So, my friend and fellow writing club member, Elyse, made me write flash fiction stories today. I thought, since I've been caught up in a billion projects recently and haven't had time to write a post, I'd inflict these stories upon you all! They're inspired by randomly-selected song lyrics.
Xan slid through the dingy crowd packed between the facades of every shop on main street, carefully keeping his face covered by the high collar of his coat. The curious, milling crowd was little more than a forest of feet. Some were shod, others not, but they all scuffed over the mud-veined cobbles, trouser hems and petticoats sucking up the muck as the people in them sucked up the lies of the Benefactor.
Xan had had enough of lies, and his answer to them was in a single word, burning in his mind, on his tongue, from his pen.
It had taken only one word, whispered in the dark of gas-lamps, coded into the articles he wrote to extoll the Benefactor's virtue, to amass an army of bodies. It would take many thousand more to convince them to fight.
Xan made his way to the monument of the City Benefactor and took the watch from his pocket. The chain spilled out in a silky tumble of delicate gold links, tugging lightly on the clip in his waistcoat. He clicked it open, glanced at its backwards-ticking hands, and checked it against the enormous clock-tower casting a knife of shadow over the courtyard. The hands would match up in less than a minute.
The journalist lifted his head then, eyes scanning the crowd he would soon arm with the greatest weapons: words.
(I am an arms dealer/ Fitting you with weapons in the form of words.)
The fool’s voice was a low, grating crumble of a sound, like the earth around a gravestone. The throne room was cold, soundless but for the minor lullaby he hummed under his breath. The planks were smooth on his bare feet--worn soft as velvet by the many feet dragged to and fro across them every day.
“At your pleasure, my liege,” he mocked, bowing to the throne he knew was empty. “Shall I slit his throat, my liege? Burn his family before his eyes till he begs for blinding, my liege?” He cackled, raising two spidery, knuckley hands to his own face--to the hollow sockets--and prying wide the gaps in his face, tipping forward as though staring at some tortured soul.
He cackled, danced forward with steps too practiced to need counting, and leapt onto the dais, collapsing lazily across the throne. “The king of fools sayeth…” He turned his head, slow as an owl, and stared sightlessly.
“Give him riches, ten stones in measure, and chuck him in the moat.”
(Are you blind when you’re born? Can you see in the dark? / Dare you look at a king? Would you sit on his throne?)