FlashFeeD 1.24

Apologies, I’m not sure why the entry I scheduled for Thursday didn’t happen. I’ve made it live now.

Don’t worry, this just means that you have even more time to complete a story (or more than one). We’ll skip the prompt this coming Thursday (29th March) as a result, so you’ll have a week open to work on this one.

Massive thanks to the few brave story-tellers that turned out for the last prompt week. 

This week, something different.

We’re going to target a genre over the next few weeks so get your fingers primed on the keyboard, grab your coffee/beer/filtered water and let’s go…

Write a Fantasy story based on this lovely sculpture in Milan.

Full rules here:

Stories will be limited to 2000 characters* (about 300 words), including the title.

*(The field itself will allow for 2050 characters, but this extra 50 characters is only to be used as contingency and it won't be increased).

Use the comment field to post stories, include your story title. Use the reply button on a particular story to provide positive feedback. Press the ‘like’ icon if you like a story.


 

11 Replies to “FlashFeeD 1.24”

  1. From the parapet, Droog looked over the battle. His goblins were fighting valiantly against the half-men who threatened their fort. Fire arrows rained down against the walls, but Skalit the Wise had counseled them to soak the outer beams with water, and their flames extinguished on contact. The fort was designed by the best goblin engineers and crafted by their finest carpenters to be impenetrable. Despite many losses in the field, Droog’s heart swelled with pride at how many were safe within.

    “Give them another spike ball!” he shouted. From a nearby turret, a large goblin wound the lever on a wooden catapult. The slowly receding arm held a ball made of balsa. When the lever was fully wound, the goblin looked to Droog. Droog held up his hand, watching the action below. He could see a number of half-men gathering with a battering ram. As they started backing up, Droog dropped his hand. The goblin released the catapult. The spike ball sailed high in the air, smashing down on the half-men, scattering nails, pepper dust, and large splinters.

    But Droog’s victory dance was interrupted by a shadow cast over the clearing. He looked up to see a magnificent wooden Pegasus, its wings beating mechanically, but, from what physics Droog understood, insufficiently to keep such a large structure airborne. It must have been sent by a powerful catapult. Or it was magical, in which case, they were in deep trouble.

    The winged horse flew over Droog’s head. When it was directly over the fort, its underbelly opened dropping three egg-shaped objects into the courtyard below. It circled, then returned back along its path. The goblins tried launching spears and arrows at it, but it was too high and their aim fell short.

    Droog rushed down to the courtyard checking for damage along the way. Whatever the horse dropped had failed to go off. The fort was intact. He grinned. But when he reached the courtyard, his face fell.

    Amid the shattered remains of the eggs stood three dragons unfurling their wings, getting ready to breathe…

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  2. Grace and Power

    When the city woke, Grace would become the most despised woman in Ovante. Lower than the other Tricksters, lower even than the Childeaters or the Men of Faith.
    And she’d finally be free.
    When Kane had put wings on a horse, he should have been executed. She’d learnt at her mothers’ knees that to be born a Trickster was to serve the city; to create what was needed, not what was desired. She’d been taught that she was fire: useful, powerful, dangerous if uncontrolled. Fire must not be allowed to burn unchecked. And fire must be shunned: everyone used it, no one wanted to touch it or allow it in their bed.
    But Kane had created this beast to indulge his own fantasies of flight. He should have been punished.
    Yet he’d been forgiven. The freak he’d created had soared over the heads of the Council and taken their hearts on its back, lifting them to desire. And so it was ruled that his mockery of nature was ‘necessary’, its purpose ‘yet to be discovered’.
    She had discovered its purpose: to free her from the bondage of Trickery. Its secondary purpose, made bronze and set in the square, would be to remind the city that Tricksters served by choice. It was a choice between service and death, but still, it was always a choice. Since her flowering she had chosen to live, to serve, to be hated for her nature even as she used it to support the city. Because it was the law. Because power must be controlled. Because… she no longer knew why and it no longer mattered.
    The Priests of Dawn would come to begin their rituals and see her sitting at the feet of her creation. Her choice would be discovered. Truth would be discovered: power belonged to the powerful. She’d spent all of hers on making that truth concrete, on ensuring the city never forgot it.
    The priests would wake the city, the weak would assemble, the weakest among them would pass judgement and she would be ruled ‘unnecessary’.
    She would be removed from the city, from life, from bondage.
    Removed to freedom.

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  3. Shivered Wings and Painted Bones

    “You called?” The dark-haired man cocked a quizzical eyebrow towards Ria before casting his eyes upwards to take in the display overhead; the shiver of wings a low level hum above their heads.

    “Not exactly,” she replied. “Everyone’s got to make a living. You’re somewhat late to the party though. The gallery was pretty lively an hour ago.”

    “Too early,” Ria’s companion said. “Besides, I bring my own.” He gestured towards the curved vessel bent about his hip.

    “So long as you’re willing to share. Some of us are tired and might need a pick me up.” The woman’s eyes were shadowed, her light hair dank and dishevelled.

    “Share and share alike. It’s all even between us, as ever.” The man shrugged, eyes playful. “They’re pretty.” He gestured towards the heaving hooves. As he did so, foam began to fall from above the skeletal eye sockets of a coal coloured colt. “Nice touch,” he nodded.

    “It seemed apt, considering.”

    “What are they called?”

    “Really?”

    “The piece.” The man’s slate grey eyes rolled. “What did you think I meant?” A corner of his mouth twitched.

    “I guess it’s called Shivered Wings and Painted Bones. Or something like that, anyway.” She waved a dismissive hand towards the thin legs beating time overhead.

    “You thought they’d notice?”

