Author Topic: 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction - “Swords of the Fathers”  (Read 682 times)

Offline EliTaffJr

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Sedric folded his hands atop the cold wooden table.

A sack of blue and yellow uniforms leaned against his chair.

Across from him, Sedric’s father glared and fumed. He was a large man with a bushy beard and fierce, glowering eyes.

“The Royal Army… why, Sedric?”

In the pre-dawn darkness, the flickering glow of a single candle illuminated father and son.

Sedric licked his lips. His pale cheeks bloomed red.

“I wish to serve my kingdom…” Sedric stammered.

“Were you not happy at Mercantile School? Was it too much to hope that you would get certified, open your own shop one day, and settle down? Start a family? No! You’d rather play soldier!”

Sedric’s lip quivered. He balled his hands into fists.

“Father, There’s talk.” Sedric said. “A new Darklord unites the Orcish tribes to the East. He’s-”
Sedric’s father laughed.

“Boy,” He said, “there is always talk! A new Darklord, or the return of the dragons, or a Crystal Knight appearing to unite the kingdoms.”

Sedric’s father stood and walked into the living area.

“Papa. I’ll never be happy here.” Sedric turned away. “It’s… You’re a farmer. You’ve never had to fight for anything. You wouldn’t understand.”

Sedric’s father knelt and pulled aside the large rug that covered the hard stone floor. He picked up a loose stone and grunted, lifting the rock out of the ground and revealing a small space. Then, he reached in and extracted a longsword sheathed within a black scabbard. The silver pommel was the shape of a roaring dragon, and the crossguard held two glittering emeralds.

His father approached Sedric, holding the sword out before him.

“This is Brightstar. Your grandfather wielded it in the First Crystal War. I wielded it in the Border Conflicts.”
The blade hissed as Sedric’s father pulled it from its scabbard. It glittered in the candlelight with a soft magical glow.

“Your grandfather was the Dragon of Atrakhan. He was a great warrior and his blood flows through your veins. I was a fool to think you would be happy, living as a sheep.”

He sheathed the sword and wrapped it up in a blanket.

“Mention your grandfather: Todrik. Request to train and fight with Brightstar. It’s a named heirloom. They will permit it.”

Sedric reverently took the sword.

“I charge you, Sedric Willamont.” His father spoke the soldier’s benediction. “Do only good by your fellow soldiers, and by your commanders. Deal honorably with your allies, and your enemies. Never shirk your duty to your lord, your king, or your gods.”

Sedric’s father smiled.

“And for the gods’ sake, write whenever you can.”

——————————————

An hour later, while traveling through the forest, Sedric unwrapped the scabbard and unsheathed the blade.

“Brightstar.” He smiled. “I’ll prove worthy of you.”

“Nice blade, kid.”

The bandits had only planned to rob Sedric, but when he refused to put down the sword, they murdered him.

His body lay in the mud until his father discovered it, a week later.

Brightstar was long gone.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 10:27:39 AM by EliTaffJr »
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Offline nosuchmember

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 12:18:36 AM »
Eli. I read it and when I got to the end, I wanted to cry, Sedric was murdered.

Very good write...

Jan

Offline EliTaffJr

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 12:19:55 AM »
Eli. I read it and when I got to the end, I wanted to cry, Sedric was murdered.

Very good write...

Jan

Thank you for taking the time to read it, Jan! I appreciate the feedback!
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Offline nosuchmember

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 12:26:32 AM »
Thank you for taking the time to read it, Jan! I appreciate the feedback!

Thank you for sharing 'Swords of the Fathers.' 
Look forward to reading more of your work.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 02:00:52 AM »
Poor Sedric, all that enthusiasm and no skills to go with it.

A good little tale, within the confines of flash fiction.

What intrigued me was Sedric's father.  He's either a warrior who had chosen to be a farmer post conflict, or a farmer who had been to war and then returned to the land without telling his son about his past.  (But he still kept the sword.)

There's a rich vein waiting to be explored there if you ask yourself how or why his father made the transitions.

Three minor points worth mentioning...

I picked up on the sack of uniforms and initially wondered if Sedric, presumably a previously peaceful type, was planning to create a King's Army.  So in my mind I was already heading down the wrong track.  But maybe others wouldn't get that first impression, so don't attribute too much weight to this comment.

=====
 
The man sheathed the sword and wrapped it in a blanket.
Don't be afraid to just use 'he'.  Why? Because by saying 'The man' it suggests there is now a third party in the room.  Unnecessary confusion in an otherwise tightly written tale.

=====

The sword, Brightstar, was long gone.

You probably don't need to remind readers Brightstar was a sword, so you could start the sentence with the name.

=====

Minor nitpickings, maybe, but think about them.  And keep writing.

=====

PS.  Congratulations on giving the sword a glitter and a hiss - and therefore a hint of a personality of its own - without going over the top about its magical properties.

Gyppo

« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 02:05:07 AM by Gyppo »
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Offline EliTaffJr

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 03:00:10 AM »
Poor Sedric, all that enthusiasm and no skills to go with it.

A good little tale, within the confines of flash fiction.

What intrigued me was Sedric's father.  He's either a warrior who had chosen to be a farmer post conflict, or a farmer who had been to war and then returned to the land without telling his son about his past.  (But he still kept the sword.)

