Short Fiction ~ Leanne Drain
Honourable Mention, Strands International Flash Fiction Competition - 18
The hills are alive, the trees speak from the heavenly light, and the dinosaurs eat meat from the top of the valleys for yards. There is a happy place across the glossy river. There is a home beyond the treasured place. A place of magic, a place of life, a place where all is well with the world. And brings in harmonious peace. The castle of DeLaria is a place fit for a queen. Idris rules her reign and marries a man called Ewart. He is the king of DeLaria they have a beautiful daughter called Marianne who is born into the world with her lovable smile and blue placid eyes; however, Mariann is different because her hands are born with an extra finger, a family defect, the doctors would say. But it worried her mother, Idris, and she grew concerned for her beautiful daughter's future. Ewart swore he would find a cure, so he began his quest late one night. He travelled to Gallas, the other side of the north winds river. He would there find Empress Eline. She would bring him the antidote he needed to heal his daughter, but it came at a price, for Eline was a dark empress who wanted revenge on her beloved sister Idris. However, Idris never told her husband about the Eline empress, her sister; instead, she just said she was an only child. Ewart was walking into a trap, a master plan he knew nothing about, until he met Eline in the river, where she washed away her pain of the past.
"Eline Empress of the north winds of Gallas, I beg you to save me and my wife Idris's daughter". Ewart spoke directly to Eline.
Eline shuffled with pain at Idris's name- Eline said do you know very well that your wife, my sister, betrayed me-
that's not possible. My wife has no siblings; she is an only child.
Idris is clever. She must have wiped your memories
You were always the best at memory charms, but I was the best at regaining the memory. As soon as Eline said these words, she engulfed a memory charm upon Ewart.
No, that can't be true, but the memory charm never lied – she deceived you, broke you, took you for granted, and yet you still love her.
Idris, why spat Ewart, and somehow the communication they once shared broke into a thousand glass pieces.
Ewart, you are now mine, Eline said as he obeyed every command. He was bewitched by her beauty and, under the spell, fell head over heels in love with Eline-
Back in the castle of DeLaria, Idris feels darkness spreading over the hills through the valley and then collapses while Mariann grows into a blossoming young woman. Somehow, the curse had fast-forwarded her life. Her memories were now gone, and it was left to Marianne to try and break the curse.
Eline grew with power – destroying the world of DeLaria; she came swarming through the antennae of the castle and then found Idris lying on the cold floor.
Well, what do we have here Eline spat out at the woman plastered on the floor.
Idris, my dear sister, not so glorious now, are we -- Ewart, come here, Eline spat nastily at her wicked plan.
Ewart kills Idris.
As Eline watched Ewart strike out his emerald sword, she laughed wickedly. No one can save you now.
Want a bet? Shouted Mariann – as Mariann came back into the room with her extra Finger in tow
And who might you be
I am Marianne, daughter of Idris and Ewart
Not possible you're a baby – said Eline
No, dear aunt, I am the past, present and future of DeLaria, and I know that Idris hurt you. She stole from you a ruby ring with Eline and Idris's names against it- where did you get that from Mum's room? She kept it locked away, but I know Mum, and Mum knows me. She knew I would need it one day.
That belongs to me, tears in Eline's eyes.
No, it belongs to no one. It now belongs to me. Marianne stuck it on her extra Finger. As soon as it touched the Finger, the Finger fell off, and DeLaria was free- the ring broke into a thousand pieces, and Eline was destroyed by the flames of the ring's power while Idris regained consciousness and Ewart was free from Eline's curse. Both parents held each other, and then they faced their beloved daughter. Your Finger saved us, dear Daughter. You are a true queen of DeLaria, but Mum, you're forgetting something. I need to be a baby again, this time just like me, with no extra finger and then
you can watch me grow up
Yes, my dear, you are right, and with one final look, Idris took her daughter's hand, and she became a baby again, this time with no extra surprises.
Idris and Ewart smiled as they watched their beautiful Marianne become the beauty she would always become.
Leanne Drain is a writer based in the UK. She enjoys creative writing and is currently studying creative and professional writing at The University of East London. Her dream is to become an established novelist.