Flash Fiction: The End Bit

Coat of arms of unspecified drawn by Ssire for...

It has been a long time since I last wrote something for one of Chuck Wendig’s Friday flash fiction challenges. I know I say that a lot, but it has been weeks and for one reason or another I kept putting it off or I never found the time, which is probably tantamount to the same thing. Well this week’s challenge was too much of a sign to pass up.

For this week’s challenge he wants the last 1000 words of a novel, the ending, the summing, up the bit just before you get to the ‘Also by this author bit’. You get the idea. Maybe, just maybe if I had a go at writing the ending of my own struggling novel it would provide a bit more of a kick for me to write the rest of it. It does sound like it could work, and the worse that could happen is that I end up just writing some fiction instead, the horror.

So, with no more of an intro than the one I have already bored you with, here’s… ‘The End Bit’…

Oh, and it will very likely change if the damn thing is ever at a publishable standard so don’t start hunting me down if it differs. (I’m just thinking ahead, better safe than sorry.)

(N.B. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be.)

“The End Bit”

The streets were decorated with bright silks and flowers, musicians and dancers performed on nearly every street corner. Today was a day to celebrate in the town, today was the day that Young Lord Bedwyr would take command of the town of as Lord Bedwyr of Tallenchester.

He was excited, and he never thought he would be. Three weeks ago, he would have done anything to fly in the face of tradition and mix things up, but three weeks ago he hadn’t had to fight for those he cared about, or fight for the very land he would soon rule over. He sat in the ornately carved carriage still weak from his injuries, the healers had healed his wounds as best as they could but he still needed time to rest. He would just have to rest another day, today was too important.

‘Are you OK?’ asked Deryn flicking a curl of blonde hair from her eyes.

‘Yeah, I’m good. How’s the happy couple?’

‘Isolde and Lung? Getting married, or at least their equivalent. I think they want kids.’

‘Kids! But he’s an ogre and she’s… well she’s a lot smaller, I mean how does that even…’

‘I think it’s best not to think of it my love, they are magical creatures after all.’

‘Should we expect tiny winged ogres or….’

Deryn reached forward and put her hand on his. ‘Concentrate on your day my love.’

Bedwyr looked up into her eyes and smiled ‘Sorry, my Lady.’

The carriage pulled in to the square, amidst the roars and cheers of the crowd that had gathered. Bedwyr looked out into the happy cheering faces. The day was for celebrating so nobody needed to work, but there was still that part of him that was surprised that all these people didn’t have better things to do, then watch him put on a new cloak.

The carriage stopped and the door opened.

‘Glad you could make it my lord.’ Said the Captain of the Guard saluting him formally.

‘Wouldn’t miss this for the world, Louie’ the Captain of the Guard stood to one side of the door as Bedwyr and Deryn got out of the carriage. The crowd cheered even louder as their new Lord in his shining golden armour walked across the square to where Lord Pache was sitting. Bed was amazed to see his father looking so healthy. He had come so close to being killed yet he looked as strong as an ox and twice as dangerous.

Trumpeters called for silence and the crowd obeyed, only the odd crying child broke the silence.

‘Young Lord Bedwyr.’ Lord Pache began. ‘Please kneel.’

Bedwyr obeyed and knelt before his father, bowing his head.

‘Young Lord Bedwyr. Today is a today that we have all been looking forward to for a very long time. Yet, it was only a few weeks ago, that I doubted that you were either ready or willing to accept the responsibility of leadership. You were reckless and irresponsible, childish and immature. Yet those three weeks may well have been a lifetime, for the person I see kneeling before me bears as much resemblance to that child as I do to a leg of mutton. Within those three weeks you have shown leadership, bravery, strength and resolution. You risked your life for those you care for and for your city and its people. All I ask, is that as I pass the command of this city and its good people over to you, that you continue to care for them and protect them as valiantly as you have done.’

The crowd burst into applause and cheering as Lord Pache got up of his large chair, removing his green silk cloak. ‘This cloak is the symbol of your leadership, wear it with pride and honour and swear by everything you hold dear that you will uphold its values for the sake of your people and your town.’

Bedwyr stood up as his father placed the cloak around his shoulders and fastened the clasp. He had expected the fine silk cloak to be light but it was a lot heavier than he expected but he was sure, now more than ever that it was a weight he is willing to bear. Taking his place on the throne with Deryn standing solidly by his side, Bedwyr cleared his throat ready to speak to his new subjects.

‘Ladies and gentleman of Tallenchester’ announced Lord Pache ‘I bring you the new Lord of this fair city, Lord Bedwyr. Please say a few words to your people.’

Bedwyr turned and faced the crowd, full of expectant faces. He had been given a speech to read by the scholars. The speech was many pages long and designed to both unify the people and make them feel happy and content with their new Lord, but Bedwyr was sure he could say the same thing in a lot fewer words.

‘Ladies and gentleman of Tallenchester, as your new Lord I only have one pronouncement this day… Today is a day of celebration and anyone found not enjoying themselves will be made to drink until they do.’

That should do it, he thought as the crowd cheered and waved. He looked back at his father and to his surprise his father was smiling and laughing.

‘Yes, my Lord.’ Shouted Pache raising his stein with a new burst of enthusiasm. ‘You heard Lord Bedwyr, you are all ordered to enjoy yourselves. Now get to it.’

Bedwyr watched over his people, for the first time as their ruler; his childish rebellions were nothing more than a thing of the past. He watched them enjoy themselves, drink, dance and play and he was happy. Even his father, now free from the bonds of rule, twisted and twirled like a man a third of his age, singing, dancing and laughing.

He had never truly understood his father until now. Everything his father had ever done, ever sacrifice he had ever made was for them, the people. Lord Bedwyr understood this; he understood what he wanted to do.

He was here for them.


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