This flash fiction was written for the Moderated Selected Writing Exercises, part of the Google+ writing community, Writers Discussion Group. The prompt for this exercise was to choose five words from a selection of Story Cubes provided. I chose ocean (water), elephant, pirates, goblet, and whip. Stories are limited to 600 words.
Hope you enjoy!
“Your wine, Countess de Mér.”
Veronique de Mér accepted the jewel encrusted silver goblet. Steadying herself against the rocking motion of the ship, she managed to sit, silk crinoline’s rustling, without spilling a drop of burgundy. She sipped the wine, gazing through dark lashes at the man holding her captive.
“His Majesty will be most displeased you are keeping me hostage.”
Spanish Duke Fernando Montesa of Soria smiled as he sat across from her, “Hostage? You wound my honor, my lovely Veronique. I simply requested you join me for a cruise along the French coast.”
“Yet we’re now in Spanish waters.”
“We are? How do you know?”
“I heard the captain say so.”
The duke sipped his wine. “I’m certain the captain is turning around.”
“What is your purpose for our meeting?”
He laughed heartily, “Do you have to ask? You have refused my offers of marriage numerous times. I thought I could persuade you.”
“Persuade me? I’m only here because I was spending the summer at my villa in Port-Vendres. The king sent word you wished to invite me for a short cruise. He was most curious as to why.”
“Yet he sent you alone with only one lady-in-waiting. The king must trust me.” A rap at the door distracted him, “Ah, dinner.”
Servants brought a feast of pheasant and roasted vegetables. Veronique raised an eyebrow, “You remembered my favorite meal.”
“My lovely countess, I have the mind of an elephant. I never forget.”
Veronique ate little, while the duke consumed a great deal, confirming the reason for his girth. Moonlight streamed through the large porthole behind Montesa, and she wondered if she shoved him through would he fit. Finished with dinner, he belched loudly and Veronique flinched, definitely hoping he’d fit through the porthole.
The dishes were cleared, and Montesa poured more wine. His eyes beginning to glaze, he smiled wickedly, “You’re luscious. I should take you now.” He downed his wine and stood, walking around the table. He ran his fingers along the neckline of her gown, tugging at the ribbons across her bodice.
Before she could react shouts of ‘Jolly Roger’ came from the main deck. Montesa started toward the door, falling as the ship rocked from being rammed. Scrambling to his feet as the shouting and gunfire escalated, the duke reached for the doorknob. A sharp crack reverberated through the cabin, and Montesa screamed as the thin tip of a whip wrapped around his wrist, drawing blood.
He whirled toward her, and Veronique snapped the whip. This time slashing his cheek, and he fell to the deck again. She snapped the whip next to him, splintering the wood planks. “Don’t move.”
Veronique spun, finding a King’s Musketeer, leaning against the doorframe, blue cloak draped over his shoulder. She snapped, “You took your time.”
“Appears you were doing fine without me.”
“Good thing I spotted this whip hanging on the wall.”
He pulled Montesa from the floor, “I am Captain Sébastien Rousseau of the King’s Musketeers. You are under arrest for kidnapping a member of the royal family. We knew of your plot and have been following you.” He pushed Montesa into the passageway toward two other Musketeers. “Tie him up, the countess will remain onboard this vessel until daybreak.”
Sébastien closed the door and Veronique asked, “Jolly Roger?”
“The Spanish are less frightened of pirates. The king has ordered me to remain with you until your return to Paris.”
“But I’m not returning to Paris for another month.”
Tossing his cloak and hat aside, Sébastien smiled, “I know.”
Images found on Google Images and modified on Photoshop. No commercial use intended.