Gaia’s Child

Writing Prompt: Urban Fantasy

UrbanFantasy

One gloomy, cloud-covered day in the small town of Callahan, a tree sprite leapt out in front of Auntie Yolanda. It chittered angrily in treespeak, waving twig arms like an orchestra conductor. It obviously had some urgent need, a warning of some cosmic event that might shatter the world.

Auntie Yolanda rolled her eyes and walked right past it.

She was too old for this sort of nonsense. She was pushing sixty now, battered mentally and physically by years of conflict. She didn’t fancy fighting an oil bogle today, or a mirror bogle, or any bogle, really.

The sprite wobbled after her, legs flailing like thin stilts. It stood to her knees, and no one else could see it — at least, no one without Gaia’s blessing — but Auntie Yolanda was certain it would give up soon. How it had managed to keep a single thought in its head for even this long spoke of its urgency.

The sprite still followed when she reached her modest little home, or not her home, precisely. It was a pleasant single-story with a decently maintained lawn and a picket fence. This was a common house available to all who served Gaia, but Auntie Yolanda was currently its only occupant.

She had come to Callahan to get away from the endless war between Gaia and the bogles who plagued Gaia’s children. She had come to end her years playing Bingo, and watching returns, and feeding stray cats. An ordinary life for an ordinary woman.

Yet Auntie Yolanda was not ordinary, and this sprite sensed that. It whooshed into the home like a falling leaf. It wouldn’t stop chittering, and eventually, Auntie Yolanda knew, she would have to do something about that.

She put a kettle on the stove. She sat and read today’s paper as the tree sprite wobbled about on her table, relating harrowing tales. Once the kettle whistled, Auntie Yolanda poured herself some tea, flavored it with honey, and sat on the worn orange couch. The cushions were covered in cat hair.

“All right, all right,” Auntie Yolanda said. “I’m listening, little one. What’s the emergency?”

The chittering began again, and this time, Auntie Yolanda listened. She tuned out the sounds of the real world and listened for the world beneath it, the secret world that existed beneath what everyone else could see. She nodded, and grimaced, and took one more sip of her honeyed tea.

“Well,” Auntie Yolanda said. “That certainly is an emergency.”

The tree sprite chittered something snarky at her.

“Settle down, little one.” Auntie Yolanda sipped her tea. “Just let me finish this cup.”

They had time. She would call a taxi, because Callahan was big for a small town.

The taxi arrived twenty minutes later, long after her tea was done. The cabbie, a large man with a big smile, greeted her with a wave and a “How’s your day been?”  Auntie Yolanda offered only a token pleasantry before stating her destination and staring out the window.

The tree sprite hopped in beside her — it was a surprisingly single-minded little thing — and they drove across town to Sadie Parker’s sagging white rancher. It was one of several houses off Service Road 80, a path untraveled by most. It was closer to nature than any house in Callahan, which explained things.

“This the place?” her cabbie asked.

“Yes.” Auntie Yolanda paid the man.

“Your granddaughter live here?” Apparently, this particularly cabbie enjoyed awkward conversations.

“No.” Auntie Yolanda stepped out into the cold and drizzle. “Have a safe trip home, young man.”

She stood on the lawn until he drove off. Only then did she walk toward the run-down rancher, tree sprite dogging her heels. She climbed the creaky, peeling steps. She knocked on the battered front door.

Floors creaked, and then the door opened a crack. A frazzled woman who looked to be in her mid-thirties peeked past the door chain. “Yes?”

The tree sprite whooshed in through the door crack, chittering happily and bouncing around the room. It had a strong attachment to this place, Auntie Yolanda saw now. A strong attachment to this little girl.

Auntie Yolanda smiled and breathed out Gaia’s breath. “Your daughter is very sick.”

Sadie Parker’s mother stiffened when Auntie Yolanda said that, but only for a moment. Gaia’s breath was a powerful relaxant. Soon enough, the younger woman unchained her door and invited Auntie Yolanda inside.

“I’m Jessica,” Jessica Parker said, in a way that implied she wasn’t quite awake just now. “And yes, poor Sadie has been ill for the past few weeks. We’re saving for a doctor visit.”

“Is she in her room now?” Auntie Yolanda asked.

“She’s sleeping.”

“I’d like to see her.”

“Okay.” Jessica led her down the hall with slightly drunken steps.

