Tuesdays are the day I have set aside to get my creative mind rolling by writing flash fiction. For the time being, these stories will be set in Teorre, the world of my current WIP, The Crystal Bearer.
I looked up fantasy writing prompts this time and read through 200 by Matthew Dellar. Two were immediately salvageable for my benefit, so here is Prompt 45: The protagonist is a troll. Bonus points if he’s not the stereotype or the inversion of the stereotype. This one shows a little bit about one of my favorite character from my WIP, Ghuli's primary watchman, the hulktroll Cyan, how I imagine his selection to become her Junior Grade Lieutenant.
The bell in the yard echoed through the air into the windows of the Trollic Watch Camp. Cyan scurried out to the yard with the other orphans and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his bunkmates. Their instructor paced quietly and patiently as the boys and girls continued to file in. At eight and a half heads high, Instructor Pell ensured the children all stood with their backs to the sun. Most of them had just reached five heads high, and the instructor was at the perfect height for the sun to loom over his head and blind them otherwise. The back of Cyan’s head nearly rested on the scruff of his neck as he gazed at Instructor Pell. At nearly six years old, Cyan was only four and a half heads high, short for his age, but his father once told him his older brother grew late and fast, so he could only hope the same was true for him. And he was stronger than many thought, which helped him survive when the taller kids tried to bully him.
“Hulks,” Instructor Pell barked, and Cyan and the other hulktrolls snapped their heels and fists together in quick succession.
“At your ease.” They relaxed back into their ready positions, hands at their sides, shoulders back and chins up. Instructor Pell walked with his hands behind him, barrel chest out while he looked at the ground far below his eyes. “I am very proud of the lot of you. By enduring your training these last two months, you all have proved to me that you will grow up to be fine soldiers and watchmen. And one of you doesn’t have to wait that long.”
An ensign brought Instructor Pell a folder, and as he read it, a soft smile tweaked his stern, square face. “Cyan of Clossius.”
Cyan’s eyes widened. The awestruck eyes of the other boys and girls suddenly bore into him. Instructor Pell nodded and waved him forward. Cyan took two quick steps out of the ranks.
“Congratulations. You are to continue your training on the Island Continent under 1st Lt. Aleksandyr of Viveno Island. He picked you personally to be his Junior Grade Lieutenant. You leave at sunrise.”
“But…” Cyan bit his tongue. He didn’t like to speak out of term, even if he was about to be the youngest watchman in the history of The Watch. The moment still warranted decency and order.
“Go on, son. Speak freely.”
Cyan hesitated. “But why me?”
Instructor Pell put a firm hand on his shoulder. “You doubt yourself, but you have the highest marks from all of the instructors. 1st Lt. Aleksandyr requested you with the utmost enthusiasm, and I think he couldn’t have done better. Whoever your watch is, you are going to do your best by them without question. Be strong, and make us proud.”