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Ralph and the Prince
by Jo Hawk

This story began as a piece of Flash Fiction. There is where it would have ended, except for the characters. The Prince and Ralph are persistent. They want to tell their story and demand I tell it. I would be honored if you took two minutes to read this first piece and let me know if you want to read more. Thanks "Sounds interesting!"

Into the Night

Ralph’s legs burned. He clutched his ribcage and rubbed the twitching muscle which begged him to stop. The intercept lay two hundred yards ahead. Holding the flaming torch higher he inhaled, hardened his resolve and pushed himself forward.

His blood beat in his ears and he struggled to quiet his breathing. He slowed, as he approached the archway. Moving with caution, he allowed the flames to illuminate his surroundings and he checked the shadows. No one lurked, no sign of ambush. Be...

Tonight, We Will Not Die

Ralph had lost track of time. Every muscle in his body screamed. He struggled to maintain his precarious position on the horse’s back while keeping the Prince’s unconscious form from tumbling to the ground. The black stallion broke his pace and Ralph allowed him to have his head. They both needed the break.

The punishing ride slowed to a steady stride, and he shrugged his shoulders, allowing himself to relax. Stretching, he felt blood seep into hands numb from holding the reins in a dea...

Your Majesty

The Lucciola moved arrow-swift along the gloomy forest trail as the exhausted stallion struggled to follow. Ralph’s skin tingled, and he glanced behind him. He saw nothing except the dust kicked up from flying hooves, but his gut told him they were being followed. The dawn’s growing brightness provided no comfort for him and he worried about seeing the Lucciola in the daylight. The panting and lathered horse began to slow.

“We’re killing him,” Ralph thought then he not...

Courtyard Conflict

“Uzair… Uzair, come quickly. I need you,” D’ArtAnna called, sprinting under the pergola. It was encased with gnarled, twining wisteria vines.

Ralph ran behind her. The dense stems, thicker than his thigh, created an impenetrable wall forcing them to follow the flagstones laid in intricate patterns on the path’s floor. A hundred yards further, the tunnel ended in a circular courtyard bathed in sunlight. Ralph slowed, blinking, surprised by the size and the l...

Fortezza del Calamaio

Ralph fought to roll to his side, but his stiff, sore muscles screamed at him to stop. He struggled, floating somewhere between waking and sleeping. His body begged him to lie still while his mind flashed images he wanted to forget. The prince, vomiting his stomach’s vile-smelling contents into a porcelain bowl, wreathing, bent in half and moaning in agony. D’ArtAnna pouring entire potion vials past his dry parched mouth, coaxing him to swallow. She laid flawless alabaster ston...

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