How Many?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 27, 2017

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Submitted: July 27, 2017

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How Many?

Nuala looked across from the window. The dust clouds told her she needed to know. They were coming, and in large numbers too. Why now, when she was left in charge? Both her father, the King, and her husband, were away, helping to hold back an invasion taking place many miles away.

Was the castle harbouring a spy? Just the thought made her shiver. But how else could they know that at this moment the place was so vulnerable. For not only the King and the Prince were away, but almost all able-bodied men too. Who could it be? She had a very good idea and if she was right she did not like the odds of their surviving.

Nuala decided she would have to act. She quickly put on her robe, her crown. She might be quaking inside but she would at least pretend to be in control. A regal presence -- that is what she would give her people.

A knock sounded on her chamber door, and Bernard entered. He was Nuala’s cousin and had remained at the castle while the others went off to lend aid to their allies. The two gave each other a tight smile then moved to stand side by side at the window.

How many, do you think?” Nuala did not want to ask the question, did not want to hear an answer. Want did not come in to it now to ask.

Too many! Should we surrender?”

Nuala took a moment to consider this option. Surrendering to those.....barbarians? Women and children? Some fates, she thought, were worse than death, and those would be the ones that would await them should they chose not to fight.

Call the women. Send a couple to look after the children. They can come here as it is the safest part of the castle. The others can chose their arms from the weapons that still remain in the armoury. We will stand and we will fight. And who knows, maybe we’ll win!”


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