Today’s post was inspired by today’s Promptmas post! And, I attempted to do a flash fiction.
That day, Ryan had decided to go on a small hunting trip in Pembrey forest to pass the time a tad. Everyone else was sat around at the manor, writing letters to Kings, reading books, carving wooden rabbits, picking flowers or welding swords. All of which he had no interest in.
Not to mention, he liked to be alone sometimes. The silence of the forest made him feel better, made him feel sane when the rest of the world were losing their minds. Here, it wasn’t that bad, the people here weren’t as crazy as they were in the fields of Cryers – despite claims against the old Lord.
So far, he’d caught a couple rabbits, scared off a pheasant or two by accident, but he hadn’t spotted any boars or deer yet. Although, he wasn’t really sure he wanted too. He hadn’t brought Bezel with him this time, knowing the horse would most likely bolt at the sound of a rustle after what happened last week.
Really speaking, Ryan shouldn’t have been out there by himself, but, if he peered through the thicket long enough – and in just the right place – be could see the manor, which would be his excuse when he got back.
The trees around him were already thick with snow, the ground covered in undisturbed white that broke apart under his boots.
He hated that as much as Aran did, ruining the snow after all its hard work to fall.
The feeling of eyes on the back of his head made him stop. He could hear something as well, a rustle here, the crunch of snow there. He turned his head, his hand steady on his bow to pull it to the front of him, but then he saw it.
He had no idea what it was at first. He thought someone had been holding a torch from far away, but it wasn’t fire, it was like an orb. Like a ball of glowy red.
And it was attached to a stags nose.
Its antlers were small, it told him it was was a young thing, but it had fluffy chest hair, almost like a white beard.
It was tentatively walking towards him. Ryan kept his position, wondering whether the thing was going to attack, but it didn’t. It stopped about three feet away from him and strained it’s neck towards him, it’s red nose twitching.
Everything about it, except the fluffy neck line and the bulbous red, glowy thing on the end of it’s nose, told Ryan it was a stag, but the nose looked as if it was changing color every so often, that it would dull and then brighten up again as it twitched, getting closer and closer to him.
It was like something out of one of Telfawds books, like one of those mythical creatures that wasn’t really mythical. He considered it for a moment; the look of the thing, maybe it was an infection or something, a tumor perhaps, and then, the distance from here to the manor, which he realised he couldn’t see anymore, even if he did peer.
The stag touched his hand with it’s nose and he jerked it back out of habit, but it had felt like a dogs, rough and wet and he almost thought that it was going to crouch down and wag it’s tail like one, but it just tilted it’s head instead. Ryan swore it grinned at him, but then he shook his head and rubbed his eyes and face, wondering if the thing really was real.
If it hadn’t looked at him so placid like, he may have just shot it straight away, but, instead, a comical chase between the two ensued. Dashing here and there so that Ryan could get a bit of noose around it’s neck to guide it back to the manor, at least just for Telfawd to see it and tell him why it’s nose was red, bulbous and glowing. He didn’t know if they would believe his words. And, the more he looked at it, the more he saw something else in it.
And, it wasn’t a monster or anything, so Aran couldn’t say that he was the one that brought the end of the world. That would still be on him.
Anyhow, after another dash and a chase, Ryan stopped and put his hands on his hips, taking a deep breath and looking up towards the sky, he thought about how dark it had got, which meant he’d probably been chasing this deer around for far too long already. It also meant that he might get lost, and then, maybe eaten by a redcap or a shellycoat, both of which he hoped to avoid.
After a few more moments, Ryan sighed, turned and pulled his bow from his back.
The poor thing had no idea what was happening, and Ryan shot it in the head, the arrow sliced through the stag’s skull, almost splitting it in two!
Ryan chucked the dead red nosed stag over his shoulder and took it back to the Lord.
But, by the time, he got back, the red glow was gone and it was just a regular old stag again. No one believed him, but still, they sat around the table with their venison and cheered to his catch!
I don’t know why I always jump to Ryan for these short stories. I wonder sometimes if there’s a reason for that though, like something underlining that perhaps I don’t know about just yet.
I know he has this gentle side to him, but, he’s also willing to do what needs to be done, and, really, is like the anchor to sanity that I think Aran is gonna need as these books go on. He’s definitely one of those characters to watch, unless he suddenly shows up dead if he goes looking for some more red nosed stags with fluffy neck lines.
I know the grammar is a bit all over the place, but I guess that’s what you get when you do one of these flash fictions things, and it’s a good exercise to get to know your own characters a bit too much!
Anyway! Thank you for reading!
And, remember, just keep writing!