Flash Fic Writing Challenge – The Blade
Chuck Wendig’s latest flash fiction challenge is to combine two types of shows/styles into one story. Here’s my entry – Game of Thrones meets Breaking Bad.
Merwyn had just come out of the forest when she heard the raised voices, and saw the mill was on fire.
Plumes of black smoke rose from the white building, and around it she saw the black clad bannermen of Prince Roald. Most weren’t wearing much in the way of armor, probably because sheer numbers dictated they would win any battle.
She was not surprised that Roald’s Chief of the Guards, Sir Eoif, started down the dirt path towards her, two of his lesser men trailing behind his horse. They were both big and well fed, and one had a nose that made her think of pigs, while the other was ruddy from alcohol. She gripped her basket of berries tightly, and wondered what indignities they’d try to inflict on her as she attempted to pass.
“Were you alone?” Eoif asked, halting his chestnut horse directly in her path.
“Yes,” she replied, deciding to hide her loathing behind bland stupidity. “I was picking thornberries.” She slightly elevated her basket, to show the berries.
Eoif smiled in that way that made it look like he was barely suppressing a sneer, and got off his horse, getting down on the ground with the rest of the peasants. “Yes, good lady, I can see that. Are you sure that’s all you were doing? You weren’t meeting someone?”
She stared at him dully. Keep it bland and stupid and low key, and this inbred dullard would never see the contempt. “Who would I meet?”
Eoif stood in front of her, looking puffed up and smug, his gloved hand hanging casually close to his sword hilt. “I’m sure even you must have heard of the brigand who’s known, rather pathetically, as The Blade. He and his gang of cutthroats have been known to be active in this area. You wouldn’t by chance be helping to hide them, now would you?”
“No, my lord. If I had known there were outlaws in the forest, I’d have never gone.”
He studied her for a moment, and then snickered, his eyes looking past her to the forest beyond. He had already dismissed her as a threat. “No, I don’t suppose you would have.”
The shouting voices continued, and down at the mill, she saw one of the Prince’s thugs cut down the miller, chopping him in half like a stalk of wheat. Either he had mouthed off at one of them, or he was on the Prince’s hate list for unfathomable reasons. He was a mere child, a spoiled brat, who seemed to think putting people randomly to the sword was the way you ruled a kingdom. And a preening savage like Eoif saw no reason not to take advantage of this.
A bird sounded in the trees, and Eoif turned to his thugs. “Raze the village. And bring torches. If the bastard won’t come out of hiding, we’ll burn him out.”
She let her right hand drop, and the knife slid from her sleeve into her palm. She dropped the basket of berries as she came up behind Eoif and slit his throat in one quick movement. His blood spurted all over his men, who recoiled in shock, but piggy hadn’t even pulled his sword before she jammed the dagger straight in his eye, right up to the hilt, and twisted. He was still scrabbling to pull it out as he fell. The drunk was no better, as he had a hold of his sword hilt as two arrows flew from the forest behind her and pierced his chest and his face. He went down with barely a gasp.
Merwyn bent down to yank the knife from piggy’s eye socket as the air was alive with arrows and the startled shrieks of Eoif’s men, being cut down before they fully realized they were under attack. Piggy’s mouth was opening and closing, his hands curled up like claws, but he was more than half past dead. “You’re all fools,” she spat, wiping the gore of his eye and brain on his own stained tunic. “Did you really think that I wouldn’t know you were coming? This is my territory!” In theory, it was a shame about the miller, but she’d never liked that corpulent asshole, so it was no great loss.
The measured footsteps behind her belonged to Josie, her lieutenant, so she didn’t bother to turn. “What now?”
“Eoif’s gone, and his men have been reduced by one brigade. The castle’s ours to take, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Merwyn ripped off her peasant skirt, exposing the trousers beneath. It was much easier to ride in men’s garments. Josie stared at her in open surprise. “The castle? But … Prince Roald –“
“Is the old boss,” she interrupted impatiently. “I’m the new one. He just doesn’t know it yet.” She grabbed the reins of Eoif’s horse and pulled herself up into the saddle.
They thought they were afraid of The Blade now? Wait. She’d make them sorry they ever heard her name.
First, the castle. Then, the world.