I have had an extremely bad case of total creative block for several months now. I can’t write stories, I can’t write music, I can’t do anything. It’s pretty much blown. I can’t seem to shake it, either. I know the root cause but there’s not much I can do other than become a total hermit.

I am trying to bring down my horizons a little to get back in the swing of things. I’m focusing on 500-750 word bits, just a few paragraphs, to get me from being totally blocked to being mostly blocked. If you’re interested, here’s the first little bit. I’ll post them but I’ll keep them under cuts (LJ-only) so they can be easily skipped.

A Fairy Battle

I walked along the ancient wall built by forgotten hands. The wall was grey and stone and obscured by carnivorous vines that digested the wall bit by bit. It sagged as much as a grey stone wall can sag against the grass and trees. Wooden props helped it stand with slightly more dignity and grace as befitting the aged who had done their duties against wind and weather well.

The wall bends where the old cobblestone road turns away from the town and toward the farms. A hole opens where stones, not meant to turn but to stack upright, have fallen in a heap. Flowers grow in wild profusion in protected boxes made by the fallen stones and weather and happenstance. Beyond the hole in the wall lays a field where more flowers grow: golden yarrow and tall stalks of sage, aster and larkspur.

I heard a noise and set down my basket. Through the hole was a sight: feet of hooves and boots mashed the flowers flat into the grass and clover and dirt.

Two great armies stood on that field of wildflowers. One was in red with cloaks fluttering and swords shining. The troops stood side by side in proper regiments with perfect clean red uniforms and shining silver buckles and red hats. They held red muskets with bayonets like rows of toothpicks. The other army wore bedraggled green, a dirty rag-tag assortment of wild creatures of differing sizes and heights and builds. Their eyes held madness and their weapons more: serrated swords and broken knives, guns and crossbows and teeth and claws and horns.

A horn blew. On a grand stallion among the red army sat the Queen. Her shining blond hair blew back from her shoulders in the soft gusts of evening wind. Her uniform shone with shiny spangles and glittering buttons. Wind rippled the cockade of her great plumed hat. She drew her sword and paused. Then she ordered her men to charge.

With rank upon rank they did, the first ranks bending on knee to fire as the second rank loaded and the third waited their turn.

The early ranks of the mad and the green were felled by the Queen’s bullets. The insane green horde pushed forward over the fallen bodies of comrades and foes. War was met and the sounds of horrible battle echoed over the field. Those perfect ranks were nothing more than fodder for the chaotic and maddening ranks of the green fairies who hopped and played and danced among bullets. The front ranks of the red army fell to be replaced by more ranks and more; perfect harmony in combat with horrible chaos. Clubs swung and teeth gnashed. Bones shattered with balls of bullets and crossbow bolts sung in the air. The fairies fought, the red and the green, until blood soaked the wildflowers and the sounds of screams filled the air.

I staggered forward through the hole between the stones. My basket lay forgotten on the cobblestones. At my feet was a man dressed in red, lovelier than any man can be, dying, his lifeblood pouring out on to the grass. I put my fingers to his wound as blood poured over my hands. He died and I cried: “STOP!”

The Queen of the Faeries gazed at me with her purple shining eyes. For a moment, silence. No sounds of combat, no attacks, no muskets fired at close range with ear-splitting cracks in the air. I knew only the Faerie Queen and her terrible wrath.

Then they were gone, every one of them. The fairy battle disappeared. They left only crumpled flowers and the occasional strange discoloration in the grass. The sounds of battle hung in the air for only a moment and then they, too, where whisked off to the land of Faerie.

There was nothing, then. Nothing but my basket and a hole in a wall. And the knowledge of faerie, warring, somewhere beyond a veil.