We have a lot of awesome flash fiction stories to keep you warm this winter's day, so take a look at the list of all the fantabulous authors participating this year. Click to go to Inlinkz list
Here is my story, a cute introduction to a couple of the characters in my current fantasy wip "Malrith's Shield." Enjoy!
Winter in Anscien
Sawyer crossed his arms against his chest, staring out into the snowy night. The first snowfall of the season started early, meaning a long, unproductive winter. Snowflakes glistened in the yellow candlelight from his room as they fell around the window. The pile on the ground was getting deeper.
“It’s snowing,” Fithel said, softly closing the door.
Sawyer nodded his head. Unfortunately.
“Well have to postpone the hunt until spring.” Fithel’s announcement made Sawyer cringe. He’d trained for years to hunt dragons and their summoners. How could a simple snowfall stop their progress in its tracks?
Behind him, Fithel’s footsteps echoed in the silence. The hunt never seemed so important to him as it had to Sawyer. Instead, Fithel had performed the king’s duty, while to Sawyer, hunting dragons was more about keeping his own sanity in tact.
“Are you okay with this?” Fithel asked. He stood at Sawyer’s side, now; his stringy dirty-blond hair folded back around his once pointed ear, thin arms straight at his sides, and wearing his familiar emotionless face. Fithel was always the model of perfect attentiveness. Surely a skill necessary for the king’s first knight.
“I’ll have to be,” Sawyer said, glancing over his commander; his first love since he was fifteen. “Not much to do until the first melt, though.”
A slight grin lifted Fithel’s lip. “Sure there is.” He leaned against the wall with his hand on his hip. “We can build a snowman.”
Sawyer raised a brow. “A snowman?” Fithel nodded with a full, toothy smile. His immature suggestion, and the grin on his lips, made Sawyer even more irritated. “What good is such a frivolous activity meant for children? We’re young men now, Fithel. I don’t think—“
“And what is wrong with a little playfulness?” Fithel tipped his head. “It’s never bothered you before.”
“When I was younger.”
“Why not now, then? You’ve been quite different since the becoming of your nightmares. Sometimes it is like I don’t even know you anymore. Are you still Sawyer, who used to frolic in the stream near the castle and who used to wrap himself around me for attention?”
Sawyer let out a sigh. Of course, age had matured him, but so had his dreams. Those dreams of their castle burning under the enormous eyes of every dragon called to attack it. The summoners who not only controlled their monsters, but fought every army with precision and power. Since those dreams, his life seemed to be geared toward one thing—ridding the world of dragons and their summoners.
“I suppose you’re right,” Sawyer whispered. The lighthearted smile on Fithel’s lips wavered. “It is getting late, though.”
Fithel dropped his arms. “Nevermind that. Hurry and dress in your thickest leather. We’ll build a snowman before dark,” he said quickly before rushing out the door.
That was... odd. It’d been a while since Fithel had such a suggestion. In any case, Sawyer took one last glance at the glistening snowfall before hurrying to dress. It didn’t take him long, and when he stepped outside, he met Fithel up to his knees in fresh snow.
“It snowed this much?”
“Didn’t you know? It’s been a blizzard all day. Just now calmed enough to open the doors without snow blowing in.” Snow crunched under Fithel’s boots as he stepped down the staircase to the ground. Or what was the staircase? Sawyer couldn’t tell where the stone steps ended and ground began.
He hadn’t seen such a snowfall since his thirteenth birthday, and even then, they didn't go outside in it. Carefully, he stepped down in the thick white blanket, snow covering up to his calves, then right above his knee. The cold seeped in quickly, but worst of all, he could barely lift his leg to take another step.
“We could build a snowman army—“ Fithel turned to spot Sawyer’s struggle. “Need a hand?” He waded in the deep snow toward Sawyer.
Sawyer reached out to him, couldn’t quite grasp on. A cool wetness built around his heel as he tried to lift his leg. Damn, did he lace his boot tight enough? He stretched out again, attempting to seize hold of Fithel’s hand to free himself. “J-just a little bit...” Sawyer grumbled.
“You can do it,” Fithel gasped, his fingers brushing against Sawyer’s. One more try. They clasped hands, and with one yank...
“Hold on!” Sawyer’s boot slid off as he went barreling down the snow hill with Fithel beside him. He stared up at the gray skies, white flakes landed on his forehead, and his naked foot chilled. It was much warmer in the castle.
Next to him, Fithel’s laughter lit up the gloom. “You oaf.” He slapped Sawyer in the arm. “Now how do we get your boot back, huh?”
“Oh, shut it.” Sawyer rolled over and smacked Fithel back. Although his toes burned from the cold air, he couldn’t help the chuckle. “You pulled too hard.”
“Did I?” Fithel punched him in the leg, harder now. “I’m not the klutz who doesn’t secure their boots.”
“Ow!” Sawyer scooped up a handful of snow. If Fithel continued this spat, he’d get a faceful. “What was that?”
“You heard me,” Fithel said.
A chunk of frigged moisture landed on Sawyer’s cheek, dizzying him a moment. He ran his fingers across the cold, wet spot, his face growing hot with fury. Fithel chuckled hard. “That’s it.” Sawyer threw his ball of snow, clocking Fithel in the forehead, stopping his furious laughing.
With wide eyes, he glared at Sawyer. Scooped up another handful of snow. But Sawyer quickly prepared with a shot of his own. Immediately, they aimed and hit each other. Sawyer’s face and chest was covered in a layer of snow before he could scrape up another handful. Anger brewed through his body. Damn that Fithel.
“Why you...” He pounced to his knees and slammed into Fithel, catching him off guard, and pushing him onto his back in the snow. Barreling in laughter, Sawyer snatched up a large snowball and shoved it in his face.
Fithel spat. Choked. Wheezed.
Sawyer moved his hand. Fithel’s skin reddened; where the snow sat had turned a pale blue. “What—“ Fithel opened his moist eyes.
“You okay?” In that moment, Sawyer’s heart hammered. Had he not pulled away, he could’ve suffocated him. “Guess I got a little carried away.”
Fithel narrowed his brows. Grasped hold of Sawyer’s sides. Suddenly, Sawyer found himself on his back, the cold invading through his leather. Fithel straddled his legs, his heavy weight pressing Sawyer deep into the snow. He leaned in close, hot and intense breath against Sawyer’s cheek. “You’re an ass,” he whispered huskily. “But that is why I love you.”
Sawyer’s eyes widened. He’d only heard Fithel’s confession once before, two years ago in a moment of heated passion. “You truly mean it?” Sawyer asked.“Of course I do.” Fithel brushed his warm, moist lips against Sawyer’s. “I always have.” He raised his head, a grin on his lips. “Now let’s get your boot and build that snowman.”