#SwiftFicFriday – Week 133 Prompt

#SwiftFicFriday – Week 133 Prompt

Welcome to the new and improved flash fiction writing prompt series – #SwiftFicFriday!

I’ve changed the rules, so if you didn’t see my tweet, check them out!

The gist:

  • You have THREE DAYS (AM Friday-PM Sunday on the east coast) to submit your entry.
  • Include social media links/handles/anything you want to promote (Twitter, FB, etc) & word count in the comment with your submission.
  • Submission must be between 150-300 words.
  • All stories are property of the authors.
  • Winner will be determined via reader votes on Mondays.

Ready, set, write!

Prompt: This week, we’ll work with a phrase! Incorporate the following into your story.

“Bow down.”

Happy writing!

8 thoughts on “#SwiftFicFriday – Week 133 Prompt

  1. The Man With The Leather Briefcase

    It was the way he carried himself, those few times I saw him. He was a regular, I assumed, a five-day-a-week worker, following the same route to somewhere, an office, a bus to an office. Somewhere regular to go to.

    I was anything but.

    Early retirement had left me aimless.

    Pointless, I occasionally admitted.

    Though no one asked.

    Still, on the few times a month I went out for a morning constitutional, you know, to get my limbs moving, showing some interest in something other than staring at the walls, my Covid walls, I’d spot him, coming my way, carrying a briefcase, a large leather one, old style with a huge strap locking it down, an important looking case likely full of important papers.

    He, on the other hand, did not look in the least important.

    That was the thing. On those rare times that we passed, him going one way, me the other, there was no eye contact, none at all. His head would bow down like I was some royal mucky-muck, someone that if you looked them in their eyes, some royal sword handler would lop off your head.

    The thing was, in that time of high-end deep and dark Covid, only really necessary people were going to work. The rest of us were staying home, most working from their living room, and some, like me, hiding away like I’d become accustomed to doing.

    I suppose I could have stopped him one day and asked him where he was going.

    I never did.

    I just speculated.

    He had the look of a hangman, but we no longer executed felons.

    In the end, I was content not to know.

    There was so much not to know.

    I was satisfied with my ignorance.

    299 words
    @billmelaterplea
    http://www.engleson.ca

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Bow down! This test is over!”

    I remembered those words from 25 years earlier so well.

    I’d withdrawn my arrow from my bow and placed it back in my quiver. Each man on the line hoped he would become the newest member of the King’s Guard, ready to use our bow and arrows to strike down the King’s enemies. We all knew only one of us would be that member.

    I’d used all but three of my arrows. I had to make new arrows to replace the ones I’d used.

    Making arrows was an art. I had to find the right wood, carve it to the proper shape, balance it properly, then carve the nock into one end. I’d destroyed dozens of shafts learning to carve the nock. I’d destroyed countless more shafts learning to seat the feathers of the fletching properly to keep the arrow stable in its flight.
    Arrowheads had to be the right weight, the right shape, and razor sharp, for the arrow to be useful. I had an entire wall of my shop covered in worthless arrowheads.

    I had not looked forward to replacing my arrows.

    “Follow me!”

    One of the King’s Guard led us from the training ground in their wing of the castle, through the gate, back into the streets of town.

    “We will make our final decision tonight. We will fetch who has made the cut. If you wake in your own bed in the morning, you are not him.” He had turned and walked back inside the gate, and the gate slammed shut.

    I had gone home, and waited.

    That had been 25 years ago.

    I did not become a member of the King’s Guard that day. Instead, I became someone more important. I became an arrow maker for the King’s Guard.

    300 Words
    @mysoulstears

    Liked by 3 people

  3. “Road’s closed, kids. You’ll have to take the expressway.”

    Dalton was on point as usual. He took a deep breath and did not punch the police officer in his condescending face.

    “Officer, we know what’s out there. That thing isn’t going to just bow down to some badges and flashing lights.”

    “We can handle it,” the other officer patted his holster.

    Myra put her hand sadly on Dalton’s shoulder. “You really can’t. Please let us help.”

