Amy C over at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie over at Tink's Place
have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate - you post your story on Friday.
And here is picture prompt #21:
A Small Price to Pay
By Michelle Greathouse
Gryffen sat under his favorite tree and tried once more to concentrate on the book resting on his knees, but it was no use. The mask he held in his hands was far more interesting than the battle strategies he was supposed to study.
He sat the book aside and gave his full attention to the mask and what it implied - how it would impact his life.
Born the fifth son of a blacksmith, Gryffen knew his options for advancement above his station were few. He was smart, able to read and write - that it what got him this far - what gave him this opportunity. Now he just had to make his decision.
If he accepted this mask it would mean a lifetime devoted to politics and intrigue, gathering information and evidence - being a spy for his King.
Gryffen knew he would travel the realm, see things he would never have the opportunity to see as a smithy. But he also knew that he would live in secret - never have true friends or a family of his own. Not as long as his life was not his own - and Gryffen had no illusions - he knew that by accepting this mask he was becoming the Kings pawn, to be moved as the King saw fit.
Could he live with that? What choice did he have really? There was no room for him at the smithy and no money for a farm, not that he wanted to farm - this was the best option he had.
Decision made, Gryffen made his way back to the stables in search of Talbolt. He found him making arrangements with the stable lad to saddle and pack two horses for quick travel.
“Are you going somewhere?” Gryffen asked.
Ignoring his question, Talbolt asked one of his own, “Have you made your decision?”
“Yes, I accept.” Gryffen handed him the mask and the book.
“Then yes, we are going somewhere.”
“But you requested the horses before I told you my decision.”
Talbolt shook his head, “I knew what your decision would be, you are a smart boy.”
The stable lad brought the horses forward and Talbolt climbed upon his mount. “Let’s be off.”
“Now? Can I tell my family good-bye?”
“Gryffen, your old life is over - say a quick goodbye here - it is a small price to pay for the life ahead of you.”
Firming his resolve, Gryffen nodded to Talbolt and the two exited the stable.
Word Count: 420
I don’t know about this one, it is not my favorite. :)