So because my head is about to erupt as I count down the days until this book comes out (while Angel sits back, all cool, “Wait ‘til it’s your seventh book, kid, you’ll be chill,”) I thought I’d invite folks to play with words with me.

Inspired by Janet Reid and terribleminds, I’ve come up with a drabble contest. The prize for the one Angel likes best:


An ansuz rune pendant from the OM Cover Project (good for thought and communication, Faye would tell you), and an e-book of Odin’s Murder when it comes out on September 10th. To keep it juicy, two random entries will also get e-books.

The rules: Tell a story with 100 words or less, using all of the following words:
Post in the comments by 6:00pm EST Tuesday, September 3rd. One entry per person, please, and have fun!

12 thoughts on “Ansuz

  1. Rune doesn’t say anything when Willa hands him the gift, wrapped in a hurry, twisted glass corners punching through the newspaper. Her embarrassment burns her face like a thousand degree gas torch.
    “Thought you might like to have one,” she mutters. He’d admired her sculptures in the studio, lamp-work rods melted and pulled into spiral seaweed ribbons, chartreuse and gold, catching the sun like water. When she looks up, Rune is gone. The classified ads lie crumpled on the floor.
    Later she sees the glass in his sedan, strapped into his daughter’s car seat, where he keeps his precious things.

  2. She turned away from the sun, eyes tearing from it’s intensity as she came out of her mental stupor, and back to the walls of her shabby apartment.

    The once yellow walls, now a dirty chartreuse, mocked her inability to step foot outside of it. She thought about it and realized the walls had always been that color after all.

    Her mind went to him again, and it was like a sucker punch to the gut. Where was he? She opened her palm, remembering the rune he’d placed in her hand before he left. Dead. Maybe, in hell.

  3. The beach bar was empty.

    The first rays of the morning sun warmed my face. I slept outside again. Rune, the cat with the chartreuse eyes was watching me. “Meow.”

    She came closer, waving with ease her big, thick, black tail as she pushed on purpose the glass with my watery Punch cocktail. Great! Even the cat disapproves my state.

    I picked her up in my arms as I went to stand up. “Don’t be judgmental. I just miss her.” A little paw patted my hand. For a moment, I thought she said, don’t fall in love again, mate.

  4. Hardly a thought enters my mind as my fingers rub absently over the rune in my palm. I wait for answers, but nothing comes.

    When Tildy stands before me, the sun is low in the sky, burning a halo of fire about her. She holds a plastic glass of punch aloft in a goofy salute.

    “What’s your favorite color?” I ask, aware of the smile I can’t see.

    “Chartreuse,” her tiny voice replies, proud of her young vocabulary.

    “Where’s mommy, baby girl?”

    “She’s right here, daddy.”

    A hand over my heart reminds me.

  5. “Chartreuse punch?!” she thought, trying–and mostly failing–to keep a disgusted look from crossing her face. She heard someone walk up next to her.

    “It’s French,” a deep voice said. “Well, a French liqueur, at least. Pretty tasty, you should give it a try.”

    She turned toward the sound, squinting against the light of the setting sun. He was handsome, dressed in a crisp collared shirt and khaki shorts, with a tattoo peeking out from under his shirt sleeve that looked like…ancient runes? Intriguing.

    “Kate”, she said, holding out her hand.

    He shook it. “Craig. Nice to meet you.”

  6. As the sun dips behind the Alpine peak, skeletal fingers of arboreal shadows stretch across the valley to caress the Grande Chartreuse. The wind gusts, and Eustace remembers the feel of goosebumps on his flesh.

    He longs to close his eyes, to stretch his arms wide and let his thoughts carry him to a forgotten past – to feel the punch of emotion and hope and being.

    But here in this neverwhere, he has no arms, no eyes, no heart. No one to remember him, not even a single rune inscribed on a tomb to mark his passing.

    He is nothing.

  7. How I Met My Husband

    Once I went to a bra in a much thought-after district of Paris to intend a performance by the celebrated chartreuse Edith Pilaf.

    But outside my heal snacked on a cobbled-stone edge and I fell.

    “My night is a rune!” I whaled.

    “Let me help,” offered a hansom passerby young enough to be my sun.

    As he gave me his alm, I replied, “I have always depended on the kindness of strongers.” I had to punch myself in the downstairs lobby to make shore I wasn’t dreaming.

    But I wasn’t, we fell in love and shortly thereafter we were merried.

  8. Laïla had been in the sun so long her shirt was damp and stiff. She thought longingly of lime sherbet punch–chartreuse ambrosia–and licked her parched lips. No. The old woman had said not to move. “No matter how thirsty you are, how loudly someone may cry for help, wait here. They won’t come otherwise.” The woman had gazed again at the rune burned onto Laïla’s palm. “And they’ll make you wait a long time,” she’d said, chuckling.

    Laïla heard her father call out for her.

    He’d been dead a year.

    Laïla closed her eyes, hands clenched. Waiting.

  9. She alighted from the carriage, the new chartreuse robes symbolizing her status. She hated them. This was not the life she had wanted.

    She clutched at the rune at her neck, hoping it would bring her comfort.

    Making her way to the dais, the thought perhaps she could run. Abandon this folly. She knew she had no choice.

    The sun rose high in the sky. She sat in the empty seat that awaited her, resigned to her fate.

    The crowd gasped as the first punch was thrown. The victor would be her mate. She hoped it would be her love.

  10. The sunset was a punch to gut. It meant that their time had run out. He wasn’t coming back to save them. The man they thought would be their saviour was a nothing but a malevolent foe.

    They wrote in rune on the mud walls of their houses; a prayer, a plea to the Gods. They were asking, begging, beseeching for a miracle.

    As the sun slept beyond the trees, the chartreuse and crimson inscriptions of hope faded with them.

    And then it began.

  11. Exiled to a place where burning sand is the floor and scorching sun is the ceiling, her only shelter is a dilapidated shack. She struggles to maintain her sanity.

    She’s been here seven months and would kill for a sip of Chartreuse, regardless.

    He said it came from the souls of monks. She thought him a flirt.

    He took her to bed.

    They awoke to sweet lilac drifting in through his window. Instant love. Punch-drunk, almost. He showed her the rune, and somehow, inexplicably, she’d deciphered it.

    She’s not a bad person, as he claimed. She’s merely one of Them.

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