For the month of December, my goal was to post a piece of festive flash fiction here to the blog every day. Twenty-five stories, each 250 words or fewer — a little fictional festivity to brighten the darkest month of the year. For readers, I offered these stories as a moment of peace within a hectic month of busy. And with today being the final day of this flash fiction advent, we close with a piece from my friend, writer-illustrator Lee Edward Fodi, wrapping up the whole alphabet, one sentence at a time. Merry Christmas!
A long time ago, in the Kingdom of Caw, a terrible drought occurred. Before this tragic event, the land had enjoyed prosperity and joy. Careless management of the kingdom, however, had led to this state of affairs. Disease and famine spread across the nation. Enemies soon swarmed at Caw’s boundaries, salivating to take advantage of the kingdom’s weaknesses.
Fervent to save his land, the king called forth his council of wise men and wizards. Grey beards and grey eyes soon filled his court. However, there was one wizard who did not come and that was Ilmarren.
It was no surprise, since Ilmarren had feuded with the king many years before, but, nonetheless, the council decided to send a young messenger named Pod to fetch him.
Joy was not to be found in young Pod’s heart that morning as he left the castle to seek the wizard Ilmarren. Keen, he was though, to help his kingdom, and so he crossed the great Raven Falls, the Forest of Ten, and onward into the mountains.
Little light was left in the sky by the time he reached the abode of the wizard. Mist was swirling about the humble, dilapidated structure. Nervously, Pod approached and knocked on the door—only to receive no reply.
Only one thing to do, Pod thought, and that’s to go on in.
Pod gulped. Quietly, he cracked open the door and peered inside and then, cautiously, he entered the wizard’s domain. Rats, mice, and cockroaches skittered here and there, almost causing Pod to turn around and flee.
Still, the kingdom was depending on him to fulfill his mission. There could be no turning back, and so he stayed.
Unexpectedly, the wizard Ilmarren materialized out of thin air, appearing right in the middle of the room.
“Villain!” the wizard roared, pointing a long bony finger at Pod.
“Wizard,” Pod said, “I am no villain—but the king humbly and graciously requests you to come to his council, so that we might find a way to save the kingdom.”
“X marks the spot,” Illmaren croaked cryptically.
Yet, as he said these words, there was a twinkle in his eyes—then he snapped his fingers and, suddenly, rainclouds thundered outside.
“Zounds!” Pod exclaimed, and he knew at once that he no longer needed to guide Ilmarren to the meeting, for, at last, the drought was over.
Lee Edward Fodi is an author, illustrator, and educator. Which is a fancy way of saying he’s a daydreaming expert. You can find him at leefodi.com and on twitter @LeeFodi. Thanks for playing along, Lee!
Merry Christmas, and as always, more soon…