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This flash was inspired from an image on 500px. I cannot find it now, but it was gorgeous. It has 312 words.

A handful of children gathered around the storyteller. The children were sleepy from a rich dinner and the warmth of the fire, but still they clamored for one more story.

“Hush,” she said. “Very well. One last story.” And she began to speak.

Blood seeped across the sky like slow-moving clouds.

She watched and feared.

Around her the villagers paused to watch for only a few wing-beats before hurrying to their homes. They knew what it meant, too. They wanted to be gone before the thrice-cursed priests arrived.

She ignored the pitying glances. Ignored, too, the icy cold and red pellets that fell from the sky and froze in her hair.

She knew her beloved would come back to her; he had promised and he never broke a promise. No matter that the foreign priests turned him and the host he commanded into so much red mist.

The priests, grim in their bright red trousers and robes, did not see her. Fools. Perhaps they thought her a statue.

One pushed past her to the village square she guarded. But the moment his sleeve brushed her arm, he turned to ice. The other priests, seeing this, charged her with knives and scimitars. All of them disintegrated into the cold night.

“And that is why none dare attack us even today,” concluded the storyteller. She smiled and shook her head at the shouts for more. “Off to bed with you now. Go.”

When they were all safely asleep and the room rang with silence, she rose and went to look out the window. There, the same bit of land she had defended so many centuries before. Others had built a white marble statue of her there, but glorified the details of her face.

Still her beloved had not come. But she would abide until he was reborn as the man he was meant to be.

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