Daydreaming and procrastinating more than is healthy.

Writer's block and sleep deprivation are my constant companions.

Community Ambassador Alum

[pfp: cover art for "Wild World" by Bastille]

Message to Readers

Republishing for prompt 1 of HelpMe512's #Helpme2020 contest as well as The Great Gabs-by's contest. Go check them out!

Feedback. Please.

in and out of the clouds (revised) #Helpme2020 #MagicalRealism

February 17, 2020



my grandmother says that the xarae are the children of fire and water. they live in the turquoise depths of the innumerable yagha in our land, lakes that formed in the hollow craters of perished volcanoes. but the fire of the xarae is all but dead, for it comes, as the tales say, from within their souls.

they are not what you'd call fierce, though they certainly look the part-- sharp claws, large wings, eyes as brilliant as molten gold and whip-like tails with tips that they can ignite in flames at will. as a child, i used to lie down on the soft green grass in the evenings, looking up at the flocks of xarae gliding in and out of the clouds, their lithe legs folded up under their golden bellies. sometimes i used to imagine myself flying with them, graceful, elegant, free.

my people consider the xarae auspicious, and it is believed that if a woman heavy with child sees her belly's reflection in the golden eyes of a xarae, her child will be as beautiful and elegant as one. many make the arduous journey to a yagha, hoping to see a xarae up close, hoping for a child just as perfect.

when she was heavy for the second time, my mother did too. before leaving, she had told me that within a month she would have a small baby, soft and supple, with whom i could play all the time. but she never returned.

grandmother told me that the xarae loved her so much that they kept her to themselves. when i said that i loved her more, grandmother went silent. other people said that she was blessed by the xarae. but i think that going to a volcano whose fire had died made the fire inside her die too.

‚Äčlying down on the soft green grass in the evenings, i still like to imagine her flying in the heavens with the xarae, gliding in and out of the clouds; graceful, elegant, free.

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • rainandsonder

    this is a really great concept you have here! i could picture the xarae vividly in my mind, and although it's a short piece we have a good idea of what this fantasy world looks like. you might want to consider including a pronunciation guide in the footnotes or at the beginning or something, but other than that i honestly can't think of any criticism! you have a really solid foundation for a fantasy series here, and i'd be interested to see where you took it if you continued with this idea.

    9 months ago
  • Loser

    Oh, this is so beautiful, and sad!
    As Tushar Mandhan said, you could totally make a series! I can see the protagonist growing up and going after the mother to find her.

    10 months ago
  • Tushar Mandhan

    i can see a complete series about it!

    10 months ago
  • The Great Gabs-by

    Thanks for the entry. Good luck:))

    11 months ago
  • HelpMe512

    To answer your question, you may submit a already published piece, just alter the title to have the tag in it

    12 months ago
  • AminahMcBina

    Results are up! Congratulations!

    12 months ago
  • annaocxo

    This is a really beautiful piece and shares a bit of your life and culture so wonderfully. I love the voice that you have in your writing, it feels truly special and very grounded.

    12 months ago