Winner of the Daily Flash Fiction contest, November 2nd 2019.
|On a cold winter’s eve, the doors to an inn swung open, to every occupant's dismay. The wind blew thick snowflakes, as a lone knight marched through, closing the door behind him with brute force.
Many stares reflected back off this drenched armoured frame. They watched as the soldier exchanged words with the haggard old proprietor, who raised a wrinkled finger to a corner of the room, where a hooded man sat alone cloaked in darkness.
The knight reached into a pouch that he held on his waist, concealed by a cape that displayed the royal coat of arms. Five golden coins, slid across to the inn-keeper, the knight’s gauntlet scratching along the wood of the bar, etching a path between the two men.
A lit candle was given in exchange, as a gesture of goodwill. A single nod the knight bestowed, before venturing to confront the hooded man.
Only one chair sat at that table, that sat the hooded man, who’s attention laid fixed on an almost empty glass of mead.
“Robahn, I seek your aid.” said the Knight, with a hand placed on the hilt of his iron sword.
“Does the prescience of a wizard threaten you, sir?” replied the man.
“Tales of good deeds and wickedness follow your name...”
“True, I’ve helped many, at the detriment of others also. How may I be of service?”
Robahn burst into jester-like laughter.
“A dragon! That I did not expect. Pray tell, who’s in charge of slaying such a beast.”
“By King or country?”
“I sense loss in one’s tone, who has it vanquished to bring ye here?”
“The Kingdom is lost, along with thy wife and son...”
“Forgive thee, good sir, sit, we have much to discuss.”
They talked until daylight, plotting their strategy.