Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It involves writing a piece of fiction from the given photo prompt in around 75-150 words – give or take 25 words. If you’d like to join in with the challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday to Tuesday every week.
Here is this week’s prompt, kindly provided by Iain Kelly:
And this is my story:
It’s Just a Game
Twelve-year-old Aelric made his first move and glared across the hnefatafl board at his burly opponent: the brute whose marauding band had seized his father’s village.
A yellow-toothed grin creased Halvar’s face. “Don’t look so glum, boy. It’s just a game.’
Aelric stayed mute, contemplating how best to move his knights to capture his cocksure opponent’s white king and claim the victory. For Halvar had vowed to Aelric’s father: ‘We’ll leave your village, Wulfgar, when one of your people can beat me at hnefatafl.’
Many games had been played and lost, and now all hope rested with Aelric…
‘It’s just a game, Halvar,’ he said as he finally took the white king. Halvar’s outraged face turned puce, but he kept his word and his thieving band left the village that day.
Wulfgar hoisted Aelric onto a table and raised his ale mug. ‘To the hnefatafl champion of Wessex!’ he yelled and grinned at his son. ‘Good thing we didn’t tell Halvar you haven’t been beaten by anyone in the kingdom since you were eight.’
Word Count: 175
If you’d like to read other stories, or add one yourself, click on the little blue frog:
A Word about Hnefatafl…
Hnefatafl – also known as ‘King’s Table’ – was a common board game for two people played by the Vikings. It soon spread to all the lands where the Vikings travelled, however, including Britain, Ireland and Lapland. In Old Norse, the word tafl means ‘table’ or ‘board’. The game is not the same as chess, although it is played on a chequered board. Henefatafl involves two unequal sides: the smaller ‘kings’ side of 12, initially positioned in the centre of the board, and the opposing 24 knights set out against the four sides.
The object of the game is for the king to escape. If he reaches one of the four corners he wins the game. If the attackers manage to capture him – by the strategic movement of players – the attackers win.
This is the first time I’ve been on my blog for almost four weeks. We’ve had a lot of family issues to deal with, including serious ill health of a family member. Consequently my blogging, and writing in general, has been ‘on hold’. I hope to back again soon