15 Minute Ficlets is a weekly challenge based on the original 15 Minute Ficlets LiveJournal Community. Since this community has been defunct since 2013, I’ve decided to resurrect the challenge on my blog as a weekly Sunday writing challenge. If there’s interest, I’ll turn this into a meme (link up in the comments if you try it!). In the meanwhile, the rules:
Based on a single word, write a story in fifteen minutes. The word count is irrelevant. Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word. You never know what you’ll end up with!
This week’s word: smile
You have 15 minutes. Go!
Yvette backed against the wall, the fine gold filigree surrounding the mirrors cut into her skin like tiny biting knives. She jumped and drew her hand back suddenly, sticking her bleeding thumb into her mouth and sucking at it to sooth the pain.
The Red Queen smiled.
Only, it wasn’t quite a smile. There was something sharp and malignant in her crimson eyes. It danced with a life of its own, waltzing around her pupils and tickling her irises. The laughter spilled out of her eyes and on to her blood red lips. A question fell into Evie’s mind, unbidden and unwelcome: What does she use to color her lips?
The answer was there – literally in the palm of her hand. Yvette tasted her blood in her mouth. It churned her stomach.
I’m going to vomit, she thought helplessly as the Red Queen took another playful step forward.
Yvette cast her eyes around the sparkling throne room. The deception of it frustrated her. It was beautiful, a work of art. It was also a very pretty trap. There was one way in, and one way out. The ceiling-high doors stood at the far end of the room, reflecting the throne and the Queen and Evie herself back a thousand times as mirrors from every angle caught the lights.
Evie stepped to the side and jumped forward. Like a cat playing with a mouse, the Red Queen mirrored her actions, her smile reaching deeper into her eyes until her entire essence was made up of mockery and bloodlust.
“Where do you think you’re going, my little pet?”
Against her better judgement, Yvette answered, “Away from here. Far away.”
The Red Queen threw her head back and laughed. Stung and shocked by the scathing sound, Yvette slammed her palms over her ears and sunk to her knees. That sound! That horrible, horrible sound! How could anything that looked so human make such a horrific noise? Something reached around her throat, an invisible tendril, and lifted her choking body from the ground.
“Little pet,” the Red Queen repeated, and her words penetrated through Yvette’s ears as though they were an intimate whisper, “you belong to me now. You leave when I say you may leave.”
Yvette squirmed and tried to flail her arms and legs out, anything for the comfort and protection of the solid floor beneath her! But the invisible force wrapped itself around her in coils and held her bound before the Queen. She was helpless. The blood on her hand trickled from the wound and down her palm. If only Ches, or even the sad little Doormouse would open those great, beckoning doors and interrupt the Queen’s fancies. Yvette’s skin chilled, all except the blood, which burnt hot on her hand. The Queen’s ruby choker flashed menacingly.
Less and less air was getting into Yvette’s lungs now. She felt her eyes and her limbs grow heavy. Maybe, by some miracle, she could disentangle herself from this mess after a good… rest… or something… or just…
She tried to take one last heavy breath, but there was no air.
Just the Queen’s malicious eyes, her sparkling ruby, and her eternal smile.
When I write short stories, I usually like to carve moments out from the novel ideas I have running around my head. This is an interaction between my protagonist – Yvette Hatter – and The Red Queen from my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel Absolutely Mad. I’m not sure if it’s an alternate scene or a possible sequel scene. When I got “smile” all I could think of was maniacal evil… and the Red Queen certainly falls in that category.