    “I thought you’d notice,” the woman replied. “There’s a difference.”

    “You generally are,” her visitor said. “I’m used to it. It’s not like you haven’t been organising me for years, is it?”

    “Practice,” Ria said. “Plus, isn’t that what families are for?”

    “Sometimes, sister dearest,” the man said. He sighed. “I miss them. Think you could magic up a way for them to take us back?”

    Ria scoffed. “To be that good!” After a moment, she sighed. “Maybe one day. They’re just memories brought into being.” She bit her lip, nibbling. “I’m working on it.”

    @FallIntoFiction

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  4. “There it is,” Allie said. They stood at the foot of the large wooden statue of the winged horse.

    “I can’t believe it,” Kat said. “I’ve walked by the Centaur hundreds of times. Are you sure?” She snapped a quick photo with her smartphone.

    “Yes. I read it in my mum’s high school diary.”

    “What else did you read there? Juicy details?”

    “Kat! She’s still my mum!”

    “Ok, some other time. I’m not forgetting it!”

    They stared at the centaur statue for a minute in silence. Even at this hour of the night, the deserted mall’s lights were on.

    “I still can’t believe it,” Kat repeated.

    “You’ve already said that,” Allie said.

    “But it can’t be. It really grants wishes?”

    “That’s what the diary said. Go ahead, you first, Kat.”

    “OK. Here goes nothing.”

    “Grandpa doesn’t really grant any wishes, you know,” a bass voice said.

    Allie actually jumped and screamed. Kat, as any banshee would, covered her mouth with her hands. Having all the glass in the mall blown up wouldn’t do any good.

    The owner of the voice was a tall young man with grey eyes that gazed down at Kat and Allie.

    “You’ve scared us!” Allie said. Kat was still covering her mouth.

    “Sorry. I’m Philippe. I didn’t intend to scare you. I just finished working and saw you here, and couldn’t help listening to what you said. Someone spread that rumour years ago.”

    “Wait, Grandpa you said?” Allie said suspiciously.

    “Yes, he built this mall. And I prefer my human form most of the time. I don’t see you using your siren full form either.”

    “How did you know I am…?”

    “I have an eye for it. But still, Grandpa never granted any wishes, even alive.”

    “Oh, I don’t know,” Kat finally managed to say, “I asked for a boyfriend.”

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  5. Hope Springs

    The couple huddled around the oil lamp the low light flickering and bucking making reading impossible.

    ‘Have you washed yet?’ asked Olivia.

    ‘My hands and face. There’s enough water until lunch time tomorrow my love.’ Sensing that was what the question meant.

    The silence hung between them.

    ‘What will we do tomorrow? You can’t go for the water. I will have to go.’ Olivia said.

    Bogdan bit his hand. His twisted knee such a silly injury; slipping while not even under sniper fire. It was a cruel joke, he worried which god he’d offended to suffer this indignity – and worse what it could mean to Olivia.

    The well on the other side of the river was the main curse to them. Each day their lives risked for the ten litres of the most essential of daily needs. Their once friends blessed with the well; with two they believed. Life would be better without that daily run.

    ‘Let’s go to bed. In the morning we shall see.’

    He turned the fiddly brass wheel and the smelly lamp puttered out.

    They lay in bed knowing that sleep was unlikely, with the sticky heat and their fears they prayed in their different ways for better days.

    In the middle of the night Olivia was moved by a noise. Drawn to the window and in the light from the waning moon she saw the silhouette of a horse below them in the street. She hadn’t seen a horse in this area of the city for months; they made such big targets.

    They must have got some sleep as they were awoken to banging on their door.

    ‘Come quick. Come quick. It’s a miracle!’ It was Dejan the young boy from the church.

    Bogdan tried to stand but his knee collapsed. ‘You go, Olivia. It must be good news. Surely.’ He prayed again.

    Dejan took Olivia’s hand, half dragging her to the church. There was a large crowd beside the churchyard with adults cheering and children running around playing. On the floor Olivia saw running water.

    She heard the old man who’d had the newsagents, ‘A spring! It was Pegasus. I saw him last night. Pegasus landed here.’

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  6. Chimera

    Marco wandered the avenues of Chimera, where there are no maps or street signs. Instead there were large public spaces, a shifting maze of plazas, bazaars and parks. He remembered the Plaza of the Winged Horse was not far from the Square of the Onyx-Eyed Odalisques. He had passed them several times, and it seemed to him the voluptuous forms were following him with their eyes.

    He stopped a businessman in formal robes and a jeweled turban. “Please can you tell me where is the Plaza of the Winged Horse? I know it’s not far from here.

    The older man studied the youth for a moment. You are not from here, he said, or you would not ask me such a question. It is forbidden to give directions here.

    Forbidden why? Who forbids it?

    Why, the Director, of course. You would know that if you were from here. This is how we tell the strangers from the Natives. What are you doing here?

    I’m here with my Uncle, Marco explained. We’re traders, businessmen like yourself.

    The man’s eyes crinkled in amusement. What business would a boy like you have? A girl perhaps? A boy?

    No, it’s not like that, Marco insisted. I’m meeting my Uncle there.

    Oh, of course. Why didn’t you say so. You’ll find it. Just keep going.

    But which way?

    Whichever way you want. The Plaza only appears at dusk. You can’t miss it.

    Marco wandered the avenues, past the Square of Fallen Tyrants and the Square of Dragons, and at last as the shadows grew longer, and the streets began to fill with people, he saw an opening in the crowd that looked like another plaza. There was the Horse with Wings!

    His uncle was waiting. What took you so long? he said.

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    1. Nice piece. I’d like to read more about Chimera after this snapshot. There’s a great sense of magic and mystery here…

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