What Happens in Faerie… (flash fiction)

What Happens in Faerie…

“There’s a pair of knickers up on that tree.” Cindy said pointing upwards. So far all their missing clothes had been spotted hanging on the tops of trees, as they wandered around naked looking for them.

“Well you did say: “Let’s go hiking in Faerie, it could be interesting.” Well you were right there.” Jess stated. Cindy shrugged her shoulders.

“Well that’s the thing with Faerie, anything can happen.”

“Great.” Jess replied. “You have fae blood. Do you have any powers?”

“Of course I don’t. I’m not Melissa.” Cindy blurted out.

“Melissa? Melissa has powers?” Jess asked surprised. Cindy’s face went red.

“I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Melissa has powers?” Jess repeated.

“Yes, she’s a sorceress.” Cindy admitted.

“A sorceress? How do you know?”

“One of the last times I was in Faerie. I sold that letter of hers for the silver bell at the Faerie Market. The seller took it as payment as it was “a letter of apology from a sorceress”. Thinking back on it now, I may have been ripped off. Later I got trapped on a spider’s web in-between the worlds, and Melissa helped me escape.”

“Huh! Were you ever going to tell me about any of this?” Jess asked.

“I didn’t want to tell you about it. I’m always scared I’m going to lose you to Melissa.” Cindy admitted. Jess sighed, put her hands on Cindy’s shoulders and looked into her eyes.

“I want you to listen to me Cindy. I like Melissa, but I don’t love her. I love you. That’s why I married you. I really wish we could get beyond this.” Cindy nodded at her words.

“So do I.” Cindy agreed.

“Well… we could climb the trees.” Jess said changing the subject.

“It would take a long time to retrieve all our clothing. Besides some are on pine trees and we would get covered in resin.”

“Do you have any ideas? I’m not doing the rest of the hike naked.” Jess stated.

“Maybe if we go find help from someone.” Cindy suggested.

“From whom? We haven’t seen anyone since we went through the portal.”

“If we go down the path, we might find a homestead or something.” Cindy said. Jess sighed again.

“Well it’s better than nothing I guess. Lead on.”

They walked down the path. They hadn’t gone very far when they saw a small figure walking towards them. It was a gnome with a long grey beard. He wore grey robes and had a little walking stick in his right hand.

“Hi.” Cindy said once he got nearer to them. The gnome stopped and looked up at them quizzically.

“Hello.” He said. “I don’t mean to pry, but do you always wander around Faerie naked? I think I should warn you there are certain places I wouldn’t advise you to go without clothing.”

“This isn’t a choice. We went swimming and now all our clothes are at the tops of trees. I suspect pixies are to blame.” Cindy told him.

“I see.” The gnome replied while scanning the treetops. “It does sound like pixie mischief.”

“Do you know anyone who can help us?” Cindy asked. The gnome nodded.

“One moment.” He replied. Dropping his walking stick, he fished out a small flute and then played a few notes. A few minutes later a fairy appeared fluttering it’s butterfly wings. The gnome spoke a few words to it in a language Cindy and Jess didn’t know. The fairy then fluttered off. They stood there waiting. A short while later fairies began appearing carrying Jess and Cindy’s clothes in their hands. The fairies began dropping the clothes at their feet. Within an hour, all of Jess and Cindy’s clothes lay in a pile before them, as far as they could tell.

“Thank you.” Jess said. The gnome looked over their clothes.

“Another word of advice: if you ever plan on meeting the Queen, wear something less mundane.”

“Well I don’t think our plans include meeting the Queen.” Jess replied.

“Thank you for your help.” Cindy said. The gnome bowed low.

“My name is Lemnas.”

“I’m Cindy, and this is Jess, who is my wife.” Cindy told him.

“You live in a farm next to a portal, don’t you?” Lemnas asked.

“Yes. How do you know?” Cindy asked.

“Let’s just say you are known.” Lemnas replied.

“Okay.” Cindy said confused.

“I’ll leave you ladies to get dressed.” Lemnas said. “You owe me a favour.”

“I guess we do.” Cindy replied.

“It will be getting dark soon. There is a good inn a few miles up the road. I have stayed there many a time, you might like it there.” Lemnas suggested.

“Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll check it out.” Cindy replied. Lemnas bowed low again, then turned and walked away.

“We’ve been here two days, and already we owe a favour.” Jess said as they got dressed.

“Can’t be helped.” Cindy answered.

“It’s strange he appeared just when we needed help.” Jess stated.

“Happenstance.” Cindy suggested.

Once they were ready, they continued their journey. They had been walking a few hours and it was getting dark once they came across the inn that Lemnas had told them about. It was a large wooden building with three storeys. There were lights in all the windows and it looked welcoming and inviting to both of them. They walked up the path to the main doors and opened them. Light spilled out along with the smell of ale and smoke, laughter and talk. They both looked at one another before going over the threshold.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

This story follows The Waterfall

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©️2023 Joanne Fisher

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The Waterfall (flash fiction)

Forest Waterfall by Sangued

The Waterfall

The next morning, after a quick breakfast, Jess and Cindy packed up their belongings and continued on the path they were following. The day grew warm and the scents of flowers like roses and honeysuckle filled the air. It was a peaceful walk, and neither of them saw anyone else. It was as though they had the whole forest to themselves.

Around midday, when they were thinking of stopping for lunch, they heard in the distance the sound of a waterfall. They followed the sound (but kept on the path), and eventually came to a large cascading waterfall with a pool of water.

“I would so love a swim!” Jess stated.

“Yes, me too.” Cindy agreed. As the waterfall was only just off the path, they both agreed it would be okay to have a swim there, and then have some lunch. They both stripped off and dived into the pool. The water was cool and refreshing. Any weariness they may have felt in their limbs quickly ebbed away in the water. They spent the entire afternoon happily swimming, and only reluctantly got out of the water once their hunger pangs could no longer be ignored.

“Hey where are my clothes?” Jess asked looking around.

“I don’t know. Mine are gone too!” Cindy replied. The spot where they had stripped off was now bereft of any clothing. They both went to their packs and found all the clothes packed away in them were gone too.

“Who’s done this?” Jess asked bewildered.

“Damn pixies!” Cindy angrily spat out.

They literally had nothing to wear.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

This story follows Rabbits

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©️2023 Joanne Fisher

The Guardian (flash fiction)

The Guardian

Ginny kept several scripts in her bag, in case someone asked what she did. She would produce a script and say she was into acting. That usually satisfied them. The fact that she had been here for over two hundred years was only known by her. Sometimes she thought about moving to another town, but she liked it here. People seldom noticed she never aged, and if they did, they would forget.

The town was popular, as it never seemed to suffer any calamities and was a peaceful place to live. No one knew it was due to Ginny’s presence.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 100

This was written with the prompt script provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #294.

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©️2023 Joanne Fisher

Lady Shadow (flash fiction)

Lady Shadow

Call me Lady Shadow, for that is my name now. I was queen of a great elven kingdom, but my heart was rotten and the Shadow Lord ensnared me. I began working with him to undermine my kingdom and neighbouring lands. Once my schemes were found out my throne was taken, and so now I help rule the Shadow World instead.

We work to shroud the entire world in shadow. I will not rest until I have reclaimed my throne and spread darkness through the land and in the hearts of my subjects. That’s how the Shadow World wins.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt lady shadow provided by the Carrot Ranch January 16 Story Challenge.

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©️2023 Joanne Fisher

The Betrayal (flash fiction)

Artwork by Luis Royo

The Betrayal

The Grond had invaded to subjugate our lands and people. We knew we couldn’t defeat them alone, but if we allied with the Olomik people, then together we would be strong enough to send the Grond back across the wide sea.

I traveled through the narrow ravine to meet the Olomik leader. We toasted our alliance with fermented yaks milk and agreed to meet on the field of battle. But when that day came, we faced the Grond alone. Though we Talchek would be defeated this day, we would carry the Olomik and their lie in our hearts forever.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 99

This was written with the prompt of a story that includes a lie provided by the Carrot Ranch November 14 Story Challenge.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Reckoning, part five (Day 5, 5 Word Weekly Challenge)

Reckoning

5

The Princess was in front leading the way, much to her Captain’s misgivings. When the defenders saw the size of the Princess’s army, most of the conscripted forces ran away or surrendered, while the King’s soldiers fought on, but were quickly overcome.

