Recently I have struggled a little with my writing, blog or otherwise, and have decided to remedy this using Writing Prompts to inspire me. I found the below prompt here.
After the first snowfall of a year, a man who lives alone in the woods sees a giant set of footprints leading up to his barn.
Alfred woke up aching. He always did. The last twenty years had been rough, though his mind was sharp his body was broken. The ache sat deep in his bones, harsher than usual. Looking through his small, grimy window he saw why. The snow outside was thick and white, soft powder filling up half the pane and giving the light a brighter quality than he was used to. The cold always made it worse. Moving slowly, he carefully rested his feet in his slippers and used the gnarled staff by the headboard to pull himself standing. His apothecary cabinet was on the other side of the small hut he called his home and he painstakingly made his way towards it and the salvation that lay inside.
The cabinet was the only truly beautiful thing in the one-roomed hut. The copperwood held a brilliant sheen and the snowy light glinted from the carvings that littered its surface. Phoenixes, unicorns, bears, wolves, dragons, and many more – all intertwined to form a forest filled with creatures. It had been a gift from the Queen, dead now, for services to the royal family. Alfred had been raised a witch and took particularly well to healing early on. His passion took him all over the kingdom, seeking to help and seeking challenges. He had been summoned to the castle to see the young princess. He broke through the fever that surrounded her and nursed her back to her playful and curious self when all others had failed.
The key twisted easily in the well-oiled lock and Alfred was soon holding a large glass jar filled with a brilliant red liquid. It sloshed gently in its container, the oily texture creating a thin film on the glass. He soon had the lid off and took a deep swig of the potion. He could feel the liquid doing its work, warmth slowly filling his body and easing the aches brought on by sleep.
The old witch got on with his usual routine and went to wash over the kitchen sink. Shaking water off his face, he did a double take as he looked through the window. The snow should be unblemished, crisp and pure. It should not be marred with crater like holes. What on earth were they? Faster than he though possible, Alfred had layered on all his warmest clothes, tucked his feet into sturdy boots and made his way to the door. At the last second he also grabbed the ax he kept there for firewood and cautiously pushed the door open.
The cold hit him hard, biting his skin and seeping through his clothes. There were loads of the craters, all over the field surrounding his hut and barn. Coming closer he saw they were not just holes but footprints. Footprints bigger than he had ever seen in his considerable years. They resembled those of a crocodile he had once encountered in the swamplands, except the scale was huge. A man could lie in one of those footprints. Looking around, he saw that they led a winding path from the trees to his barn.
Shoving aside the fear that had begun to grip him, Alfred made his way quietly to the barn doors. He reached out a hand to pull open the slightly ajar door. A noise like a canon firing exploded from the barn, throwing him backwards as the doors blasted open. Collapsed in the snow he felt something warm ooze down his face, expecting blood he raised his hand to find the source. Instead of the deep red he expected, he found his hand covered in a dirty yellow mucus. Examining the substance, he found it to be just like snot but in bigger quantities than he had ever seen.
More curious now than scared, he stood gingerly and made his way inside the barn. The space was filled with a green, scaled beast. A dragon? He heard a slight whimper and a low, croaky voice moan, “Please don’t hurt me.” Alfred turned to the source of the pathetic plea and found himself staring into one huge golden eye. “I’m sick, can you help?”
I hope you enjoyed my story!