It is almost impossible to believe, yet true, that August is upon us. The days are growing shorter, the nights longer, and for the most part, also cooler. I am looking forward to a much needed get-away before summer's end, but for now, I'm excited to bring you the August post for A Drift of Quills. We are back to what has quickly become our favorite kind of post, and it seems to be yours, too. What kind is that? Why, flash fiction, of course!
This time around, Robin Lythgoe, selected the picture that we used for inspiration. It is always great fun to read the wildly different stories the three of us come up with to go with the chosen picture for these posts, so prepare yourself!
The photo, by Steven Erixon:
We Quills all seem to view the parameters of flash fiction a bit differently. My personal goal is to stay within 1000 words - if at all possible. Today, I've managed to do just that - coming in, I believe, at 998 words, title and all. But before I share my flash fiction story with you, I'm anxious to read what my fellow Quills have for us all. (Make sure you follow the links for each of us to get all the full stories.)
P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is sure to have a great read for us, and no doubt it will be loaded with wit and charm. Take it away, Parker!
The Standing Stone
by P.S. Broaddus
Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019
The guardian standing at water’s edge hadn’t always been there. At one time no shadow from the pillar of rock crept across the long salt-grass, as the western sun sank into the wine-dark sea. The path that ran along the coast from the capitol of Plen toward the high timbered trees of Greatwood Forest didn’t always have the patch of stone shade that marked the half-way point. There hadn’t been a section of the monolith rubbed smooth by thousands of hands, touching the rock and then touching the forehead for good fortune.
As mentioned, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, selected the pic for us this time around. I can't wait to read her story. So . . . here goes!
The Judgment Stone
by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019
There’s a town near the Rhogan coast that has a unique way of dealing with undesirables. Their “undesirables” consist of murderers, rapists, and arsonists. Thieves—unless their theft ruins a citizen’s livelihood or affects the entire town—are generously permitted a second chance. Upon conviction, the criminal is immediately taken to the Stone of Judgement, bound there, and left to the whims of the local dragon. If he or she is still breathing at the same time the next day, freedom is restored. Apparently the almighty dragon decide whether or not they are innocent, no matter what other proof previously stood against them.
You can safely imagine that those who escape leave the surrounds and never return. You might also imagine my astonishment at being arrested, tried, and found guilty of something called “High Thievery.” I’ve never stolen a thing in my life, unless you count a nap now and then. Well, I have helped myself to apples in the orchards I pass on my way between towns… But a face? How does a person steal a face?
And now, it's my turn. Ready?
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019
A musty odor greeted Lorna as she awakened, stiff and cramped. She groaned. Her head hurt; her body ached.
A clicking sounded out, as something brushed her cheek.
Lorna’s eyes flashed open. She bolted upright, then turned to the source of the touch. Although semi-dark, there was no mistake.
“Onyx!” she cried, recognizing her long time companion, a snowy owl that had adopted her shortly after her father’s death. She wrapped her arms around his neck and combed her fingers through his soft fur-like chest feathers.
As always, we look forward to your comments. What do you think?