Wednesday 10 January 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 37

This week's photo prompt was taken by Kari Liimatainen, a photographer from Finland. She has some amazing seasonal photos. You should take a look at her gallery over on Deviant Art.

I could hear these voices as soon as I saw this picture. The question was, what was going to happen. I rather liked how it turned out.

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 Festival Offering

“You’re sure they’re going to come through here?”
“Yes Master, they come through here every week.”
“Okay, good.”

Rhodri looked through the eyepiece of the crossbow resting on his shoulder at the snow covered clearing ahead. If Hadrin was right, then they could land themselves a serious feed tonight.

He adjusted his footing in the little stream to keep himself hidden behind the overhanging trees, the snow giving them weight and creating a thick screen. He also moved to give himself more stability. The water wasn’t deep, but the rocks were slippery. They had to stay in the water to keep their scent off the land - plus footprints: they didn’t want to be hunted too.

“When did you last see them, Hadrin?”
“They were rounding the spinney near the rocky mount, Master, so they shouldn’t be long now.”
“Good work.”

Rhodri was grateful for the little elf’s speed. He was an asset to their team and had helped them keep their bellies full since his capture two moons ago. Rhodri could hear movement: a rattling that indicated a wagon, and ... was that singing?

“Are they stupid?” he whispered to Hadrin.
“Or smart, Master.”

He felt something hit him in the head hard and the sound of a splash as he fell into the stream.

When he came to, Rhodri could feel his body being jostled from side to side. He was moving, but how? He opened his eyes and saw a wooden ceiling. He was in a wagon, and from the singing, it was the wagon he had planned on capturing.

He moved to sit up but found himself pinned to the floor, even his head had been strapped back.

“Whoa Master, I wouldn’t move if I were you, those restraints have a tendency of tightening under pressure.”
“What’s happening, Hadrin, why am I tied down in a wagon?”
“Dinner, Master, we mustn’t miss it. It’s a special one tonight.”
“I don’t understand your meaning, Hadrin?”
“Tonight it’s the festival of Yanis, and we need to supply the offering.”
“You’re talking gibberish, Hadrin, what offering?”
“You Master. It has been planned for some time. It was fortunate you took a shine to me, made it a bit easier.”

Hadrin smiled at Rhodri and he felt a shiver go up his spine.

“But you have been working with me against your people.”
“That’s what you believed, yes Master.”
“You hated them for leaving you for dead.”
“Yes Master, that’s what I pretended.”
Rhodri roared, “YOU DUPED ME HADRIN!”
Hadrin giggled. “Yes Master.”

Rhodri tugged at his arms and legs and tried to lift his head. But Hadrin had been right; he lay back gasping as the strap round his neck choked him. Hadrin came to his aid to loosen it slightly.

“Why do you bother to keep me alive?”
“Oh you mustn’t be dead, Master, we have to follow the ritual of the ancients. Once a troll has been entrapped he must be duly processed. The blood letting is done in stages, for maximum results.”
“Results, Hadrin?” Rhodri could feel his blood drain from his face already.
“Your soul must be cleansed to pass through the doors of Arroubin.”
“Yes. A cut for each life you have taken.”

Rhodri stared at the ceiling thinking about the hundreds he had slaughtered.

“Don’t worry Master, you have plenty of flesh. I made sure of that.”

Rhodri realised Hadrin was referring to all the food he helped him catch. It had all been a set up. The elves had planned it all along. He closed his eyes. It was going to be a long night.

“Yes, that’s right master, save your strength. You will need it.” Rhodri could hear the smirk in Hadrin’s voice.


  1. Have I mentioned how fond I am of snow? Well. If I haven't let me mention how fond I am of snow.

    I hate it.

    A Nice, Relaxing Weekend Trip

    Have fun. :)

  2. Here's my entry: The Faerye's Death

    It's poetry this time. Just having a little fun with words and sounds.

    1. Wonderful piece of poetry, revealing a lovely story. Really well written. Thanks for taking part.

  3. Still behind, still catching up. Thank you for the prompts, Miranda.

    Mist by Moonlight

    1. Feel free to write for any prompts at any time. Thanks for joining in.