Story A Day Challenge – Day 11 – One Yellow Weed

Today’s prompt didn’t completely work for me. It involved the premise from a well-known (not by me) novel. I had a few ideas but I felt they were too obvious and I think we all know by now that’s not something I find acceptable. What I decided to do with it was use a character from a story I’ve been working on (on and off). It fits the prompt a bit.

One Yellow Weed

Drae noticed the flower on accident. Though it was brightly colored, her eyes were focused straight ahead. Just get through the field and everything will be okay she told herself. It took almost tripping over her own feet for her to look at the ground.

She brushed her dark hair out of her eyes and noticed before her a bright yellow misshapen flower. The petals were barely hanging on and the entire plant drooped, but it was alive. The horror in front of Drae lost her interest as she stared at the flower. How strange to find something living in this field of death and decay. It was one ugly, normally unwanted weed but somehow it gave her hope.

Drae turned her attention back to the task that brought her to the field. When she squinted she could almost see the building the survivors called HQ. All she had to do was get inside. First she had to cross the damned field.

Arrayed before her were more than a hundred ghosts. Each glared at her with hatred, but none came too close. She knew they sensed she’d already been possessed and she was anathema to them. For added insurance she’d slathered a paste consisting mostly of iron powder and salt over her entire body. Even getting within a few feet of her would burn the shades.

She didn’t know how they could stay in the area when the ground had clearly been sown with salt, but she supposed the presence of so many of the living was enough of a draw to overcome the discomfort they must have felt. Drae hoped they weren’t so accustomed to the pain that her protections would still keep the spirits at bay.

Glancing down at her feet she thought about the flower and how it came to attention. Keeping her gaze straight ahead could be a bad idea so she looked at the ground and started walking. When she made it through this hell she would tell the leaders she was taking over. Once they knew who she was there would be much debate and dissent. After all, the blame for the deaths of two-thirds of the human population rested on her shoulders. She was the one who started the Ghost War.

The Prompt

A person just starting out in their field takes a prestigious, entry-level position in a big city, but the result is not as perfect or exciting as they imagined.
(The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath)

Okay so it only barely goes with the prompt. Since Drae is about to take over the resistance, it could be argued this is her first day on the job. The job will be much harder than she can possibly imagine and she will have to do things she never dreamed she would be capable of. She won’t have the option of making good choices. She’ll have to choose from the best of bad options. I think this will be the story I work on for Nanowrimo since it has my attention so fully at the moment.

Rough draft 378


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