Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Summer is here, and I’m excited to announce my summer serial for Sunday Scribbles!
It follows the adventures of Prince Flynn and his mage bodyguard, Calix, as they become stranded in the wilderness together. Each part will be posted weekly in line with the Sunday Scribbles prompts. I’m aiming for between 10000-18000 words total, over 9 parts.
It wasn’t going to be related to a work in progress, but it slotted into my Dragonspire universe!
‘Of all the carriages in all the kingdom, you had to share mine,’ Flynn complained. He blew his long fridge out of his eyes and turned away from his sleeping bodyguard to rest his chin on his hand and stare out of the window.
Endless fields stretched either side of them, with a few houses dotted around here and there. A farming community, and not a tavern in sight. Perfect. Trust his father to send him to visit the most backwater lord in the kingdom with only Calix for company.
‘I’m your bodyguard,’ Calix replied from beside him. ‘It’s part of the job description.’
Flynn swung around and flinched as Calix’s eyes fluttered open. Faker. ‘I thought you were- Well I don’t have to like it.’
‘If it’s any consolation, my lord,’ Calix said, voice dripping with sarcasm, ‘I’m not fond of the arrangement either.’
‘So why are you even here, mage? Go back to your tower with the rest of your kind.’
Calix glared at him, and his fingers crackled with energy. ‘Take that back.’
Flynn folded his arms. ‘I’m a prince, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. Go back to sleep.’
‘I wasn’t sleeping!’ Calix replied with a gesture to the window. ‘I was keeping lookout.’
‘With your eyes shut?’
‘With my magic, idiot.’
‘You can’t talk to me like that, I’m-‘
The carriage jerked to a halt. Flynn bit his tongue and tasted copper.
Calix fell forward off his seat. With a crack his head smacked on the one opposite. ‘Ow…’
Flynn ignored him and braced himself against the window to lean out of the carriage. He glared at the driver. ‘Why’d you stop? Get on with it!’
The driver didn’t reply, and he didn’t move either. Flynn scowled and glanced at Calix. He was still clutching his head, but he managed an eye roll and got to his feet. ‘I should check-‘
Flynn shook his head and leaned back out the window. ‘Are you deaf?’ He yelled at the driver. He shoved the door open, strode to the front of the carriage, and grimaced. ‘I think we’re in trouble.’
Calix rubbed his head as he stepped out of the carriage. He frowned at the man slumped behind the horses with an arrow in his chest and shoved Flynn behind him. ‘Back in the carriage. Now!’
Flynn drew his sword. ‘I’m a battle trained warrior, I won’t cower whilst a mage fights my battles!’
‘Your father paid me a fortune to protect you, you need to-‘
A shadow fell over them. ‘I’d listen to the mage, if I were you, boy.’
Flynn’s knuckles were white on the hilt of his sword as he glared at the tall muscled man in front of them, large axe slung over his shoulder and face littered with scars. ‘Uncle Richard?’
‘King Richard to you,’ his uncle replied with a grin. ‘At least I will be, once I take care of you.’
‘Even if you kill me, Sam’s next in line,’ Flynn replied. He braced his feet and hefted his sword.
‘Kid’s less skilled than you, and so trusting. Won’t be hard to get rid of him.’
Flynn stepped forward. Calix shook his head and held out a hand to stop him. ‘No dissuading you from this, I suppose?’
Richard laughed. ‘Not a chance.’
Calix’s eyes flashed. ‘Then you leave me with no option.’ He raised his hand and bright light emitted from his palm as an unnatural gust of wind flared around them.
Flynn rushed towards his uncle, sword in hand, as the mini tornado picked up speed.
‘What are you doing?’ Calix yelled, eyes wide as he gestured at the tornado. ‘I can handle this!’
‘I don’t need you,’ Flynn’s replied, words loud even over the clash of his sword against his uncle’s axe. ‘This is my duty, as a son of the king. To earn the throne in the ways of old!’
Richard smirked. ‘Fighting talk, boy, but you don’t stand a chance.’
Flynn dodged back on swift feet and ducked under the axe to carve a new scar across his uncle’s belly. ‘Could say the same about you, traitor.’
Richard snarled and swung his axe in a large arc towards Flynn. Flynn skidded and flung himself backwards. The wind dropped and a bolt of lightning sparked past his head to hit his uncle. His uncle’s hair stood on end, and he froze for a moment before his grip loosened on his axe and it cluttered to the floor. His lifeless body followed it moments later.
Flynn spun around to glare at Calix. ‘What did you do that for? I had it under control.’
