I have never written a piece of flash fiction but for whatever reason the challenge posted by Chuck Wendig inspired me. Hopefully I did it right. Here goes nothing.
“The borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“A poetic pattern retains inertia.”
“The criminal disappears after the inventor.”
“Well now you’re just talking nonsense. Philip, take this man away he’s obviously had too much to drink. Make sure he doesn’t bother any of our guests.”
“Yes, your highness.”
Hiding his frown as his man-servant escorted the nonsensical man out of the ballroom; he tried to find King Arthur who was visiting from the neighboring kingdom. Locating him standing on the edge of the dance floor intently watching a lovely lady dance with a knight he made his way over.
“Arthur, my dear old man, I hope you’re enjoying the ball. Is there anything I can get for you?”
Arthur didn’t bother to hide his frown, “You can get me an explanation. I demand to know why you sent me one hundred violins?”
Feeling like a parrot, he answered, “I beg your pardon?”
“Don’t play with me boy. I know you sent them. You’re the only one that knows my feelings on that damned instrument.”
Pulling him in close Arthur whispered in his ear, “The borderlands are now closed to you, boy.”
Pushing him back Arthur strode through the dancers and grabbed the lady he’d been watching. All but dragging her from the room he left, people doing their best not to stare after him as he went.
Shocked at the turn of events and doing his best to hide it, he made his way back to the throne.
Smiling coyly at him he was waylaid by the gorgeous, yet eccentric, lady Tabitha. She murmured a line in a poem they’d been composing back and forth all night and waited for his response.
With the ball nearing a close he knew that if he could come up with the perfect line his bed wouldn’t be empty that night.
His mind went blank and words failed him. Disappointment covered her face as she sashayed away, leaving him with the knowledge that he’d failed where even Duke Half Wit had succeeded.
Clenching his teeth he marched up to his throne and spent the rest of the night brooding. When the guests were gone he found himself wandering through the castle halls. Agitated he tried to figure out what had happened to cause the night to go so wrong.
Pausing in his rambles he noticed he was in the gallery. On the walls were huge portraits of the men who had ruled before him. Walking through the room he stopped in front of his predecessor. The artist had captured his absentmindedness with an almost vacant look on his face. You could tell that he wanted to be somewhere else. Probably tinkering on the massive machine that was in the background of the painting.
Lost in his mind, looking up at the painting, he didn’t hear the footsteps behind him until it was too late. There was a knife at his throat and someone whispered in his ear, “You’re about to disappear, just like the one before you, thief.”