Okay, we’re gonna change it up a little bit here.

My last post blatantly used the property of someone else, which is a big no-no. I avoid making a habit of it, and I don’t recommend anyone else to do it either.

But to clarify, I did go out of my way to explain that the picture wasn’t mine. I put in a few hours to see if I could find the artist who made it, but nothing was coming back with a credit or a source, so I just threw all the props to John Carpenter in hopes that he was the one that made it.

So, going forward there will be some changes in these posts. Instead of posting the picture that iAuthor used in their social media announcements, I will be linking to the photo or picture from the source itself whenever possible, and creating a related piece of art that has less to do with the original picture, and more to do with the text. This was a lesson learned from a previous Flash Fiction contest I participated in. This way, all rights go to the artist while I get to flex my own flabby, creative muscles, and everybody’s happy.

There. Glad I could clear that up.

For my next project, I based my opening on a work painted by Vladimir Manyukhin. His work is brilliant, rich, breathtaking  and exquisitely detailed. Most of it involves depictions of a dystopian, cyberpunk future, while others portray a mythical, cold and gritty past. I hope to one day commission a cover from him.

The name of his artwork that I’m basing this project on is called The Last of the Kings. The name of my fiction is Days of Iron and Stone which sounds like a riff of Song of Ice and Fire, but who cares? When I start making George RR Martin money, then you can feel free to start trolling me. Since A) that’s not bound to happen in the near future, and B) the story has nothing to do with Westeros or Red Weddings or mental midgets, just let me do mah thing.

Hugs and kisses, thank you for reading, please feel free to comment and share.

DaysofIron

Days of Iron and Stone

“How long had it been?” she thought as she wiped an edifice clean of spider webs. The memories of brighter days came back to her as she revealed a crude, coal signature: “ELly” drawn by hands that belonged to one still learning her own name. “Aye,” she sighed. “That long.”

She remembers laughter and a doting father’s voice. Then just as quickly as stormclouds chase away the sun, new memories begat older ones as she turned the corner and gazed upon the giant stone depiction of a king. Those of a father leading his men into a bloody war, and of a crying mother, and years of solitude.

Her voice, firm yet gentle, seemed to awaken every stone that surrounded her. “Good Morrow, my Liege,” Elinor said. The giant stone guards that flanked the stone king did not disapprove. “and, Happy Birthday papa, ” In the distance, a crow calls out for his kin. “I had just noticed my skill with a lump of coal on the wall over there. Do you remember? Mother was so mad, but you scooped me up and tossed me in the air as any proud papa would. I suppose.”

She is the only soul that breathes in this chamber. And as the dust gently falls through a solitary sunbeam, one could attest that she had been the only one in a very long time. Even though the land has been passed down to her, she still ascends the great marble stairs with great reverence.”You led us in a war that could not be won, and made the ultimate sacrifice for your men, for your kingdom…for me. And to this day, we still clash and quarrel, we still shed blood. And we still haven’t learned a thing.” The once golden sunlight that poured in from the massive rose window in the altar had now muted itself to a deeper blue. A storm was coming.

“I miss you, papa, and I have remained strong and vigilant for you and your kingdom. Your subjects still tell the tales and sing songs of how you saved us all. But we still fight. We fight for control, we fight for land, rights, and still we are no better off than when you never came home. You told me once that no matter how much land we control, or how many people we rule, without love none of it is worth it. And I still believe what you said. I still believe in you. So please, believe in me when I say that even though our greatest foe may still threaten our kingdom,” she paused to rub her belly which has developed a slight curve over the past few moons. “I will make sure that love will rule the day.” And with that, she curtsied, and turned to descend the stairs. “I take my leave, my king. May the lord bless you and keep you on this day. Happy Birthday, papa. I will always love you.” Old iron hinges protested as she opened the old wooden door.

©2016 AA Payson

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