Secrets of Renaissance – Part 3

 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been participating in the Rule of Three Blogfest, a month-long, shared world, short fiction festival. My continuing story follows three friends dealing with their intertwined fates as told to them by the town’s oracle. You can find the first part of the story here, and the second part here. Each week has a different prompt, but they are all limited to 600 words. Once again, I’ve hit the exact limit (though in this case MS Word is counting the scene breaks as words, so I’m technically two shy). You can always keep up with the latest entries in the blogfest by checking out Stuart Nager’s online paper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Word count: 600

The Prompts for Week Three (chosen ones in bold/italics):

  1. The impending misfortune foreshadowed in the 1st prompt comes to pass, but one or more characters laugh at it.
  2. Betrayal is in the air.
  3. Relationships unravel or strengthen.
  4. A long-kept secret is revealed.

 


Destiny

 

Remi threw a rock off the overlook, trying to hit the Espadon. It landed a half-mile short, as always. The noonday sun bore down on the secluded nook behind the red, wind-carved rocks. It was the same nook where he’d spent dozens of nights with Jana. He held the note she’d left him in his hands and tried not to hope.

I’m going to the Espadon overlook today for old times’ sake.

It had to be good news. The oracle had foretold it, after all. They would be together ‘til the end. She wasn’t supposed to end up with some butcher. Simple enough words from an old, wrinkled woman’s mouth as she’d read his cards. Some people griped about only being allowed one reading in their lifetimes, but not him. The oracle had promised him Jana. What else did he need?

The Espadon twisted through the valley beneath him. She would come. The oracle had promised.

#

Dant had just gotten the stench of Remi’s mess out of the back bar’s floor when he heard someone calling from the front. He groaned and checked the clock. Ten in the morning. Way too early. It was illegal for him to serve anything now.

He stomped out to the front, prepared to fend off someone chasing the hair of the dog. He found Miri Willam instead, the redhead that worked with Jana at the flower shop.

“Mr. Dranall?”

“Yes, Miri?”

Her brows pinched as she spoke. “Have you seen Jana today?”

“This morning before she went to work. Why?”

Miri looked at the ground and folded her hands. “She never came in. Her fiancé was looking for her. I told him she might be here.”

“Tegan hasn’t been here today.”

She looked up with tears in her eyes. “He said that he was sad she wasn’t at work, but not surprised. Then he left. I’ve never seen him look so cold, Mr. Dranall, and he’s not a warm man.”

Dant tried to swallow, but there was no moisture in his mouth. His hand shook as he poured himself a glass from the tap.

“Thank you Miri. I think you should go back to the flower shop now.”

“But… but what should I—”

Dant closed his eyes and drained the glass. “Nothing, Miri. Please go.”

Jana hadn’t. She wouldn’t have. She said she wasn’t going to go. He checked the clock again. Just past ten in the morning. If he borrowed a good horse he might be able to head them off.

#

Jana laid her hand against the wind-carved rock that led into the nook. So many nights were back there. So many very, very, good nights. The rock was warm this morning. Inviting. Her horse gnawed at grass with Remi’s, tied to the makeshift hitch by the old cypress tree. It was far too late to worry about how stupid this was. Time to find out why she was here.

She watched Remi pitch a rock off the edge of the cliff.

“You’re never going to hit it, Rem.”

His jaw slacked for a heartbeat when he saw her. Its corner peeled back into that same half-grin that melted her heart every time he aimed it at her.

“There’s something I have to say,” she said. “I should’ve told you before. I owed you better.”

“You never owed me anything, Jan,” he said.

“It was the oracle. She told me that any man who loved me—”

The click of a pistol cocking cut her off. “I wish you hadn’t come, Jana. It would have been easier.”

It was Tegan.


About the Author

Written by MRM

I'm a speculative fiction writer that spent lots of time trying out new places to live before finally settling in NC. I love code, craft beer, football, and fiction - in no particular order. My currently running works of serial fiction can be found on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. If you're comfortable moving files around to your ereader of choice, always pick Smashwords as your e-bookstore of choice - they give authors a much bigger slice of the pie!


11 Responses to Secrets of Renaissance – Part 3

  1. Li @Flash Fiction October 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Making my rounds of the 3rd week entries :-) Next week is going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out!

  2. David Powers King October 19, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Oh no! The stakes have risen! Way to leave us hanging. Be back again next week! :)

  3. Joshua October 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Uh oh. I was afraid that’s where this was going.

  4. Misha October 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    You’ve got some excellent tension going here. Will definitely be back to see how it ends. :-)

  5. Kurt Hartwig October 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Great twists and turns. Missed you last week, but there’s something to be said for plowing through all of the installments (twice for the first) at once. Look forward to seeing Dant’s role in the conclusion!

  6. Stuart Nager October 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    OK…where will this one go?

    REALLY looking forward to week four.

    Stuart
    co-host #REN3
    Tale Spinning

  7. May-Day_Aura October 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Aaaahhhhhhh! So much tension and twists (though I realized something was up when Remi was holding a note from “Jana”). I can’t wait til next week to read the last installment. Keep up the good story-telling. =)

  8. Corinne O'Flynn (@CorinneOFlynn) October 21, 2011 at 1:44 am

    yowza! I didn’t see that coming!! Very exciting. I hope Dant gets himself on a good horse, stat!

  9. Donna Hole October 21, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Really? You left it there? I can’t post the rest of the comment . .

    I feel like I’ve been cheated word count. Are you sure it’s 600?

    ……dhole

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