamboo and the large bundle of twigs at the back were like training wheels for a young witch.

“Macy! What on earth do you think you’re doing?” exclaimed a girl that looked like Macy would in five years. Her hands were on her hips and she had a glare that could kill – literally, if Macy had been a regular young girl instead of a witch. She breathed a huff that blew her hair out of the way, and behind her head it tied itself into a ponytail.

“Just making something for Pan, Mum,” she said, pointing a toe to the floor nearby. “And can you wear your face again,please?”

Her mother shifted, and grew several centimetres. Lines appeared on her face, until she looked middle-aged. More creases appeared as she frowned, “Pan’s dead, dear.” The pile of bones was rather unmistakably those of a dead cat. “Give me the spoon.”

“No!” Macy cried out, twisting to grab it by hand as her mother did as well. Her tug sent an already off-balance Macy flying (she grabbed the Old Faithful at the last second), and the cauldron toppling over.

Macy’s mother jumped back, floating back to the doorway. The unfinished potion spilled across the floor, covering anything unlucky enough to be discarded there, including Pan’s bones. The two witches watched from their floating vantage points as the potion drained away into the bones, as though sucked through a straw. The pile of bones rattled for a moment, then fell still.

“Aww…it didn’t work!” Macy exclaimed.

The bones rattled again, stronger this time.

5 months later

Macy held the twine in her mouth while she tucked the last of the twigs against the branch. Wrapped the twine around it all, tying it into a bow at the end. She gave it a satisfied look-over; it was a much leaner wood, built for speed- she hoped.

She cast a glance around the hill-side. “Pan!”

Macy heard it before she saw it. A cat-shaped skeleton ambled towards her at a galloping run. She giggled joyously. “I’m done, Pan! Let’s fly!” Running down the hill towards him, she mounted the broom and jumped. It dropped for just a moment, before picking up height and speed.

Macy shifted hold of the broom to her legs, and held her arms out. The skeleton of a cat jumped, and she caught him with an ‘oof’.

“Mrow?”

She let him off to sit before her on the broom. “Off we go, Pan!”

The broom shot off from under them. Macy and Pan fell to the hillside and tumbled down to the bottom.

“Ow, ow, ow…not again!”


 

Inspired by a writing prompt from Reddit