Kingdoms of Rue

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

A man is going home after years of acquiring wealth. What will the road lead him to?

"Well,

I sing a song as I ride along

It's a song about my horse

It's an equestrian song, I thought you knew

It's an equestrian song, Of course!"

 

Suddenly, the singer pulled on the reigns of his stately steed and uttered a couscous, "Woo Girl."

The horse, too, was bothered by the seemingly menacing figure that stood in the shadows.

 

The man called out to the figure, "I am Tram of Tern. And I asked in a friendly manner, who be you that lingers in the shadows like a robber waiting to pounce?"

 

The figure did not move, but replied, "I am not a robber, but your fate might be better served if I were one. I am called "The Harbinger", an Omen in shadowed clothing, and I have been sent to warn you of a treacherous tomorrow."

 

Tram smirked, and then chuckled under his breath before saying, "Trials and tribulations, the world is full of them. Now, come out of the shadows so I may have a look at you."

 

"What you see is what I am, a shadow of things to come. Now take heed and find caution in your every move, for the forces of Ill-Will are about to come upon you."

 

Tram laughed aloud and stated, "Oh Balder-daggers! What kind of net do you weave, is it a net of lies bent on catching a fish? Well, my good man, I shall pay you nothing for a better look into your crystal-ball. Fortunetelling is Poppycock!"

 

"Your fortune is not what I am asking you to heed, it is your ill-fortune that needs looking after," said the ghostly figure.

Then Tram heard a gowning sound as the shadow disappeared from its place among the trees. 

 

"Just as I thought," Tram stated aloud, "as soon as he found that there was no money to be earned from his little fortune-telling scheme, he left.

***

 

Bright and early the next morning Tram packed away his bed-roll and filled his water pouch from a nearby stream. Then he saddled his horse and made ready for another day's ride, two more days and Tram would be home, home at last.

Tram had left home at an early age and somehow found the pirates’ life as a means to an end. It was a way to get rich quickly, if he survived, then he could spend a leisurely life at home with friends and family.

At the time he had no qualms about taking other people’s money, and if they didn't give it freely then Tram would give them the sharp end of his sword in exchange.

Well, get rich he did. In just ten short and bloody years he had enough to settle into a life of comfort. But comfort would be of no consequence without his home and the family he dearly loved; they were his true prize.

***

 

As Tram rode the trail home he happened upon a natural tunnel.

He thought for a moment and then said, "My memory doesn't recall this tunnel from my youth. Perhaps the weather has formed it while I was away.

And how wonderfully lucky," he said to himself, "happening upon this tunnel will save me a day’s ride. I can pass right through instead of having to take the long, and treacherous, hillside trail."

 

 

As Tram rode into the tunnel, he heard a voice call out, "Halt, who goes there?"

Tram saw no-one, so he just kept riding.

 

The voice called out, again, "Halt, who goes there?!?"

 

Tram stopped his horse and called back, "Who calls out to me, I see no-one!"

 

"I am the King's Tunnel Guard and you are about to enter the Kingdom of Rue. Now turn around and go back!"

 

"Surely you jest," Tram stated with mocking laughter. Then he asked the voice, "Is this The Harbinger of yesterdays warning, and are you still trying to trick me into giving you money?"

 

"I told you already," said the voice, "I am the King's Guard! If you pass through this tunnel, then you will become a citizen of the Kingdom of Rue.

Now turn around and go back!"

 

Tram didn't listen, he kicked his heals into the horse's side and into the Kingdom of Rue it quickly carried him.

Then, very soon afterward, Tram noticed that the terrain was different, so he looked back to find that there was no tunnel visible in the hillside. Even the hills did not look the same.

Shortly thereafter he started seeing all sorts of strange creatures that he had never seen before, and there were people speaking languages that he did not understand.

Nothing was the same in the Kingdom of Rue, and from the Kingdom of Rue Tram could never escape.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

05-29-2019


Submitted: May 30, 2019

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Comments

hullabaloo22

Well, he had a warning! Excellent story, JE.

Thu, May 30th, 2019 8:11pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Hul. --- Sometimes life's path doesn't lead to where you wanted to go, but if you are a good listener you may hear that voice telling you which fork to take when you come to them.

Sat, June 1st, 2019 10:41am

Vance Currie

Well, if one is going to disregard a harbinger and rue rue the consequences, what better place for it than the Kingdom of Rue? I guess we have all been there at some time, DT. You made a good story out of this.

Thu, May 30th, 2019 11:03pm

Author
Reply

Once again, thanks Joe, and thanks for the comments. I like the feedback.

Sat, June 1st, 2019 10:38am

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