Zauberlehrling – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

Hop to  the InLinkz party!

Every Wednesday we get a new picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge graciously hosted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
The task of the challenge is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the little frog. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.

Image © Dale Rogerson. Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneers Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Dale’s permission. Thank you for the image, Dale!


The thing appeared in the middle of town. An inquisitive policeman touched it and got stuck. He screamed.

People rushed to the spot gawking. Those trying to free the man got stuck themselves. The cacophony of terrified screams was ear-shattering.

Police cordoned the area off but something like a siren’s song drew them closer and caught them as well.

After a while the screams turned into exhausted moans. The trapped people had become barely visible, something siphoned their essence out.

People left town. Only I remained, watching, and wondering how I would live with myself.

I had summoned that thing.

(100 words)

I pledge

When I first saw the picture I thought, great, so much going on there, will be easy to find something. Of course I was wrong and I had a really hard time this time around. I wrote, deleted, thought about it, wrote some more, deleted more…

That’s why I’m so late this week.

And: Zauberlehrling means The Magician’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, it’s a poem by Goethe, somee of you may know it from Fantasia.


61 thoughts on “Zauberlehrling – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

    1. Thank you! The goose girl was a part of the inspiration, yes. I first had no one be able to touch it with a few exceptions, but that got too long and didn’t go anywhere. Then the sticking idea came and while I wrote and edited, the thing started sucking the victims dry. And then of course this came into the mix from the poem:
      “Spirits that I’ve cited
      My commands ignore.”

      I put the link up above. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I had to look it up. I don’t think the fairy tale I meant is the goose girl, the one I mean is the golden goose collected by the brothers Grimm. They wrote that it may have originated in Hesse. Grimm’s tales usually have several different versions, each a bit different in different places. Ludwig Bechstein has a similar tale called Schwan kleb an… I’m not sure if there is an English translation. It’s quite similar to the golden goose, only the boy gets a swan and a stick, and when someone wants a feather, he shouts “swan, get stuck” and people get stuck to the swan until he touches them with the stick. I’m sure I have read several other tales with a similar theme but I’ve read so many from so many different places over the years–can’t remember, sorry.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Aw, thanks for looking it up, Gaby. There’s also a Welsh version of it, I’ve only this morning remembered. I recall now why I associate the Goose Girl with Gottingen. It’s because the Grimm Brothers taught there, at the university. There’s a statue in front of the townhall, and tradition has it that the students must kisss the girl. (I was there in my teens, in case you’re wondering, but I needed a night’s sleep to recover the memory)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hah, I hadn’t heard of that one. There’s a lot of these traditions around, especially at the old universities like Göttingen.
              The Grimm tales are ingrained in German thinking, can’t help it, we’re indoctrinated from an early age. I didn’t mind until, not so long ago, I found out how antisemitic some of these tales are — not the ones in every kid’s book, the ones you find in the complete works. Spoils it somewhat.
              Bremen has a statue about the Bremen musicians, and Winsen actually has a statue about the golden goose although there is no connection. There’s the Pied Piper in Hameln, and more…

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s heritage, and heritahe should be treasured. And we have to accept the changing mores of the times. We’re all shaped by the enviroment of our childhood and youth, whether that fits with today’s ideas of not.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Yeah well, it was wrong then and it is wrong now, just as the treatment of poor Shylock. Antisemitism is and has been around. It is good to be aware of where it can hide and drag it into the open.

                  Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh boy. Maybe there’s some way to “unsummon” it again, hopefully…

    Ha, when I saw your title I thought it had something to do with learning how to clean, but then I realised I was getting my “Z” and my “S” mixed up (Sauber) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe, the original poem by Goethe (link above now) has the apprentice send out a broom to fetch water. So you’re not too far off with the Sauber.
      I’m glad you enjoyed, thank you.


  2. Great (as in, terrible) twist at the end! What a terrifying object, that draws people in like that and then sucks them dry. By which I mean, what a cool idea that I wonder if I can make work for Eneana! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Not goose girl, I don’t think. It would be the golden goose. The theme of getting stuck to a bird’s feathers is used in several tales, also see my reply to Crispina above. I don’t know the novel, but the goose girl is entirely different if we’re talking about the version where the princess was cheated out of her marriage by the goose girl.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dale. This one gave me a hard time, I don’t know why. I really liked the picture — and I like the art. I thought there was so much that could be used, but these cables kept waving at me… 😀


  3. A real life spirit sucker, it seems. Well, if you can’t live with yourself, you can always try going near the thing. May be you will not live to tell your story.

    Liked by 1 person

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