This week, we go back to Enlil from the Flash Fiction post Hear Him Thunder. If you haven’t read it yet, feel free to read it here! Anyway, on to the flash fiction for this week.
Nunael stared at the man. His eyes still sparked and echoed the lightning rolling over their heads. Faint sparks lit and died on his fingertips too. She dropped to her knees before him, tears springing past her lashes when she closed her eyes.
“Look at me.”
She opened her eyes as told, unable to resist for some reason. Why was she entranced by him? He emanated anger and vengeance, and the smoking ruins of the village surrounding her castle attested to that mood. “Please…”
“Please what?” He towered over her, and lightning crackled overhead.
“Please leave my family alone.”
He crouched down with a frown. “Why should I? It’s their own fault this is happening.”
“What could they have done to merit your wrath?”
“They tried to keep what was mine.”
“And so you killed innocents?”
He scoffed. “Hardly. Your people are complicit in the crime. Your parents couldn’t protect you from a god alone.”
Her pulse raced, and her fingers trembled on the hilt of the dagger at her hip. The man’s eyes traced over the shape of the blade’s pommel, and he laughed. She trembled at the sound and slowly stood again, facing him eye to eye.
“Did they send you out here?”
“No. I was the only one willing. I offered and hoped I could reason with you. Now I see that was madness.”
He shrugged. “Well, it doesn’t matter. Not now. What does matter is that you’re here, delivered to me just as you should’ve been on the full moon a month ago.”
“Are you insane? I’m not going to leave home with a murderer.”
He stepped closer with a twisted sneer. “I’m not insane. But you are if you think you have a choice.”
“One always has a choice.”
He reached out to take her chin in his firm grip. “But you must bear the consequences of that choice. And others have choices too.”
She lifted her chin. “I don’t want to go with you.”
“But you will anyway.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because, Princess. I know why you came out here.”
She took a trembling step back. “I told you why.”
“Yes, you did.” He smiled with a sad glint in his gaze. “You want to avert more death.”
“You want to protect them, even if they don’t deserve it.”
But she didn’t believe that anymore. Not really. Not when they’d let her come out to meet the storm alone.
“Fine, have it your way. But I’ll do what’s right regardless.”
He laughed. “Right? Wrong? It makes no difference. But that is why you will come with me anyway. Because you need to do what you believe is right.”
“And you will use it against me.” She crossed her arms.
“Don’t blame me, Princess. Blame your family. They drove me to this point.”
“You had a choice. You could’ve walked away.”
“Duty demands I fulfill my word. They knew the consequences.”
“And everyone in the village? Did they know the consequences too?”
“If your parents informed them.”
“And if they didn’t?” She shook her head with a hysterical laugh. “You killed those people for doing their duty, however misguided it was. Am I to condone that?”
“It doesn’t matter to me if you do or not.” He held out a hand to her. “Now, will you come or will you try to deny me my right as well?”
She stared down at his hand. “What are the consequences for refusal?”
“I thought you knew.” He sighed. “Shall I spell it out?”
Nunael remained silent.
“Very well. You can come willingly or they all die and I’ll still take you.”
She bit the inside of her cheek and turned to look back at the castle. No one stood watching for her safe return. Cowards. Well, they might not deserve their salvation, but she wouldn’t do the wrong thing just because they had. She turned and put her hand in the stranger’s. “Let’s go then.”
That’s it for this week! I hope you all enjoyed it. Do you have something you’d like to see in future flash fictions? I’m open to suggestions, so feel free to let me know in the comments below!