Saturday, April 7, 2018

Flash Fiction Time Again!

Podcast Flash Fiction #2

The Cards:
"And so the king spared his life"

I stood at the edge of the known world and peered into the blackness beyond. I could neither see nor hear the presence, but I could feel it. Something old, the weight of it pressed against my skin. The light of my torch did not penetrate the dark but I held it up anyway.

Why are you here?

The voice was inside my head, ringing against the backs of my eardrums. “I came to ask you about the monster.”

There are no monsters here.

“My father, the king, said the monster lives beyond these cliffs.”

Your father, the king, lied to you.

I felt that this presence, that was infinitely old and aware, told the truth. But, why had my father lied to me?

He sent you here so that I would kill you, of course. He fears that you covet his throne.

I have no designs upon his kingdom. I am a dutiful son.”

What is true and what is perceived are often at odds.

“Will you kill me, then?” Perhaps, if my own father wanted me dead, it was better off that I died.

That is not my purpose.

What should I do?” Could I wander into the wastelands beyond the borders of our kingdom and try to live?

You will return to your father’s house and do as you have always done. When the time comes, you will know what to do.

I did not wait for more instruction. I turned and made the journey back to my father's castle. As I approached the gates, I saw that the castle had been razed. Nothing remained but blood and death. My father lay dying on the ground beside the ruins of our home. I gathered him into my arms as he tried to whisper to me.

“” he managed. “Winged. Fangs.”

I buried the people of the castle next to my father. The survivors gathered with me, and looked to me with worry. What would we do? How would we live? I recalled the presence and its advice. “We do as we have always done,” I told them.

For five years we rebuilt my father's kingdom, and in time it became mine. I ruled with the advice of the presence always on my mind. When the time came, would I truly know my purpose?

One morning, a man was captured as he attempted to steal an apple from a cart in the village. He was brought before me, dirty and bedraggled but defiant. As I stared into his eyes, the voice of the presence was as strong as ever.

“Leave him be,” I ordered my guards. “What punishment could there be for a hungry man who tries to eat? Feed him, and he shall work with the gardeners tending the crops. Every day he will take home whatever he can carry.”

The prisoner’s mouth fell open, and tears gathered in his weary eyes. “I thought I would be killed!” he moaned.

“Let it be known, the king spared his life!” I called out as my court-goers laughed. The whisper of the presence passed over me, and the sun was suddenly overtaken by darkness. We all froze and the prisoner stood, his shoulders going back.

“It's you!” I knew the presence lay inside the body of the prisoner. I could see the light in his eyes.

Your purpose is the same as mine. The same as any other. Your purpose is to show kindness and mercy when others will not. In this, can you achieve all the glory your father feared you might.

The light was suddenly restored, and the prisoner fell to his knees before me. I lifted him up, and knew that the place of a king is next to his people.

The end.

Thanks for joining me for the Podcast Flash Fiction! The podcast had taken on a slightly different format, as we now record monthly except for the occasional interview. However, we look forward to bringing you fun games like the flash fiction, and of course updates and news!

1 comment:

  1. It's always great to see how different people interpret the same story elements. Very unique take. <3



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