Friday, April 22, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: The Doom of the Salt People Part 2

If you missed Part 1, click here to read up.  Two more parts to go after this.  Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

     There once was a young man named Cloy. He lived in the time Before. And like most men back then, Cloy owed allegiance to a crown, in particular one of gold, titanium, and beryl. This crown sat atop King Yostace’s head, a head that was full of great wickedness.
     It was tax season in the lands, and Cloy decided to take his wife and children to the capital with him to pay their dues. He loaded up his wagon with goods and crops, for Cloy was a harvester. Two barrels of oats he owed, and ten heavy gold coins on top of that. The taxes were hard on Cloy and his family, but never hard enough that they lost hope. They had each other, and as long as they had that, there was no tax that could separate them.
     He left his home in charge of his chief fieldhand and promised to return soon. The journey was but two days ride, but in the time Before, two days were different than they are now. Before, the sun would shine for twelve hours a day, and sometimes longer, if you can believe it. It would sit up in the sky all day long, spreading its warmth down on the lands below. In those times, the Nyxes were still confined and the Doors were still unopened.
     So Cloy and his family traveled all day and stopped to rest halfway between his home and the capital. He built a small cooking fire, large enough to make a meal and provide light for an evening story. He sent his daughters off to gather wood and his sons off to catch fish. He and his wife stayed behind to make fire, a secret still forbidden to the young children.
     When they returned, Cloy praised his children for their diligence. To each of his daughters he gave them a ring of dull bronze, and to his sons he gave them a short, green-handled knife. “These,” he said as he bestowed his gifts, “are your inheritance, children. They do not look like much, but they are more valuable than all the taxes of the Crown combined. The rings belonged to my sisters as children, and each spurned their gifts for greater blessings and more brilliant jewelry. All married foolish and cruel men, and all died in childbirth.”
     Cloy then looked at his sons. “And these blades were given to me and my brothers, but they, too, spurned their gifts for greater blessings and stronger swords. All but I took great, longswords, and all died in battle, fighting the king’s war. My knife has been with me since I was a child, and it’s served me well all these days, just as yours will serve you.”
     The children all looked at their gifts with curiosity, but not a one of them returned their rights to their father. After this, Cloy prepared a fish cake with some of the vegetables in the wagon, and the family gathered around the fire as he told “The Lay of Oscambria” while cooking. When he was finished and everyone’s bellies were full, the family slept comfortably, oblivious to the dangers lurking outside their firelight.


Abbie Josephsen said...

Awesome! can't wait for part 3 :)

logankstewart said...

Thanks Abbie!