FlashFic: The Storyteller

A simple scribe weaves an epic tale for a too-proud hero.

“Are you ready to venture forth, scribe Belvedere?”

“Quite! Quite…” A small, balding man emerged from Zoran the Brave’s domicile. His large, flat feet were wrapped in sandals that constantly threatened to capture his flowing brown robe.

Zoran frowned. “You are certain you are up for this venture? I heard you are the best scribe available.”

“And so I am! Shall we begin?” The scribe removed a leather-bound journal and a golden quill from inside his robe.

“So we shall!”

“Let’s see… Zoran the Brave stood facing the unknown…” The golden quill glowed brightly as he wrote. “The wind blew his long hair back behind him. His loincloth…”

“Loincloth…” Zoran looked down. He yelped, discovering that he was indeed now only wearing a loincloth. “Oh, my!”

“Is that a problem, sire?”

“You! That… loincloth!”

“Well, you did say you were going for a ‘sword and sandals’ vibe…” The scribe shrugged. “Okay then, how about: Zoran the Brave stood facing the unknown, his armor gleaming in the sunlight.”

Certainly enough, Zoran found himself donned in shining silver armor. He lifted his visor. “Can we drop the helmet? I liked the hair thing.”

Belvedere smirked. “Of course, sire. Ahem… His hair flowed in the blowing winds as he faced his perilously long journey.”

Zoran looked at the quill. “Um… Brief journey.”

“Okay… His brief journey.”

“And he had a large sword.”

“He wielded a beautiful longsword…”

“And he had a beautiful maiden…”

Belvedere narrowed his eyes. “You’re quite the piece of work, aren’t you? Look… I can help here and there, but don’t you think your story should at least be plausible?”

Zoran grumbled. “Don’t think a beautiful maiden would have me, do you? Well… What if I faced great peril!”

The scribe grinned and cracked his knuckles. “Grand idea! Zoran the Brave turned to face the approaching dragon…”

“Now just a minute, scribe. I think…”

“The immense, fire-breathing dragon swooped down at the mighty hero…”

“Scribe! I really don’t think…” Zoran turned to see a large dragon descending from the skies, indeed blowing fire from its open maw.

“Yes, too simple, isn’t it? Let’s see… The hero’s sword broken, he faced the dangerous creature with but a simple dagger…”

Zoran went white. “Forget it! Forget it all!” He ran off in the opposite direction of the quickly approaching dragon. “I’m done with heroing!”

Belvedere licked the tip of the quill, a sly smile on his face. “…And the shamed hero never returned to his disappointed village.” The scribe closed the journal and placed the book and quill back in his robe.

The sizable dragon touched down with a mighty thump near the scribe. It talked with a deep, rumbling voice. “Gods! You cleared this one in record time!”

“That I did, friend dragon. He was… more brawn than brains, to say the least. He was also quite rich!” Belvedere pointed to Zoran’s abandoned home. “We’ve a few months of gold coin to be had in there.

“It almost seems unfair, doesn’t it?” The great dragon chortled.

Belvedere shrugged his shoulders. “All I did was tell his story!”