Smörboll

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Fantasy Realm
A flash fiction challenge I'm doing with another author. Totally wrote on a whim so if it seems rushed, that's because it was! XD
The prompt:
Day Three Prompt: You attempt to pronounce the names of furniture at IKEA. In doing so, you transport to a mysterious forest. After wandering for what seems like an eternity, you reach an ancient oak at the heart. Carved in the bark is the name of an old forgotten god. The name is yours.

Submitted: October 05, 2018

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Submitted: October 05, 2018

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There was something about the duvet that drew her. Maybe it was the deep black hue that seemed dark as marbles or reflective as a pupil, maybe it was its downy softness and seemed to pull in your hand, maybe it was it's quite ridiculous name that she struggled to pronounce as the boring guide blahed on, and continued walking, paying no mind that their guest had stopped to try and pronounce one of the most ridiculous names she'd ever laid eyes on. Smörboll.

'S'more- snore- snor-ball?' Her nose puckered, as she tried to figure how to pronounce 'boll'. Like ball but not, like doll but boll. 'Boowhl,' Perhaps the cover made whoever was in it a snoreball? She struggled to contain a viscous giggle, not wanting to disturb the enchanted atmosphere of enlightened furniture, and the oily scent of wood polish, but the enchanted 'o' and the punny nature of the cover was already throwing her for a loop.  Being the letter 'o,' she should've expected as much, being a loopy letter, which gave her another fit of painfully withheld laughter, she tried again and again, 'Bawl,' 'Bool,' Smorbool,' Such a hoopy, loopy, fruit loopy letter 'o' was. She couldn't take it anymore and burst into a fit of unfit laughter, she fell back into the cover, and fell right through onto a damp, hard ground. 

Stunned, her laughter snuffed out as she looks ever perplexed at a dark sky, the hue  unmistakably the night, twirling with stars, under her hands, unmistakably moist grass, the knot forming under her head unmistakably painful. She knew if her head wasn't attached she'd leave it behind but it seemed like her head up and left! She sits up and frowns, looks around. Her face shows her confusion. She'd landed in some sort of forest, surrounded by starving trees, curled like bones under the moonlight.  No crickets, no other people, only the trees and the moonlight. The roots, spindly hands reaching for nutrients, stiff and stoic like stones which had led to the aching knot on her head. 

But to her pleasure, a small yellow flower curls up from the ground in bloom, highlighted in the moonlight, the petals intricately curled into a ball.

Globeflowers. A sunny yellow even in the moonlight. Beautiful. She gets up and admires it for several seconds, her nose tickles with a sneeze. She doesn't know where to go, but another flower blooms so she just walks through the forest, following the guiding flowers, slipping on the rough roots, feeling that should she walk long enough maybe she'll end back up in Ikea where she'll be promptly escorted out for falling asleep on furniture she hadn't bought. 

After walking for what seemed an eternity the blooms lead her over the crest of a hill, where a large oak towers over the silent night in a short meadow. The flowers sprint towards the massive oak, as if to probe her forward in some haste. She sprints after the flowers, but trips over her shoelace and lands face first at the neck of the hill. She decides to walk from then on out as she tries to regain some dignity. As she reaches the oak with only a slight limp, the flowers twirl around the trunk. Under its shadow the field seemed so dark, the soft breeze shifted the shadows and gave her a chill. Still, she follows the flowers that curl around the oak.  She circles it, her hand gracing the knotty bark, but her hand reaches a smooth surface. Her eyes is drawn to the skin, and carved into the wood is her name. This was shaping out to be a strange dream indeed! With how developed it was, she was likely in some deep philosophical stage of dreams. She would have to buy this duvet! If they allowed her to. She wouldn't be surprised if they banned her from all stores. It draws a sad face. 

'Donna.' The sound is so soft, she thinks it some inkling of her imagination. But her name is called again. She looks up into the tree. Two beady dark eyes stare at her, the shifting in the tree, the writhing shadow of the oak is the darkest coil of a snake. She looks around, shifts uncomfortably. She wasn't terribly fond of snakes. 

'You have returned great goddess of the strike.'  

Goddess? She must've hit her head harder than she thought. Her eyes widen a bit as the snake continues, its mouth never opening but she can hear its words. 

'Your sister has cried an eternity in anguish at your ruse, but her own plots disappeared you. But now you have returned.'  

'I think you're mistaken,' 

'I never make a mistake,' The snake hisses, as it lengthens and oozes down the trunk. 'The tree knows all, and I am of the tree.' 

Donna looks again at her name, rudely carved into the bark, and figures if the tree knew her name then it's likely it knew more things.

But goddess of the strike? What was that supposed to mean? She tries it in her head: 'Donna, goddess of the strike' and decides that it sounded just fine. 

'Do I get a castle?' 

The snakes eyes narrow into slits. It seemed disappointed at her question and ignores it. 

'You must pass through the belly of Nuit to the day and end your sister once and for all.' 

Wait, pass through? Does that mean be eaten? Donna wasn't so sure now about the idea of being a goddess. 

'Can't someone e-' 

'There is none else,' the snake seethes, it seemed to have a shortening patience and so Donna kept her thoughts to herself.   Being a goddess wasn't shaping out to be so fun. She was being ordered around and now she had to be eaten. Sacrificed. She'd already been eaten by the duvet, now she had to be eaten by a nuit? She at least had to know what she was being fed to. After some time walking, hoping the cool grass has cooled the snake's temper she finally asks: 

'What's a nuit?'

'Who? Nuit is the night.' 

Oh no, what if no one noticed her in the store and she was locked in for the night! And this dream was a symbol of that? 

She briefly ponders how loudly she's snoring in the store. How embarrassing.

 



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