Friday 22 December 2017

The Stuff of Fairytales by L.G. Flannigan

L.G. Flannigan loves dark chocolate and her children, husband and dog. She lives in Somerset and when not writing works in a library. She writes contemporary adult and young adult novels plus the occasional short story having been published in the On This Day, Snowflakes and Baubles anthologies. Her contemporary novel Ordering Flynn Matthews, shortlisted in Choc-Lit's Search for a Star Competition, was published July 2016. The follow-on novel, Failing Flynn Matthews, was published in August 2017. L.G.'s musings can be found at

I’ve been paid a mighty sum to kill her. It would cost the villagers nothing to do it themselves but they are simple god-fearing folk who don’t want her blood staining their hands…darkening their souls. Still I’m not complaining as their fear gives me work. 

I collect her from the gaol, shackled at the ankles and wrists and wrapped in an oversized cloak. People never cease to surprise me. They want her dead but still they give her protection against the winter cold. A tiny slip of a thing, possibly no more than seventeen winters old, she is easy to bundle in the back of my cart. I make sure her chains are secure so there’s no means of escape. She doesn’t struggle. How this girl evokes such fear astonishes me. True her kind exist but I refuse to believe that she could tear me to pieces and rip out my heart - that is the stuff of fairytales.   
It’s usual to provide some proof of death, the body for instance but not this time. Not one single drop of her crimson blood is to return to the village. I’m an honourable man so I’ll do as they ask. I will earn the bag of gold that’s stowed away in my cart. 

As I drive the horse along the track it clears of people, dust flying up as they hurry towards the safety of their homes. Doors bang shut and the scraping and rasping of furniture being pushed up against them echoes out. As we round the corner and disappear from view a breath-like breeze ruffles my hair as if the villagers sigh in collective relief.   

I make a stop half way to journey’s end and take out my lunch of bread and cheese, kindly prepared by the inn keeper’s wife. My captive moves her head a little as if trying to catch a glimpse of what I’m eating. The folds of the cloak mask her face from me. There’s little point sharing my food, she’ll soon be dead.

The winter sun no longer takes the edge off the cold wind so I eat quickly and move on. It is with some relief I reach the woodland. It gives me some shelter from the bitter wind. Five furlongs in and a path wide enough for my cart splits from the track leading into the deepest part of the wood. 

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