Tagged: flashficton

The King and the Golden Serpent

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 11

Challenge #5: Write a story including a plan that fails because of an unforseen and inherent flaw. It must include a character and setting based on two tarot cards chosen at random from the Major Arcana. Optionally, a phone call must be made at some point.

My two cards were Temperance and Wheel of Fortune.

Far away, in a time not yet remembered, there lived a king who delighted in all precious things. His crown was forged of platinum, and gemstones of cut trinitite adorned his hands.

Twenty-two knights served this king, and twenty-two he sent out on a journey, when news reached his ears of a distant land where dwelt a serpent with horns of gold. The wastes were home to many strange creatures—atom-bred—and he wished to have a horn from this beast as a drinking vessel.

The knights readied their steeds, and a crowd gathered to witness the spectacle. These were strange animals with hides of iron and chrome: they ate no food, and would drink nothing but the pungent water drawn from the deepest well. Each of these creatures stood twice as tall as a man, save for two: the steed of the first knight, for whom the wastes had long been home, and the steed of the twenty-first, who had once been his squire. These two were no larger than cattle, seeming dwarfed even by the meagre provisions that they carried.

The journey began, and those knights at the front of the party spurred their steeds on as fast as they would go. Dust rose from the earth and smoke rose from their mouths. All were eager to claim the serpent’s horn, and with it the king’s favour. Yet some settled for a slower pace, among them the first and the twenty-first. Continue reading

Lethe

Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 9

Challenge #4: Write a story featuring at least one petty deity, but no well known ones. It must include at least one of the following elements: spectacular shoes, a coin flip, moving vehicles, a rite of passage, coconuts. Also, at least one of these: no shoes allowed, strange definitions of justice, revolving doors, something forgotten, fables.

She appeared suddenly, without fanfare, standing barefoot between the lanes of speeding traffic. Cars honked angrily, vans swerved, yet they seemed not to concern her even as her robe whipped in their wake.

“You have forgotten your gods,” she announced, quite calmly. “You have consigned them to oblivion: only I remain. Tell me then, what is my name?”

The people on the street waved and yelled. A construction worker in a hi-vis vest looked left and right, preparing to rush out and lead her to the pavement, but suddenly there were no      or      in the road. There was no         at all.

“You have forgotten your gods,” she said again. “I am all that’s left. Tell me then, what is my name?”

In a nearby greengrocers’ shop, the green plastic tray between the mangoes and the coconuts suddenly stood empty. The grocer stared at it. That tray had held­        , surely? The sign read: “       ’  – 4 for £1.”

“Are you Athena?” asked the grocer, his voice trembling. Two more       stood empty: the          and the         were now gone too.

“No,” replied the goddess. “I am not Athena: those who are not paid tribute are forever lost.”

Gradually, it        on those gathered that there were neither        on the trees nor       in the sky. No      blew through the streets, and the     was silent. Continue reading