Author’s Ramblings: I meant to post this for Friday Fiction, but I actually didn’t finish it in time. But I had an idea that turned the story around from just a rambly, country drabble, so I went ahead and finished it up. I ought to save it for the weekend, I’m sure, LOL. But knowing me, I’ll end up writing something new by then. So here goes! It’s a snippet of prompt fiction to the prompt “Purple Ribbons”. Meant to be a bit mysterious and happy-sad. Enjoy the read!

Sheldon’s Shield. 
Prompt Fiction.
Contemporary Fantasy. 
724 words. 

 “Those are
beautiful ribbons, Marie.” Sheldon fingered the strand of purple satin fluttering
from the twin high-ponytails. 
She tilted her head to the side, watching the
ribbons streaming out to her left. “Thanks, Sheldon. Gipsy gave them to me.”
“Gipsy? Really? I didn’t think ‘Ol Gips had it in
him.”
“Hey! He’s nice.” Marie wrinkled her nose. “Or he’s
been nice, nicer anyway.” She corrected. “So, are we going?”
“I don’t know.” Sheldon leaned forward on the porch
railing, staring out into the blue-green mountains before them. “I think it’s
getting close to dinnertime.”
“Nuh-uh! We just had lunch.” Marie elbowed him,
standing up on tip-toe to try and reach the railing to brace on it too.
“Did we?”
“Sheldon!”
“I don’t want to rush you.”
“I’m bored!”
“You’re nine-years-old, of course you’re bored.” He
rolled his eyes. “And I’m serious, Marie.”
“It was just a…a…a that.” Marie waved her bejeweled
arms in the air. “What Gips said.”
“A scrape?” Sheldon shook his head. “No, I think it
was a little worse than that.” He patted her head, his lingering fingers
tugging on the satiny hair ribbons. “You almost died on me, Marie.”
“It didn’t even hurt.” She ducked away from his
hand. “and Gips could’ve fixed me. He’s good like that. I wasn’t broken.”
“You were broken.” Sheldon ‘s hand settled on her
shoulder with deliberate firmness. “and that was a stupid and dangerous thing
to do.”
Solemn grey eyes fixed on the frustrated soldier. “I’m
your shield, Sheldon. That’s what I’m supposed to do.” Her small voice held the
faintest hint of softness. “And I’m really bored, can we go now?”
The front door to the cabin banged open and a husky
fellow stumbled out onto the porch, a stick of jerky in his mouth while trying
to wrestle his foot into one high-laced boot. “Sheldon? Ah, there you are. We
gotta go. On call.”
“Now?” Sheldon straightened, pushing his glasses up
his nose with one crooked middle finger. “They called everyone?”
“They called us.” The fellow said, simply. He
plopped down on a nearby rocking chair and began to lace up the combat boots. “And
we’re going. Got a problem with that?”
“No sir.”
“Then get moving, soldier!”
Sheldon bobbed his head in reply and extended a hand
to the now bouncing girl beside him. “Yes, sir.”
“Are we going now?” Marie gave a little jump, her hand
tightening in his. “I wanna go!”
“Yeah, we’re going.” He squeezed her hand and
hurried through the front door. The cabin was a flurry of activity as the rest
of the extraction group began to suit up. A jumble of chatter filled the air as
the young children running about, came to stand beside their respective
fighters.
Marie let go of his hand to run and join them as
they formed a circle in the center of the room. In a minute, the Captain joined
them and they formed a second circle around the young children.
“Ready?” Marie called out.
The little heads nodded in answer.
“In the morning, the sun is shining, in the
nighttime, the moon sings all the time.” She broke off, humming as the freckle-faced
little boy beside her picked up the tune and continued on with a new verse.
As Marie joined in the chorus, a faint lilac glow
began to envelop her.
Sheldon stepped up closer, resting one hand on each
of her shoulders. He closed his eyes as the light grew bright and a sudden
flash of warmth washed over him.
When he opened his eyes again, a heavy, flexible armor
covered him from head to toe. A pair of bent, boomerang blades rested in his
hands, a decent, light, weight. A familiar shade of purple gleamed in the
daylight streaming through the cabin windows.
Sheldon half-smiled. He threw one hand up in the air
to join his fellow soldiers in a victory cheer. He knew the day had just gotten
longer and the danger he’d dive into would be hours in the making.
But the faint tune lingering in the back of his mind
was a perfect reminder that things would turn out alright. They usually did.
Thanks, Marie.
He heard her laugh in his head.
Don’t thank me yet. Just get moving. Did I mention
that I’m really, really bored?
This time, he laughed. 
2011 (c) Sara Harricharan  
Ending note: And yes, if you’re confused, then Marie=living armor. She’s a girl with the talent to shapeshift and one of her shifts is actually a heavy-duty set of armor. She’s one of seven kids who can do this and works with Sheldon, her ‘fighter’. Snippet of a possible NaNo idea I had this past week. I hope you enjoyed the read! Please leave a comment if you feel so inclined. I love the feedback! ^_^
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