Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Empress of the Sky

     The cloud rumbled under the giant’s bulk.  He stumbled along, following the snow trail to the castle of ice.  Her castle.
     The gates opened up to admit him and quickly closed behind.  A squat hawk-eyed man declared his coming, “may I present Agorius, Prince of the Giants.”
     Agorius boomed, “I must speak to the Empress.”  His frown stretched a man’s pace across.
     A dark-haired man in full plate walked forward and gave a short bow.  “Her Excellence shall see you in the ballroom on the second floor; may I escort you?”
     “Get on with it,” said Agorius.  He stamped forward looking as if he were going to crush his guide beneath thick leather boots.
     The stairs were of vast, spiraling marble.  Even still, Agorius’ heels didn’t fit on the stairs, forcing a string of grumbles.  The second floor landing, adorned with sparkling frost, opened into a large dancing room.  White birch made up the floor, trimmed at the edges by everlasting snow.  A woman strode in from the far side.
     “Prince Agorius,” said the Empress, dipping her head no more than a hand’s breadth.  “I have been awaiting your arrival.”  Her dark hair clashed with the white surroundings, yet complemented her blue tiara of massive snowflakes.  Much the same color, her eyes shone despite the full light of the room’s chandeliers.
     “I have a query for you,” Agorius stated.  One fist shook at his side.  The undertones of his voice were evident beneath a deliberate attempt at tact.
     The Empress only smiled.  “And that is, Prince of Giants?”
     Anger found its way to Agorius’ face.  He wore a sneer.  “What have you done with my fowl?”
     “That bird of yours?” the Empress began.  “I know nothing of it beyond its simplest nature.  The gold of its eggs has filled your coffers as of late.”
     “Don’t you lie to me, miss!” bellowed Agorius.
     The Empress showed no sign of stress.  “None in my kingdom have entered yours to do the deed.  If they did, it was not from any decree of mine.”
     “Your façade cannot deceive me, Empress of the Sky.  I shall be back.  And with an army.”
     The Empress’ smile broadened.  “Lucky me.  I’m already here.  And I have my own army.”


  1. Nice! This had the feel of mythology, though a little more wordy than say, a Grimm tale (those are sometimes hilariously to the point).

    1. That was pretty much my approach here. A little more fairy tale than my standard flash, but still with a genre fiction undertone.

  2. Haha--love the Empress's last line :D Just by that I can tell a lot about her--and I think I'd like to meet her :) Visiting from A-Z!

    1. That was what I was going for. She seems eeriely sweet at first, but it's at least part-way a facade, as Agorius knew.

  3. Love those last lines! I think Agorius will be in trouble if he goes against her.

    A to Z Participant
    Cherie Reich - Author and Surrounded by Books Reviews

  4. Your story reminds me of Thomas Covenant. Do you know that series?