In October, I entered a 250-word flash fiction contest. That story got me to the semifinals. In November, I submitted a new story for the semifinal round.
That one didn’t make the top 5 stories, so I didn’t make the final round. But! The feedback from the judges show it was well liked, plus I love the hell out of it, so I wanted to share it with you. The guidelines for this one were it had to be a fairy tale or fantasy, had to include the action waving goodbye, and the word “fixed.”
A Heart Raised
I run my hands over Cyrus’s ceremonial robes, smoothing the folds. “I can’t believe this day has come.” Frowning, I gaze out the tall window behind him. Rooftops pepper the land. One of those cottages is mine, and I dread returning, having given up my love.
“Richard, don’t despair.” Cyrus cradles my cheek.
I put my hand atop his. “How can I not? I have to pretend you want to marry her.” I kiss his palm. “We both do.”
“Do you remember the night we met on the battlefield?”
“When you raised that army from the dead, everything changed.” He moves his hand to my chest. “My fate has been fixed since my birth, to marry a princess and unite kingdoms. Love wasn’t considered. But that night, I found my love. My necromancer. The man who raised my heart from the dead.”
He kisses me then turns to the window. He pushes the pane open.
“Running away together is treason. They wouldn’t stop looking for us.” He twists around, smiling. “But not if I’m dead. Once they’ve mourned, bring me back to your arms.” Waving goodbye, he steps through the window.
“No!” I rush over and peer down. My prince lies broken far below.
Tears fill my eyes. If I raise him, it won’t really be him. I can raise the body, not the soul. The happily ever after he imagined cannot be.
But it’s the only way to be together. And so, for us, I must try.