We had W.A.F.F.L.E. again last night and another writing prompt! This one did not flow as easily for me as the last – and my PC pooped half-way through so I lost some of it – but it was still a good exercise. I tried to focus on developing the characters and giving the reader a sense of who they are, rather than world building for this one.

As a side note, you can read a different take on this prompt over at For a Thousand Words… and The Ship of Dreams.

Image by Anndr

“Run faster! We’re almost there!” Delia shouted as she bounded up the grassy hill, carefully avoiding the wildflowers that littered the path.  Behind her lumbered her younger brother, struggling to keep up. Although Jared was tall for his age, he was hardly athletic. Delia’s insistence that he join her on the adventure was what got him out of the house.

The hill was on Delia climbed often, watching the ships come and go, imagining this day. She didn’t want to experience this moment alone.

She crested the top of the hill and a rush of wind flooded into her face. Her hair streamed in front of her face. Squinting against the gust, she pulled the strains from in front of her eyes, hoping to glimpse the vessel. But nothing so far. She smiled. They weren’t too late.

Turning, Delia saw Jared trudging up the slope reluctantly, but he was exaggerating how difficult it was. “Don’t take too long,” she urged, checking to make sure there were still no ships in the docks. “They will be here any moment.”

She reached out a hand and pulled her brother forward, causing him to trip and land on top of the hill. Delia joined him on the ground, gazing out towards the horizon. Another gust of wind rushed through her hair and she breathed in the smells.

“Be careful!” Jared said, grabbing Delia’s hands as she dropped her feet off the cliff they sat upon.

“It’s fine. This is how I sit up here,” Delia assured him, kicking her feet back and forth as excitement rushed through her. “You should try it,” she suggested, holding out a hand to help her brother onto the edge. He shook his head enthusiastically.

“No, thank you,” Jared told her forcefully, crossing his arms. She shrugged. It wasn’t her fault he didn’t want the best seat. “Is this where you always sneak off to?”

“Sometimes. Not that I sneak off all the time,” Delia said defensively.

“Mom knows you’ve been skipping school,” Jared said suddenly, as if taunting her. Jared was a straight-A student with a bright future in academics. Delia, on the other hand…

“I have good reason to miss certain classes at certain times,” Delia told him with her head held high. “But it’s none of your business.”

Then, a glistening from around the corner of a distance cliff, and Delia forgot her self-righteous justification. Could it be? She squinted to try and get a clearer picture, and ignore the mirage of light on the desert far below. Sailing into view – seemingly flying on the wings of the clouds – were the royal ships. Floating hundreds of feet above the desert sand, the golden ships flew forward.

“Aren’t they wonderful?” Delia said wistfully.

“I guess,” Jared said, but he leaned forward to get a better view. He was just as enchanted as she was, although he wouldn’t admit it. “Don’t you think we should head home?”

“Just a few more minutes,” Delia pleaded. “We’re all packed already. One last look before we leave.”

They had waited for this day: the day when the golden ships would come and take them away from the dying land. But now that it was finally here, Delia felt the first pang of homesickness.

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