The tree sprite knew the way, obviously, yet it hesitated outside Sadie Parker’s door. It bounced from stilt leg to stilt leg, chittering angrily. A bogle drunk off a child’s energy would be sluggish in the daytime, unlikely to stir for a tasty tree sprite, but the tree sprite couldn’t be sure of that. The fact that it would wander this close to its primary predator told Auntie Yolanda just how much it loved Sadie Parker.

“Could you get me a glass of water, dear?” Auntie Yolanda asked.

“Of course,” Jessica said. They both waited.

“Now, if you don’t mind.”

“Yes.” Jessica turned slowly. “I’ll see if I can find some ice.”

Auntie Yolanda took a moment to center herself before bracing what waited inside. She traced the tiny ley lines stitched into her wrinkled palms with her thumbs. She traced glyphs of protection on her heart, mind, and loins. She stepped into the darkened bedroom and wrinkled her nose at the stench.

Normal people couldn’t smell a bogle, but people like her couldn’t stop smelling them. Its stench was an ancient stench, like pitch bubbling in a methane swamp. Sadie Parker’s eight-year-old form breathed fitfully in her little bed, covers pulled to her chin. Her eyes twitched, and sweat rolled down her brow.

Auntie Yolanda stood silently and let her eyes adjust. Once the room was twilight, she swept its length for possibilities. It was obvious the Parkers didn’t have much, but what they had, they spent on their daughter. Stuffed animals had no wood in them, so those were out. The xylophone had wood, but not enough, and though the desk and chair seemed perfect, those were too obvious for a crafty bogle.

Her eyes fixed on the wooden monkey atop Sadie’s tall bookshelf, a battered representation of See No Evil. Hear and Speak were missing. It was likely Sadie found the monkey while walking, or riding her bike, or in her backyard. That was how bogles entered a home, as innocuous objects discovered by chance.

Its hateful mind shrieked into hers before Auntie Yolanda could glyph anything.

She gasped as the bogle’s unexpected attack tore open her surface thoughts. It wriggled about inside her head, lashing out madly at memories of Auntie Yolanda’s own daughter, and her dead husband, and her parents and friends. It, too, could smell Gaia’s blessing, and that smell made it vengeful and mean.

Auntie Yolanda took a step as her head pounded. She took another as her palms bled. She felt her heart slow and her lungs swell, but she kept walking. This old body still had a few years of fight left.

She fell to her knees at the bookshelf, glaring at See No Evil. The boggle taunted and tormented her, just out of reach. She pulled herself up with a trembling arm. She stretched out one hand as the bogle chewed on her good memories, polluting, corrupting, distorting.

One of her bleeding fingers glowed green. When she touched the wooden monkey, it vanished with a hellish shriek. The smell vanished.

Auntie Yolanda collapsed against the bookshelf, sucking in deep breaths. So much for pushing sixty. She felt at least seventy now. Maybe seventy-two.

Jessica Parker entered the room and gasped. She hurried over, water in hand. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, dear.” Auntie Yolanda glanced at Sadie Parker, who breathed evenly in her bed. “I’d like that water now, if you don’t mind.”

Jessica handed it to her. Auntie Yolanda drank. When she was done, she handed the empty glass back and watched the tree sprite climb into bed with the little girl it loved.

“Sadie will be fine now,” Auntie Yolanda told Jessica.

“Really?” Jessica didn’t question that, because you didn’t question things while in a dream.

“When she tells you about the little sprites who live here,” Auntie Yolanda said, “believe her.”

“How did you…” Jessica blinked. “How do you know about her imaginary friends?”

“They aren’t imaginary,” Auntie Yolanda said, “any more than I am. When Sadie turns fourteen, send her to 10 Roanake Way, across town. I’ll be waiting. I’ll teach her everything.”

“All right,” Jessica said.

From the bed, Sadie Parker’s tree sprite chittered encouragement.

THE END

About the Story:

Our theme for the month was urban fantasy, and  naturally, my mind immediately went to my favorite urban fantasy to this day, Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks. This story takes a great deal of inspiration from that book and that world. While I haven’t written any real urban fantasy (yet) it was a fun exercise and feels like a world I might want to revisit some day.

photo credit: pontesrocs <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/134177452@N02/32832584952″>Masure</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Advertisements

Vengeance, of a Sort

Writing Prompt: Dragons

DragonsWordpress

The man’s skin showed he hadn’t been dead long — maybe a day — and Sekia recognized him. He was Darhold from Manner’s Ford. He had come for the king’s bounty and had his legs torn off instead.

