Writhing Within

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from writing prompt: I am a grotesque man

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

“I am a grotesque man.” Torban sat at the table waiting for the response to his statement dropped into the council meeting. He had been saying some such variation for weeks and suspected their reactions now.

Faldeen sat back, pressing a hand to her chest with wide eyes. “You are not grotesque.” Her quick quip always came first.

Kinmen shook his head and kneaded his brow. His frustration with Torban’s statement obvious even if he didn’t voice his denial.

Bariel looked at him slowly. Torban might have found her response a reassuring difference if she hadn’t obviously imaged him far less attired. And hadn’t followed the observation with an appreciative smirk and licking of her lip.

Torban turned quickly from her to the fifth, and last, member of the council, Muriessa.

Muriessa said nothing. She moved little. Only the slightest narrowing of her eyes betrayed her had wandered from the dark war discussion.

Finally, Muriessa lowered her hand which she’d held propped beneath her chin to drum her fingers on the table. “Why do you say that?” Her voice carried quietly through the room.

Torban sighed and closed his eyes.

“For a fornight of weeks you have claimed as much, but why?” Muriessa asked again.

At last. A different response. Opening his eyes Torban rose from his chair and strode toward Muriessa.

“Because for a fornight of weeks, the darkness had twisted me inside.” He watched her eyes widen even as the dark power spilled and over the council.

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