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 Shard based off a three word combination prompt. 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.)
O’Malley’s ear twitched at the crack of a branch breaking under soft footfalls. Bending backwards out of his handstand he sprang up to his feet with a small hop, settling gold eyes on the elf through woven bars of vines.
“Well, well,” he purred, adjusting his top hat and raking his gaze over the man. “Lookie who came to see their trap sprung.” He grinned, revealing a set of sharp pointed teeth.
The elf paused in a slight defensive crouch several feet away from his cage of thick, sturdy vines and roots. He was a burly built man with massive muscles rippling under his tunic sleeves, carrying a half drawn bow in his hands. O’Malley had to give him credit for not having heard him sneaking up sooner. For his size and build he was a rather quiet one; perhaps he was both a hunter and trapper then. Strictly trappers never knew the importance of stealth like a hunter does.
“Hold your tongue, lepper.”
He gave a little hop and cackled. “Lepper? Oh dear me. Here come the offensive attempts at my gold-loving, mysterious and mischievous species. I’m so dreadfully terrified.”
“Quiet. Or I’ll put an arrow through you.” His voice came out like a low, cold growl.
O’Malley simply grinned in return though, wiggling green fingers at his sides as he rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet. Silly elf. They never did fully understand a leprechaun’s abilities, did they?
The elf stepped a hair closer to his cage and lowered the arrow toward the ground. He didn’t release the tension on the bowstring though. “Now. You know how this works. I managed to snare you, so that means you have to return the dragonstone to my kingdom. So where is it?”
He snickered. “And what makes you believe I have the dragonstone? There are many talented leprechauns out there capable of…pick-pocketing that precious blue gem.” O’Malley watched his jaw clench with satisfaction.
“Stop playing games, vermin. Where is it?”
Dark gold eyes appraised him up and down, then he casually turned away and sauntered around the perimeter of his cage. Clasping his hands in front of his chest he tapped his fingers together in a grand show of plotting, humming to himself and biding time. His ear twitched.
An arrow zinged through the air and lodged quivering into one of the thick vines of the corner of his prison, only inches in front of him. One more step would have impaled his shoulder, but he knew the elf hadn’t been aiming to harm him. Not yet at least. That had been meant to scare him, but it wasn’t going to work.
“Answer the question. Where is the dragonstone?”
O’Malley flicked burning eyes toward his captor and tilted his head. “Even if I had it I wouldn’t be foolish enough to keep it in my possession now, would I?”
“Where did you stash it, you lying thief?”
He swirled a hand in the air, then suddenly vanished in a blur of movement and dark green light. The elf jumped back in surprise as O’Malley appeared visible again right in front of him, body pressed up against the earthly tendrils of his prison. He wrapped his gnarly hands around two stocky vines, eyes locking on the black cord around the elf’s neck. An orange heartstone hung from it, bright and pulsing with the life of his dragon.
Baring his teeth in a feral grin he asked, “What’s that, trapper? Your lucky charm?”
The elf’s eyes snapped downward, then he hurriedly shoved the cord and heartstone back under his tunic. Pointed ears slicked back and the creases in his face hardened. No wonder he was so stealthy, and so well built. He wasn’t just a trapper and hunter, he was a Flamer. An elf with a dragon bond and the ability to bend their dragon’s fire in battle. They relied on the dragonstone as part of the power that held the bond intact between dragon and Flamer.
“So that’s why you’re so intent on retrieving the dragonstone,” O’Malley taunted. “Because you and your dragon need it. You know your kingdom doesn’t much care for Flamers and their steeds anymore. High court probably don’t even care the dragonstone is missing.” A crazy, high-pitched cackle escaped his lips. “In fact, I bet they’re happy it’s gone!”
Emerald eyes narrowed at him and the elf bared his own teeth. He lunged forward and reached through the vines, grabbing O’Malley by the front of his jacket and lifting him off his feet a foot or so to be eye level. “You know where the dragonstone is, and you’re going to tell me. This prison is made from and resides in the enchanted forest, which means you can’t blitz your way out of it. Unless you tell me where the dragonstone is I’m going to leave you in here to rot. What’s one less lepper stealing from our kingdom to deal with?”
A low rumple of thunder drowned out O’Malley’s chortle. The sky was darkening rapidly overhead with storm clouds rolling in seemingly out of thin air. Trickles of lightning from cloud to cloud illuminated the dimming forest with ominous flashes. Cold rain tapped through the leaves, sporadically for a second then fast and steady. It dripped and slithered down through the greenery, drenching the two figures at an alarming rate.
He caught a flash of movement in the brush behind the elf and slowly grinned sinisterly.
“Best be running off now,” O’Malley taunted. “Haven’t you heard leprechauns have friends in low places?”
Satisfaction struck him when alarm flashed across the elf’s eyes. He dropped O’Malley back to his feet and spun agilely. Just as he reached for another arrow in the quiver across his back, O’Malley’s hand shot through the vines and grabbed his wrist to stop him. The elf grunted as he jerked him off balance to fall against the vines.
“Let go!” he snapped.
O’Malley only laughed and snaked his other hand through the vines, snatching his free forearm and holding tight. Despite their smaller size and build, leprechauns had some unnatural strength to them and he used it to his advantage.
“You really shouldn’t have trapped the Leprechaun King, Flamer,” he whispered, leaning in. “It angers my kingdom, you know. It also effectively makes you guilty of an attempted kidnapping. That arrow from earlier too…” He tsked. “Attempted assassination. I don’t think your dragon is going to see you again. Poor thing will probably die of a broken heart and bond.”
His friends in low places burst from the surrounding brush and leapt forward with fury and murder in their eyes toward the elf. O’Malley let go and stepped back to watch a set of his guards expertly try to take down his captor in the pouring rain. Being a Flamer he put up a small scuffle, but the odds weren’t in his favor.
“Your Highness!” someone else squeaked out of breath as they scurried forth on short legs to his cage. “Are you alright?”
O’Malley glanced over and smiled. “Quaver, my good aid, I am perfectly fine. However, it would be quite helpful if you could find a way to lift or open this prison.”
He was met with an enthusiastic nod as Quaver hurried around the outside perimeter looking for a way to unwind the roots from the vines and lift the prison back into the air. Gold eyes strayed back to the scuffle between elf and guards, smiling to see a blow double him over. His guards were quick to respond with ropes and binds until the Flamer was on his knees, disarmed, with hands tied behind his back and a cluster of lassoes around his chest and arms. At that moment he heard a twang of twine tightening and the cage began to lift, uncurling its fingers from the roots that shuddered back into the earth.
“Ah,” he sighed. “That is much better. Thank you, Quaver. Guards.” He gave a nod of approval. “Impeccable timing.”
The elf tried to stand and lunge forward as he stepped to join his men but was quickly yanked back stumbling. O’Malley chuckled, watching him with amusement.
“You’re going to regret this,” he growled. “Innin will find me and we will burn your city to the ground until we get the dragonstone back. You’re making a grave mistake by taking me.”
“Your dragon isn’t going to find you, Flamer. Dragons can’t fit underground.” He grinned savagely and began to walk off, motioning with one hand for his men to follow. “Come along now. There is much to be done, and we must find a nice, sturdy prison for you first, elf.”
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!