Inside the Castle of Mandoran

Closed Iron Doors

Sinead and Moonsprite stood before the castle walls. Sinead grasped the Sword of Elshain in one hand and buried the fingers of her other hand in the unicorn’s snowy mane.

The huge iron doors of the castle swung open. ‘Lay aside your weapon. We welcome you!’ Was the voice inside Sinead’s head or did it come from within the castle walls? Moonsprite nuzzled her shoulder and she sheathed her sword.

Together they crossed over the threshold. The doors clanged shut behind them.

Flowers carpeted the castle grounds. Breathing in their heady perfume, Sinead began to relax for the first time in many weeks. Moonsprite whinnied gently, burying her muzzle in the brightly coloured petals.

Ahead of them another door creaked open and a cloaked figure appeared, holding a massive hound on a leash.

The figure beckoned with a crooked finger. ‘Come inside, both of you!’

Sinead and Moonsprite dutifully obeyed.


Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #40

The challenge this week was leash. Photo credit: Kevin Jackson on Unsplash

Sinead and Moonsprite apologise for hi-jacking this week’s challenge, but they have an important quest to complete. Previous episodes of their quest may be found here

The Writer’s Pact

Humphrey the Unicorn

From my Flash Fiction collection

‘No more rides,’ said Humphrey the Unicorn, ‘especially not for that fat fairy.’ He was talking to himself, deep in the enchanted forest. His back ached and his horn was sore where the young fairies, pixies and elves had been touching it for luck. Much will that do them, he thought.

Humphrey sighed, ‘a noble beast like me, scratching a living as a side-show attraction at Friday’s Fantastical Fair.  He wandered over to a patch of four-leaved clover and started munching.

‘Hey, Unicorn!’ said a voice. Humphrey looked up to see a strange little man leaning against a tree with a notebook in his hand and a pencil behind his ear.

‘You’re good at story-telling aren’t you?’ the little man said.

Humphrey nodded. He’d always been fond of telling stories, but the magical kids of today weren’t interested.

‘And you’re looking for a new career?’

Humphrey nodded again.

‘Okay, here’s the thing,’ the little man pulled the pencil from behind his ear and waved it with a flourish. ‘I’ll pay you double what you get from the Friday Fantastical Fair, if every week, without fail, you provide me with a 250 word story for my Friday Flash Fiction spot.’

Humphrey jumped at the chance. He and The Writer, for that was who the strange little man was, made a pact for life. But one year later, when Humphrey couldn’t squeeze his brain for even one more story, he found to his cost that he’d made a pact with the devil.

©2018 Chris Hall

Inspired by The Haunted Wordsmith’s Three Things Challenge – fairy, unicorn, devil
These little prompts are coming to an end, but with Halloween approaching Teresa promises us new inspiration for tales of ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties.
Sounds like fun!