Flash Fiction: “The Panther Growled”

“The Panther Growled”

The panther growled, its golden eyes shining in the darkness. I turn back and raise a hand, reminding the beautiful creature to remain calm. We don’t need to advertise our presence, at least not yet. Coming around the corner hugging the shadows, I see Awayne, as unpredictable and dangerous as the cat that always accompanied him. I motion that we need to catch up to the others and he nods, not speaking.

We hurry through the old, unused tunnels and see the rest of our small party ahead, the lantern glowing dimly as they rest and wait. The plan is clear. The Queen is at her summer palace, just on the other side of this mountain, with only a small guard and a few maidservants. Our archer’s arrows will surprise the watchers. They will not have seen us approach and by the time they are aware of us it will be too late. Each of the six of us is quite talented with a sword, but Awayne, he is the one they should fear.

As we approach the group, I notice one of the men staring past me, staring past the panther. I turn to see what has caught his eye, has him frozen in fear. Awayne, power crackling around him. He raises his arm and the man shrinks back. The white flame shoots from Awayne’s hand, slamming into the helpless man’s chest. The man falls to the ground.

I stare at Awayne, sure that the shock is apparent on my face. “He would have betrayed us, betrayed you,” he states plainly and then walks on, as if nothing remarkable had occurred. I nod to the others still staring at the dead man, and we move, intent on our mission. I can’t risk questioning Awayne, and truthfully he did always know more than the rest of us, he had a sixth sense about darkness in men’s heart. I hate to think of the shadows lurking in his heart and mind, but for now his loyalty lies with me and this small army.

Yes, the Queen should fear him. But when I take her throne, I should too.

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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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