Update: Many thanks to the judges at the Flash! Friday Fiction Challenge for selecting the story below as the Winner of last week’s challenge! Here’s what the contest judge, Jess West, had to say about my story:
“The Sorcerer’s Daughter”
There are stories that make a good first impression, and there are those that stick with you; “The Sorcerer’s Daughter” does both. Kass displays proud defiance and cunning against her loving but immovable father. These two strong characters grabbed my attention and held it. The level of character development in this piece especially is amazing, considering how short these flash fictions are. Kass goes from stubbornly standing her ground to quietly accepting her fate. The shift does not detract from my respect for this character. In fact, the opposite is true. Her courage in facing her father and her bravery in accepting his punishment stuck with me, even after a few hours away from the story. Of all the things she could have done to save her own life, instead she accepted what she knew was coming and countered immediately with her revenge. I can just hear the whisper deep within the gnarled tree, “I will go wherever you send me, but I will not go alone.” If Kass couldn’t be free to love whomever she chose, she wouldn’t be free at all – and neither would her captor. Bravo!
Today’s Flash! Friday Fiction challenge was to take 150 words and craft a story based on the picture below, which also highlighted the concept of freedom. Here we go again!
Earth goddess. Imaginary Worlds exhibit, Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo by C. Joey Ivansco. Used by permission.
The Sorcerer’s Daughter
The royal guards shriveled back as they entered the throne room. The dark magic of this place was known to scorch all who lingered.
Kass squared her shoulders, unafraid. “Hello, Father.”
The torchlight set his simmering face ablaze. But even in his anger, he offered his daughter a cursory kiss. “You are not to marry this peasant, Kass. He is beneath you.”
“He has stolen my heart, Father. It cannot be undone.”
His obsidian eyes were sorrowful, but determined. After a long moment, he broke her stubborn gaze. “Never underestimate the power of a sorcerer’s kiss, my darling,” he whispered.
Already her ivory skin was darkening, crumbling away into common sod. “Wise words, Father. Remember them…always.”
They later found the gnarled tree fashioned in her likeness. Now her beauty shone eternal, eyes forever closed in quiet submission. And in her palm lay an obsidian pebble, frozen in a silent scream.