Another whirlwind flashfiction challenge poached from Chuck Wendig:
Link to relevant blog post (clicky)
Click this link:
It is amazing.
You are going to click that link and you are going to use what you get there to write 1000 words of flash fiction. Now, some of you may not want to write fantasy or something so plainly D&D-esque, and that’s cool — I’d then suggest clicking it, taking the result and using it as inspiration. Borrow some part of it for your character. Adjust to the genre you so desire.
So, 1000 words.
Write it at your blog or online space.
Link to it here in the comments so we can all read.
Due by next Friday, the 16th, noon EST.
Oh, and welcome to the first flash fiction challenge of the year.
If this is your first time at Write Club:
YOU HAVE TO WRITE.
(author notes appear at the end)
IMPULSIVE ELF ROGUE FROM A CARNIVAL FREAK SHOW WHO HATES THE MONARCHY
Okay, you’re inside the Fainting Goat tavern. It smells of smoke, beer, sweat, desperation, you name it. Off-duty palace guards are gathered around a large table near the fireplace and they’re playing dice. They sound well into their cups. The rest of the commons is not completely crowded, but there are few other people here. You notice a hooded man smoking a long-stemmed pipe seated in the corner. He has the main window at his back and his face is shadowed. The glass is heavily frosted so it’s hard to see through.
What about other carnies? Did any of them come?
Only Tolstoy the Fool. He’s hassling a barmaid.
Of course. For the moment I’m biding my time, trying to be unobtrusive: back to the wall, head down, you know the drill. If a barman or maid comes by I’ll signal for their attention quietly.
A busty bar wench with fiery red hair leans over your table. She’s being deliberately provocative. She says, “What fer ye, freak?” She’s smiling as she looks over your particolored carnival duds.
“Oh that’s how it is, eh? You see an elf in harlequin pants so he’s a freak. I’ll have you know my father was vizier to the old king, and his father was vizier to the even older king’s dad! My eyes are up here, baby.” I want to get her looking away from my hands. Then I’ll see whatever drink money I can get from her apron.
You sure you want to do that in here with all the palace guards and folk about? If they notice you they might burn down the circus.
Screw ‘em! The whole lot of them are all doe-eyed for a robber-king. They can suck eggs. Gimme money.
Okay, give me a charisma check for the fast talk first.
I got a nine, bonuses up to a thirteen.
She’s looking you in the eye. There’s a twinkle in hers, but she looks little shocked. Maybe she can’t tell if you’re playing with her or not. Still going to try for bus money?
Oh yeah! Daddy needs a new set of throwing knives.
Roll the sleight of hand, I’ll roll spot. She’s been around the block once or twice so she’s not entirely oblivious, even if you have got her attention elsewhere.
Modified eighteen. Not bad.
She doesn’t seem to notice. You don’t find any beer money in her apron pockets, but there is a small roll of paper that could be a bank draft. Take it?
Yeah. Okay, and here’s really why I wanted her attention: “That gentleman by the window with the pipe? Who is he?”
“Oh he’s one of them outdoorsy-types. Dangerous folk they are — wandering the moors. What his real name is I don’t know, but around here, he’s known as Sprinter. I guess he can run fast.”
“You don’t say? Wonder what he’s doing here?”
“There’s a circus in town. I guess he likes acrobats,” she says.
“Of course he does.”
“Now, did you want a beer? Or is it wine? I hear elves like to whine.” She emphasizes the ‘h’ in that last part.
My eyes are narrowing. “Was that some kind of political commentary about the present king overthrowing Randolmir Leafbottom, miss?”
“No drinks then? You might want to clear out to make way for a paying customer.”
“Beer.” What a bitch.
Well, you robbed her, so one up for you.
Yeah, when she walks away I’ll look at the note.
It’s a hand-drawn charcoal sketch of the Crown Prince. Looks an awful lot like Sprinter, come to think of it.
Wow, can I do a knowledge check to see if my character know the Prince is also Sprinter?
You have no real definitive idea, but the picture in your hand is does make you wonder.
Alright. I’ll leave the roll of paper on the table. I want to talk about it when she comes back with my beer.
As you go to place the drawing on the planks you hear her voice. She’s telling the palace guards nearby you’re a pickpocket and you’ve taken something of hers. At first they don’t seem too interested, but when you turn to look, she’s got her personality all up in the captain’s face, and her foot is on the bench between his thighs. Your carnie-sense is tingling – she’s a player character.
The captain turns to look at you. His cheeks are ruddy, but there’s a scowl on his face. She leans down and whispers something to him. His eyes shoot wide enough you can see the whites from across the room. He shouts at his men to apprehend you.
Dammit, dammit! Is there a clear path to the exit or the kitchens? I’ll leap either way.
The main door, no: Sprinter is there and he is on his feet. You dive for the kitchens, pushing through the cook. You can hear Tolstoy yelling after you from the commons. He called you by name.
Dammit again! What an idiot! Okay, kitchen exit to the alley or something? A window?
There’s a door. You smash through it in double-time and find yourself staring down the length of a gleaming longsword. Holding the hilt is Sprinter. He must have moved pretty fast to get around the building and catch you here. Dex check now.
Aw, crap. Natural one.
He’s got the coup-de-grace on you. What do you do?
“Listen carefully, regicide. I know who you are and why you’re hiding in the circus. Sorry for the sword, but the captain is right behind you. You’ll be arrested and taken to the citadel donjon. The gaoler there will put you in the oubliette. In a week’s time, the trapdoor will open and a rope will fall. You will free yourself, find a weapon, and infiltrate the palace proper. You will assassinate my father. Long live Leafbottom. I have him here, captain!”
Having a blog entry title with the word “fuck” in it makes me itchy. Why I had to spoof on Lord of the Rings I don’t really know, but something about the old D&D barroom cliché got me going.