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Snow Castle -- FWG Flash Fiction for 200724

This week's 300-word flash fiction prompt is:

Snow Castle

The message had come while his father's army was besieging Castle Royale, the rebels’ headquarters. The messenger breathlessly related that the rebels had breached the Snow Castle without a fight. Under cover of night, some traitor within the King’s retinue had opened the gate.

By the time Guy and his guards galloped up the mountain and across the drawbridge into the castle’s yard, the marauding rebels had already swept through and laid waste to the outer ring of the fortress, killing guards and tradesmen then raping and murdering their wives and daughters. The devastation fueled the squads anger and when they found the rebels’ rearguard, they tore into them with uncontrolled fury. They fought their way, bruised and bleeding, to the keep, where Guy led his men on the long climb up the spiral stair.

Around and around the tower, Guy and his men fought and killed rebel after rebel, battling for every step. Guy’s father was King William’s Right Hand and he had grown up in the castle with the king’s beautiful daughter, Gwen. They had played hide and seek together in this pile of stone they called home. The king may have been the target of the attack, but Guy knew that Gwen was the prize. King William would agree to anything, including giving up his throne, if the rebels captured his daughter.

At last, the final rebel holding the stairs fell to Guy’s sword and he crashed through the door into the tower’s sanctuary room. The floor was littered with the bodies of six rebels and King William, who gripped his slashed throat, gasped once, and fell silent. The only one still standing was Gwen. As one, Guy and his men knelt before their new queen while she returned her stiletto to its sleeve sheath.

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