Flash Fiction

Understanding the Future

Well, #SwiftFicFriday worked it’s magic again. Seriously, Kat has been crazy good at finding prompts that are working for me lately. Anyway, This weekend we had the picture below and 150-300 words to work with. This picture totally played into a WIP I have planned out in a fantasy world I’ve been working in recently. So, I give you

Understanding the Future

She glanced over her shoulder, praying her father’s guards hadn’t seen her leave the palace. A few more steps and the trees surrounding the Fire Garden would hide her. Jaylen rounded the bend in the path, her chest tight, constricting her breath. A small clearing lay just ahead. She could rest there.

Tears streaked her youthful face. Jaylen found the clearing covered in scarlet and gold leaves. She collapsed among them.

“Why must this be my fate?”

Now that she’d let her guard down, memories of her dreams invaded. Her father, the Emperor, dead. Bodies strewn about the palace like broken toys. Murder in a man’s eyes as he approached her. Dark warmth of a fire, even as it consumed Fiernala. A sense of rightness flowed through each scene that Jaylen did not understand.

The dreams shifted after the first scenes. Barren fields. Skeletons of trees, nothing but white bone fingers stretched to the burning sky. Piles of feathers, fur, and bones scattered in the dirt. Jaylen knew this awaited Ocalan should she turn from what shadowed her future. Everyone, including her father, believed these were mere nightmares of a thirteen-year-old.

“Lady Jaylen, the Emperor requests your presence; Lord Maroshek’s pledging ceremony is about to begin.”

She roused at the guard’s call, brushing herself off. Her father would be furious if she presented so disheveled. Once Jaylen addressed her appearance, she emerged from the trees and followed the guard to where her father waited. Thankfully, the guard said little about where she’d been. The Emperor didn’t seem to notice, having glanced down at her long enough to acknowledge her presence.

Lord Maroshek arrived at that moment, his appearance forcing her heart into her throat. He looked younger than in her dreams, but Jaylen knew it was him.

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