Once the Princess’s army took the capital there was a search for her uncle, but he seemed to have disappeared, along with all the money in the Royal Treasury. Later in the day the Princess’s knights that had been sent off the night before reappeared with her uncle as prisoner, as well as carts full of gold coins and other treasures.The Kingdom rejoiced as her uncle was deposed and the Princess was crowned Queen. The money was used to repair the roads and buildings as well as provide help for the more vulnerable members of the kingdom. A week long party celebrated the Queen’s return.

A few days later her uncle was brought before her in the throne room. He was in chains and fell down on his knees before her.

“I suppose you’re going to have me executed. It’s only fitting I guess.” He stated. The Queen coldly smiled at him.

“Though you killed my father and mother, and even tried to have me killed on multiple occasions, I am not you. I think a better place for you is in the dungeons where you can rot away thinking on what you’ve done.” She answered him. He was led away.

Not long afterwards, the new Royal Treasurer informed the Queen that by his reckoning only half the money her uncle took from the Kingdom’s populace over the years could be accounted for. The Queen sent for her uncle for an explanation, but when the dungeon doors were opened, he was no longer there. The Captain searched the room and found a hidden panel that led to a secret door. He had escaped.

“I think he was counting on you being merciful and sparing his life, he probably even worked out what dungeon room you’d put him in.” The Captain told her.

“Surely he couldn’t be that calculating.” The Queen replied.

“He knew he couldn’t win against your army and so he deliberately fled but then let himself be captured with only half the money. The only variable was what you would do, but maybe he had you figured out all along.” The Queen shook her head in disbelief and looked out the window.

“So where is he now? He must be somewhere.” She asked.

“I don’t know, but we’re looking for him.” The Captain informed her. He left her staring out the window. Her uncle was out there somewhere with a great deal of money planning his next move. She wondered what would he do next…

The End (for now)

This was written with the prompt front provided by Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge.

That was fun to write. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll write a sequel to this story. Thanks to Greg for all the prompts.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Reckoning, part four (Day 4, 5 Word Weekly Challenge)

Reckoning

4

A company of knights mounted their horses and then rode off into the night, with both the Princess and the Captain watching them leave. Besides the knights, only those two knew of their secret mission. Once they became indistinguishable dots in the darkness, the Princess and the Captain went back into the tent.

Inside the tent was a table. On it was a model of the Capital with wooden figures representing armies. The Captain was trying to work out the best strategy for the battle tomorrow, as they were only a day away now from their target.

“The scouts have informed me they are patching up the fortifications and getting ready for a siege. They’re even conscripting the townsfolk.” The Captain informed the Princess.

“He doesn’t have a standing army?” the Princess asked surprised.

“Apparently the last few years your uncle has let things slide a bit. He’s still demanding high taxes, but none of it seems to have gone into the upkeep of the roads, or fortifications, or even his army. No one seems to be sure where the money has gone. There is an army, but it’s not that well equipped.” The Captain informed her. The Princess shook her head.

“If I realised he was that incompetent, I would have invaded sooner.”

“Don’t underestimate him. Your parents underestimated him and paid for it with their lives. He may yet have some trick up his sleeve we are unaware of.” The Captain warned. The Princess nodded. “May I suggest you get some sleep your highness? Tomorrow is big day after all.” The Princess nodded again.

“Goodnight my captain.” She said. The Captain bowed. She left the tent, but instead of going directly back to her own, she decided to take a walk in the dark. She breathed in the fragrant night air. How she had missed her home. She walked through the woods for a short time, but then stopped. She listened. Just on the edge of hearing she thought she heard some soft footprints that were getting closer. She peered off into dark for a long while until she thought she saw a figure edging nearer to her. Instinctively she threw herself down and hid in a narrow trench. She heard the figure getting closer. Just then the sound of wings began getting louder. Large leathery wings beating in the night air. They got louder still. Then there was a shrill cry, and the sound of the wings getting distant again. The Princess looked up into the night sky to see one of her dragons flying away with something large in their mouth. She stood up and walked directly back to the camp. Once she got back, she saw the Captain was outside looking worried. When he saw her return he looked relieved.

“What happened?” The Captain asked.

“I decided to take a walk before I went to sleep. I think there was an assassin following me. It appears one of the dragons got him.” The Princess told him.

