She decided to go to her father’s grave, to ask his advice.
It lay alone in a tiny, forgotten clearing at the foot of the Andreas Mountains. He’d been afforded little more than a criminal’s burial, and with as few remains as were found, it looked like the final resting place of a child. Vegetation was just beginning to retake the soil, and she could smell the loamy sent of damp earth as she approached.
Chantal stood over the plot and gazed down at the thin marker bearing his name, birth date, and date of death. Forty-five years of life for such an ambitious man reduced to a name and two dates engraved on a stone already half covered by wild grasses. Standing there sweating in the heat until her scalp burned despite the shade of nearby trees and an afternoon breeze, Chantal thought it justice.
“Did you know?” she asked aloud. “I can’t imagine you did, or you’d have tried to turn me into a weapon too wouldn’t you?”
Her voice rose and cracked. Despite his attempts to be as unintrusive as possible, Chantal remained keenly aware of Tricon’s lingering presence near the tree line. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, willing herself calmer.
“I’m leaving to begin training tomorrow,” she said. “Without it, I’m dangerous.” Chantal scoffed. “You just couldn’t leave well enough alone, and I’m a danger to myself and everyone around me because of it!”
“I’ve been named your successor, so I’ll be training for that too.” Chantal shook her head and chuckled without humor. “Thanks for the incredible amount of damage we have to clean up, buy the way. That’s terrific!”
“The investigators figure you went insane as the retrovirus you injected rewired your brain.” She sighed and looked around the clearing. “That’s the only reason you have as nice of a grave as you do.”
Chantal glared at the marker. “After you made me a killer, I’d have dumped your ashes in the fields. At least then you might have done some good.”
Pain flaring in her fingers and wrist drew Chantal’s attention away from her rant. She’d wrapped her fingers around her mother’s bracelet until it dug into them and her wrist. Chantal released the gold chain and wrapped her arms around herself.
“I didn’t come here to rehash your crimes,” she murmured. “I’m to become Duchess of Tembar when I come of age.”
A tear seared down Chantal’s cheek. “How do I assume rule, even if it’s just of Tembar, without becoming a monster like you?”
These flash fiction stories are based on first line prompts I receive either from a random first line generator or reader suggestions. If you have a prompt you'd like to see written, leave it in the comments below. I'll screenshot it and add it to the bank I pull from each week.
I'd love to make this an interactive series, so reader suggestions will be given priority over generator prompts. I'm sure they'll be more fun anyway.
A. B. England is a small business owner, home-schooling mom, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves fantasy, mythology, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
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69061 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
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Yekara Series Book 4