Hey all! We are super excited to share a fabulous piece of flash-fiction written in response to a writing prompt we gave in our recent episode, Winter Reads Part 2! The uber-talented Dana Fraedrich was kind enough to let us post it here. Hope you enjoy!
What the Storm Bore
By Dana Fraedrich
The snow fell in fat gentle flakes, covering the distant hills like mounds of cream over black treacle. Wind barely whispered past the pirouetting snow, but the clouds hanging low and heavy, rolling slowly towards the city—dense wads of spun tar—promised a bitter storm. The clouds glowered at the concrete and steel buildings below. They flashed their displeasure as those offensive edifices threw a faint sheen of light up, like a flimsy shield, against their swollen underbellies.
A door opened. It belonged to a house in the suburbs of the city. Light and laughter and music spilled out as someone placed a bottle of butterscotch-colored wine in the snow to chill. The clouds grumbled and pulled along in their wake frigid winds, which squalled like rabid toddlers. Pulling at stoplights and power lines, grasping at hurrying people’s coats and hats, they yanked and hurled anything they could grip onto. Rime grew like white moss over the surface of the wine bottle, a time-lapse spectacle in real time. It cracked and burst as its contents froze. Green and gold shards scattered over the ground—a new toy for the petulant wind to play with.
The door opened again, and a laughing man stumbled out. He waved to his companions within the house, shouting something to them over the shrieking wind. The wind slapped at the door, trying to tug it from his grip, but he closed it without incident. A window nestled in the wall nearby, and someone pulled a face at him from behind the glass. The man returned the silly gesture before turning away and pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He guarded his lighter’s flame from the wind as he lit it and took a long, deep drag.
Had he not been huddling against the house, he might have seen the livid streaks of lightning flare above him—talons made of electricity and ire. Had he not been distracted by the glint of green glass and golden ice shimmying along the ground, he might have heard the cloud’s threat rumble—war drums in the sky. When the bolt speared through him, he felt nothing. Cigarette ash drifted to the ground and mingled with the glass and ice. Scattered bits of spirit and intention bound the pieces together and slunk off to the inky shadows around the side of the house, while those within rushed to the aid of their fallen friend.
In the dark, newly birthed and alone, the creature looked and listened and smelled. Its grey and gold and green body gleamed at the slightest hint of light. It knew this would attract attention the way a fawn knows to lay still and silent, so the creature took shelter beneath the house. Safe from the yowling winds and blazing clouds that filled it with terror it didn’t understand, the creature wondered if this was what forever looked like and considered the best way to survive in this strange new world.
A bit more about Dana:
Dana Fraedrich is the author of the steampunk fantasy series Broken Gears, which includes the Amazon bestseller, Out of the Shadows, and the forthcoming Raven’s Cry, a standalone tale of loss, struggle, and triumph. She is an independent author, blogger, dog lover, and self-professed geek. Even from a young age, she enjoyed writing down the stories she imagined in her mind.
Born and raised in Virginia, she earned her BFA from Roanoke College and is now carving out her own happily ever after in Nashville, TN with her husband and two dogs. Dana is always writing; more books are on the way!
Connect with Dana Fraedrich:
Check out Fraedrich’s website, WordsByDana, for book reviews, articles on the indie author life, and author interviews.
You can also connect with her on your favorite social media platform:
- Instagram: @danafraedrich
- Facebook: @wordsbydana
- Twitter: @DanaFraedrich
- Dana’s Tumblr
- Dana’s Goodreads
- Dana’s Riffle
- Dana’s YouTube
Dana’s got a new audiobook out! Check out Raven’s Cry on audio
“Everything has degrees, and deep evils seem lighter if you are broken enough.”
Calandra–little sister to the future Count of Bone Bay–likes the idea of supporting her people without the pressure of an official title. She prefers quiet and learning over making dreaded small talk with her fellow nobles.
When Nicodemus, a magus with immense power, joins the royal court of Invarnis, Calandra’s life changes forever. She is entranced when he shows her magic for the first time, but its entry into the royal court has repercussions she never imagined.
The world Calandra loves twists throughout the centuries while she, cursed and imprisoned, remembers her old life with envy. Her captor goes to any lengths to discover her secret, and Calandra is fighting for her very sanity within her cell.
Meanwhile, a war is coming to Invarnis, a war that will reshape the very fabric of the world. Calandra must decide who to trust and overcome her demons to get revenge…
Raven’s Cry is a dark retelling of Swan Lake set in Dana Fraedrich’s fantasy steampunk world of Broken Gears.
Buy it now to experience Calandra’s heart-breaking struggle today!
For fans of Suzanne Collins, Sarah J. Maas, and Naomi Novik. In this standalone installment in Dana Fraedrich’s fantasy steampunk series, readers will discover a realm of dark magic and technology as they join Calandra in her battle for freedom, hope, and healing.