    “Beat it. Unless you want to spend the night in a cell.”

    The Cryptid Crew reconvened at their van, where Alvina hissed urgently.

    “They CAN’T handle the Horned Hunter! We have to do something!”

    Myra sighed, “We can’t handle the Horned Hunter either. We tried.”

    “We can’t just give up!” Dalton pounded his fist into his other palm.

    “There was a sealed room at the library,” Gavin pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. “I might be able to ascertain more about the Horned Hunter there.”

    Alvina nodded, “I could hack into local records from city hall or the police station and see if there was anything we could use.”

    “Alright! Z, drive Gavin to the library and Alvina to city hall. Myra and I will cross the river on foot and keep the Horned Hunter busy as long as we can.”

    “Hey,” Z swayed sickly on their feet. “Could we, not call it that? It’s kinda freaking me out.”

    Myra glanced at the others and then back to Z.

    “What would you like to call it?”

    “Well, he was a sorta minotaur-looking dude. How about Martin?”

    The Cryptid Crew exchanged glances.

    “Sure?”

    “Fine with me.”

    “Inaccurate, but not objectionable.”

    “Martin.”

    280 Menagerie words
    @DavidALudwig

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The Blessing of the Gods

    Elara’s pace slowed as she approached the shrine, despite the pressure in her heart. It was Oshna’s temple, the God of fire and pain. He frightened her, as did his worshippers, for they relished daring the flames, the pain that brought, and forcing others to do the same. Now the compulsion brought her to the heart of His domain.

    When she could no longer resist it, Elara made her way to the temple and mounted the steps. A tear slipped free as a fatalism filled her when she crossed the threshold.

    A harsh, bodiless voice permeated the inner sanctuary. “You have arrived at last. Bow down. Submit to your God, my new priestess.”

    Those words burned as Elara fought the invisible hand’s attempts to force her into submission.

    “No, you are not my God! I will not submit to you!” Her voice sounded small in the gilded hall.

    Oshna laughed. “You have no choice, mortal, for I have decided it so.”

    The strain grew until Elara thought it might crush her. Then a coolness came, taking the pressure away.

    A gentler voice, the same timbre as Oshna’s but kinder, whispered. “No, brother, you may not take her like this.”

    A flutter of hope entered Elara’s heart—Sohan, God of shade and shadows.

    “How dare you come to my temple and interfere?”

    “She is not yours, as she declared.”

    “I will never give her up!” Oshna’s scream reverberated.

    Sohan sighed. “You know this is not the way, but, since you will not yield, perhaps a contest. If you prevail, I withdraw, and if I win, you give up your claim at once.”

    “Who shall judge this game?

    “Our Mother.”

    “Agreed.”

    Elara felt Oshna’s compulsion fade, yet she stood rooted in place, her mind whirling. The Gods were fighting over her.

    299 words
    @dontpanic2011

    Liked by 2 people

  5. By the time Diana had gotten dressed and had something to eat, the Lord Regent was ready to see her, which she found ironic since his rank was lower than her own if she understood the rules. But he seemed to expect her to bow down to his authority, and while she wasn’t getting on her knees, she would give him some leeway when it came to her newness.

    But the matched set of hulking warrior men who had the individuality of a set of columns crossed a line.

    “No.”

    “I’m sorry?” The Lord Regent raised his eyebrows.

    “No, I won’t’ accept your babysitters to follow me around everywhere I go.” Diana shook her head. “I don’t need minding. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

    “With all due respect, Keeper, you’re only newly arrived. You aren’t aware of the dangers facing the Sunfire House at this present time.”

    “Dangers? Have there been threats made toward any of the Nine Houses?” Her voice grew sharp. “And what have you been doing to settle the disputes between them?”

    He drew himself up to his full height, which wasn’t much taller than her, in classic male affront. “We have a committee reviewing their complaints.”

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa. You have a committee? You don’t go and listen to the complaints in person?” Diana scowled. “The first thing I’ll be changing when I take over is the hands-off approach.”

    236 #Wip500 words
    @SiobhanMuir

    Liked by 2 people

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