“You were lucky. All it takes is one mistake and this whole enterprise is for nothing.” The Captain told her. The Princess knew this.

“I think I’ll go and get some sleep now.” The Princess stated.

“I’ll send some soldiers on patrol, to make sure there aren’t any more assassins lurking about. This time I hope you go straight to sleep.” The Captain suggested. The Princess left and walked to her tent, finding it was well guarded. She drifted off to sleep thinking about what the next day would bring.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

beachhead

trench

conscription

sacrifice

front

This was written with the prompt trench provided by Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Reckoning, part three (Day 3, 5 Word Weekly Challenge)

Reckoning

3

“We should arrive at the capital within two days.” The Princess stated as she beheld the landscape she hadn’t seen since she was a child. Her captain nodded his head in acknowledgement as he rode beside her.

“I am hoping our advance scouts are keeping their eyes fully open. My fear is your uncle may try to assassinate you before you get to the capital.” He stated.

“You think he would do that?” The Princess asked.

“He has never fought fair. Knowing him, he’s probably already sent out assassins.”

“I’m sure I’ll be safe in your company. After all, you did save my life when I was a child.” The Princess replied.

As they rode through the kingdom, the Princess noticed a number of people had begun following her army. The people still remembered her father, the much-loved king who was murdered by his cruel malevolent brother. Stories had been told over the years of the Princess’s escape and the foretelling that one day she would return to reclaim the throne and her kingdom. That day was finally here, and these people who worked the land would fight for her, some of them would even sacrifice their own lives if it meant it would end the reign of the hated tyrant who called himself their king.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

beachhead

trench

conscription

sacrifice

front

This was written with the prompt sacrifice provided by Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Reckoning, part two (Day 2, 5 Word Weekly Challenge)

Reckoning

2

“Your niece’s army is marching on the capital. It should be here in three days.” The Chancellor told the King. The King sighed.

“If only my assassins had done their job all those years ago.” He stated.

“Yes I’m sorry they were unable to murder a young girl. The Captain of the Guard managed to smuggle her out of the palace in time.” The Chancellor replied.

“Well what are we going to do about this army? What about sending out my army to meet them?” The King asked.

“Her army is too large to defeat on the field of battle. Our forces are going to be hard pressed to stop them.” The Chancellor warned. What he didn’t say was that if the King hadn’t put all the taxes he raised straight into his own coffers, then the money could have been used to better equip his army, to repair the fortifications, even give food to the populace so they might have a shred of loyalty towards him. The truth was any soldier that was worth a damn had long since gone over to the Princess’s side. “If we had a few more days up our sleeves, we could have hired mercenaries to help defend us.”

“That would cost too much.” The King insisted. “What about conscription? I’m sure the peasants and townsfolk could help defend us.”

“To be honest, most of your subjects will be on her side. Your high taxes on the poor have never been popular and they never liked the way you took power.” The Chancellor admitted.

“Well then conscript as many of them as you can. And get the fortifications ready.” The King ordered. “Also have all the money from the treasury loaded onto a cart.”

“You mean to flee my lord?” The Chancellor asked surprised.

“It’s always good to have options. And send for my assassins. If the Princess is killed then all of this will no longer be a problem.”

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

beachhead

trench

conscription

sacrifice

front

This was written with the prompt conscription provided by Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge.

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher

Reckoning, part one (Day 1, 5 Word Weekly Challenge)

Reckoning

1

They had taken the beachhead from what meagre forces had been stationed there. Now it provided a place for the army to assemble from the warships in the harbour. There were knights, foot soldiers, cannon, and even a couple of dragons flying above. At the head of the army was the Princess, the true queen of the kingdom. Her parents had been murdered by her cruel uncle, and she had been smuggled out of the capital while still a young child. Over the years she had built up a sizeable army in a neighbouring kingdom, and today she had finally set things in motion. The Princess held up her sword.

“Soldiers advance!” She ordered. She rode her horse forward. Her army followed.

to be continued….

Joanne Fisher

beachhead

trench

conscription

sacrifice

front

This was written with the prompt beachhead provided by Greg’s Five Word Weekly Challenge.

Please support this blog: Ko-fi 🙂

©️2022 Joanne Fisher