Sekia’s own legs trembled, her spear and shield heavy in her hands, as she stepped over half a dead man. She stared up the rise leading to Rothalvor’s cave. Her brother’s armor felt too big for her, and its worn padding chafing her skin, but it was warded and fireproof — or so he claimed, before he died in it.

Collecting the king’s bounty on Rothalvor would never bring her father and brother back, but it would make her feel better about losing them. Maybe. The thought that she might die and make her mother’s grief worse hadn’t seemed real until this moment, as she stared at half of Darhold and wondered where his other half had gone. Probably devoured. Probably dragon shit by now.

She should go back. She should tear off this armor and sprint away like a startled rabbit. She should, but she wouldn’t. Sekia was here to kill a dragon, and running away while tearing your own armor off wasn’t how you did that. The comforting words of old Mayer, the retired constable who trained her with bows and spears, echoed in Sekia’s mind.

Shield toward your opponent, always. Stay low. Walk no matter how much you want to run. Only throw if your opponent is running straight at you.

Good advice for fighting bandits. Good for fighting an angry wolf filled with arrows, when it decided it didn’t want to die until it ate your throat. But a dragon? There was no good advice for fighting a dragon. She’d just have to muddle through and hope she didn’t die making a fool of herself.

Walking, not running, meant it took her a good while to reach the entrance to the cave. Sekia braced herself for a deafening roar as she crossed the threshold, a burst of fire that would heat her brother’s magically-warded armor as she crouched, teeth gritted, behind her shield. No roar or fire came, and she knew then how Rothalvor planned to kill her.

He was going to make her walk herself to death.

Sekia walked as the cave descended and water dripped. She walked until she found the great dragon Rothalvor curled around a pile of treasure. The dragon was a winding tree branch of endless brown scales. He might be a snake, if he wasn’t long enough to wrap around her house three times over. Rothalvor opened one foggy yellow eye and snorted.

That single eye rolled as steam rose from the nostrils in the dragon’s triangular head. That eye watched her as she advanced, cowering behind her shield. The dragon was practically daring her to throw a spear she knew, now, would bounce right off those thick scales.

“Well,” Rothalvor said, in a voice that grated like rocks over other rocks. “Get on with it.”

Sekia had not known the dragon could speak like a human — the bounty didn’t mention that — and his greeting startled her. She slipped as she stepped onto a carpet of gold coins of countless sizes and shapes. She kept her balance just well enough to not completely drop her shield.

The cavern shook as coins bounced in all directions. Rothalvor slithered off his giant pile of treasure, an avalanche of teeth and steam and scales. Sekia dropped to her knees, planted her shield, and set herself to throw.

Rothalvor skidded to a stop ahead of her and reared up, towering over her. A single black scale below his head fell open, revealing a red and beating heart. “Throw well, human.”

Sekia didn’t toss her spear. She wanted to, desperately, but none of this made any Gods damned sense. She hated things that made no sense, which is why she had done so poorly in philosophy.

“You…” Sekia hated how small her voice sounded. “You want me to kill you?”

“Dense,” Rothalvor agreed. “You humans always did strike me as dense.”

“You killed my father.” Sekia’s voice grew. “You charred him and my brother like mutton, you sick, sadistic, wormthing!”

“Yes, yes, I murdered your family.” Rothalvor stomped one back foot, and more gold coins tumbled like sand down a dune. “As your hunters slaughtered my daughter. What of it, human? We all kill. Get killing.”

Sekia could not throw until she understood. “Your daughter?”

Rothalvor lunged, and Sekia tossed on blind instinct. The dragon’s beating heart filling her vision. Her spear struck true, penetrating beating flesh in a shower of steaming blood.

Rothalvor roared a deafening roar. Some of his black blood spattered her armguard, steaming and hissing, and Sekia shrieked and tumbled over backward. She struggled with the armguard, tearing off one glove and then tearing at the straps. Her warded, unmeltable armor melted. She ripped the armguard off just in time to avoid losing her arm.

“There.” Rothalvor shuddered as his body collapsed like a sock kite falling to earth. “Well tossed.”

