Flash fiction

I really enjoy these. This week: sword & sorcery (though I’ve never read any so…well), dinosaurs (in homage to this week’s Dr Who) and a ticking clock (or in this case egg timer)…

The door opened to a formidable sight. A beautiful, giant woman dressed in full leather armour and carrying an equally giant sword stooped to enter the room.

“I’m here!” she exclaimed to the world at large.

“Yes, yes, do sit down Alaya. Your tea must be cold by now. Leo kindly made it whilst I was setting up the quest.” Professor Bellows gestured to an empty seat around the table in his workshop. On the table was a large egg timer and three varying sizes of cup each containing some tea.

“Ah! Thank you Leo!” Alaya took the largest cup and downed the contents, then slammed the cup back on the table before sitting back in her chair, which creaked in protest. Leo, a small, nerdy looking student in a smaller chair around the table, adjusted his glasses and smiled upwards. He was nervously taping his quill on the table.

“Good, now you are both here we should begin.”

“What will we need?” asked Leo

“Just your wand and your wits, young man. Your friend has the right idea. Be prepared to work up an appetite on this one. Right, so to explain, the next stage in your studies to become fully fledged wizards involves time travel and you must collect a sample of this plant.” The Professor held up a book on the page and pointed to a picture of a bright green plant topped by a bulbous vivid purple flower for both to see.

“Got it? You really can’t miss it. Now, follow me.” The Professor led both students to the opposite side of the room where there was a circle drawn in chalk on the ground.

“Right, you step inside and once I’ve sent you back you will have 2 hours to collect the sample before you are pulled back to the present for a nice breakfast. OK?”

Both students looked apprehensive but before they could speak, the Professor threw a dust bomb into the circle which surrounded them completely. There was a whooomp sound and they were gone. The Professor returned to the table, sat back in his chair with his tea and rotated the egg timer.

Alaya and Leo found themselves in a a small opening surrounded by trees and vegetation on the side of a very large hill.

“Beautiful!” said Alaya as she jumped straight up after the time displacement and was scanning the stunning view. Once Leo has returned to consciousness he agreed entirely with the sentiment, then produced a wand from inside his tunic and waved it about a bit. This must have had the desired affect because he said, “Only 1 hour 45 minutes left.”

“Let’s Go!” Alaya dragged Leo to his feet and they headed slowly down the side of the hill, through a woodland area to another clearing, where they found they were staring a Tyrannosaurus Rex, right in the knee and ankle respectively.

“Run?” asked Leo to no one in particular, as he saw the creature sniff the air.

“No!” replied Alaya, “We must face the beast!” She drew her over-large sword and waved it about in what she though was a terrifying manor.

“However impressively large that sword looks. Which is does, believe me. I don’t think it’s going to be much of a match for the massive T Rex that is currently about to eat us for a snack. Don’t you think?”

“Maybe…. Yes! OK. RUN!”

When they had finished running and were sure that they were no longer in danger of being eaten, Leo’s wand-waving showed that there were only 20 minutes left before they were dragged back from their quest.

“We’re never going to find it now,” Leo said. He sighed and flopped on to a tree stump.

“Right!” said Alaya and she thudded on the ground, moving a large amount of leafy matter in the process.

The pair silently contemplated the inevitable retake of this test. The resit was fabled to be so terrible that no student returned alive or at the very least, no student returned sane. Although, Leo knew that, whilst being strictly true, this was only because no student had ever failed this particular test and actually needed to take the resit. Alaya was making shapes with her gleaming sword in the leafy matter. The shapes didn’t quite resemble certain terrible creatures that she hoped, one day, to fight. Then Leo saw it. The glint of Alaya’s sword illuminated a single bulbous purple flower. He leapt down to pick it up just before they both disappeared.

Leo returned to consciousness just as the omelette, bacon and fresh tea was being placed onto and into some crockery and cups by Professor Bellows.

“Nice of you to join us again. Tuck in!” he said.

“What?” replied a very confused Leo. Alaya was already breaking off chunks of a very large loaf of bread and dabbing them in some brown sauce, before taking great mouthfuls and making satisfied noises.

“You completed the quest and a lovely addition to the omelette it is too.”

“What?” repeated Leo.

“The plant you picked up was, well is, a herb. Goes really well in an omelette. The exercise was just to see how you cope with time travel, really. Otherwise, well, how do you know until you try. Your friend here did very well and you didn’t do too badly either. I’ve known students to be out for days following a jump that far into the past. Anyway, seems you had quite an adventure. Most students just walk down the path and find the field we planted then have a jolly old time looking at the stunning view or, of course, lying in an unconscious stupor. Cut me a slice of bread will you, Alaya. Not so big, thank you.”

Leo, speechless, nodded and, not quite knowing what else to do, tucked into his surprisingly delicious breakfast.


Again for this.

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