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It's Better Than Nothing, Right? · She-Ra Minific ·
Organised by QuillScratch
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Last night, we got a fire going in the middle of the woods.

The scouting trip was bogus, of course. Scorpia thought it'd be a good idea if we split up in search of anyone who would know Queen Glimmer, and it's not like I can blame her for doing this. Who else was going to give us orders? Hordak had vanished. So did Catra. Nobody knows where they went.

Part of me hopes they died, but... no, I can't think like that.

Just being happy that they're gone is enough.

Anyway, I headed out with Kyle and Rogelio, the big lizard guy. Again. For a long time I didn't know why the three of us kept sharing assignments. There were a lot of cadets ready and willing, and it wasn't like we had a particular reason for always getting thrown together. Did Catra know something we didn't? Probably, but I guess it doesn't matter now. We're glued to each other at this point.

So there we were, in the middle of nowhere.

The situation seemed hopeless.

We managed to get enough chopped wood together to start a fire, but there was only so much we could do. We scrounged together some berries, some mushrooms, a couple rodents which didn't provide much meat, and that was our grub for the night.

We sat around the fire to form a triangle, and at some point Kyle said, "So... we're lost."

And I responded with, "Uh-huh."

Nobody said anything for a bit, until Kyle came back with, "Do we even have a real plan? Because I feel like Scorpia didn't have a plan when she told us what to do, and I'm seriously starting to doubt her judgment."

"No," I said. "Really?"

Rogelio chuckled, or at least I think he did. Can never get a read on that guy.

"But—" Kyle started, then, "Never mind." After that he kept his dorky mouth shut.

Then all was silent. We sat around reluctantly chewing on our cooked mushrooms. I had mine with my fair share of rat guts. Didn't taste as revolting as you'd think. I mean, it was better than nothing, right?

Anyway, as much I liked the lack of talking, after a while it started to get to me. I tried to enjoy what peace and quiet I had, but the thought of Catra coming back to hurt me kept nagging at the back of my mind. I hoped—I still hope—that she'll stay gone forever. Believe me, if I still had any fond feelings for her, I wouldn't have been so scared. If I still liked her at all, I might've thought about her cleaning up her attitude, about the possibility of her treating the rest of us any better, but I didn't. I just thought, fearfully, about the possibility of seeing her again.

I'm done with her. Simple as that. I'm free of her, and I'm never going back.

But that feeling of freedom can really hurt, you know? Like ripping off a band-aid.


I started moving closer to Rogelio. The fact that all three of us sat so far apart from each other slightly got on my nerves, so I wanted some company. Not to say I like Rogelio or anything. Or Kyle for that matter. They're a couple of dorks.


I slid up against Rogelio's bulky side, my shoulder almost up against his. Kyle must've noticed my move, because he said, "Lonnie?"

"Yeah?" I replied, as if I didn't care.

"What're you doing?"

"Nothing." I rested my chin on my knees, and I might have smiled. "Fire's warmer over here. You don't mind some company, big guy?" I asked Rogelio.

He just growled quietly, but I assumed he didn't mind.

Kyle got the idea, and before long he shifted over and snuggled into the other side of Rogelio's torso.

I still don't know why, but suddenly Rogelio had a muscly arm of his around each of us, as if wanting to pull me and Kyle into a hug. Instead, though, he kept us both in this nonchalant embrace, and we all just kept watching the fire we had started.

I don't know why it happened, why we kept so close to each other like that, but... it felt nice.

When I slept that night, I didn't dream about Catra, or Adora, or the Horde, or any of that stuff.

I dreamed about being with someone I liked, and when I woke up I didn't feel any pain.
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#1 · 4
I don't know how common Lonnie stories are in the general fandom, but they seem to pop up regularly in the write-offs.

I'm sorry I'm not going to have a lot of useful things to say here. It was certainly a pleasant read, and I like this idea of them growing beyond the need for Catra and finding that they have a new need for each other. However, it felt a little safe.

There are two parts to that. One, Lonnie keeps using this "I don't know" mantra, and we're not really invited or given the reasons to figure out on our own, so it would be nice if Lonnie did some of that on her own behalf. She has a bunch of time to sit there and think, so it stands to reason she might spend the time trying to figure her way through some of it. Introspection is always a nice way to look at a character.

And two, if you really want to get a reader on board for why these characters mesh so well, give me the evidence of it. Not just that Lonnie inexplicably feels good sitting against Rogelio like that, but toss in a couple of anecdotes about times from their past that she decided he wasn't such a bad guy, or they had fun together, or he earned her respect. One or two illustrative examples go a long way toward breathing a lot of life into the characters.

One thing that professional flash fiction writers agree on is that one of the main purposes of it is to surprise the reader in some way. That may be through the imagery, the language use, the characterization, plot, whatever. You want to strike a note that's going to stick in the reader's head, so that after they've read a magazine with ten of these in it, upon seeing the title or the first line again, they'll immediately remember, oh yeah, this was the one that did X.

With only 2 entries, standing out isn't an issue, but do think of it in terms of someone reading a whole anthology, what's going to make yours stand out? What's here is definitely good. Just throw me a curveball somewhere.
#2 · 1
and Rogelio, the big lizard guy

This part struck me as odd and kicked me out of immersion. She didn't call Kyle the scrawny blond guy in this sentence, so calling Rogelio the big lizard guy seemed discordant. Who's her audience for the narration that knows Kyle but not Rogelio? I could accept her adding a fond description of him right before snuggling up as her thoughts move toward closeness with this big beefcake, but it doesn't seem like that kind of description.

Otherwise a decent vignette that could slot into something larger but doesn't really stand out on it's own.