Dear Readers, I have another piece of flash fiction for you today. It’s not much, I wrote it and edited it in under an hour, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.
by E.A. Schneider
At last, I have found the doorway. The rock folk probably thought they had outsmarted another poor mortal. Not this time. It pays to spend time in the woods and be friendly with birds. Of course, I don’t know exactly how to get in. They are sure to have Robbie inside with the court. I can’t believe I have to rescue him a second time. It must have been his crow arm that got their attention. Rock-folk like odd things, asymmetrical bits, antique silver, and anything sparkly. After this I’ll make him wear a sleeve to cloak those sparkly black feathers. Focus, Sylvanie! There has to be a way in. The cleft is closed and surrounded by rock. There’s no writing I can see–of course they wouldn’t have instructions, dolt. Think! Grandmamma Nord told me to eat a nut from her thinking tree if I found myself in a pinch. Hmmm…sweet. Widdershins. If I walk widdershins and call three times the court cannot refuse me entrance.
“Rock King, let me in?”
“Rock Queen, let me in?”
“All the courtiers in the mountain let me in?”
“Drat. If you must.” The mountain is opening its mouth for me to enter. Time to be a heroine. Such a short tunnel to go to such a place, it’s amazing what magic can manage.
“State your business, mortal.”
“I have come for my brother, Robbie, noble rock court.”
“The crow-armed youth? Surely not.”
“The same. Let me see him?”
“Please, let me see him?”
“Let me see him, please?”
“Fine, bring him forth.” Robbie is so pale. He’s been ensorcelled.
“There, human, you’ve seen the youth. Go away.”
“No, I seek his life. A wager.”
“You bid high, human. What kind of wager do you have that could possibly equal two lives?”
“The rock-folk are wise. It is said you know all on the Earth.”
“True. What of it?”
“A wager. Three guesses and three alone to guess the greatest treasure of my kingdom. Guess rightly and you win us both, guess wrongly and my brother and I leave unhindered with our lives.”
“Your first guess?”
“The silver circlet with beryls worn by your mother, the queen.”
“Wrong. Second guess?”
“The gold mine in the northern mountain.”
“Wrong again, your highnesses. Final guess?”
“The rich land of your plains.”
“Wrong again! We win.” Time to scamper.
“Argh! Tell us the answer!”
“Not until we’re outside.” Almost there.
“Sister? Oh the sun.” Robbie is awake, thank goodness.
“Human! Answer us.”
“The answer is the royal children. We’re the greatest treasure.” That shut the mountain’s trap, it even groaned.
“Can we go home?” He looks so tired.
“Yes, little brother. Home we go.”