There's a rich vein waiting to be explored there if you ask yourself how or why his father made the transitions.

Three minor points worth mentioning...

I picked up on the sack of uniforms and initially wondered if Sedric, presumably a previously peaceful type, was planning to create a King's Army.  So in my mind I was already heading down the wrong track.  But maybe others wouldn't get that first impression, so don't attribute too much weight to this comment.

=====
 
The man sheathed the sword and wrapped it in a blanket.
Don't be afraid to just use 'he'.  Why? Because by saying 'The man' it suggests there is now a third party in the room.  Unnecessary confusion in an otherwise tightly written tale.

=====

The sword, Brightstar, was long gone.

You probably don't need to remind readers Brightstar was a sword, so you could start the sentence with the name.

=====

Minor nitpickings, maybe, but think about them.  And keep writing.

=====

PS.  Congratulations on giving the sword a glitter and a hiss - and therefore a hint of a personality of its own - without going over the top about its magical properties.

Gyppo

Thank you, Gyppo!

Your critiques were perfect! Just what I needed: a new set of critical eyes to dissect and find the weaknesses in my work. I appreciate it so much, and can't wait for you to read the other stories I've got planned for this Flash Fiction anthology. Thank you again! Much, much appreciated!
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 05:52:27 AM »
You're welcome.
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

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Offline poetryman123

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 11:11:29 AM »
What a sad story. Almost brought me to tears.
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Offline EliTaffJr

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 06:47:28 PM »
What a sad story. Almost brought me to tears.

Thank you very much for reading!
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Offline landmersm

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 09:28:16 PM »
Your writing is very nice. Concise. To the point. If there were any spelling or grammar mistakes, I missed them.

Did you mean to put a space in between each line? Copying and pasting to this site can get a little wonky at times. Just wondering. Formatting on here is tricky sometimes, or at least it has been for me.

If I have any critiquing to do, it's this: I think maybe you're too concise?  (I've been told I'm too wordy, so take that with a grain of salt.) I wanted to hear more, see the characters fleshed out a bit more.  I'm assuming this is the intro to the story, but a little more about the world around them would fit in nicely. Nothing too much, though. Your words move pretty quickly, and you shouldn't do anything to slow that down, imo. I felt, at times, like I did back when I was playing Final Fantasy on the SNES. (And yes. I'm dating myself here.) If I had already played through a section and had to start over, I'd fast forward through the dialogue as quick as I could. It felt like I was skipping something importing when reading your story.

I enjoy fantasy, but I don't think I could ever write it. The world building involved is astounding. Of course, I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings for the fifth time currently. That may have something to do with my feelings.  My advice there is to take some time and develop the universe. Make it believable and different. Find unique names for characters and places and battles and etc. I feel like I've heard the Dark Lord a bunch. (LOTR). Brightstar. (SNES) First Crystal War. (FF series). You get the idea.

Keep pushing. You've certainly got the skill. Hone it. Like you would if you were learning to use a blade maybe?

Best of luck!
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Offline EliTaffJr

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Re: Swords of the Fathers - 500 Words - Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 10:55:46 PM »
Your writing is very nice. Concise. To the point. If there were any spelling or grammar mistakes, I missed them.

Did you mean to put a space in between each line? Copying and pasting to this site can get a little wonky at times. Just wondering. Formatting on here is tricky sometimes, or at least it has been for me.

If I have any critiquing to do, it's this: I think maybe you're too concise?  (I've been told I'm too wordy, so take that with a grain of salt.) I wanted to hear more, see the characters fleshed out a bit more.  I'm assuming this is the intro to the story, but a little more about the world around them would fit in nicely. Nothing too much, though. Your words move pretty quickly, and you shouldn't do anything to slow that down, imo. I felt, at times, like I did back when I was playing Final Fantasy on the SNES. (And yes. I'm dating myself here.) If I had already played through a section and had to start over, I'd fast forward through the dialogue as quick as I could. It felt like I was skipping something importing when reading your story.

I enjoy fantasy, but I don't think I could ever write it. The world building involved is astounding. Of course, I'm re-reading Lord of the Rings for the fifth time currently. That may have something to do with my feelings.  My advice there is to take some time and develop the universe. Make it believable and different. Find unique names for characters and places and battles and etc. I feel like I've heard the Dark Lord a bunch. (LOTR). Brightstar. (SNES) First Crystal War. (FF series). You get the idea.

Keep pushing. You've certainly got the skill. Hone it. Like you would if you were learning to use a blade maybe?

Best of luck!

Hello and thank you for the kind feedback! I’m actually trying to compile an anthology of flash fiction where the gimmick is that the stories are all exactly 500 Words in length.

I Thought about the space between lines, I actually think it makes sense because of the way the stories are structured. Should I take the spaces out for future submissions?

Thanks also for noting the generic terms hahaha I think a lot of them will be placeholders for future names that aren’t so stereotypical.

I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you for reading and taking the time to give me your constructive criticism!
Horror Flash Fiction Anthology - Killer Space Clown
http://bit.ly/2t2pNN8

Dark Fantasy Flash Fiction Anthology - Flashes of Death and Darkness
http://bit.ly/2ykzcTh

Join my mailing list and be the first to Beta read and receive FREE advanced review copies of all my work!
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