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Honour & Duty

by ScarlettFire


Last one - YWS Flash Fiction stuff. >.> I could expand more on this, but...500 words or less. Word limits. x.x

Honour & Duty

Khalid lounged on his throne, both legs thrown over one arm while he kept half an eye on his cousin, who lingered in the hidden doorway to his left. The throne room was mostly empty, except for the stupid man in armour approaching the dias. Khalid kept his mouth shut and his expression bored, though his eyes were sharp and had already noticed that the man was limping. He hoped Mikel would stay where he was and let him deal with the man.

Finally, the limping knight--because who else wore armour anymore--reached the base of the dias steps and dropped down onto one knee. Khalid stared at him. “Your Highness,” the man said, somewhat breathlessly. Khalid snorted. “You called for me?”

A glance at Mikel showed him that the boy was worried. Would the man do as they asked? Khalid decided to tempt fate and sighed, shifting his position on the throne until his feet hit the floor with a slight thump. “Sir Issur,” he said, bringing the man’s head up. “Louarn, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve called for you.”

Issur blinked and then inclined his head. “I am, Your Highness.”

Khalid cast a glance towards his cousin. Mikel was frowning. He dragged his attention off him, wary of the knight’s gaze on him. Issur, thankfully, did not follow the prince’s gaze. Khalid relaxed, but only slightly. He was still wary of everything in the palace since he’d been in Jakome’s hands for a little over a year. “I want to you hunt something for me.”

There was a moment of stunned silence before Issur exclaimed, “Excuse me?”

“You heard me,” Khalid snapped, planting his hands on the arms of the throne and leaning forwards. “I want you to hunt someone down for me.” He inhaled deeply before exhaling. It was hard to voice, this desire of his. “Can you do that?”

Issur seemed to consider the prince’s words for a moment, frowning. He glanced around, gaze flickering to where Mikel was hidden, just out of view, before focusing on Khalid again. “Uh, I don’t see why I can’t,” he said, and cleared his throat. “Although, Your Highness, you said someone this time, when before, you said something. I can’t help but wonder if you haven’t made up your mind?”

Khalid was silent for a long moment, leaning back in his throne. He tried to calm the storm brewing inside him, but it seemed to bubble up and over regardless. Fog appeared on the edges of the room and rolled inwards, towards the prince and the knight. From the corner of his eyes, Khalid saw Mikel wince. “Are you questioning me?” he asked, voice low and dangerous.

“No! No, Your Highness, I would never!” Issur was panicking. Khalid ignored it and dismissed him, naming who he wanted dead. Issur bowed his head and murmured his assent before rising. Then he turned and left.

Mikel moved to Khalid’s side. “Do you think he knows what he’s getting into?”

“Probably not.”


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9 Reviews


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Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:19 pm
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Mongererofspoons wrote a review...



Greetings!
A very solid story, I must say. The great sentence structure accompanied by names which all fit the setting really makes this story. I really like this piece of writing, especially at the end where you imply the beginning of a great adventure only to be cut off by the abrupt end, as well as the sudden surprise showing of the mystic powers Khalid possesses.


As for what I would suggest you could improve on? The real problem I have is a lack of a feel of the setting; sure this is a short story but atmosphere is oh so important, like how a backing track of music is vital to any movie to promote the feeling of the scenes they produce.
A cool way that you could do this is by slipping in background information without actually touching upon it, something that J.K Rowling was very good at in her harry potter books. "Khalid lounged on his argantian throne" sounds much more imperial and visceral then the former.

Due to my love of the fantasy setting, I am also morally obliged to remark on the tone that both the prince and the knight choose to use. The language that they use strikes me as modern dialogue, like the use of "I’m" or "haven’t". I may not be able to say much on behalf of other people, but I feel that this really hurts the character of a prince. "Have you not" instead of "haven't" is more fitting of such a character, unless he was a prince who lived most of his life as a member of the lower class for whatever reason.

Aside from these possible points of improvement though, an awesome piece! I would enjoy reading any future stories in this world you have made, as the concept is interesting.

(BTW, do not want to sound like an idiot here, but does "both legs thrown over one arm" make sense? Because how I am reading it makes it sound like he is sitting upside-down)




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Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:16 pm
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Caesar wrote a review...



Hey there Scar!

I know this was a flash fiction, so I won't really be criticizing the lack of description here -- takes up space which might be unnecessary, considering description really isn't the focus here. However I would have liked... something. I don't know, the echo of boots on a marble floor? The cold throne beneath Khalid's arse? The light reflecting off a pool? The catlike grin in the King's eyes? A bead of sweat slowly tricking down the worried knight's forehead? Something to boost the atmosphere, if you get what I mean.

Khalid lounged on his throne, both legs thrown over one arm while he kept half an eye on his cousin, who lingered in the hidden doorway to his left.


Adjectives there would have set the scene so much better, I'd think. Also, that second bit, after 'who lingered (...)'. It may just be me, however, I would have changed that to '(...) cousin. Mikel was lingering in the hidden doorway to his left.' For some reason it flows better, I'd think.

On that note, I do like the whole eyes darting over thing, makes the kind of... relationship between them oh so very interesting. I'm not quite sure what kind of relationship it is, but boy is it interesting regardless.

“Your Highness,” the man said, somewhat breathlessly. Khalid snorted. “You called for me?”


I would place the 'Khalid snorted' after the 'You called for me?' as it is now, it seems like Khalid is the one wondering if the knight summoned him, if you see what I mean.

“Uh, I don’t see why I can’t,” he said, and cleared his throat.


I would change that to something more formal. After all, this is a subordinate speaking to his superior, a King. And even if you do like that tone, at least change the 'can't' to 'couldn't'. This is a hypothetical period/tense/watchamacallit after all.

Your ending was also a tad inconclusive. Suspenseful yes, but inconclusive.


Overall... I do hope I get to read more of this little escapade xD

Hope this helped
~Ita




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Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:02 pm
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CarsonTheArson wrote a review...



I liked this a lot. I think you did well with creating suspense, making me wonder who Khalid wants dead and why. Also, when Mikel says, "Do you think he knows what he's getting into?", it makes me wonder even more about the bigger picture of the story. I think you could expand this into a pretty good story. I know it was for Flash Fiction stuff, but I think this story could be really good. Good job and happy writing!





The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.
— Richard Price