by Anisa A. Claire
art by Cryptid-Creations
The door slammed, echoing down the long hallway. Ida threw her short body across the small canopied bed in the corner of the room. Cheery pink curtains hung from the slightly crooked window, and a small mushroom garden grew in colorful pots on the sill.
“Curse them with frog’s breath,” Ida muttered. “That’ll be the shining day I stay here and marry him of all gnomes. His heavily starched hat, premature graying hair and too-red-nose can take a hike right into the mountain fog for all I care.”
Weighing in at eighty-five pounds and standing just over three feet tall, Ida knew she was an attractive gnome. Her hair, still red as the tulips in her garden, hadn’t a single white strand in it. In the ninety-two years she’d been alive, all Ida ever wanted was for her parents to respect her decision to be a warrior, not a wife.
A single tear trickled from her youthful blue eyes, over her freckle-speckled cheeks, and onto the dirt floor below. One moment was all she allowed herself to mourn the loss of the only life she’d ever known. Without another thought, Ida slung her weathered ax into its holder, patting it as it fell into place on her hip.
She’d never lived anywhere except with her caring, but controlling parents. They even decorated her bedroom for her, all in pink, of course. Grabbing her staff from the wall, she stopped to take one last look at the rosy hat her mother had made for her so many years ago. In all its glory, it stood tall as a sapling, a reminder of what she was leaving behind.
“I always hated that thing,” she said, smiling. “I am Ida, daughter of Thundria. My clan, Cloudhammer, gained its name not by dressing in frills and fearing the night, but through strength and knowledge.”
Releasing a heavy sigh, Ida slid the mushroom plants to the side. Crawling onto the bed for better leverage, she heaved, pulling her thick body up on the sill. She proceeded to unroll the rope ladder hanging from the outside ledge, dropping it to the grass below..
She placed her staff to her back, pulling the straps to secure it in place. Then, bunching her cloak in her rough hands, Ida turned her body around and began her descent into the real world; one careful step at a time.
Anisa A. Claire manages property by day and is an eclectic author by night. She is also the creator and co-owner of Writer’s Carnival, a successful online community for writers. She has multiple publications in e-zines such as Long Story Short, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, The Short Humour Site, and Blood Magazine. She’s placed in, and won various contests, and completed in last year’s 3-Day Novel competition.