Happy New Year, everyone.
I’m still here in sunny, tropical Florida, but at the moment it’s about as cold and wet as a typical British springtime.
I have spent the past few months hammering out a short story that I promised myself that I would finish and self-publish. Making the transition from Pantser to Plotter isn’t easy, and I’ve experienced a fair amount of setbacks and obstacles. That it might effect the final product still remains to be seen. I mean, I’m no expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure Science Fiction isn’t supposed to be boring as hell. I know I’m not going to be setting the literary world on fire any time soon, but this is where I am with it. I’m hoping the second draft improves.
Let’s see, what else?
Cash that I have received as a Christmas present is going directly to rent.
I have no paying gigs in my near future.
It’s my birthday, and the “Orange Faced Shit-Gibbon” that is currently sitting in the Oval Office has just spent this morning in a dick measuring contest with the leader of North Korea.
We’re all gonna die.
Happy birthday to me.
This morning, I checked my page views, and noticed that none of them have anything higher than 28 views. I’m not sure if that’s just par for the course and should just feel lucky that I got that. Or maybe I need to bite the bullet and buy a domain and an actual website. Or, maybe I should take the advice of every single blogger out there and just generate more content. Or, maybe I just suck.
With that in mind, here is another installment of Flash Fiction inspired by a Geek Scape of the Day.
It’s not insightful or informative, but it’s slightly entertaining. Maybe.
A short story is in the works. I mean an honest-to-goodness, 10K or so word story. It’s been tinkered with for the past few months and as soon as it’s finished, I will be posting (looking for future beta readers, btw). Here it will stay until I can get it published. It will stay available for download indefinitely. The plan this year is to write and publish enough short stories to publish an anthology, so I hope to write and publish a few more times this year.
Look, I know I’m supposed to be posting the usual New Year pablum like bigger news, or a plan. I’m not much for beginning of the year pep talks like, This year is going to be MY year, I can FEEL IT! Or, It’s a New Year and that means a new ME!
It’s all bullshit, and I’d rather not puke out a listicle to prove it. It’s bad enough that this post will probably get like two views at best, so I’m not going to waste my time wasting your time. Cool? Cool.
So, on to the current doodle.
This current Geekscape was posted by Charlie Hoover earlier last month. It’s a painting named The Red Knight, and you can see the artist’s work here. (As before, I’m making an effort to link and not show when it comes to flash fiction based on someone else’s artwork. It’s better this way. For a full effect, open the picture in a separate tab.)
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment. Happy New Year and all that stuff.
(Author’s Note: Naming things, especially Flash Fiction, is not one of my strengths. Since this one didn’t have one to begin with, I had to make one for this post. It’s the equivalent of needing to put pants on to go to the store, so apologies if it sounds awkward. Enjoy.)
Edgar and the Twilight of the Dragons
The dragon adjusted his resting posture a bit. A burning chunk of coal was causing some mild discomfort in his abdomen. “Edgar, I’m not sure if anyone’s told you, but I am retired. I’m sure there are plenty of other dragons out there that can help you for whatever half-baked scheme you have going on. Have you asked Grendieg, The Destroyer of Life, or Kemmim The Dark? I hear Zyvire, the Bunny Killer is available.”
Edgar drew a sigh and fidgeted uncomfortably in his armor. The heat in the dragon’s lair was making him braise in his own fluids. “Grendieg is out of town, Kemmim has a previous gig booked and Zyvire? I hear he’s doing the dinner theater circuit.”
“Dinner theater? You’re kidding me?” A deep and full throated guffaw bellowed from the dragon’s belly pushed clouds of soot through his snout.
“Look,” said Edgar. “I’ve been from one end of the Kingdom to the other. I’ve sent my fastest riders to the ends of the Earth to seek a challenger for this thing, and I’m coming up really short.”
“Well, the times are changing, Edgar. Nobody is interested in Knights and Dragons and Damsels anymore. These days, they’re all about Giants and Gollums and majestic sea creatures that live in a kingdom no one has ever seen.”
“Atlantis? I’ve heard the tales.”
“Yeah, spoiler alert, it wasn’t as great as people say. Kind of glad it sunk.”
Edgar adjusted himself and tried again. “Percy, I realize that this might not be worth it for you. I get that you’ve been the best monster you could. You’ve vanquished knights, hoarded loot, and terrorized farmers with the best of them. Your name is still on the lips of many and there are still those who live in fear of your return.”
“As it should be,” Percy said. “It’s not easy being the stuff of nightmares. It’s nothing but work work work, ‘Rawwr, I’m kidnapping your princess! Rawwr, I’m eatin’ all your livestock’ it’s tiring. I’m done Edgar. The show’s over. My days of terrorizing the land is behind me, and now I can finally enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
“But it’s just for one day,” Edgar pleaded. “One day of destroying property, swooping in on unsuspecting peasants, brooding atop battlements, the whole deal. Just one day, and you can go back to rolling around in your gold.”
Percy just smiled his fiendishly crafted grin. “I. Am. Re. Tired. I am not in the mood to be the foil in some fantasy concocted by some bored king who needs to justify their sovereignty. I’m sorry Edgar, I really am. Please send my regards to your Lord…Lord… what’s his name?”
“Right. Please send my regards to y… wait, did you say ‘William’?”
Percy rose from his chin slightly. The name igniting his memory. “THE William? William The Just? William, the conqueror of Eden? THAT William?”
“The same. And Adelline will be there. So will Gregory.”
“The Damsel and the Sorceror.” said Percy, his memory giddily stretching back to his youth. “They’re getting the band back together. What’s the occasion?”
“It’s William’s birthday. This will be his seventy-fifth winter. He’s been in failing health recently. He won’t be long for this world, and he knows it.”
Percy’s eyes widened. An old comrade is dying.
“He’s been conducting private meetings lately about one last, glorious battle. Like the old times. But, if you’re not interested, I’ll guess I’ll try Thermador. He’s not as menacing, but dragons are hard to come by these days. Thanks for your time, Percy.” He mounted his steed and turned slowly to leave. He was about to reach the mouth of the cave when a curtain of fire rained down from above and blocked his path.
A voice that mocks the clap of thunder shook the walls of the cave. “TINY HUMAN WHO DARES ENTER MY DOMAIN AND BEFOUL IT WITH ITS STENCH, YOUR KINGDOM SHALL SUFFER DEARLY AS I DELIGHT IN PEELING THE FLESH FROM YOUR KING’S BONES IN FRONT OF HIS PEOPLE! EXPECT FIRE TO CONSUME YOUR FIELDS ON…um… when will it be again?”
“Thursday,” said Edgar.
“Right. EXPECT FIRE TO CONSUME YOUR FIELDS ON THURSDAY! WOMEN AND CHILDREN WILL NOT BE SPARED! YOUR SOULS WILL BE MINE TO CONSUME… oh, before I forget, should I bring something?”
“William is a big fan of chicken wings.”
“Oh, neat,” said Percy. “YOUR SOULS WILL BE MINE TO CONSUME LIKE HUGE PLATES OF CHICKEN WINGS…WITH…BLEU CHEESE DRESSING…I’M PRESUMING!”
Edgar smiled through a face full of ash. “Thank you, Percy.”
“Oh,” said Percy. “The pleasure is all mine.”
“See you next Thursday.”
“I can’t wait,” Percy chuckled. “Until that time, FEAR ME!”
The dragon spent the rest of the day on his mountain of gold, clutching an old tapestry and dreaming of times long gone.
©2018 AA Payson