Calix rolled his eyes. ‘Sure you did, but this was faster. If we’re not at Lord Darian’s by sunset you’ll miss the banquet.’
‘I don’t care about the banquet, I care about proving myself!’ Flynn replied. He kicked the dirt and sheathed his sword. ‘If I don’t cut down every challenger personally-‘
‘Oh, who’s to know?’ Calix said with a shrug of his shoulders. ‘Come on. Wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to drink yourself under a table.’
Flynn tilted his head as they moved back to the carriage. ‘You’ll tell them I beat him myself?’
‘If it means that much to you.’ He batted a hand at his neck and frowned. ‘If you drive the-‘
He swayed on his feet and toppled towards the ground. Flynn rushed forward and caught him before he hit the dirt track. ‘Calix? Calix, what’s wrong?’
‘He can’t hear you.’
Flynn spun around and cursed. They were surrounded by a group cloaked in forest green bearing crossbows in their hands and daggers at their belts, led by a woman shrouded in the darkest green of all. ‘What did you do to him?’
‘Adder venom,’ the woman replied with a smirk. ‘He’ll be out for hours. Sometimes they don’t live to tell the tale.’
The woman gestured to the corpse of his uncle. ‘Was just passin’ by an’ heard him say you’re next in line to the throne. Figured the king’d pay dearly for your safe return, but I ain’t fighting a mage.’ She smirked. ‘A brat with a sword on the other hand, I can handle just fine.’
Flynn dropped Calix to the ground and shot to his feet, sword drawn. The woman darted forward fast as a snake and held a dagger to his throat. ‘Ah, ah, ah sweetie. If you value your life, you’ll drop that and make this easy for us.’
‘I’m a prince, I don’t have to-‘
She dug the knife in deeper as her companions scattered into the forest. ‘See, I don’t care who you are. Your throat will slit the same as anyone else.’
‘You need me alive,’ Flynn replied with wide eyes. They darted around the area trying to find something to use to push his advantage. Nothing. His fingers tightened around the hilt of his sword. Maybe he could kick her feet out from under her?
She leaned in close to whisper in his ear. ‘With the amount of enemies you’ve made, I bet someone would pay just as much for your corpse.’
Flynn froze. Her grin was manic as she pressed the knife harder. She was deadly serious. He let his sword clatter to the floor.
‘Atta boy,’ she said with a grin. She tugged his hands behind his back to secure his wrists and held the dagger at the base of his spine. ‘Into the carriage with you.’
Her companions returned with a group of horses as she shoved him past Calix’s prone form. He sucked in a breath, and the dagger dug into his back as he paused. Calix may be unconscious and intolerable, but if he woke up his magic would get them out of this. ‘My father values him. He’ll pay you for the safe return of his favourite bodyguard.’
The woman paused and frowned at the unconscious mage, but she clicked her fingers and gestured to him. One of her crew tossed Calix over her shoulder and flung him into the carriage. Flynn winced as his head hit the wall and clambered in after him.
‘No funny business,’ the woman said.
She bound Calix’s arms and legs, and Flynn’s own feet when he lashed them out towards her. He stared behind her, out the window. If they were to escape later he’d need to know where they were and how to get back. A flurry of movement caught his eye, and a large winged creature dipped beneath the clouds for just a second before it vanished. He frowned. Dragons weren’t real, were they? He could’ve sworn…
She followed his gaze and tore off a piece of her cloak to tie over his eyes. ‘There’ll be none of that scheming either, or I’ll run you through and sell your corpse to the highest bigger.’
‘Okay, okay,’ Flynn replied. He shuddered as she slammed the door, and the clatter of hooves sounded in front of and beside the carriage. Bound, blinded, and defenceless, he reached for Calix and fumbled to shake his shoulder. ‘Come on, idiot. Wake up.’
Calix didn’t stir to call him out on the insult, but the uneven breaths Flynn felt when he moved his hands in front of his face gave him hope. For once he wished his mage bodyguard was feigning sleep, but an unconscious mage was better than none at all. He hoped Calix woke up before they got to their destination. It’d be much harder to escape once the bandits made camp.
Thanks for reading!
Let me know what you think. I’ve been writing short stories for so long I’ve forgotten how to write a longer work, and I’m using this piece as practise. Look out for part two next Sunday!
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The prompts for July are:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:‘It was a grand journey, and, like so many adventures, it began with a single step out of line.’
If you use one of the prompts, feel free to share your story links below.
Feeling creative? I also run a weekly hashtag game on Twitter, #sunscribbles, where you can share one-off lines or quotes from a #WIP around the weekly prompt!
See you next week!