Sekia rose, trembling, and threw down her shield. It was obvious she didn’t need it any longer. She shouted the words that had been clawing their way up since the dragon first spoke. “Why did you want me to kill you?”

Rothalvor bared dozens of long white teeth. “Vengeance.”

“For what?”

“My Aranara was a crown jewel among dragons, the best of us, graceful and sleek and pure. She was meat to your king’s hunters. They lured her in and slaughtered her like a common pig.”

Sekia knew then that might be true. She knew her father and brother died on a noble mission for a king. She knew Rothalvor killed them — knew, because a few survivors told the tale — but she also knew the king’s men triumphantly killed another dragon that day, a smaller dragon, an ally of Rothalvor’s. Or his only daughter.

“Your king,” and Rothalvor coughed blackish blood, “believes he no longer needs us. He believes he can have all his treasure back, that blind fool.” Rothalvor’s body shook as he laughed. “Stupid humans.”

“I’m stupid?” Sekia trembled with rage that felt misdirected. “I’m not the one with a spear in my heart!”

“Fraust is coming for you,” Rothalvor whispered. “So long as I lived, I balked him. That was our pact, mine and your king’s, until your king’s greed overcame his common sense. When I die, my territory dies with me.”

“Fraust?” That name squeaked out of Sekia’s mouth, because it was a name few dared speak aloud. The refugees from the northern kingdoms whispered the great ice dragon’s name like a curse. The king assured them Fraust was a dragon of pure ice, unable to tolerate the southern climate, and Sekia believed their king, then.

“Go home, puny human,” Rothalvor whispered. “Go home and cower.” His body trembled for the absolute last time. “Go … die…”

Sekia did go, eventually. But the walk home took a whole lot longer than the walk to the cave.

* * *

“Sekia!”

Sekia squinted and wrapped the pillow around her ears. Her fresh bed in Mayer’s all but empty inn felt harder than she liked.

“Sekia!” the voiced shouted again, shrill and exited.

It was that annoying girl who worked for Mayer, Ane something. Anebel or Anebeth. Sekia would remember if her head wasn’t pounding from last night’s mead.

“Come look!” Anesomething grabbed Sekia’s hands and pulled her from the bed. “It’s a miracle! You’ve brought a miracle down upon us!” Gods, this woman could haul a horse around.

“What?” Sekia blinked as reality suffocated her.

What happened last night was no dream. Rothalvor was real. That spear in his heart was real. His horrifying last words were real, but they were just a hateful lie to taint her victory, a bluff from a defeated foe.

Ana-whateverhenamewas dragged Sekia off. She followed, but only because fighting might send them both tumbling down the stairs. They burst from the inn together, and Sekia only then realized she was still in her smallclothes. Goosebumps rose on Sekia’s arms.

“It’s a miracle,” Mayer whispered, staring up at the cold gray sky. He lifted a hand and caught one of the many glittering snowflakes descending from the heavens. “Your miracle, Sekia.” Mayer smiled, proud as her father might be if he was still alive. “The Gods cry over your victory.”

As the goosebumps spread, as Sekia stared up at falling snow in the middle of a warm summer, a chill took her. That great chill was colder than knowing how her father and brother died. It was the chill her mother, her village, and her kingdom would all feel soon, as they froze and died together.

Fraust was coming.

And Sekia couldn’t even find the tears to cry.

THE END

About the Story:

I’ve actually never written a single story about dragons, before this one. They’re one of the most iconic creatures in fantasy, and that may be why I’ve shied away from them for so long. It just feels like everything that can be done with dragons has been done with dragons, but dragons was our writing prompt, so I did what I could with it!

Ultimately, this story came together very quickly once the name of the great ice dragon popped into my head (Fraust, LOL) and once I hit upon the idea dragons of staking out their territories (or losing them to other dragons, upon death) Rothalvor’s vengeful plot became clear.

photo credit: garryknight <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8176740@N05/16692987962″>Chinese New Year London 2015 – 08</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Patent Pending

Writing Prompt: Time Travel to 1750

1750

“All rise!” The bailiff’s shout announced the arrival of Judge Miller, ruler of Delaware’s small court.

Bill Demidov stood among people wearing everything from moth-eaten suits to threadbare rags. The judge, a short man in a long powdered wig, entered and sat. Bill swallowed his nervousness. It wasn’t every day you filed a patent application that changed your life.

