Beyond the Peaks

347 words

The sun is rising over the far hills. I hear its song waking the world. The birds twitter their thanks, the trees seem to straighten, ready to face a new day, even the grain, blowing gently in the breeze reflects its golden light. I feel alone this morning, the only audience for this magnificent show. Silly, I know, but I relish the peace and quiet. It’s been a long journey.

I sit beside the great tree, taking a rest before beginning the hike over the hills. The tree is a landmark for me, tall, strong, safe, so broad and solid, here for centuries, keeping silent vigil over the valley.  The ball rests in my hand, heavy for its size, the liquid silver swirling just below its surface.

I had finally found the orb in a small shop in Freymere, abandoned among dusty relics and battered books, its power unrecognized. I bought it for a pittance, happy that I had not needed my sword to procure it after all. How could an artifact this precious not be fiercely guarded, not be in the keeping of a mage or duke? I like to think it was waiting for me, that no one else had been able to feel the strength humming through it, that only in my hand did it warm and glow, that it only spoke to me.

“You can destroy them all,” it whispers. “I can help you.”

I quickly place it in my pack, muffling it. I hadn’t realized when I started my quest how seductive its potential would be. This small sphere, little bigger than an apple, could destroy a village, a castle, a ship. And I control it.

I stand and stretch. My destination is just beyond the peaks, the castle at Clearhaven, the Queen’s residence. The stones and mortar, the archers and horsemen will not matter. By the time they realize they are being attacked, the building will be falling around them and I will have slipped back into the forest. The Queen’s home will be in ruins, just as my village is.

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Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.