Flash Fiction Double Feature: “A Curse Upon Me” and “The Last Fork in the Road”

These were written for last week’s Flash! Friday competition.

 A Curse Upon Me

Perhaps “superhero” was a better description, the professor mused as he stared at the red and black artwork of a man fighting and killing a minotaur.

“The minotaur guarded the fountain of eternal life,” he told the class. Some were playing games on their laptops while the others seemed half comatose. “The hero drank the water and attained years beyond measure.”

“Why’s that bad?” one student asked.

“Only he could drink of it. And he would live forever. Growing old a year a century. He would outlive all his family, offspring, and friends. Even lovers. He realised too late that the fountain’s gift was really a curse.”

Now I stand here old, decrepit, and forgotten, he thought. My beauty gone, my power lost. Staring at half-forgotten drawings of the foolish deeds of my youth. When all I wanted to do was get the attention of the girl I loved.

Medallion via The Graphics Fairy
The Graphics Fairy

The Last Fork in the Road

“It was always meant to end here,” the soothsayer croaked and drooled blood.

“No matter which road you took the meandering paths would always lead here to the last fork in the road. All the battles you’ve won, all those you have sent to the slaughter, every choice led you here. In one world I survive the encounter. In another you are a loved king.”

“You will hold your tongue!”

“My words to you were fated from the beginning. This would be your defining moment. Do you choose to be remembered as a tyrant or as a merciful king who spared the beloved prince? This is your final choice, brother.”

The king stepped up to the bloodstained prince. “I choose memory. Kill the traitor,” the king ordered.

“Then I, too, will be remembered with you. Cast in the role of the martyr. History is a funny thing in the end.”

Usplash - fork in road - Jens Lelie

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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