I was originally going to post a 1000 word short I wrote after reading this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig of Terrible Minds. By the by, I love his lists and have all of his writing-related books, but somehow I’ve never managed to snag his actual novels. Does that make me a bad person?
Anyway, I was going to post my piece inspired by his random 3s, but alas, I got distracted preparing from tomorrow’s new game and I ended up writing a little big of background for my character. I know, I know. I said I was going to start playing more fellas, but my original version of this character was a dude and I think it’ll work better as a female. Plus, I just wanted to do it. So there.
Without further ado, the origin story for Kava of Clan Thunderthroat.
“Then we are agreed?”
Sixteen voices answered in practiced unison. “We are.”
“Nay,” said the seventeeth. “We are not.”
Shifting voluminous robes of glittering gold cloth edged in ermine, the Sagamore cast a disapproving look at the naysayer. “We are agreed, Penosius. Your objection has been noted and overruled. Clan Thunderthroat is hereby anathematized.”
“Fools!” roared the seventeeth. “You cannot do this. Such a decision will not stand.”
“Silence, Penosius. It is done.” The Sagamore lifted a taloned finger in warning. “Clan Thunderthroat is denounced. They shall have no votes upon the council, receive no assistance from the allied clans and are prohibited from participation in The Games. Nevermore shall the dead of Clan Thunderthroat be permitted to be interred beneath Mount Valir. So decree the Council of Clan Elders, so decrees the Sagamore.”
A snap of his bejeweled fingers set his anxious assistant into action. The skinny little man scurried to the seventeeth and yanked the pendant from around his neck.
“It is done. The council is dismissed.”
With this pronouncement, the Sagamore levered himself to his feet and lumbered out of the chamber, followed by sixteen sheep in dragonborn clothing and a scattering of toadies.
“Forgive me! Forgive me!” cried the accused. Skeletal and bleeding from a thousand half-healed gashes, the prisoner flung himself against the limits of his restraints, sobbing. “Forgive me! Please, for the love of Bahamut, forgive me!”
“Abraxas,” Penosious said, advancing upon the cowering man. “Abraxas, my brother, shut your mouth or I shall do it for you. Permanently. Would that I had slain you in the womb as a stronger twin ought, rather than let you grow and live to betray us all.”
Groaning, Abraxas dropped to knees, gripping his brother’s pant leg. “Say anything but that, Pen. Anything but that. I am so sorry. Please, can you not find any glimmer of forgiveness in your heart for me? Your only brother?”
He began to weep freely, burying his face in clawed hands. Penosious felt his loyalty to his twin squeezing his heart, but he stood fast and did not move to comfort him. The crimes he had committed against his people and his clan were unforgivable. For his lust and greed and cowardice, the entirety of Clan Thunderthroat would pay the price.
“When am I to be executed?”
Penosious answered by sliding his blade from its sheath. The distinctive sound caused Abraxas’ eyes to widen and he shook his head.
“No! Not you, my brother, please!”
“It has been decided,” Penosious said, running a fingertip along the edge of his khopesh. It gleamed with a cold, merciless light; he honed it nightly with the exquisitely deft touch of a lover. “But had the Sagamore not ordered it, I would have volunteered. Perhaps with this one small act I can begin to redeem our Clan. Now bare your throat and meet your death with some modicum of dignity.”
Abraxas hesitated, casting his eyes about the chamber. Pairs of guards waited at either exit, silent and unemotional. He could see movement in the shadows, but could not discern who else bore witness to his final moments. Mistakes, he had made many, but his brother’s words rung in his ears. Straightening his shoulders, Abraxas rose up on his knees and lifted his chin.
Their eyes met and an understanding passed between them. Penosious lay his palm upon his brother’s shoulder. “Until we meet again in the next life, my brother, seek redemption.”
“Make it quick.”
The words had but left his lips when the razored edge of the heavy blade parted his head from his neck. Consciousness lingered as life poured from his body in torrents of red and the last thing Abraxas saw before his spirit departed was a small figure emerging from the shadows. Had he been able, he would have cried out to her.
Penosious moved to her side, wiping Abraxas’ blood from his blade with a square of honey-colored silk. He offered it to her, going to one knee beside her.
“Do you understand what has happened here today?”
The girl clutched the damp cloth to her chest and nodded once.
“You killed the traitor,” she said. “Killed him dead.”
Penosious touched her shoulder, the same gesture he had made to his brother at the end. “So it was ordered, so it was done. Abraxas was my brother, and I loved him, but his foolishness has cost Clan Thunderthroat immeasurably. No more will his name be spoken, not even in secret, not even between you and I.”
“Good girl. You shall come home with me and be as my own daughter. That is my duty as his brother. It is your duty, as his offspring, to remove the taint from our Clan name. But come, let us not tarry here. Say goodbye to your Father and we will be off.”
Kava tucked the silk into her belt and met her uncle’s gaze fiercely. “I have no father.”
And I’m in before midnight!
So that’s this week Flash Fiction. It counts as flash fiction, doesn’t it? Its a character sketch-slash-origin-story-slash-flash-fiction piece. So I have decreed, so it is hereby deemed. Muahaha. Sorry for the über-dramatic speech patterns. These are Dragonborn elders, after all.
What did you think?
Love & Rainbows,