The Floating Festival – A fantasy short story

Participating in the Writer’s Games last year taught me so much about my writing habits in the short span of a month and gave me tons of great material to work with – even though I was only able to submit one practice story. Since most of the stories I wrote were really close to being finished, I now have a whole basket of brand new stories sitting by for The Drabbles of a Dreamer Vol. 2, which I’m hoping to publish later this year. I liked the premise of another story so much that I’ll be submitting it to a competition soon – beta readers are scouring through it right now! (And if you’re interested in beta reading some of the other exciting new works I’m coming out with this year, you can read all about it here!)

I’m really intrigued by yet another story that I didn’t get too close to finishing. The prompt was simply characters exploring a festival, so instantly, I began wondering how I could make a festival unique. I came up with the idea of a floating festival – and actually, the reason why the festival floats is important to the plot of the story, but you’ll just have to follow my published works to find out more about that later.

For now, here’s an excerpt from this untitled story. I’m usually not great at remembering to describe scenes in my stories because I have a very vivid visual imagination (say that three times fast) – meaning I can see scenes so clearly in my head that I just forget to detail them. For me, everything is already there! But in this story, I tried hard at the beginning to focus on descriptions. Let me know what you think!

. . .

The wind blew fiercely like an extension of the island ahead, greeting its guests with playful gusts that tousled hair and lessened the intensity of the harsh sun above. Celia Greyson felt gladder than ever that she’d decided to cut her hair short before the green grass had turned to dry brown under the cruel taskmaster of summer. Back home, the summers were bad enough. But out here, in the warm, muggy, tropical climate, her clothes stuck to her skin like they were tying to become part of her. 

Celia closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Salt. Fish. Oil. Sugar. A myriad of smells filtered through her nostrils and came to rest on her tongue. She tasted the delicacies of her childhood: fried fish on a stick and “spider’s webs,” among other things. How long had it been since she’d last indulged in such frivolities?

Though she hadn’t seen the festival since she had young eyes, it felt familiar. Despite herself, that old excitement bubbled up within her. For up ahead was a sight famous across the three continents, renown throughout the world. Beasts of all kinds traveled from the ends of the earth just to be here and see the massive island full of wonders, every inch displaying some kind of fantastic distraction. From children’s rides and games to food stalls and livestock contests, the skyline against the fading daylight was truly a sight to behold. Celia took a deep breath to calm her mind. Today wasn’t a day for games and sweets, but a clear and focused mind.

To prove it, she tore her gaze from the Floating Festival and scanned the calm ocean surrounding her…

. . .

If you liked the start of this story, check out The Drabbles of the Dreamer, my short story collection! It’s full of flash fiction that’s fun, fantastical, and quick to read. And be on the lookout for the second volume later this year!

Happy reading!

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Photo by Zunnoon Ahmed on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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