This is day 5 of my 28 days to master Flash Fiction: How to get started when you don’t have a prompt? Read what I wrote below: do you see any progress?
The scribe wades into water, slick stone underfoot, cold like the crypt beneath the keep whence they fled, not daring to look back over his shoulder at his wife and bawling son.
He is hungry, they all are. He whispers to the waterfae: have mercy and grant me your bounty.
Like a heron, he waits, shivering, as water pushes at his thighs, his slipping feet throwing him off balance, and his wife cries out.
I’m fine, he says without turning around. Is he?
He stabs down at the fish, clumsy like child learning to walk. His weight carries him forward, and the water rushes up to meet him, like a hundred hands reaching up to grab him, and pull him under.
The rush of the river turns to silence.
He struggles and watches the air bubble up as his spear is carried off by the current.
A sturgeon, large as a hound, swims up to him, then around, before it turns its head awkwardly sideways, to fix a stern gaze on him with one bulbous eye. Upon its head rests a crown of watercress and shells.
He gasps and breathes in water, but does not choke. The scribe looks around, as many fishes, white and blue and green and black, have schooled around, light sparkling off them like stars in the night.
He reaches for the sturgeon, but its skin is slick and it slips from his grasp. The fishes laugh, and he can see them whispering to each other, some even pointing at him with their little fins.
Where am I? he asks, surprised that he can speak.
You are in my fishdom, the sturgeon says and smiles, still circling him, and you are on trial for crimes against fishkind.