Shuǐmǔ

bike

© Dorothy

“Bai. don’t give up now. She must be nearby. I can feel it.”

“We’ve pedaled long enough my brother Heng. It’s a hoax.”

“No. If we find her, we’ll be rich.”

“There is no ‘her’, Heng. We are being manipulated by a wealthy eccentric.”

“Send 68 pairs of contestants on tandem bicycles to search for the Shuǐmǔ? Why would anyone do such a thing if she wasn’t real?”

“Who knows? Boredom? Proving that people are basically stupid? Maybe he’s right.”

“The Shuǐmǔ is supposed to be a priceless treasure. The indicator, Bai. We’re close.”

Heng suddenly jumped off the bike and ran toward a building surrounded by dozens of identical bicycles. He ran inside.

“Heng, wait.” Bai’s shorter legs were pumping as fast as they could.

“Statues. Nothing but statues.”

“Heng, I recognize these statues. Our competition.”

“Hello, boys. I guess you found me,” she smirked.

Shuǐmǔ

Shuǐmǔ

Heng turned to stone before Bai’s eyes. Then Bai too became unmoving.

“When will that old fool stop sending his pawns after me? Money cannot buy the services of Medusa.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW writing Challenge for the week of August 8th. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 175 exactly.

I started writing with no clear end in mind, not even a real story. I just thought of two brothers being part of a competition, not a race so much as a scavenger hunt to find something valuable. I needed a tragic end which is when I wondered if the name “Medusa” has a Chinese counterpart. As it turns out, it does.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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The Dragon Quest of Peres the Knight

dragon

from “The Hobbit” (2012)

Even for a Knight with the valor of Peres the Worthy, entering the lair required all his courage. He had never faced such a formidable foe as this fiend. She had captured the fair one, presumably for a meal or two, and Peres knew her kind grew hungry at sunset.

The sun was all too near the western horizon as he descended into the cavern.

Armored boots are not much for stealth, so the evil Drusella heard him coming long before he entered the treasure chamber. Unlike the other caverns in the lair, this one was brightly illuminated, and torch-light reflected off of a myriad of gold and silver coins, as well as a plethora of precious gems.

His lovely one Katin was restrained in the very center of the cave, an iron collar around her neck with a chain extending from it to a sturdy pillar of wood. She saw him and gave him an expression most pathetic. It was clear that Drusella had lashed her as she was bleeding from a dozen wounds.

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