Avarice #Atozchallenge #2022 #flashfiction

In 540 A. D there’s a tale of a village along the sharp foothills of Kashmir, where the sheer Himalayan mountains jut to the sky. Many have accepted as a reality that the 2,500 km mountain range are the cathedrals of the Gods.

This story is about the legendary kingdom of Bandish.

Prosperity had blessed Bandish for over five hundred years. Caravans of camels or elephants were a common sight as the village was a major trading hub that reached northern Asia to southern and eastern India.

The wealth had attracted Mongol bandits. Door and window frames were gilded with gashes from blunt swords or the points of arrows. They had been defeated too many times. The only present danger now was the sporadic gang of bandits that would stealing someone’s wife.

A wise, benevolent ruler named Fa-Hsien lived in the center of the city. He had never taken a wife and was childless.

“A bandit by the name of Akbar has entered our kingdom. My scout reports a large army is with him. How will we address this difficulty Fa-Hsien?” The general of the army inquired.

“Your scouts will follow his movements. Do not enter into battle.” He looked out towards the horizon. “Speak to no one of this. He has many spies in the castle, and in the village,” Fa-Hsien warned.

 “As you desire, sire,” the commander replied.

  The Magi consulted with the King. “The bandit Akbar will come on the southern wind. It is a very ill omen. He has built a powerful army. He craves your kingdom,” the Magi said.

 “Akbar and I were boys together. He was always covetous of other’s possessions.”

  “Which is why he steals from others. Now he wants what you have.”

  “What he covets is what is most valuable to me. He thinks it gives him power.”

The King sent a message to a trader of women. The message simply read, “I require a wife.” 

The messenger delivered a small gold box, only to be opened by the procurer.

When the messenger returned, he told the King, “In three days, a special woman who can supply your particular needs will arrive.”

The village buzzed with excitement. “The King is going to take a wife.”

On the third day, the procurer entered the town in a wagon with a large cage on the back. Inside was a beautiful, raven-haired woman dressed in dirty clothing.

“Who is this woman?”

“She’s a witch.” Some replied

“She’s the mistress in the arts of pleasure, ” others stated.

“She has been given as a gift from a mighty astrologer.” One claimed. “She draws Magik from the Gods.”

The King announced “In two days, we will celebrate my wedding.”

His bride, Sita, purchased many items she would use for the King’s spell. “I intend to return the king into a youthful prince. He will need it if he wishes to be my lover,” she said with a wry smile.

No one knew anything about Sita. The men fantasized about the woman.

“They have been in their wedding chamber for over three days.” The people remarked as they walked by the palace.

“My subjects thank you for welcoming Sita as my queen.”

No one heard what the king said they were all too shocked. The King was thirty years younger than he had been three days prior.

The next time the King emerged from his bedchamber, he was in his early twenties.

“If what you say is true, I must have this woman,” Akbar said. “I will have my spies in the castle steal her and bring her here.” he smiled, thinking of what was in store for him.

The next evening, six men kidnapped Sita from the castle. They brought her to the enemy camp and presented her to Akbar.

“As my wife, I will give you twice your weight in gold,” Akbar promised.

“And if I refuse?” Sita asked.

“Wild stallions will pull you apart,” Akbar said.

“Then I have little choice. As I am soon to be your wife, I will need to have someone to prepare the potion I gave the king,” she gave Akbar a sultry smile.

“I will send a trusted member of my band to gain the items you request,” Akbar promised.

“My new husband should take a long rest,” she teased.

“Why?” he asked.

“You’re going to need all your strength before we’re through,” she said over her shoulder as she walked into her tent. Her guards, overhearing the conversation, looked at each other, wishing they could be young and viral again.

The wedding ceremony was prepared. Sita was weighed and was given the gold. Sita was given the powders; she chanted over a cauldron over a massive fire. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds retired into the tent. While Akbar’s men waited for the honey-moon to cease. Each of his band snuck up and retrieved a cup of the magic elixir.

The next morning, Akbar and his band of cutthroats were dead. Sita loaded all her gold and returned to the king’s side. She promised to stay with the king. The king’s two secret teenage-sons would continue to be her lovers.

This is the beginning of a month long journey with the A to Z challenge. Each day the letter is the prompt for my short stories themed: “Thirty Ways to Kill …”

And keep on the lookout for my upcoming novel – “Lifeblood of the Dragon.” Lifeblood is set in the seedy alleys of post-war Los Angeles. The morgue is full more often than not. Cameo appearances by the well known gangster Mickey Cohen and his goons.

check out other great writers at the 2022 A to Z challenge

8 thoughts on “Avarice #Atozchallenge #2022 #flashfiction

  1. moondustwriter April 1, 2022 / 6:13 pm

    Just for clarity, at the top it says the author is moondustwriter. I am actually the moderator for my friend Steve Slack’s site. I hope you enjoy his work – he is an excellent writer especially if it’s crime!

  2. Aparna Nayak April 3, 2022 / 10:41 pm

    Nice one…loved reading your posts

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