Welcome to Story Time Saturday!
These are flash fiction stories. My word count goal is no more than 1,000 words each story. I’ll show you the prompt, the story, and a teaser graphic.
Here is this week’s:
“Wynter’s Last Stand”
I’m the only surviving heir to the throne. I must piece together what remains of my kingdom. Unite the people. Ensure their protection. This wasn’t supposed to be my fate. Mine was to marry Prince Laurent of Agnelli, a man I never met. Alas, he, too, was killed by the Dragonians.
“Princess Wynter?” Jolenta, my handmaiden, approaches.
“Lord Philip has returned.”
“Show him in please.”
“But my lady—”
I spin around, my tunic twirling around my ankles. “Do not make me repeat myself.”
It’s not the first time Philip has seen me in my undergarment. When I don fighting leathers, he’s seen more. To appease Jolenta, I drape a palla around my shoulders.
I hold my hand out to him. “Philip, what word do you have of survivors?”
“It’s not good. Many lives were lost.”
“Regroup the men. We’ll fight back.”
“My lady, we need time. The Dragonians are stronger and faster.” He pulls me close. “You shall have your revenge, but not today.”
“Swear on the life of your first born. You will avenge the lives lost today.”
Philip drops to his knees. “I swear on my unborn son’s head.”
Many phases of the moon pass. The Dragonians continue to take to the skies, smiting all those who come against them. My kingdom is still rebuilding. Philip keeps telling me it will take time. We don’t have it. My enemies expect me to forget all the lives lost. They expect me to forget how the scaled beasts burnt down our homes, pillaged our villages, and stole from us. But I remember everything. I shall never forget.
“Your Excellence?” Lord Bakar Renold’s footsteps clump over the throne room’s stone floor.
“Yes, Lord Renold?”
When he doesn’t continue, I look up. Behind him stands a being of great beauty. His pitch-black, wavy hair is gathered with a plain leather band. It isn’t his impressive physique that draws my attention. No. I check out his attire—fine armor atop fighting leathers. The dark red gleam is not ours.
“What is this Dragonian doing here?” I bark.
Before Lord Renold can speak, the Dragonian steps forward. He lowers his head. “I come in peace. Allow me a moment of your time.”
I give a curt nod. “Leave us, Lord Renold.”
“I will stay outside the door.”
We both watch the sentry as he departs from the throne room. Once he is gone, my eyes snap to the Dragonian. “Speak.”
“Queen Wynter, your people cannot withstand another battle. I’m here to warn you my people are rallying for your demise.”
“Is that so?” I study the barbarian. He represents an evil which threatens not just my kingdom, but all that is holy. He can’t be trusted. “And why would you risk your life to warn us?”
“Because my king is an idiot. It is not your kingdom nor its riches he wants.” The Dragonian saunters up the steps to where I sit. “King Vacca is coming for you.”
My muscles tense. “Let him try. I will gladly die before I submit to him.”
He leans forward and dares touch my throne. A smile flickers on his shapely lips. “I appreciate a strong woman.”
I sit back in my seat, looking down upon him. “What do they call you, Dragonian?”
“Markus.” He bows deeply. “Allow me to help you, and King Vacca won’t be an issue.”
“I’m intrigued. Rise, Lord Markus.”
He lifts his head. “I am not a nobleman. Just a warrior at your service.”
Markus takes up residence within my castle’s gates. We meet daily discussing strategy against the Dragonians, a race of fighters. At night, I do my best as a good hostess.
“Markus, how would you like to see what’s beyond these walls?” I ask as we amble through the castle’s corridors.
“You trust me to come back?” His deep voice bounced off the stone and concrete.
“Do you think you shall leave unescorted?”
“I hoped you would escort me.”
I incline my head and smile slightly. “That can be arranged.”
This is the first time I’ve stepped into the village of Highgate since the attack. It’s been a month, and the smell of burnt straw and wood cling to the air. Structures I once frequented with Jolenta are reduced to rubble. I draw in a sharp breath.
“Your Excellence, are you all right?” Markus asks, grasping my elbow as if to steady me.
I side-glance at him. “Your people did this. I want my revenge!”
“Not before I have mine.” The voice roars in front of us.
Markus drops to one knee. “King Vacca.”
My fist clenches. “How stupid I was to believe a Dragonian would know honor!”
“Stupid indeed.” The king sneers. “Markus, you shall be rewarded.”
The Dragonian I thought was helping me hangs his head and walks toward King Vacca.
“Take Lady Wynter back to my palace.”
“Not without a fight,” I say through my teeth. Before anyone can respond, I reach for the dagger at Markus’s side. I hold the wavy blade high, poised to take on anyone who dares come too close.
King Vacca points a gnarled finger to one of his winged fighters. The fool walks forward.
I let him edge closer. Close enough I can smell the brimstone on his breath. His white fangs glow in the night. He opens his mouth to strike and I plunge the steel between his ribs.
A howl emanates from him. The pain forces his transformation—claws peek from beneath scaly skin. He doesn’t complete the change. The swing of an ax ceases all action. The Dragonian’s head rolls to a stop at my feet.
Blood drips from the dagger in my hand. I glance up. Markus holds the ax by his side.
King Vacca growls. “What have you done?”
He signals for the other men behind him to attack. The Dragonian traitor grasps my wrist, wraps an arm around me. Wings materialize behind him, and we ascend toward the heavens.
I’m interested. What has been your favorite story this month? Which one would you like more of?