Friday, February 28, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday #9 - Astrid

Today's piece has no connection to the previous four pieces (which all interlock with one another). This is a fresh standalone piece which seems to me to be an intro to a new location on the planet of Anaisha - perhaps a location we'll see in the third book of the Expired Reality series?

Laughter once echoed through these hallways. A joyous raucous. The people used to dance here, under a blue sky filled with sunshine and a dark sky bleeding with moonlight. Elaborate parties were once thrown here, filled with elaborate costumes, war-torn romances, and dazzling magic. Victories were toasted, glories were reveled in, and successes were shared. This was once a place of beauty and grandeur, a place envied by the outsiders. Here is where crops grew in excess of the population. Nobody here ever lacked. Food covered the surface of every table, and clothing covered all flesh.

This place lived in plenty...once. The Land of Plenty is what the outsiders called it. Me...I called it a mirage. I knew it wouldn’t last long. I watched as each took pleasure without giving thanks to the one they call the Invisible God, the one who blessed them with everything they possessed. None of what once was is anymore. The dark sky – filled with thunderclouds and constant rain – refuses to speak of the prior years. A heavy sadness fills the hallways, whispering regrets in the ears of those who are willing to listen.

I live here only because I have pity and sadness within my spirit for this place. It anchors me to these stone walls, refusing to let me pass through to the valley beyond. So much was possible in the days of Astrid’s glory. But the people became drunk on their own pride, drugged with their own arrogance. The temples which were set up for worship to the Invisible God were torn down first. Then the books – the tomes of the Invisible God’s edicts -  were burned in mountainous piles in the courtyard. Lastly, those who still spoke in secret whispers to the Invisible God were tortured and killed.

I was sent here to give the people one last chance to turn around, to turn back the clock and rebuild the temples, rewrite the tomes. They were given a second chance – and they spit in my face, cast me out into the Wasteland with nothing more than a sack full of fish bones.

And it was with that action that the Kingdom of Astrid fell.

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