WEP August 2017 challenge

For this month’s challenge, the theme was “Reunions,” which in my opinion comes in two types; joyous, and tragic. Some could argue that the intentions of the reunion, is how it is perceived. Which in the case of writing this piece, I found to be oddly double sided but, true. Once you read how this piece begins and ends you may understand why I state that. Enjoy my tale, titled The Banished Prince Returns. august2bbadge


Looking past the dungeon’s cell door, I glared at my father. Along with the strange, crippled, ancient being who ordered the guards to put me here. My father appearing more like a ghost of his former self. His hair graying and unraveled, upon a face that I barely recognized. This wasn’t the reunion I anticipated.

With a weak voice, my father said “You shouldn’t have returned my son. The exile I ordered on you, had a purpose you were too young to understand at the time. Even now I have my doubts.”

“Mother told me the truth when I turned fifteen, three years ago. Your servant has poisoned your mind, father,” I said. “Now let me out father.”

My father turned, beginning to walk away before shouting “Never,” not looking back at me. Ascending the stone staircase, followed closely by his strange companion. Leaving me alone, in the dying flame of a torch.

The torch had died before I heard the sound of approaching footsteps. They stopped as a someone said “It is true then, that the prince has returned,” the voice almost recognizable.

“Rshun,” I asked.

“Close prince, Rshun was my father,” it answered, as the footsteps returned. Stopping at my cell door. “Don’t fear prince, loyalists still remain here,” lowering their voice to a whisper. “Unfortunately, I don’t have the key to this cell but there is still a way out. That far back wall opens to a passageway from when they first built this place,” passing something under the cell door. “Your freedom has a price my prince, and the loyalists know what it is. Yet you have a choice. Kill your father, taking your rightful place on the throne, or find your father’s strange follower, and kill him instead. War is coming prince, and the kingdom needs someone strong to lead it. Be safe, and quick if you can my prince,” before walking away.

Reaching around, I touched something soft but cold. Pulling it towards me, felt the crest of my family on this piece of fabric. Slowly unwrapping it, a dim light began to peek through. I quickly realized this was the fabled Illumina. Trying to keep the light hidden I walked towards the back wall. Feeling around for the mechanism that would open the hidden passageway. Managing to find it by accident as leaned on a brick, on the edge of giving up. Being careful I entered the passageway. Trying to make a decision as I navigated the stone passageway, with little idea where I was going.

Only by stumbling around in the system of passageways did I find my way into the higher levels of the castle. Having to peek carefully through several possible openings, before finding both of them in the same room. The stranger leaning towards my father’s ear, whispering something I couldn’t hear. His hand glowing a faint shade of green, in the process. Being cautious, I cracked the door open just enough to let me through before entering the chamber. Staying close to the wall I watched them both. Knowing in my heart, what I was doing was right. Hiding the wrapped blade behind my back I approached. Surprised to see the guards made no moves to stop me. After I got close, I let the fabric fall aside. Plunging the Illumina into the back of the strange man, before it hit the ground. Withdrawing the blade, as I noticed the stranger turned only his head. Looking at me with eyes, darker than the night sky. Startled some, I stabbed the thing quickly. Avoiding his gaze, for this thing’s spell fall on me too. Apparently annoyed with me, the thing pushed me aside. Placing its entire focus on me, seemingly oblivious to the ebony goo falling from his wounds. Approaching me with his hands, slowly turning into talons. Doubting I could do much against this abomination’s true self, I ran towards it. With a twisted grin, it seized my throat. Lifting me into the air with ease. Keeping the best grip I could on the Illumina, I plunged it into the creature’s head. The thing’s grip loosened enough to drop me, as it stumbled backward. It’s head starting to glow from the inside.

I heard my father weakly shout “Kill that thing, my loyal guards.”

From the corners of the room, guards rushed forward, weapons drawn. The strange creature panicked and released a high pitched howl. Yet, the guards didn’t falter, as the first spear was hurtled into the air. Pinning that thing to the ground, as it began to bleed out. Fighting against the guards until it finally died.

Rushing to my father, I watched as the magic effects continued. Looking slightly stronger than before, but still very weak.

My father commanded “Welcome home, my son. Guards the banishment I placed on my son, is lifted. Spread the word to the kingdom, that the prince has saved the kingdom,” before seizing my hand hard. “That was the last of my strength my son. The kingdom is now yours, do me, proud son,” before fading away.


Word Count:847 Critique level: Full

 

26 thoughts on “WEP August 2017 challenge

  1. A nice contribution to the WEP this month. My one comment is to take out phrases like “beginning to walk away,” “managing to find,” “I noticed.” Your piece demands fast-paced action and these only slow that action down. I often have to go back and take these phrases out of my drafts. They must wait to pounce on us writers during our “creative defenselessness.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Christopher! You took your readers on a journey there. As well as making shorter, sharper sentences, you could leave out some of the names. So many ‘princes’ and ‘father’. It would make your story stronger, and that’s what we want. I hope you don’t mind my small suggestions.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your fantasy story for the WEP REUNIONS challenge. I think this could be part of a much-larger story.

    Denise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A thought provoking take on the prompt, showcasing both the tragic and the joyous sides of reunions. Engaging flash – thank you for a lovely read. Just a couple of suggestions for you to consider –

    Is the Illumina a sword/dagger/sceptre/wand or something else entirely? what is the source of its light? do you want to give the reader a fuller description or leave it up to the reader’s imagination? (I imagined a double point wand, with a jewelled grip)

    Is the use of participles to start sentences a conscious choice? Repetition of the same sentence structure can sound musical/lyrical (particularly apt for fantasy imho), but too much can be monotonous too, the tipping point varies for each one of us as writers, might it be worthwhile re-evaluating this piece for the exact balance you are aiming for?.

    Like

  4. Funny how those royal families have such an abundance of intrigue. Someone’s always plotting against someone else. This was an interesting story for the challenge. I wouldn’t like the idea of being caged, as the son is, even though he eventually is released.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Christopher – sorry I didn’t get here earlier … had overseas visitors. Interesting story and I was glad the son won through in the end … there must be lots of tales here to be told – a sequence of future events, and even past ones. How does the son rule and is the ‘kingdom’ benign now with a new leader … a fascinating story … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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