I’m back with some flash fiction this time. I’m still in the process of ironing out the finer details of Cold Scent and hope to continue it as a part of Camp NaNoWriMo in July. For today, I’ve written a fictional piece using Ronovan Hester’s prompt for this week – ‘Have a drink’. He suggested a word count of 500 and I managed to stick to that. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I liked writing it.
Amaris had no intention of attending the feast, but she knew she had little choice in that matter. She sat as still as she could on the cold metal chair that had been a wedding gift from the chieftain of a land whose name she didn’t care to memorise. Her many servants moved about her in a practised way, doing up her hair in complicated steps that she didn’t bother to follow. It seemed as if all her spirit had melted away ever since she’d travelled to this foreign land to join her husband. Everything around her felt strange and alien, right down to the confusing accent of the people. Amaris longed to be home, back among the comforting sights, sounds and smells of the palace she had grown up in. But she had no say in that either. She was powerless here; a shadow who couldn’t communicate with those around her.
“Have a drink,” her husband’s deep, commanding voice jolted her out of her reverie. It took her a minute to absorb her surroundings – the glittering gold cutlery and even richer food met her eyes. Try as she might, she couldn’t remember how she had ended up there. She nodded meekly at him as she sipped the drink in her goblet. She almost spat it out. It was the bitterest thing she’d ever had. She made a face at the dark red liquid swirling inside it and scanned the faces of the half a dozen guests to see if anybody had noticed her reaction. Nobody seemed to be paying her any attention. Amaris ducked her head and did not look up until the meal was over.
She endured another long hour as the royal poet recited about the great deeds of the man holding her hand, trapping her next to him. She flexed her tender fingers when he released them to applaud at the end of the performance. More entertainment would no doubt follow, but she’d had enough.
“My Lord,” she called. He turned his stern gaze at her and it took all her resolve not to flinch away.
“Would you like to sing, my Queen?” he rumbled.
“N-no, my Lord,” she stammered, her body trembling.
“Why not, Amaris? Your father assured me you have a beautiful voice.” He laughed. She shuddered.
“I’m feeling indisposed, my Lord. Perhaps another night?” she suggested, her voice almost inaudible.
“You’ve used that excuse too many times. You’re not going anywhere tonight, my dear.” His sweet voice didn’t betray the veiled threat his words held.
She gulped and faced him. “No.”
“No? It isn’t your place to deny me anything, Amaris. You’re mine now.” He gripped her shoulder as if to drive his point home. She wriggled away from his touch and stood up.
She excused herself as the gathered guests turned to look at her in surprise and strolled away, leaving behind a startled silence. It was time she put that voice she was blessed with to good use.
It took me a little over an hour to write and edit this piece, so I really hope it is up to the mark as I have more pressing engagements preventing me from editing it thoroughly. I wish that the message it conveys is relatable on some level. Happy weekend, everybody!