Flash: The Changeling Maiden

I've been watching a lot of Outlander, lately. Well, the first three seasons that were on Netflix. I'm fascinated by it mostly because of the history it explores—no really, it has nothing to do with a naked Jamie at all. Pfft. Shame on you for even thinking such a thing.


My mom's family comes from Scotland--though not from the part of the country Outlander deals with. My people are from Ayrshire county, on the Southwest coast of Scotland, across from the southern tip of the Isle of Arran. Still, my grampa was a Free Mason, and very proud to be a Scot. My granny, too, but my grampa was the one full of stories.


I grew up taking Scottish dance lessons, competing and hanging out at Scottish festivals. I read Robbie Burns and listened to the pipes and drums for fun. Still do, actually.


Watching this show has encouraged me to get back into the genealogy hunt. I'd started some years back, but it grew frustrating as it's been difficult to find much information. Thanks to 23 and Me, though, I've connected with some cousins who still live in Ayrshire and thereabouts. Hopefully they can help me fill in some of the blanks on my pedigree chart.


Anyway, I've been slacking off on writing flash fiction because I'm currently drafting Blood Moon (Minnie Kim 4), and revising Dragon Protocol for agent submission (I've got a BUNCH of requests for it already). But I've missed writing flash, and figured it would be a great "warm-up" for today. I hope you like it!


Prompt: There was a loud crash

Word Count: 250


Margaret MacKenzie had been hard at work kneading dough four hours, but now the sun shone bright and beckoning through the open kitchen door. If she were a good girl, she’d begin preparations for lunch.


But Margaret was rarely a good girl.


And wasn’t that what everyone loved about her? Her wild nature? Her free spirit?


She threw the damp cheese cloth over her bowls of dough and stepped outside, directly into a beam of sunlight.


There was a loud crash behind her, and Margaret whirled to see Cook standing in the doorway, a shattered clay bowl and tangle of root vegetables at her feet.


Cook crossed herself before pointing an accusatory finger at Margaret. “I knew ya were a changeling. And I told Mistress, the truth of it.”


Margaret held out her hands to soothe the older woman and saw for herself what had given her away. “Oh, dear.” She turned her hands and exposed forearms, watching her skin glint and shine as if a million stars were embedded there. She tsked, then returned her attention to the cook, who was slowly backing away.


“I do wish ye had’na seen that,” Margaret cooed to the old woman. “It’s a secret, see. An’ I cannae allow you to alert my parents.”


“Wha-what’ll ya do ta me?” Cook asked in a high, trembling voice.


Margaret crept closer, and closer, still. When she was but a breath from the woman, she lifted both hands and whispered, “Boo!”


And Cook fainted dead away.

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You've seen my descent.
Now watch my rising.
~ Rumi