Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!
A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!
With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction prompt based off a one line sentence required to be used somewhere in the piece. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!
(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)
The horse’s hooves pounded across the forest’s bramble-layered floor in the dead silence of the night. Twigs snapped under the steed’s hoof prints and dirt was kicked up in clods behind his trail. His tail waved out behind him like a farewell goodbye as he galloped along, his long mane nearly whipping his rider in the face as she stayed hunched over his neck.
The sound of the hooves piercing the still silence made her cringe each time, terrified it was going to draw unwanted attention to her. She almost wanted to slow her horse down, to try to be as quiet as possible, but she knew time was of the essence: the farther away she got, the better odds she had of survival and escape.
It had been too close a call. Way too close a call.
It should have been a simple scale the castle walls, sneak into the King’s quarters, slit his throat, and silently disappear into the night without a single notice or trace. She had had it all planned out down to the smallest detail, had know the guard’s stations and patrol times and routes. She had known everything to be able to pull that assassination off without a single hitch.
Yet everything still went wrong.
“Fucking Queen,” she muttered darkly under her breath, making the horse’s ears flick back to her.
She shouldn’t have even been there. She was supposed to be on a trip with her son to meet a royal suitor to be betrothed to. Yet their departure had been delayed by only the Gods knew what, and she had walked in from the bathing chambers just at the exact moment she was slitting the King’s delicate throat.
Of course, she supposed it hadn’t been a total bust of a job. The King was dead. There was no way he would have survived her strike even if the blasted woman had screamed bloody murder in the middle of the slice and thrown her off guard.
It was a sloppy job, and she detested herself for not realizing the extra horses left in the stables meant they had never left, but what was done was done. She couldn’t change it now. She had to kill a few guards along route of her hasty escape after, but they were so unskillfully trained it had been a joke to dispatch of them — and they called themselves the King’s Guardsmen. She snorted.
In the end she had achieved her goal…
She grunted as the chestnut stallion stumbled on a rock, jarring her a bit and making her grit her teeth as pain shot through her arm.
Even if in the end it earned her fleeing with an arrow through her shoulder from the damned guard’s crossbow. She hadn’t seen him run out along the walls of the castle at the last moment as she stole the horse and pounded into the woods. Then again, every single guard had gone running when the Queen started shrieking and screaming of her beloved King’s sudden murder.
She snorted in spite. That woman no less loved that man for his so-called charms than for his riches. He was just a ticket to jewels and prestige. A leech. That’s what the Queen was, a blood-sucking leech. She should have thrown her dagger into the woman’s shrunken heart when she shrieked. That would have satisfied her more than just killing the King.
She cast a glance over her shoulder finally, her dark cloak flapping out behind her along the horse’s haunches like wings. She could no longer see the tower. That was good. No burning oil lamps could be seen through the trees either, and she didn’t hear any herd of horses pounding after her in the silence so that was also good.
It meant she had escaped with her life.
Her pride and reputation were a bit tarnished, but she still had her life. She could rebuild the reputation, maybe not her pride from her careless mistake, but she was one of the best assassins out there in the lands. There would be no trouble rebuilding that minor setback of reputation, it wasn’t like she had failed her task. The King was dead, she was as sure of that as the rivers of red that had cascaded down his night clothes and onto the pristine white sheets.
She gave a short bark of laughter, stretching up a little and tilting her head back to the endless night sky. Her steed started to slow slightly now that she knew she was in the clear more and she gave him a slap on the neck before gripping with her thighs and throwing her arms out — well, one arm, the other with the arrow in her shoulder she couldn’t raise so far.
“By Morrigan, the King is dead!” she laughed up to the stars and moon with a devilish grin. “Take that Elington!”
Her getaway steed snorted, tossing his head a little and she crouched back over his neck, taking a fist full of mane as she kept urging him towards the dense woods leading back to the Convent of Morrigan.
“And I even got a free steed out of it,” she chuckled to herself. It hadn’t been a total loss of a mission after all.
Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!