Flash Fiction: Better to Wait

Forest

Better to Wait

353 words

“She’s here.” The woman gazed into the polished black disk she cupped in her hands. She slid the stone into a pocket in her gown and stalked into the forest, her crimson cloak trailing behind her. The woods hushed, the creatures scurried to their hiding places, birds kept silent in the trees. The man at her side, heavy sword slung across his back, grumbled under his breath. Even if she was here, as the Queen saw, he knew they wouldn’t find her. She was as silent in the woods as she was in the town, but the Queen seemed to think this was the one chance to kill the girl. The girl she had seen in that stone of hers, the girl who would kill her.

They continued deeper into the trees. He could feel the eyes watching him, and he pulled his sword from its leather scabbard. He felt safer with it in his hands. The woman at his side merely wrapped her cloak tighter around her, pulling the hood up; as night approached it was cooling quickly. “My lady,” he ventured. “Perhaps we should return to the castle. We will shut the gates for the night and the guards will keep a fire burning.” The girl would not dare try to enter the castle while they were on full alert.

The Queen pulled out her disk, stared for a minute and then shoved it back in frustration. The girl was gone. Without a word, she turned and tramped back toward the forest’s edge, head held high, ignoring the twigs snapping beneath her feet. “Tomorrow you will send out the hunters.” A much better plan, he had to agree, although the Queen was deadlier, and more feared, than even his best man.

Just a few feet from where the pair had stood, a dark gray wolf stood in the shadows. She growled softly, and then padded silently behind the pair, stopping before she stepped into the field. The two mounted their horses and rode toward the castle. She longed to follow, to grab the Queen by the throat, but better to wait.

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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.

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