Hey look! I can write a flash fiction set in the Yekara Universe that doesn't have spoilers. Yay!
Today's flash fiction is set roughly twelve years or so before Right of Succession.
“I didn’t do it!”
Eugrin looked up at his tutor with the wide-eyed, quivering chin expression he knew pulled at her heartstrings. He even willed tears to begin gathering in his eyes. Nadia couldn’t stand to see him crying, after all, and she’d go easy on him.
“Really?” Nadia asked. She raised a skeptical eyebrow at him. “Do you mean to tell me the salt and sugar switched themselves when I wasn’t looking? Or did you develop a taste for salty tea since yesterday?”
“Oh wait, that. Yes, I did do that.” He gave her the sheepish grin he’d been practicing. “I gave myself away, huh?”
Nadia nodded. She picked up the salt shaker and shook a good spoonful into her tea. Eugrin watched with anticipation as the woman stirred the beverage and raised the cup to her lips. The look of abject disgust on her face when she realized the salt and sugar were never switched in the first place was a sight to behold.
“You little liar!” Nadia scolded once she’d managed to choke down the horrific beverage. “You’ll drink the cup you ruined to play that little prank as punishment.”
Eugrin shrugged and gulped down the salty cup of black tea with cream. To be sure, it wasn’t as pleasant as it would have been with a bit of sugar, but it wasn’t as bad as the woman made it seem. Seeing the results of his experiment was worth a distasteful cup of tea with his breakfast.
“Next time you think to deceive others, remember that taste,” Nadia said. She pursed her lips and covered the breakfast try with more force than necessary. “You will return this tray to the kitchens and apologize to the staff for the wasted ingredients and time.”
“Why should they care?”
“They work hard to make good food for us to eat,” Nadia said. “What you did was not just disrespectful to me, but to them and their hard work as well.”
A look of concerned worry passed over her features, and Eugrin thought it was the most beautiful Nadia had ever looked.
“You’re a smart boy, Eugrin,” she said. “But you must learn to think of how your actions affect others if you want to grow up to be a good man.”
He gave her a look of contrition and bowed his head as he took the tray. Eugrin let his expression fall back to neutral once the door closed behind him, and he marched toward the kitchens. When she’d called his name in an admonishing tone during their meal earlier, he thought Nadia had found the surprise he’d left for her sooner than expected. He’d almost laughed when she made it plain she’d only proven as malleable as he theorized she’d be.
Now, if he could just find a way to observe her the moment she found her beloved puppy wasn’t as lively anymore, his day would be perfect.
I know I added a bit of text in between the two lines of dialogue, but I think with the way the prompt was worded, it was meant to have something added in between.
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" and "Culture Shock." 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.
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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