Secrets of Renaissance—Finale

October 26, 2011 12:01 am by MRM in Campaign, Flash Fiction, Writing

The end of the #REN3 blogfest is upon us, dear readers, and I’m sad to see it go. More than anything else, I learned that I can put a story into just 600 little words. I felt the limit this time more than any other, because I needed to conclude the action and get to the true meanings of the Oracle’s readings. I’m sad to see the Ren-faire stories end, but I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it.

Thanks to Damyanti, J.C. Martin, Lisa Vooght, and Stuart Nager for hosting such a fun story festival. If you haven’t checked out their entries and fantastic blogs yet, you should.There are a ton of other writers participating, and if you’re wondering where you can find them, have I got the link for you: Damyanti has a copy of the master list in a post on her blog.

Once again, I took the word count right to the limit (remember to omit the title and the #-scene-splitter if you paste it into Word to check the count). Wish I could go on longer, but like the Oracle says, I don’t make the rules.

Rule of 3 Logo

Word count: 600

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

    1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted.
    2. Relationships mend/are torn asunder.
    3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
    4. There is a new arrival in town.

  1. You can catch the first three parts of my story on my blog:
  2. Part 1
  3. Part 2
  4. Part 3

The Oracle

Three horses were tied to the makeshift hitch by the old cypress tree when Dant got to the Espadon overlook. Three was a bad number. Dant leapt off of his tired horse and fell. Gunshots spooked the horses before he could get up. He held his breath as he raced into the familiar, secluded nook ahead.

Dant felt another shot ripple through the air. He could see Remi crying out, but his ears told him nothing. A crumpled body lay in Remi’s bloody arms. Jana’s fiancé, Tegan, stood before them both, pistol in hand. Dant didn’t have to think hard.

Tegan had just enough time to look Dant in the eyes before Dant slammed into him. Tegan staggered and windmilled his arms as Dant fell to the ground. The muzzle of the gun flashed twice more before Tegan hit the edge. The Espadon overlook was as deadly a drop as it was scenic.

The last seconds of Tegan’s scream echoed faintly in his ears. Apparently the deafness was temporary. He crawled over to his best friend and the woman they both loved. The sight of Jana’s lifeless eyes made the nightmare real.

“Said… I’d be with her ‘til the end…” Remi murmured. He leaned forward and kissed Jana.

Dant couldn’t feel anything as he spoke. “We have to bring her back home.”

Remi looked up at him. “Not we.”

Blood coursed down Remi’s chest and soaked his torn, dirty shirt. A dark crimson patch stood out on his chest. He cradled Jana’s body and leaned over.


People stared when Dant hitched his three horses outside the Oracle’s sanctum. Could have been because he was past hours. That, or the bodies strapped to the horses. He didn’t care. He hadn’t even looked for the horse that ran away.

The door wasn’t locked. He found the Oracle in her reading room, looking at a row of cards.

“You lied,” he said.

“I cannot.”

“You said I would be the most important man in her life.”

She sighed. “You’re the reason she died so young. Who’s more important than that?”

“What? I didn’t—”

“Shoot her? No, but you convinced her to get a reading all those years ago. She didn’t want to. Remember?”

Dant stood speechless.

“Her cards said that any man who loved her would be the death of her. That’s why she broke it off with Remi and tried to marry a man that wouldn’t love her.”


“Had she never been read, she never would have left him, and Remi’s reading, that he would be with her until the end, would have had a very different meaning.”

Dant’s arm twitched. His vision blurred with tears. “You made me…”

“That’s bull. You had a choice. You could have pushed them together for good and been important in that way, but instead you sent her to me. Did you think I’d tell her she was destined for you? Sorry, Dant Dranall, but it wasn’t in the cards.”

Dant fell against her bookshelf. His fingers came to rest over a sliver of cold, sharp steel.

“I read my cards once, and they foretold the coming of the three. I watched you. Wish I could have told you more, but I don’t make the rules.” She smiled at Dant, the wrinkles on her face curling back. “‘Three lives, intertwined, will come between this world and thine.’ They always sang to me, even for my own reading.”

The Oracle closed her eyes. “It’s been so very long coming, Dant. Do what you came here to do.”

Dant’s gripped the dagger’s hilt and stood.

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!

8 Responses to Secrets of Renaissance—Finale

  1. Corinne O'Flynn (@CorinneOFlynn) October 26, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Fabulous!!! What a terrific close to a sad yet wonderful story. I will remember this story. Well done Michael!

  2. Rick G October 26, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Creepy, dude. Seriously creepy. :). But I like it. Can’t trust those damn fortune tellers. Well done, sir!

  3. Joshua October 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Well done. I suspect he’ll go for the throat so she doesn’t scream. If not, perhaps the eye?

  4. Michael McDuffee October 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks for reading!

    @Joshua – I only had enough words to make clear his rather grim intentions. I suspect Dant would opt for some sort of poetry in his vengeance.

    Another question left unanswered… did Tegan ever get a reading? What did it say? And whose cards was the Oracle reading at the end?

  5. TD Tessier October 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Well crafted story. Loved the twists and turns.

  6. David Powers King October 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    That was a conclusion I did not expect. Heck. I think there could be more to this!

    Do tell me there’s more?

  7. Misha October 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Oh my word! That’s such a tragedy. :-(

  8. Michael McDuffee October 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    @DavidPowersKing – Hmm… the blogfest is over, but the story can always go on. I’ll have to think about how I’d do it. the 600-word weekly episodes gave it a certain format.

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