Flash Fiction: Mythris and the Stone King

Mythris couldn’t understand how the stone had become their king in the first place, that is until hearing it decree his banishment.  Its voice rumbled forth from somewhere deep inside its craggy surface and there was little room to question its sincerity.

“FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE STONES WE DECLARE YE BANISHED!  IF IT IS IN THEE TO RETURN, YE WILL BE CAST INTO THE CHASM!  BEGONE YE TRAITOROUS STONE CUTTER!”

The guardsmen cowered under the blast of its voice but Mythris stood tall and said nothing.  One of his captors gave a hard pull at the chain around his neck, pulling him down to kneel on the stone outcropping that lead to the Royal Boulder.

“Show some respect, eh?  You know It coulda been a lot harder on you,” the guard snarled.

“It’s just a rock,” Mythris hissed under his breath.

A rough burlap sack was thrown over his head and he felt a sharp kick connect to his rib cage.  The shock of it took his breath away so that he could barely react as he felt himself pulled from the ground and thrown across the back of a horse like a saddlebag.

Hours passed in rough travel as the horsemen rode on toward the Outer Planes.  The horse slowed to a stop and took a few nervous steps backward.  There was a smell like fire and summer wind swirling around them.

“Nothing personal, kid.  You heard the King,” came the horseman’s voice as the sack was pulled from Mythris’ head.  The young man slid down from the back of the horse and glared impatiently at the horsemen as he loosed the chain from around his neck.

They stood on the edge of the Realm.  It’s rocky spires and stony paths were crumbling away as they reached the edge of the known world, hovering in a frozen state of half collapse.  Each path that wound away from where they stood ended in a glowing tear.  Some were round, with others roughly forming geometric shapes like hexagons and triangles.  Each had their own glow, their own heat and odd smells emanating from them.

“Pick any door, just don’t come back,” the horseman said coldly, “After that you’re not my problem anymore.”

“What’s on the other side?” Mythris asked, mostly to himself.

“What should I care?  You’d best get lost before the guards come throw you in the Chasm just for dawdling.”

Mythris stepped away from the man and his horse and held out his hand toward a portal with eight sides and a soft orange glow.

“I wonder if there’s a place for sculptors somewhere within that light?” he thought to himself.

He walked slowly forward and faced the slow rotating frame of light before him.  Its warmth gently cascaded around him and the sound of a breeze caressing a wild grassy field greeted his ears.  After a pause and a grumble from the rider behind him, and without looking back, he put his foot forward and stepped on through.

Robert JV Christensen

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