Dangerous Glances

If it wasn’t evident from my posts over the past two months, I’ve been having a great time as of late writing fiction. It started out with my trying something new and telling the story of how Syrus and I were attacked by zombies. From there it grew to my participating in Fiction Friday by Write Anything. I had loads of fun and expanded even further by trying my hand at the Writing Adventure Group. Since participating in those two weekly exercises in creative writing, I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of feedback and enjoyed partaking in the art of story-telling.

While looking for more writing blogs to subscribe to via RSS, I came across some Fantasy by Eric J. Krause through the Friday Flash listing of Flash Fiction. After adding Eric’s RSS Feed to Google Reader, I noticed a a writing prompt. While I don’t intend to regularly participate, it piqued my interest. Wanting to participate in Friday Flash, I decieded to use Eric’s prompt to get me started on my first submission.


Dangerous Glances

“The king requests an audience with you”
A Prompt from Eric J. Krause’s Writing Spot

The heavy oak door swung open, crashing into the stone wall. The thunderous boom of wood colliding with rock abruptly shook him from his dreams. Torchlight flooded into the cramped servants quarters as three blurry forms hastened into the room. Faster than Joseph could shake the cobwebs from his mind, he was dragged out of bed and hauled to his feet.

Terror took hold of the boy. With his heart was racing and his breathing quickened, a single bead of sweat rolled down his forehead and stung his eye. Silence and cooperation, the words boomed through his mind as he stood awkwardly in his bedclothes.

“The King requests an audience with you.” The words were gentle and spoken by a blurry slender figure. The middle-aged man wore a long brown robe belted loosely at the waist. As he turned and walked away, the heavy material kissed the floor with each stride.

When the messenger was beyond the doorway, Joseph was reminded of the guards which grasped his forearms. In an instant he was being dragged from his bedchamber and through a long labyrinth of damp corridors. Moonlight spilled in through windows high above, casting a blueish hue against the course stone walls. All was silent, except for the rhythmic thudding of boots escorting a boy to see his King.

Intense worry weighed on the boys chest. He could only ponder at what he had done to upset his king. Being a royal servant was far more work than he would have ever anticipated. This was a hard lesson learned over the past two days. He had been kept so busy in his new position as a royal servant, Joseph could barely remember a free moment to get himself into trouble. Being a new boy in a new town was proving to be am impossible task.

Despite his better judgment, worry got the best of the boy. “May I ask what it is that I have done to offend my King?”

A toothless smile spread across one mans face as he soaked up the desperate words of a frightened boy. The other spat on the floor before addressing him. “Guilty conscience boy? Aint said you did anything to offend the King. Suppose the King will want to know what ya got on yer mind.”

At the end of the long corridor sat two large wooden doors. Unlike Joseph’s bedchamber door, the kings were much larger and more ornate. Iron straps laced the door from top to bottom, acting as decoration as much as reinforcement.

A pair of guards standing outside the doors sprang to action at the arrival of Joseph and his escorts. They groaned nearly as loudly as the hinges as the massive doors began to open. Light spilled from the royal study and flooded the chilled corridor with warm light.

Seated upon a dais at the far end of the room was the King. In his lap rested a book that appeared as though it was painted with liquid silver. The reflection of a nearby fireplace danced across the reflective surface of the strange book. Joseph’s eyes were drawn to it as he was dragged towards his King.

“So, boy. Do you know why you have been summoned this night?” The King spoke firmly with annoyance in his voice.

“No my lord.” Joseph was terrified, his emotions evident as he spoke. Seated in front of him was the most powerful man in all the kingdom. Before arriving in town many of the towns folk praised their King for his fairness and his compassion for the people. Suddenly, doubt rolled through his mind.

“I have received word that you have been stealing glances at my daughter. Is this true?” The King’s voice was filled with annoyance yet his eyes told another story, one of exhaustion.

“My lord, I am new to both kingdom and castle. I was taken on as a royal servant only two days ago. I have certainly heard fond things of Princess Esmeralda but I have not laid eyes on her.” He was terrified but spoke the truth. In his short time within the castle walls he had not seen his princess.

“Ignorance is no excuse. Perhaps you were not aware of the one you glared at, but that woman was no less than the Princess, my daughter.” Annoyance and exhaustion were a a dangerous combination. He was trying to be civil with the boy but the King had more important things to attend to.

“My lord, I do not know the Princess by sight, only by name. I swear it. Whomever speaks such things must be mistaken.” The moment the words passed his lips Joseph was aware of his monumental mistake.

The King’s face turned scarlet, his eyes widened, and saliva sprayed from his mouth as he began shouting. “You call my daughter a liar! Guards, take this boy to the dungeon to think on what is to come of him for his poor choice of words.”

Please visit the comment section, located at the head of this post, and leave me some feedback. I would greatly appreciate it!

10 comments On Dangerous Glances

  • Good story! I’m glad you found the writing prompt inspirational. Wow, I’d say he’d learn to mind his words a bit better, but unfortunately I’m guessing he’ll never get the chance.

    • Eric,
      The bulk of my reading revolves around the fantasy genre. When I saw your prompt, creating a story was easy for me.

      I was a bit torn on the ending, it seemed a little over-the-top. In my mind, the King had other things going on which had his nerves frayed and his temper ready to flare. This might be a good piece to build on at a later time.

      Thanks for the prompt and the comment.

  • Poor guy! That’s a lot of punishment for something that didn’t even happen.

  • Rotton luck for this kid! Will you write what happens to him next?

    • Jen,
      I was considering it, mostly because I wanted to go deeper than the piece permitted. I had a couple of ideas for opening up the storyline but haven’t spent much time investigating them.

      Thanks for the comment

  • Walt, I would say definitely something to expand on in the future when you have time. It’s interesting (and I’m not a fantasy-fiction-aficionado) but just cuts off suddenly with no resolution and leaving more dangling ends than an episode of “Lost” (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration!). At this point, it’s more of a “vignette” or “episode” than a “story.”

    • dmjones,
      Part of the reason the piece cuts off is because I was trying to stay within the 1,000 word threshold for #FridayFlash. I thought breaking it where I did made the most sense and was afraid that taking the story further would have increased the word-count too much.

      The more I think about expanding this piece, the more I like the idea. I’ll have to give it some more thought and see if I can come up with an extension to round out the story.

      Thanks for the comment

  • Welcome to #fridayflash. Sorry I missed you initially in the wrap up. Got it in there now.

    I liked the build up in this. The end is rather abrupt, but it flows well, and the descriptions are vivid and clear. The characterization is also well done. Nice debut.
    ~jon

  • Jon,
    Thanks for getting me on the list, much appreciated!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the piece, thanks for leaving a comment

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.