This week, I’ve got a flash fiction about Rhubhian from Trader Prince of Aleshtain. Enjoy!

~~~

RHUBHIAN stared out across the village, almost unable to comprehend what she was seeing. Smoke and fire curled up from the hide and straw huts. She sank to her knees on the promontory above her village, and the tears streamed down her cheeks. She’d heard the stories from refugees about the slavers who were hitting outer villages, but she’d never expected it would come this close to Faeridhia. This close to her cousin’s domain. Why had this happened?

She spun on her heel and hurried down the steep, rocky path to the village. Her mother and baby brother were down there, and her father had probably been involved in the fighting before the village was ransacked. She had to find them. Her foot slipped on the rocky ground, and she struggled for balance. Regaining it, she continued her headlong rush down the path. 

Something rustled ahead of her, and a man stepped out onto the path. He wasn’t wearing the attire of her people, and his skin was paler than anything she’d ever seen. She took a shaky step back up the path. His grey eyes fixed on her, and his lips parted in a leering grin. “Guess it’s my lucky day.” 

She struggled to understand the words, but the look on his face told her what his words didn’t. Her Common wasn’t good enough to understand his accent. But then, it didn’t need to be because the lust and greed was etched all over his face. She backed up more and shook her head.

The man took a step forward with a laugh. “Where are you going, girl?”

She shook her head again and turned to run. Her foot caught on a root, and she stumbled. She fell to her knees and released a cry. The sharp rocks dug into her knees, and she sniffled, forcing back the tears. She shoved herself to her feet and continued running. The man cursed and hurried after her. She could hear his sharp breaths and his footsteps growing closer, and she gasped. Increasing her speed did nothing. A hand wrapped around her hair and yanked her backward. She screamed and thrashed back against the man now holding her. She reached out for the objects around her, prayed that there was something large enough to knock him out. 

Nothing happened. His hot breath fanned over her ear, and he laughed, his hands holding her tight. “Don’t bother. Your mind tricks won’t work against me because I can negate them.”

She choked on a scream as he wrapped his fingers around her throat and dragged her back toward the path. With his grip around her throat, she couldn’t even struggle now. She tried to scream, but he slapped a hand over her mouth. Something bitter coated her tongue. Rhubhian attempted to spit it out, but the man pressed his giant palm over her nose and mouth, leaving her no choice but to swallow.

She squeezed her eyes shut and thrashed in his grip. But it did nothing. And as the bitter tablet he’d shoved into her mouth dissolved and trickled down her throat, she found her muscles slackening. Her heart rate spiked, and a moment later, she felt the line connecting her to her ashtra dim. She couldn’t reach it. She couldn’t use it. Tears dripped down her cheeks. As the man dragged her down the path toward her burning village, she couldn’t even lift a finger to save herself. Her mind drifted as the drugs seeped through her entire body. Then darkness settled over her like a heavy blanket, and she left the world of consciousness.

~~~

I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s flash fiction! If you did, you can look forward to reading more about Rhubhian in Trader Prince of Aleshtain. Once I have more content written, I’ll start posting that on Wattpad and Inkitt for readers.

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