Today's prompt took me all the way back to the first Flash Fiction Friday post, "Don't Go Near the Well." This week, we get some clue what happened to Isaac, Mary, and the rest of their family.
The entrance to the tunnel was his only way out.
Isaac gnawed on his lip as he considered snagging one of the fairy lights floating overhead. The tunnel was dark enough to make his heart skip beat. A light might give him away, but he was only human. Who knew what kind of weird turns or traps might lay down the tunnel, and he’d never see them coming without some sort of light.
He focused on the one closest to him and mumbled the light gather charm. The fuzzy, golden light drifted down to Isaac’s eye level, and he looped a thread around it. The fact it didn’t fall right through still boggled his mind even after three years serving in Queen Mab’s court.
Light secured, Isaac wasted no more time. He bolted down the tunnel, trying to put as much distance between himself and Mab’s castle as possible before he was missed.
“I’m sorry, Mama,” he murmured to himself as he scurried down the tunnel. “I’ll come back for you and Papa and Mary. I promise.”
Isaac skidded to a stop as the tunnel forked into three separate directions. He panted and tried to decide which direction to take. The more charms he used, the easier it’d be for the Fae to track him, but he didn’t have a map. He’d never been this way before, and he didn’t fancy dying alone in a maze of dank, dark tunnels.
Feeling it was foolish, but not knowing what else to do, Isaac cast the point me charm he’d been taught his first day as Mab’s slave. When he asked for home, the stupid thing pointed him right back the way he came. Groaning, he tried again, asking this time for that cursed well that’d started the whole thing.
Isaac grinned and set off after the glowing blue arrow. It kept pace in front of him, leading him around turns and twists he’d have never figured out on his own.
He ran until his chest burned, and his legs felt like jelly. Isaac slowed to a walk, but he didn’t dare stop moving. Stubborn boy that he was, Isaac had made himself an annoyance from day one. The steward Mab placed him under was a creative fellow when it came to doling out punishment, but it’d just made him act up all the more.
Then he’d overheard the steward ask to sell him.
Mab had thought it over for a moment before replying. “The Goblin King is due to visit tomorrow,” she’d mused. “He takes such pleasure out of besting me at cards. I think it’d be much more fun to trick him into taking the boy off our hands.”
Isaac was running before she’d finished giggling at her own wit. He’d seen that movie. He didn’t know if it was based on the real Goblin King and his kingdom or not, but he wasn’t about to find out. A boy with his nose would never survive the bog.
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
You can also find the audio version of this story over on my YouTube channel.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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