Friday, March 2, 2018

Podcast Flash Fiction

Focus on Fantasy Romance Podcast

Flash Fiction Challenge

The ladies of the podcast were challenged to write a 500 word flash fiction piece based off three cards drawn from the Once Upon a Time game deck:

Focus on Fantasy Romance Podcast Mixer Flash Fiction #1
Two people fell in love
An old man
They ate it at the feast

The land of Popswitch rejoiced when their prince announced his upcoming nuptials. He was nearing twenty and the people had begun to worry that the heir to the kingdom would never marry. The villages surrounding the castle set up a festival in celebration of the wedding. A white cow was slaughtered especially for the feast, and the prince himself had promised to attend the midnight toast with his new fiancée.

Word of the prince’s visit spread far and wide, and people were coming from all over to join in the festivities. The prince’s guards were worried for his safety and wanted to limit his interaction with the people as much as possible. Determined to be the best ruler he could be, the prince naysayed the idea and chose to walk among his subjects as one of them. He knew they would be surprised when they realized that his choice for a mate was not a woman, as anticipated, but a man of his own age named Prince Davin of the neighboring kingdom of Rusk. His people were not opposed to same-sex couplings, but it was unusual for the ruling class to publicly announce a joining in this manner. There would be no children, and he would need to name an heir from outside his own bloodline as his successor. Despite the obstacles, the prince knew that Davin was the perfect mate for him, and that together they could rule the kingdom honestly and justly.

The night of the festival arrived, and the prince and Davin dressed in their finest clothes. The prince made sure the wagons were loaded with gifts for the village children and they set out with their guards to the village. On the road, they passed an old man who was nearly thrown into the ditch by the passing carriage.
“Hold!” the prince called. He jumped from the carriage and approached the old man. He was bent and frail, wearing only a ragged cloak over his mud-spattered clothes. “Are you all right?”
The old man bowed low, recognizing royalty. “Well, Sire. Pardon me walking in your way.”
“Nonsense,” the prince declared. “Are you on your way to the festival?”
“Yes, Sire.”
“Come inside the carriage and ride with us, then.” The prince assisted the old man into the carriage and Davin handed him a warmed lap blanket to put around his shoulders.
“You are very kind, Sires.” The old man nodded to them both in thanks. The prince was proud of Davin for being kind, and he knew that Davin approved of his decision to allow the old man to ride with them when many would not. It was why he had fallen in love with the other man in the first place.

At the festival, they invited the old man to eat at their table, and they made sure he had the largest portion of meat, vegetables, and wine. As the night wore on the crowds grew merrier and the prince felt loved and whole among his people. He and Davin danced slow in the light of the bonfire as the bard sang a love song.
They paused when the old man approached. He held out a package wrapped in paper. “This is for you, Sires. A gift for your wedding, and a thanks for your kindness this night.”
They thanked the old man, and they unwrapped the paper to find a fine pastry inside. The prince broke it in half and gave half to Davin.
“This cake was my mother’s recipe,” the old man told them. “For every bite, good fortune and happiness will follow you for a decade.”
Together, the prince and Davin each had five bites of the pastry. They thanked the old man, and he disappeared into the firelight.
“Do you think we have fifty good years ahead?” Davin whispered to his prince.
“And many more.”

Fifty years later the kingdom of Popswitch had grown into the most prosperous land in the region. Davin and his prince ruled with fair kindness and were beloved by their people. They adopted a boy named Arthur to be their heir and changed the name of the land to Camelot. As Arthur grew, they taught him how to be a good ruler, and they died together on the morning of the fifty-first year of their reign. A cry rose up from the village when the people learned of their deaths, but they quieted when Arthur came to the balcony to address them. In the crowd below, an old man watched with a spark in his eye, a wily grin, and a paper-wrapped package in his pocket.


If you liked this story, please leave a comment below. You can also hear me read the 4 stories on the air during the podcast, and hear as the other hosts guess who wrote the stories and why. 

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