‘All eyes were on him; as if it was their supreme duty.
The smoke enveloping him was naturally indigo, the dent in the slab under his boot’s sole was obviously as black as tar. He wasn’t the cause of the lightning; the pretext, perhaps, yes… But all those pagan connotations, fearful heartbeats in the eyes that were on him, had no place in that Court, on that Christmas night…
Yet, there he was too, as were his shamanic auras and the Star above. And he would soon be defending the believers’ faith.
“Philosopher,” the Emperor’s thoughts stammered – he could almost see them before him. His dark cloak covered his purple-born disciple like a tidal wave; treason upon treason. The Star blazed.’
(This fantasy flash fiction piece of exactly 121 words is kindly published by 121 Words. The Greek version can be found here.)
THE CAPTAIN OF THE CLOUDTREADERS
She could hear a note. Her ears were buzzing, her eyes were blurred by her own dripping blood, yet all she could hear was a melody; the call of the Uttermost Star had found her… or was it bidding her farewell?
Perhaps there would be songs one day about the Aurora Battle; about her own death there too. Perhaps they would recount how she, Adrasteia, stateless yet ward to the Ninth Warlord, had been a woman and a Cloudtreader and a captain – until her very last breath.
As the primordial melody echoed against her insides no louder than a whisper now, her eyelids grew heavy. For all she could know, or care, it was no different than slipping into sweet sleep.
(Contemporary flash fiction of exactly 121 words kindly published by 121 Words here.)
I stood frozen, files scattered on the court’s yard.
The judge was calling out my case number. And I was stuck thinking, what were the odds the folder straps would snap the exact moment my nerves were also about to? 156 pages of corporate law pleadings and an overdue bill soaking in the rain puddles. I had been preparing for this “Judgment Day” for months, nitpicking on my own commas, until my eyelids were blinking more than the cursor on the screen…
All for a desperately needed paying job serving a justice blinded by punctuation marks.
My mind was blank. The neon yellow of highlighted text on the scattered exhibits spelled vertigo.
Briefcases and perfumed coats were passing by me. “I am not the woman I thought I was”; it hit me again, like the day of my bar exam in that buzzing auditorium…
A panic attack was due, when my eyes met those of a little refugee girl. She sat across the yard, stale crumbs of pie in her palm while her parents pored over their asylum papers. Her eyes, empty and full at the same time, had a voice of their own. A voice I knew, from my high school volunteering days in “The Smile of the Child”…
Briefcases and perfumed coats were passing her by. “Individuation through humanity”; my college Sociology professor had always had a thing for Jung… Never had I felt more true than when I was nitpicking on commas for his human rights’ assignments.
The canteen was a breath away, its pies steaming, freshly baked.
So was my heart; “I am exactly the woman I thought I was”.
I don’t remember how I went in and lost that corporate law case; but I‘ll never forget how warm the pie I shared with that child was.
(This contemporary story was my first flash fiction attempt ever, as well as entry for the International Flash Fiction Competition themed “I am not the woman/man I thought I was” (British Council & Kingston Writing School).)
All cover artwork by Constantina Maud (made on Canva).
Is dystopian fiction your cup of tea? Check out all about my latest short story ‘YT-79605′ here.