Gaming Gryphon

Fyretober 2021

Welcome to day 21 of Fyretober! I hope you’re all enjoying a month of flash fiction as much as I am. Enjoy today’s writing challenge from Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fechin flicked the end of his tail against his beak, laying on the stone outcrop as he watched the little swath of desert he could see. Not that either it nor the stone canyon he nested in were what he’d term exciting. Just golden sands. Orange-red rock, wind, sun, and moving shadows.

Moving shadows?

Sitting straight on his rock, Fechin wove side to side trying to catch another glimpse of the shifting darkness certain those had been shadows and not ones he recognized. Company was coming.

Racking his claws over the stone he waited eagerly. The men’s camels plodded in a steady, if slow to Fechin, pace bringing them directly down his canyon. There was no good reason for them to be there. There was no exit, and the trade routes didn’t come anywhere near here. And yet, they came.

Fechin leapt from his perch, shrill cry cutting through the air as the men entered the straight away before him. The camels twisted about, seeking to run before him, but the men, especially the one in the lead, hauled on their reigns bringing them back around.

The group settled into stillness. A man was in the lead, light colored cloth covered most of his face leaving only dark eyes showing. Fechin thought they resembled the dark brown mud of a riverbed empty not yet dry remarkably well. Quiet striking.

The man held his hand up, but not to Fechin. No, he was motioning to the men behind him, trying to keep them calm and still Fechin assumed. Humans were excitable creatures at times. When silence filled the canyon, the man called out to him. “Oh, great one, we’ve heard tales of your might and have come ready to answer your riddle.”

Fechin shook his head in a quick annoyed twist. “Riddles? Faa! What do you take me for? A Sphinx?” From the sudden the man’s quick blink and jerk backward and his followers’ sudden grumbles behind, Fechin decided that had thought that. He flapped his wing in irritation. The fools.

“Apparently not,” the man said quickly before his men could bolt, “but you haven’t attacked us either. Or denied that you’ve treasure we could win.”

Fechin lowered his head, beak clicking happily. No, not a total fool. He nodded quickly.
“How might we win it then?”

Spreading his wings Fechin back winged, sending a draft through the cavern and spurring dust toward the men. Cries and coughs echoed through the canyon as the men shielded their eyes. When the storm past, Fechin grinned at them and looked at the ground.

Three columns and nine rows were etched into the bedrock between himself and the men. Against the canyon wall, a series of life size pieces which awaited placement on the board. “Win and you can take a saddle full of my gold. Lose or run and…” Fechin didn’t finish the sentence. Instead, he clacked high beak loudly together.

The man sat ridged for a moment. Dismounting he motioned to his men. The moved past him, wearily watching Fechin as they claimed the pieces from beside the wall. Excellent! Fechin enjoyed a good game.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

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“Fyretober isn’t for just writers or just artists. It’s for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.

Join the creation fun and share your work with us.

This isn’t a contest. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be giving out random prizes for amazing work.”

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