Flash Fiction

10 – Rise of the Realms Short Story

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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 *FREE* 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. Reader’s be advised: these stories are dark, Epic Fantasy – adolescent readers are not recommended. At no time may this be copied or reproduced in any way, without permission. (C) D. Fischer 2018.

 

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TO GROW A SANDMAN 

This section was written in book two, Disobedient, of Rise of the Realms, but from another’s perspective. It may be difficult to understand what is going on, unless you’ve read the book.

***

Pain. Muscle growth. Crippling agony. Nerves formed.

Breathe. Breathe. 

What is this? What am I? Where am I?

I groan, the same sound seeming to echo by other beings off in the distance.

Something solid, rocky, encases me, scraping sensitive portions of my body. The loud noises hurt my ears, a grind – many grinds. A yellow light pulses bright, seeping through my blindness. I scrunch my face – the blindness is due to my skin. How do I open the skin? How do I see?

“Don’t you worry, Sandman. Your creation is almost complete,” a deep, rough voice reassures. “Just a while longer and the inferaze willow tree will free you – all of you. Your pain is almost over.”

A Sandman. Is that what I am? The other moans – are they like me too?

A sliver of comfort wraps around me; a need. Who owns the voice which promises relief?

“Nally, they want you in the tunnels,” another speaks. The new voice comes closer, a shuffle and pause. “This one is almost ready, huh?”

“Yes,” Nally responds, his voice a whisper, a touch of sympathy. “I don’t like this Tomkin. As Dwarfs, we could have invented another solution to grow Sandmen. One without pain.”

Tomkin makes an odd sound, one I’m unfamiliar with, portraying annoyance. “Sureen likes her creatures created this way. You know that. A creature formed in pain is an obedient creature.”

“Come now, Tompkin. You can’t believe that.”

Their voices fade as they leave me. A twinkle, several clinks, chime around my space. “Of course not. What’s a dwarf to do, Nally . . .”

Nally, I repeat in my head, committing it to memory, using it to anchor me in my agony.

Sharp pains in my middle. Pricking vibrations. Hot, internal heat. Cold, damp air.

Free me, I beg, the words bouncing in my head, taunting, before the pain drowns it.

I moan once more, my body’s construction taking precious time and stealing thoughts, a prisoner to this willow Nally spoke of. My breathing quickens, the space too tight, the sensations too great.

More clinks of the twinkling sound offends my ears, sharp and solid, yet makes me aware of another entering. Breathing. I hear breathing.

I groaning, a wordless beg, I want to demand someone end it. How do I use my voice?

Free me.

“That’s a sandman,” this new voice whispers, musical and feminine.

The twinkling clinks sound once more, another entrance to my prison.

Hope. I feel hope.

The newcomer’s steps are quiet, nearing me with agile grace, while the other, the musical voice, remains where she is. I recognize them – their make. The knowledge is instinctual: Angel and Fee.

The pulsing light, which filters in through the skin on my eyes, is disrupted with blessed darkness. A gentle, cold touch caresses my cheek – the Fee’s hand. It’s slow, soft, delicate, but ice. Deliberate. Loving. Foreign. I sag into the palm, and the skin pulls on my face, scrunching.

“So that’s how she does it,” the Fee mumbles.

Their curiosity gives them away. They don’t belong here.

“Does what?” the first voice – the Angel – growls. It’s threatening, furious even. Perhaps this voice will save me.

A short pause and the hand releases my skin before speaking. “That is what Corbin meant by incubator. This is how she creates the sandmen. She plants them inside the willows.”

“Plants them?” the Angel asks. “Where would she get the seed for each new growth?”

“ . . . The trees are her womb, the crystal leaf the seed . . .”

The voices are hard to hear, my concentration fading. My growth takes this moment to send a wave of invisible sharp stabs across my body, clouding my thoughts, stealing the conversation from me as if knowing I crave it. Their voices fades, words I can’t hear through the torture.

They leave me, alone, my harbors of freedom and comfort abandoning me.  Did they not see my desperation? Do they not wish me free?

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