I’d forgotten how much of a balm it is to write flash fiction when time is short. I like creating a tiny world from scratch without having to commit to a longer piece. This week I returned to Rebekah Postupak’s Flash! Friday, one of my favourite online writing communities. The prompts I chose were: a knight on a quest, and justice. My story came in at 210 words. Here it is.
The Knight That Never Was
They called him The Red Curse. Tales of him caused children to tremble and men to reach for their swords. To me he was Rodin. He never spoke; his name came to me whispered on the wind.
We fought side by side against the rising dark. When Rodin turned his hooded globes to me on blood-thickened fields, I saw not a villain but kin worthy of my steel and coat of arms.
Without him we would have been devoured. Yet the townspeople did not rejoice. Men are stronger when they are bonded by hate. Two dawns after the final battle, they tethered Rodin’s wings to the ground and pierced him with scalding rods.
Rodin endured as the crowds grew. By dusk his scales were torn and slick with sweat. A solitary anguished call reverberated across the isles, but still he did not unleash his fiery breath on them.
I knew my quest then. As the townspeople slept, drunk on their mastery of the dragon, I unclipped his chains and lit the hay bales until the sky turned crimson. Rodin flew, damaged and majestic, a valiant creature trapped in a vessel of fear. His wings beat a path away from the menfolk who had betrayed him: the knight that never was.