fantasy · flash friday · Short Story

Friday Flash: Dawn of a Wish

Another story involving the character from last week’s Friday Flash, and for pretty much the same reasons. I am exploring events in his past life in shorter stories. He’s a little older in this one.

Raucous laughter bounced around the private, finely wrought chamber. His mother’s chamber.

Father’s presence here was sacrilegious.

“Calmly, my prince.” His undine touched his presence.

Vari looked at her and nodded. Even here, in this desert oasis, far from the sea, she maintained her energy. Strong, his undine.

Father grunted; a woman’s voice, crying out in pleasure. His sister’s voice.

He fisted his hands on his white cotton trousers. She was not aware, he knew, not in control of herself. Couldn’t be, considering the drugs he poured into her dinner wine.

Vari wished Father was dead. Wished he was a year older, old enough to present at dinner and maybe prevent this. He wasn’t and he’d discovered this night’s entertainment too late.

She cried out again; another deeper, groan. The priest, defiling his oaths.

His undine rubbed his knee and pointed to the edge of the gilded wood screen. Vari nodded and crawled to the end.

Soon, soon. They weren’t so lost that would miss the sight of him if he appeared from the behind the screen. Or miss the feel of magic if he dared to use any.

Vari couldn’t see his sister clearly and didn’t know whether to be grateful or worried. Her feet dangled over Father’s shoulders. The priest, purple and black robes on the floor, crouched above her upper body. Their elementals, salamanders, were nowhere in sight. Likely did not want to see their masters engaged in such depraved behavior.

A crystal decanter, glasses and a plate of figs and the brown spicy sauce covered the small bedside table.

Vari glanced at his undine, signaled, and lifted his end of the screen. She lifted the other, and together, they moved it two feet forward, angled toward the table.

Three steps to the crystal decanter. The priest shifted and Vari quickly hid himself behind the screen.

“Your Grracee? Do you feeel someone -” Father’s slurred words trailed off even as my sister screamed like an enraged cat.

Couldn’t wait anymore. He’d already waited too long.

He removed a slender wooden jar from his belt, unscrewed it and poured some of the fine white powder onto the metal lid. Two steps forward and one to the side.  He blew the powder at Father and the priest. His undine directed the powder with a spray of gentle breeze; the powder settled on bare, sweaty skin. Thank fully, not his sister’s, as she was covered by them.

A risk, this powder. It was addictive but Father already used it regularly. But Father preferred the liquid form, diluted with juice, and this was purer. Vari didn’t know if the priest used it, but he wouldn’t be surprised.

He walked backwards, carefully, hid behind the screen and waited.

When he looked again, five heartbeats later, they were both unconscious on the bed. His sister still whimpered, still cried out softly.

Vari shoved Father aside; he fell to the floor with a thump. The priest hit his head hard on the bed’s wooden posts. Vari pictured bashing Father’s head on the floor, but regretfully decided there was no time.

“Shirn!”

She blinked amber eyes at him, her hair a golden halo on the pillow. “Vari?”

“Yes.” Vari grabbed a robe from the back for a chair and helped her put it on. Even drugged, she was too tidy to drop her clothes on the floor.

Fingers touched him and he realized, for the first time, how much he hated Father. “Vari, what -”

“Come now.” He grabbed hold of her wandering hands and hurried her into the  servant’s room. It contained the servant’s door, separate from the main entrance in the sitting room. He was lucky Father had enough sense to banish all the servants from his suite before bringing Shirn there in such state.

“Don’t feel well,” said Shirn.

He glanced worriedly at her. Her dusky skin was pale. “We need to go to your rooms, Shirn, where  you can rest.”

He yanked open the door to the servant’s entrance. It was dark, narrow and the wood roughly finished. Vari reached on the floor for the lamp he’d left when he came this back and lit it. “Inside.”

She stumbled behind him; he wrapped an arm around her waist to steady her.

His undine closed the door behind them, the handed him a clay water jar. He should have thought of that.

He propped Shirn against the wall, than held the jar to her lips. “Drink, Shirn. Please.”

Most of it dribbled down her face.

“A little further, Shirn, please, just a little more.” Coaxing and tugging, he moved her down the servant’s hallway, and prayed he’d arranged everything properly.

