Author Note: Don’t panic, there will still be the usual update on Thursday. This is is for a writing contest that Chuck Wendig is doing. Linky The contest is to use the random fantasy character generator and then write a flash fiction ~1000 words about it.
“A well-fed wastrel is being assaulted and pursued by mysterious, demonic spirits.” is the one I picked out of my five options. Hope you enjoy ‘Are you Hungry?’
Are you Hungry?
A rotund man in bright yellow robe ambled down a rain washed street. He rubbed his belly, his nostrils flared as he smelled the air. He muttered under his breath in a sing song voice. “Get some pie for my aching belly, get some ale for my parched throat.” A crunching sound caused him to pause. He blinked twice. A nervous glance over his shoulder before bolting down the street his robe flying behind him exposing his grotesquely large, hairy legs.
The sprint didn’t last long as he came to crawl by a tavern with a battered sign of an ale mug. A rail thin man leaned out the door. “Gervin, I haven’t seen you run like that ever, ole’ boy. Anything a matter?”
Gervin head whipped back and forth. A pudgy hand wiped a gallon of sweat off his brow. “No, no, of course not. What would trouble me, eh Marky?” He let out a brittle laugh with a plastered smile on his cherub’s face. “I worried you’d run out of the your wife’s delicious, sumptuous shepard’s pie.”
Marky looked down rubbing his neck. “Gervin, I don’t mind feeding ya, you’re such a likable fellow. But, you still haven’t paid down your tab from last month.”
Holding his hands against his chest, Gervin’s blue eyes went huge. “You know I’m good for it, Marky. I pay ya once I get some work.”
“You’re a wizard, Gervin, is it so hard to get work?” Marky motioned to his expensive silk robe. “I mean, look at what you’re wearing.”
A bit of his lip, Gervin peered at the ground, rubbing his shoe in the dirt. “My master doesn’t pay me for the work. I’m a poor apprentice.” A loud thunk followed by a crackle caused Gervin to jump in the air. “I’ll settle my tab.” He bolted inside knocking Marky to the side. He looked outside his face drained of all color.
With a scowl Marky gave Gervin a not-so-gentle shove. “What’s gotten into you? Never mind, I got work to do.” He stomped off.
Gervin took a few careful steps back before turning around and bustling over to the worn counter. “Gerta!” He bellowed in a jovial tone. “Get me an ale and a pie would you, my sweet.”
The sour faced woman thumped an ale down, and a generous slice of pie in front of him. “Didn’t Marky tell you to settled your tab?” She snapped hands on her hips.
“He said I could worry about it tomorrow. I’ve had a rough day.” His face molded into a look of distress. “I’ll pay for a room tonight.” He dug into the dirty pouch at his side pulling out some coins dropping them on the counter.
“That man is an idiot.” She snatched up the coins with a glare.
He glumbed down his food, and swilled his ale with vigor. Every sound caused him to look over his shoulder, apprehension filled his face. He stumbled into the small closet with a cloth curtain. His face planted into the rough fabric cot with a sore.
A dark presence haunted him in his dreams. A glowing red demon with horns, and a booming laugh. It chased him, and consumed him in his dreams. He woke up with a scream tumbling off the narrow pallet to the ale soaked floor beneath it. The curtain hung eschew as the a red shadowy form stood in the doorway swirling with energy. “Gervin, Gervin, aren’t you hungry?”
A scream tore from his throat as scrabbled against the wall. His heart thumped rapidly in his ears.
“Gervin, Gervin, won’t you get something to eat?” The figure let out another laugh before fading.
Gervin continued to rattle out a shaky breath until the entire red form faded. He tiptoed out looking around. Moonlight came in from the small window above the bar. The dumpy interior was still, and empty. A sudden hunger filled him gnawing at him from the inside. Before he knew it, he had taken a quick journey into the kitchen. The crackling noise filled the air for a moment. He seized up, eyes flashing around, but he saw no demon. A string of sausages hung from the ceiling, he grasped at them, choking them down. A fierce joy filled him. He reached into his pouch drew at a few coins, and stared at them. He slipped them back into his pocket.
A yawn followed by a belch. “Getting tired again I am. I’ll head back home.” On his way out the back door he grabbed a mug, and poured himself an ale for the road.
As he walked the crackling echoed around him making him rush. The mocking voice whispered in his ear. “Gervin, Gervin, why won’t you eat?” It asked over and over.
Once he reached his master’s battered, white tower he turned, threw the mug, and shouted. “I’m not hungry.” He fumbled with the latch, leapt inside, and pressed his back against the door letting out a long, relieved sigh.
A man in a flowing white robe stood at the bottom of the stairs.
Gervin let out a high pitched whine. “Master, oh please save me. There is a demon stalking me.”
Master shook his head. “No, there is not Gervin.”
“I swear to you, Master, I saw it.” He dropped onto his pudgy knees, hands clasped together.
The master took a step back making a warding sign in front of him. “Your gluttony, drinking, and selfishness have brought it to you, Gervin.” His hands moved up and down as fire filled his hands. He held them out toward Gervin, as the flames poured over his apprentice. “You are the demon.”