Flash Fiction (Visual Prompt #1). I decided to go with a direct interpretation of the image. I’d love to see what others came up with.

            The prophet thrust the ancient flask to within a hand’s breadth of his King’s face.  Rage flashed behind the sovereign’s eyes, and his countenance remained severe and stormy. 

            “This is your reward!” the prophet declared. “Blood and loss!”  The King reached out and took the ornate vessel, and silently regarded it.  He then looked down on his youngest son, who remained kneeling.  His armor was battered, and blood could be seen oozing from between the iron links  on his left arm.

            “Speak,” said the King. The prophet stepped back, and the surviving prince stood. 

            “Lord, my brothers are dead.  The northern army is decimated. Yet, I’ve pulled together two phalanx of riders.  At your command, we’ll ride to meet the enemy, and delay them if only a short time.”

            The prophet strode to the north window, and pointed to the ghastly clouds that infected the horizon.  “To the north is only death.  Your arrogance has left you with one heir only.”

            The King closed his eyes for a moment.  When he opened them, they were as hard and resolved as the iron of his throne.

            “You will ride to the north and meet the enemy.  You will not delay them.  You will defeat them, or you will not come back.” The prophet laughed a disgusted, disdainful laugh.  The Last Price stood. 

            “Yes, Lord.”

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