To his left, a woman in soot-stained clothes coughed into a handkerchief. Behind him, Bill sensed workers from the factories and canneries eying his fine clothes and judging him. Thinking him soft.

He was not soft. All these people had to deal with was other immigrants and low wages. They had never labored under a hot sun on an island farming camp.

“Be seated!” the bailiff boomed, and Bill sat with the others in a massive creaking of seats.

The courtroom was drafty, the windows frosted. To Bill, the very idea of “cold” was bizarre — in his time, the tiny islands remaining on Earth no longer experienced “cold” — but he knew he didn’t like it. Cold was annoying. It chewed on your skin and made your insides hurt.

If all went right today, he would never return to the cramped working islands of 2182. People presented claims as Bill toyed with his pocketwatch that wasn’t a pocketwatch. The reason he was here.

Two tenants accused each other of stealing firewood. One man accused another of misrepresenting the age of a packhorse who dropped dead. A woman in fine clothes claimed another stole her prize hunting dog. Through it all, Judge Miller listened, questioned, and dispensed justice.

Before the judge got to his case, Bill heard the double doors at the back of the courtroom creak open. He turned with many others to evaluate the newcomer. Who was coming into the courtroom late?

It was a tall, thin man with gold-rimmed glasses and a fancy suit. He eyed those in the room like one would eye a paddock of growcows, then sat on the edge of a bench. Probably some rich man’s lawyer.

“Bill Garrison!” The bailiff’s voice boomed. “Approach the bench!”

Bill stood. This was the day he finalized his patent application, the single most important event in his sad life. He couldn’t screw this up, could he? The patent was reviewed and approved. This was a formality.

Bill approached the bench clutching his own small suitcase. All he had to do was present the paperwork and get the judge to approve it, and then he would have his patent. He would finally be rich.

“You have your paperwork in order?” Miller asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Bill said, reaching for his briefcase.

“Ah, uh, excuse me.” The man with the gold-rimmed glasses stood. “May I approach?”

“Why?” Miller sounded bored.

“My client, a Mister Franklin of Philadelphia, wishes to contest the patent filed by Bill Garrison.”

Bill’s heart sank. How was this possible? How had Franklin even learned he was here?

“Approach,” Miller said. “This might actually be interesting.”

“Your honor,” Bill started, but Miller raised a hand to shush him.

“Your name,” Miller demanded.

“Thomas File, sir.”

“Why are you in my court today, Mister File?”

“It is my contention,” File said, narrowing his eyes behind his thick lenses, “that Bill Garrison, a former employee of Mister Franklin’s, stole Mister Franklin’s work.”

“Now hold on!” Bill said, as that was ludicrous. “I never worked for Benjamin Franklin.” Two years in this muddy backward time was more than enough. “I’ve never even met him. Whatever this man claims—”

“Mister Franklin has been researching his pointed lightning rod conductor for more than four years,” File said, “and I have correspondence dating back to 1746. You first filed your patent in 1748, did you not?”

“Still filed before you,” Bill said, his stubborn streak kicking in. “If anyone stole anything, he stole my idea.” That was almost true.

File opened his briefcase. “Your honor, here is a diagram Mister Franklin drew for his invention. Note the date and details.”

The bailiff passed the document to Miller, who squinted and frowned. “What is this, a weathervane?”

“It’s a lightning rod!” Bill said, because he couldn’t let this frustrating little man steal his idea — or rather, his idea to steal this idea. “It protects buildings from lightning by channeling it to the ground, instead!”

“If you would kindly compare Mister Franklin’s diagram to that provided by Mister Garrison,” File said.

“What?” Bill frowned at him.

“You will find them identical,” File said.

For the first time, Bill smiled. This man was just making things up! The lightning rod design was his own — he had drawn it based on designs on the worker tents — which meant File had no case.

“That’s completely untrue.” Bill opened his briefcase and produced his diagrams. “If you’ll review my design, your honor, you’ll clearly see … that…”

Bill stared at the papers. The papers that weren’t his papers. These were Benjamin Franklin’s originals.

What were they doing in his briefcase?

The bailiff plucked the papers from his hands before Bill could do anything more than gawk.

“Now wait a minute,” Bill said, but Miller was already comparing. “Your honor, those aren’t mine!”

“That’s obvious,” Miller said, shaking his head. “Next time you steal your boss’s idea, Mister Garrison, you might consider blotting out the initials.”

