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A Bargain

by on May 28, 2013

This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt, which was to use the word “appear”, meaning  “to have an outward aspect; seem”. It is also a continuation of the Volcano Rain series. Roll film!

All at once Rain saw what she could do. It was the only way. Actually, it wasn’t quite the only way; there were five or six ways, several of which had happy endings. But this way was the one Rain liked. So she went with it.

“Winifred,” she said, “You can paint your walls yellow bright and make yourself appear happy as clams, but I know you’re not, and you know you’re not. So. You get your boyfriend the volcano spirit to help me, and I help you. Deal?”

Winifred may have been insecure and stressed, but she got Rain’s meaning well enough. “Deal,” she said, extending her hand. Rain took it. The lights in Winifred’s apartment flickered ominously.

“Um…” William asked. “What just happened?”

“It’s not your concern,” Rain shot back, as Winifred waved her hand, and they all disappeared again.

They rematerialized on a stretch of ancient black rock. The towering peak of an extinct volcano loomed above them. “No worries,” Winifred assured them. “He’s not dead. He’s just resting.”

“Don’t tell me he’s pining for the fjords,” Rain said, rolling her eyes.

At that moment a nearby boulder split open, and a dull red clump of lava belched forth. The lava lurched upright and coalesced into a roughly humanoid shape. “Winnie!” it gurgled. “Hey! What’s up?”

“Phil!” Winifred exclaimed. “You didn’t call!”

The lava clump shuffled about nervously. “I thought you would first, and…”

“I hate to interrupt,” Rain said. “But do you know that back on my world, people are sacrificing virgins to you?”

“What?” Phil said, looking as abashed as a humanoid lava clump could look. “I never told them to do that! Why the hell would I want them to do that?”

“Well,” Rain said, “would you mind going there and telling them to knock it off?”

“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m in a relationship already, why-”

“Phil!” Winifred said, her eyes lighting up. “You mean it? Are we really?”

Rain sighed. “Get a room, already. Oy.”


From → 1. Volcano Rain

  1. I like your style of writing. Great job!


  2. A humorous story built on a sarcastic volcano that needs no sacrifices. Fun premise. It makes me curious, have you spent time near volcanoes?

    • I haven’t; unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your point of view) I live in an area that is volcano-free. The closest I’ve ever been was a childhood trip to Hawaii in 2000 that included the Big Island, and even then I didn’t get terribly close to a volcano, mostly water buffalo and ruins.

  3. Draug419 permalink

    D’awwwwww that’s so sweet 😀

  4. The description of the volcano god belching forth is great. Could we be nearing a solution for Rain’s problem? Let’s hope so!

    Thank you for linking up!

  5. Quirky and oh so imaginative. Really enjoyed this :)))

  6. “The lava clump shuffled about nervously.” – too funny- I could totally see this, too! Even lava clumps/volcano gods have dating troubles, it seems 🙂

  7. Sarah Ann permalink

    Love this. After all Rain’s been through I’m glad of some light relief. Would love to know what William’s thinking now!

    • This may be the last bit of light relief for a while, I expect the next bit in the story will be fairly serious…

  8. Aww, the lump of lava is all awkward and stuff! Cute 😛

    I love that there’s a lump-of-lava-man!

  9. Great work – again!

  10. KymmInBarcelona permalink

    The emerging lava, what flourish! Winnie and Phil, of course! Great story, Michael!
    btw, the way they travelled and the place they arrived reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys and Fat Charlie’s epiphany. In a good way.

    • I really need to read Neil Gaiman: I’ve heard nothing but good things. Maybe after I finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series….

  11. Hahaha! Love it. Awkward romance between Death and the Volcano. Awesome. But I hope Rain didn’t strike a bargain that will cost her too much…

    • There’s either a rock ballad or a country-western song in there. “Stand By Your Volcano Spirit…”, maybe…:D
      And I expect either this weekend, or more likely the next weekly prompt, we will learn just what Rain’s bargain cost. *ominous chord*.

  12. What a great way to introduce so many new elements into the story in such a short frame. I love that Phil thinks that they’re all crazypants for thinking he wants sacrificial women dumped into the volcano, although I do wonder if there are other Volcano Spirits as well…? Winifred was adorable when he said that they were in a relationship, so human and so girly, I loved it ;P

    • Other volcano spirits….now, there’s an interesting idea. Phil can’t be the only one out there, right? Hmm. 😀

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