Halfway to her room, she swayed and collapsed in his arms.

When they finally encountered the courtiers, he laughed and made a joke about too much wine.

It was dawn when he got her to her rooms. Vari watched her sleep and prayed for the day he could help Father die.

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35 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Dawn of a Wish

  1. Whoa! Between when I read it and commented, the font on this one sure changed. I skimmed it again to make sure it wasn’t a different piece. You definitely come away dreading Father’s existence.

    Unless the rules are different in your country (I actually ever exchanged locations with you), there are two conventions for first person stories. One is to not use quotation marks at all, since the story is made up of their words. The other is every paragraph opening with quotations, and the final paragraph getting closing quotations. That’s what I’m using on tonight’s #fridayflash. Thought, if you’re in America anyway, I’d pass the rule along.

    1. Yeah, that must have been when I changed the theme. It’s new, wordpress just come out with it, and it looked good in the preview. I think quote thing is the theme’s fault and it is all fixed now! Thanks for the advice; advice is always welcome.

      Thanks! He’s never liked his father, but this is the first time he’s wished his father dead.

  2. The font you use is pretty, but hard to read a full story like this in…Just a little hard on the eyes.

    On the story, I was a little confused as to the ‘blocking’ to use a theater term. I didn’t know who was where and doing what but I definitely got the feeling of animosity. I’d like to hear more about these characters.

  3. I’m with Vari here in wanting to bring about his father’s demise – that poor girl. I felt like I was behind that screen with Vari and his nymph – very powerful imagery created in this piece.

  4. I agree with Michael; the font is difficult to read. The action in this piece is harder to follow than last week’s, but the animosity comes through loud and clear.

  5. Maybe it’s been fixed, or the mobile version (I’m on my iPad right now) doesn’t do it, but I didn’t have any trouble reading this. I kind of wish I had. Even the privileged can have a hard life it seems. I hope Shirn is avenged sooner or later.

    1. It is been fixed, but the iPad/mobile theme is different so the font issues wouldn’t show up.

      They can, especially when your parents barely deserve the name. She is, but a lot later.

  6. I walk into this realizing it’s back story to help with another work in progress, so there is so much to be understood, but wow. You have a tremendous work underway.

  7. In places I found it a little hard to follow – the fact that we hear the father grunting and the sister crying out says it all, but then you add the sister moaning again and then say the priest is defiling his oaths and I wondered what the priest had to do with anything.

    Still, Vari’s fury comes through clearly, and I’d like to see these salamanders at some point, too.

  8. Quite a powerful read after last week’s playful one, the subject matter is one that usually elicits loathing and disgust in most people.

    One can’t help but cheer Vari on, and hope that the day of reckoning for the Father, and the priest is not too far away.

    A well-written piece,on what must have been a difficult subject to cover.

    1. Thanks Steve! Yeah, it is, including me, and I think that’s why it took me so long to actually write it.

      I think the day will come! But not too soon in the future.

  9. Wow, pretty intense read. I’ll have to go back and read some of your prior pieces, as I felt as one feels when walking into a couple who are having an argument, strong emotions flying that I don’t understand. Strong piece!

  10. I just read a novel with a similar theme and it really messed the characters up. Hopefully Vari and Shirn can pull together and become stronger because of it.

  11. Wow, that story is very intense, and finely woven. I’m sure curious to see what will be of these characters, although I have a feeling about what will be of Father and the priest. ;p

  12. Hi there Sonia — you managed to pack a lot of drama into an unusual situation.

    Thought this was a great line: ‘She blinked amber eyes at him, her hair a golden halo on the pillow. “Vari?”‘

    One thing I noticed, was that it was a little hard to follow who’s doing what: your references with ‘he’, ‘they’, ‘she’, etc. are a bit confusing. Need to make sure the reader knows exactly who is being referenced at every point in the story. A few more straight statements of (e.g. “Vari opened the bottle”.) would help to set the character in focus, and then making sure every ‘he’ or ‘she’ is entirely unambiguous. Even things like referencing a ‘Father’ and a priest can be a bit confusing (as a priest can also be referenced as ‘father’).

    Just what popped into my head as I read.

    St.

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