Flash Fiction Challenge: Fire-Owls, Magic Bands, Wizard Vans, Otter Gods


This story is a submission to Chuck Wendig‘s weekly writing challenge. This week we draw from these tweets for inspiration.



Yodels Atop the Mountain Peak

loopgamer

“YODELAYHEE!!!” they say in unison.

I dive behind a nearby boulder, cutting off the line of sight between the demons and me. I curl up in a ball and dig my fingers in my ears, but I know it will do little. My ears are already ringing, deafened by the scores of yodelers atop the boulders and nestled above in the mountainside’s nooks. I brace myself and pray this boulder is big enough.

“HOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

A wave of energy crashes down upon me, wrapping around the boulder, casting small stones and brush down the mountain, they crumble as they fall. I can hear the boulder cracking. Smaller ones are disintegrating all around me. I know it won’t hold up. I want to run, but I can’t. This boulder is all that keeps me in one piece. A crack becomes visible. I watch as it trails down the boulder, branching off in every direction. Just short of the boulder crumbling, the wave thins out and dissipates. Now’s my chance.

I pull my fingers from my ears and rise to my feet. A deep furrow has been carved into the mountainside between the yodelers and me, splitting into two smaller furrows at the boulder. The furrows steam, and the boulder that shielded me is red hot. A horn bellows, and I see the head yodeler, a pale-skinned, squat little man in green suspenders, readying to blow into the alpenhorn again. He is far out of reach. His minions, identical in appearance except for the red hue of their skin, puff their chests out, throw their heads back, and begin a deep inhale, vortexes of air and energy forming from their lips. It’s only a matter of time before their next attack is ready. I must retrieve my satchel.

I look up the mountainside towards a small shelf where I had set up camp. There my satchel dangles from a dead tree that juts out of a crack in the cliff face. The lead yodeler sees me eyeing it, and lets out a short blurp on the horn. The minion closest to the bag ceases his inhale and runs toward the bag, going from boulder to boulder with surefooted bounds. I race him there.

I meet him at the bag shortly after he arrives. His small stature is his downfall as he struggles to reach my satchel, giving me time to grab him by the collar and throw him from the shelf. He screams and slams into the earth below, exploding into a puff of smoke that rises and flows towards the alpenhorn. I glance back up towards the rest of them, their vortexes slowing, their bellies looking full. My time runs short. I rummage through my bag, looking for something I can use.

I pull from the satchel a blade fashioned from the beak of a legendary eagle named Mistress Murderbeak, whose name now lives on in the blade itself. It is magical, and I try my best to remember the incantation that evokes its powers.

“BLERAHH ARG FNNNY!”

Nothing. The vortexes are now coming to a stop. The minion’s bellies are full and steam rises from them. I dig deep in my memory, trying to remember the words of the old man who gave the blade to me.

“ARRGHH BLERAHH FNNNY… FNNYY ARRGG BLERAHH!”

Still nothing. The lead yodeler begins playing the rhythm that signaled the last blast. No large boulders are within reach. The minions, once again in unison, begin the yodel.

“YODELAYHEEEEEE!”

“FNNNYAAAARGHHHRBLERAAAH!” I say as a last resort.

The blade grows hot. Beams of light shoot out in every direction. It forces free from my grip, and begins floating in front of me, growing brighter and brighter, blinding me.

“HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

Sound and energy streams blast from the minions — converging upon each other, they travel right at me. The sound of an eagle cuts through the yodel, and before I know it, I am in the air, flying up the mountainside toward the lead yodeler and his alpenhorn. I look up, and see the golden specter of an eagle, her talons wrapped around my shoulders. It drops me yards away from the lead yodeler and then dives down, beak first at the alpenhorn. It crashes into it, erupting into a brilliant explosion, blasting the lead yodeler back and on his arse, setting a chain reaction of poofing minions until just the lead yodeler and I remain.

He is too focused on gathering the pieces of his alpenhorn to give me the attention I deserve. He doesn’t begin to scramble away until I extend my arm to grab him. I have no words for him. I toss him from the mountainside. He slams into the earth like the other had, but does not turn to smoke. He lay sprawled and splattered on the rocks below.

I savor the peace and quiet.

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