Since the day Kat DuPont made a deal with the Fee of the Earth Realm, each realm has begun to merge. Follow along with Rise of the Realms flash fiction short stories, and watch as her consequences unfold.
To the readers: Each flash fiction will be written from scratch at the time of posting – a complete “on the spot” writing of the author’s imagination. Each story will be written and posted immediately, untouched by an editor. At no time may this be copied or reproduced in any way, without permission. (C) D. Fischer 2018.
Minea swings his axe over his head, connecting the steel to the pile of inferaze rock. He grunts as the bones in his arms vibrate due to force and resistance.
The sound doesn’t echo through the cave tunnels. The walls simply absorb the ruckus of metal attempting to split a solid object, vital to their way of life. Minea wipes the sweat gathering at his brow, cursing the stubborn rock. The inferaze has many purposes, some more dangerous and deadly than others.
Behind him, Tally taps the cave wall with the smallest of chisels, extracting the dream dust with a careful hand. The dream dust twinkles against the black inferaze like the Milky Way on a clear, cool night, providing the light the dwarves need to complete their tasks.
When extracted, each sparkle drops, floating into the satchel held by the mute dwarf beside him. The mute dwarf holds the satchel with firm fingers. The sandman, who will be given the dream dust, needs every mote the inferaze cave offers before he departs this realm to complete his own duties.
“How many does she have now?” Tally asks Minea, ignoring the mute dwarf’s curious stare. His words are a hushed whisper. It is dangerous times in the dream realm for the dwarves. If any dwarf, devoted to their maker, were to overhear his inquiry, he would lose his tongue, just as his mute dwarf helper.
Though the dwarves are the mind and genius behind this realm’s structure – creating and inventing at their maker, Sureen’s demand – they are over-looked and almost never consulted, but gossip and rebellious behavior are forbidden. They are to be seen and never heard.
Minea pauses his axe’s swing mid-way. His muscles are thick along his arms, and ripple with the sudden halt. “Sureen?” Tally nods. Minea lowers the axe to his side and glances around, gazing at the other dwarves mining the cave walls. He pushes a stray black hair from his sticky forehead and tucks it behind his tiny ear. “The last I heard, she had maybe twenty or thirty beasts.”
Tally dips his head, sighing. “Who told you this?”
“Nally said so.” Minea turns back to the rumble of inferaze. With a deep inhale, he swings the axe up and over his head, connecting with the black rock. The rock breaks, cracking into several pieces.
Tally chuffs. “Nally also said there was a dragon here. The old man has grown senile, providing hope where there is none, only to feed the desperate.” He pauses, puckering his lips. “What do you think she’ll do with her new creations?”
Taking the few steps to the cave wall, Minea rests his axe’s handle against it, bends his knees, and gathers the inferaze in his arms. He stands and looks to the cave’s tunnel exit, the heart of the dream realm’s existence.
From here he can see the captured dreams roaming the caves height, clouds of flowing yellow, like the rays of northern lights. The captured dreams dip, entering the dome to feed the realm. The dome pulses like the beat of a heart, feeding the realm substance.
Minea remembers when the dome was built, and he sighs with frustration and sorrow. How far the fee have fallen, he thinks to himself.
He knows what Sureen will do. After all, he’s one of the few who have survived the longest in such a harsh enslavement. He’s privy to her envious and vengeful motives.
Minea lowers his voice and glares at the blinding, pulsing dome. “War,” he answers, his tone thick with certainty and grief. And many will die the most devastating deaths.