30 Days of Writing—Day 4

The final 30 Days of Writing Activity I completed first thing this morning, was the activity for yesterday. I think this one is also going to double up as my second flash fiction piece for the day.

Activity 4: Choose Your Own Adventure

It’s morning, early by some standards, and I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee set carefully between my forearms as I type. One careless move, and it’ll be everywhere. Outside, the roars of the trolls have died away, as the big monsters seeking shelter in the world beyond the bridge—and I don’t mean in the park on the other side, although that’s one of their favourite hunting grounds; I mean that they pass under the bridge and through a portal to the Other Lands.
Outside the window, I can see the ornamental whatever-they-ares, bare of fruit and with their leaves turning yellow at the top. Soon I will have nothing but bare branches to protect me from the curious gazes of strangers using the walking path beyond. Soon, I will be able to see into the communal space where the trolls hunt, and then I'll be able to emerge and deal with them earlier.
Today, though? Today, I’m going to enjoy my coffee, read my email, and potter quietly around the house. I still haven’t healed from the last time I tangled with one of the Other Lands’ nasties, and the doctor’s orders to take it easy. I can do that. There’s a stack of movies and a pile of books all waiting for me to go curl up on the couch.
Oh, yeah. The trolls are asleep. There’s nothing in the email that says I need to go out, today, and I can hear the birds calling in the early light of what is going to be a thirty-degree day. It’s a perfect day for staying home and relaxing.
Just as I’m thinking that, movement catches my eye, and I glance up and out the big, glass double doors in front of me. Fantastic! I think, and not in a good way, because the elf that’s ridden out from under the bridge is someone I know, and the last person I wanted to see today… or any other, for that matter.
And he’s got an invitation to my house. I gave him that, one day, when he needed to save my life. Funny how things like that can change your mind.
I watch him ride up to the back fence, and lead his mount in over the iron drawbridge and through my back gate. I'm still staring at the back door when he arrives. He catches the scent of coffee, and his eyes light up, making my heart do a slow flip.
Honestly, I wish it would make up its mind. There was a time when I hated him, but now... well, I'm still making up my mind.
“Pot’s on the bench,” I tell him, and he frowns at me, but I’ve taught him that human males make their own goddamn coffee, and that he can do the same, lord or not - or he can go without.
“The healer wants to check your wounds,” he says, and then adds, “and I need you to be seen at my side.”
I sigh, and shut down my computer. So much for taking a day off. Duty always calls: If not in this world, then in the one next door.