Today's story is our first in need of a spoiler warning. This one is set toward the end of Right of Succession, and it contains some fairly big spoilers for the novel. So if you haven't read it yet and don't want to know how things turn out, don't click on "read more" until you're done with the book.
Why would I write a flash fiction like this? Well, once the Icarus rough is done, I'll be beginning work outlining the second Yekara novel. Today's story is more or less a character study for a background character who will become more of a central character on into the series.
She stood out from the crowd because of her coloring. Until the day she came to Reiont, Samuel had only ever seen one other person with red hair. It was one of the first things that drew him to her.
When they’d spoken during Lanre and Maya’s wedding, Chantal had seemed shy and more than a little sheltered. He only learned the truth of it once the battle for Tembar Flats was underway. He’d reported to Aligh’s office for his shift as always, only to be informed of the force sent to retrieve Count Ralic for trial and the new role he was appointed to fill.
Samuel left for Tembar within a couple hours of his new king’s return. The sight of a singed and bedraggled Lanre, weeping in silence as he carried his unconscious and bloodied queen, is one he doubted he’d ever forget.
He expected to find carnage inside the fallen castle. Such things were inevitable when diplomacy failed and negotiations were handled at the end of a sword. He’d heard murmurings about a prodigious weapon capable of tearing through a dragon’s wing with one blow, but he’d thought it hyperbole until he’d seen the crumbled towers.
Several officers from Reiont’s forces and a few civilians met him at the gates. He listened to their damage and status reports as they led him toward the master’s study. He felt odd having an assistant trailing behind and taking notes of everything said. Just yesterday he’d been the assistant, and the swift status change made Samuel feel off balance.
The toll was historic. Tekar had seen its share of battles over the centuries, but none like this. He looked out over the northern battlements and shuddered. No wonder their ancestors had forbidden such weapons long before the crash.
Samuel followed a nurse through the halls toward the overflowing infirmary. The exhausted young woman had waited until all the other reports were given before delivering hers and asking him to come with her. Until she’d mentioned Chantal, he hadn’t dreamed the girl would have had any part in the siege of Tembar Castle.
He saw her the moment they entered the huge, bustling room. Her bright hair stood out in stark contrast to the white bandages wrapped around her head and much of her face. She lay quiet and still, dwarfed by a bed designed to hold soldiers.
Looking down at her now, she looked younger than Samuel knew she had to be. She was too tall and carried herself too well to be younger than sixteen or seventeen. Still, what were Aligh and Lanre thinking, having a child guide a squadron into battle?
Chantal stirred, mumbling something as she blinked unfocused eyes.
“Lay still,” Samuel admonished in a soothing voice. He laid his hand on her uninjured arm.
“I need to help,” Chantal slurred. It was obvious she was only half awake, but she struggled to sit up anyway.
“And you will,” Samuel said. “But first you have to heal.”
As always, today's story was based on a prompt from a random first line generator.
However, I would much prefer to have the ability to write from reader suggested prompts. If you have a first line you'd like to see turned into a flash fiction, comment it below. 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.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
70566 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4