“But I didn’t—”

“Your patent claim is denied.” Miller hammered his gavel. “Mister File, are you bringing charges?”

“No, your honor,” File said.

“You sure?” Miller looked dubious. “Didn’t he steal your client’s design?”

“In my client’s opinion, justice has been served.” File closed his briefcase and bowed his head.

“Very well,” Miller said. He glanced at his bailiff. “Next case!”

Bill hurried after File, who was already leaving. He caught up with the man outside the courtroom, grabbing his arm. “How did you do that?”

File pulled his arm away. “Do what, Mister Garrison?”

“How did you sneak those papers into my briefcase?”

Gradually, File’s flat face curved into a satisfied smile. “You really should be more careful with your things, Mister Demidov.” He produced a silver pocketwatch that wasn’t a pocketwatch. A pocketwatch just like Bill’s.

Bill gasped as the man used his real name. “You’re from…”  He lowered his voice. “The future?”

“Did you really think you could steal from one of the most well-known personalities of the 1700s?”

“He stole the lightning rod design from my ancestor!” Bill said, standing up straight. “Akinfiy Demidov designed the lightning rod years before Franklin filed his patent!”

“You can’t change the timeline because Benjamin Franklin beat your ancestor to court.”

“But he stole the design first!” Garrison said. “Who sent you?”

“Who do you think sent me?”

“No one knows how to build time machines! I only developed the design two years ago!”

“And your first action, having invented time travel, was to try to conduct patent fraud?”

Bill grimaced. “It was a first step! Did you steal my design?”

“Your design,” File said, “was uncovered in 2294, over one hundred years after you mysteriously escaped from your island work camp.” File opened a pocketwatch with luminous numbers and dials that looked much nicer than Bill’s own, primitive time machine. “We have, of course, made improvements.”

“But how?” Bill demanded. “I only left two years ago!”

“You must understand, Mister Garrison, that once time travel was invented, the concept of ‘years’ became irrelevant. Once we could defend the timestream, we would always defend the timestream.”

“What do you mean, defend the timestream?”

“Two-hundred forty years after you invented your device, President Ivanapolos founded the Bureau of Time Management to stop plots just like yours. Our experts believe tampering with the established timeline is simply too dangerous.”

“People know I designed a time machine?” Perhaps his fortune could be made in the future, not the past. “I’m famous?” Bill felt hope again.

“Your name is now taught in all orbital universities. You are known across the solar system, Mister Demidov, as the inventor of time travel.”

Bill couldn’t believe it. “Am I rich in the future?” Could this all be true?

“No, Mister Demidov.” File clicked his pocketwatch. “You are in jail.”

Bill blinked. “Huh?”

“Timestream tampering is punishable by life in prison,” File said, and that’s when the world dissolved.

When it returned, Bill’s word was a small cell with a soft-looking bed, a tiny window overlooking a blue planet covered in water, and a single metal toilet. Bill’s pocketwatch was gone. So was Mister File.

“Wait a minute!” Bill shouted. “You can’t do this to me! I’m the inventor of time travel!”

Vents hissed as gas filled the room, and then Bill didn’t feel upset. He felt happy. His little white cell was the best little white cell in the world.

He settled on his bed, took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. He dreamed of warm skies and open seas. For the first time since he’d been born, he was content.

He forgot all about his time machine.

THE END

About the Story:

I’ve actually never written a time travel story due to the glaring scientific problems with it, not the least of which is the Earth, its solar system, and everything else moves in space, so most time travel stories would end up with you sucking vacuum. Historical fiction is one of my least favorite genres, soinitially, I wasn’t excited about this month’s theme at all. However, after toying with time travel plots, I did like the idea of someone using time travel to file a patent application before the original owner. It was silly and petty enough that I hadn’t seen it elsewhere, and then I just needed to find a patent.

After doing some cursory Google research on inventions patented near 1750, I came across the history of the “pointed lightning rod conductor” and the various claims about it’s inventor (whether Afinfiy Demidov or Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea first or independently) and found the perfect subject for my patent claim. Obviously, I’m sure this story is rife with historical inaccuracies (another reason I don’t write historical fiction often is because I am lazy :p) but I hope it was entertaining nonetheless.

Photo Credit: Tadie88 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/68748051@N06/32742605572″>26.01.17 Flash Gun..</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;