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Wishing? Well... -- FWG Flash Fiction for 5/13/2023

I was going for fun with this one. I hope I succeeded. The prompt was:

Wishing? Well…

Paladin dismounted and surveyed the overgrown building.

“Hey! What about me?”

He turned to the princess, still sitting side-saddle on the rump of his charger.

“In a minute,” he mumbled, then to himself as he turned away, “I hope there’s a monster in there to eat her.”

“I heard that,” she called. “My father, the King, will hear about it, too.”

Not likely, he thought. King Louis had ordered Paladin to whisk his daughter away before the castle was overrun. Now he was stuck with this whining, spoiled brat, with no hope of getting free of the burden that was his oath.

He completed his circuit of the outside of the manor house and helped Princess Winifred (or “Whiny-fred” as he thought of her) down. He had to admit she was beautiful in her gown of crinoline and lace.

With sword drawn, he led her into the manor’s dark hall, where an ogre stood by the cold hearth. Paladin swung his sword, but the monster danced out of the way.

“Yo, watch it! Why’d you wish for me? So you could show off in front of your girlfriend?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You hoped for a monster to eat her, so here I am. This house is cursed. It manifests whatever you wish for.”

Princess Winifred hopped up and down, clapping her hands. “I get it!”

She pointed. “I wish for a fire.” The ogre jumped aside as flames leaped into the fireplace. “And food.” The room’s table groaned under the weight of a feast. She laughed with joy. “And a warm bed.” The floor of the bedchamber creaked above them.

She pointed at Paladin with a smirk. “And a proper knight to fall in love with.”

Nothing happened. The ogre snickered. “Be careful what you wish for.”

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