Hey, everyone! I’m back this week with another Flash Fiction Friday. This week’s flash fiction focuses on Yuldha, the young Queen of Elventar, as she faces the oncoming army from Aleshtain. Determined not to let them take what is hers and her people’s, she stands in defense of their capital city.
Yuldha leaned over the parapet of the stone wall, squinting at the oncoming hoard. They’d be here in less than ten minutes. She pushed herself away from the edge of the wall and retreated. Close enough for archers to get a lucky shot. Wouldn’t that make King Myranor happy? The lucky archer who got a shot on her would be rewarded handsomely. Assuming Myranor was in a mood to have her dead instead of alive.
She pressed her back against the cool stone of the walkway’s back wall. Who knew what his mood would be? Really, what had the king expected? That she, Queen of a realm who hated his with an eternal passion, would accept his offer? Wed him and hand over the kingdom his ancestors had been trying to fell for centuries? She glared out across the plains. The man was a fool.
“My Lady, please come down from there! The archers are within range, and the men await your orders.”
Yuldha glanced down at the stairs leading into the keep. Her glare faded, and the corners of her mouth twitched up in a smile. “You worry too much, Lord Trydan.”
Trydan grinned. “It’s my job as the Matriarch’s Sword, my Lady.”
She wrinkled her nose. “You shouldn’t call yourself by your official title.”
“Why not?” He raised a brow. “Would you prefer some other title?”
Her heart skipped a beat, and she offered him an indulgent smile. Ever persistent in his advances. She had to admire that. And she wasn’t going to lie. His flirtatious manner warmed her, particularly since she was the only one on the receiving end. She flipped her braid over her shoulder and stalked to the stairs. A Queen still had to keep up pretenses. She couldn’t act the innocent maiden or starry-eyed damsel with anyone. Not in public, at least. “Of course not. It would go to your head, Dhan.”
He laughed and offered her a hand down the last few steps. “I’m sure you’d keep me in my place, Yul.”
She shot him a glare. “You’re not to call me that in public. You know that.”
“Why not?” The playful smirk replaced the warm smile.
She squeezed his hand until he hissed and looked away. “Because I said so. You shouldn’t need me to explain to you how it looks for Elventar’s warrior queen to lower her guard for a mere man.”
He wrinkled his nose. “I’m not just any man, Yul,” he murmured.
“We’re in a war, Trydan.” Heat flooded her, belying the ice she’d imbued in her tone. “I don’t have time to be weak. And after what that Rith-cursed savage pulled, I’m not inclined to consider anyone.”
He squeezed her hand in return, but the pressure was gentle and comforting. “Someday you will be. You’re too strong to let him ruin you for love, my warrior Queen.”
She tugged her hand from his grasp even though she wanted to leave it there, to let him comfort her and tell her everything would be fine. Well, there was time enough for that later. If they survived this battle. She strode ahead, leaving Dhan behind to consider his words and her obvious cold shoulder. If he still chased after her, maybe—and that was a big maybe—she’d consider it. After all, if Elventar survived this siege—and she was determined it would—her line would need to continue somehow. Dhan was a good choice. Her lips curved up in a fierce smile.
Her soldiers snapped to attention as she stalked into the open courtyard. She waited as they saluted and greeted her, hands thumping to their chests over their hearts. In response, she bowed, silently showing her respect for their unspoken vow of protection. Then she straightened and met their gazes. “Men and women of Elventar, today we fight. Let’s show Aleshtain they can’t have our home no matter what they try!”
The men and women roared their approval, slamming the butts of spears to the ground or rattling swords against spears. She smiled, resting a hand on the sword sheathed at her hip. King Myranor was going to rue the day he ever crossed her. He thought he could barge in here and take her and her kingdom by force? Well, she’d show him what happened to those dumb enough to try.
That’s it for this Friday, folks! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you enjoyed this week’s flash fiction or have anything you’d like to ask, feel free to drop it in the comments below.