Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used the following prompt: “Oh, this should be good.”
Watching my hand disappear had a strange effect on me. Or maybe it was that part of me remained here, whereas my hand was... somewhere else. I jerked it back and held it up. I moved my trembling fingers and swallowed. They looked okay but really, what did I expect? Chopped digits? Aliens gnawing at my fingers?
I cast a glance at Shane, who withdrew his paw as well. He gazed at me expectantly. I stared at my hand, formed a fist, and willed my churning stomach to quit acting like such a pansy.
“It won't hurt, right?”
Shane shook his head. He inched closer to the fluctuating surface. How long would he be able to win the battle against his impatience? After all, he must want to shift back into human-form more than I wanted him to, and I really wanted him back.
“Can I carry you?” I asked, clenching my hands to fists at my side.
Shane barked and jumped up at me, his tail wagging from side to side like a small propeller. The knot in my stomach loosened up a tad. If only the damn churning would stop, then I might be fine. No such luck, though.
I picked up Shane and cradled him in my arms. He nudged his cold nose against mine. I forced a smile on my face, then took a step toward the portal. I murmured, “Oh, this should be good.”
After closing my eyes, I walked right into the portal. At first nothing felt different, but then a spiraling motion set in. I lost all sense of direction and clutched Shane closer to me. Icy needles pricked my skin, causing me to duck my head, and hope for our journey to end soon.
“There you are!” A deep bass voice exclaimed.
I opened my eyes and jumped backward. A giant of a man, clothed in a brown robe, snatched my wrist and pulled me toward him, snarling, “Watch it!”
Before I had a chance to come up with a reply, he swiveled me around, pointing at the collapsing portal. Well, the outer frame still stood there, but the fluctuating surface was gone.
“Never stay close to a collapsing portal. You don't know where you might end,” the man rumbled.
“I-I didn't know that,” I said in a high-pitched voice.
“That much was obvious.” He grabbed my shoulders and turned me to face him. Dark brown eyes scrutinized me from a bearded face. “First time?”
The man clapped a hand on my back, pushing me forward several feet. My back turned into a solid patch of heat, but I had no breath left to say anything. Shane didn't suffer from the same condition, and barked like mad.
“Oh! I'm so sorry! I apologize profusely! I didn't mean you any harm,” the man rambled as he knelt in front of me, cupping my face in his ginormous hands.
“'s fine,” I wheezed.
“Are you sure?”
I gave a half-hearted shrug. I wasn't sure of much anymore, but if he felt better believing I was fine, so be it. The man reached out for Shane, who bounced right against the giant's broad chest. He caught him deftly, flipped Shane on his back, and rubbed his belly.
He cast me an amused glance when he said, “He's a pretty thing.”
Shane thumped his tail and snorted.
“Are you talking about me?” I asked, slightly taken aback, which might have had to do with the lingering burning sensation on my skin. How could one clap have such a lasting effect?
“I'm Silvion, by the way, and since you're the only pretty thing in a ten-mile radius, yes, I was talking about you. Shane has taste, I'll give him that. Not much brain, though.”
I laughed out loud.