Flash Fiction Month 2020 Day 21

Today’s story is once more inspired by a what3words code, this time robe.envoy.beans

This is also inspired by reading Clive Barker at a young age.

robe.envoy.beans

The envoy was dressed in the finest robes, the fabric precisely cut and coated in several different types of oil so it shimmered as they waited to be received.

Walking fast, the King’s Representative reached out her hand and tried not to flinch when the Envoy grasped it. Their skin was covered in mites that shifted at her touch. She repeated the Royal command over and over in her head, but treating this creature with respect took all her willpower.

“Follow me,” she said, not really caring if they kept up. They walked down the narrow corridors. Each turn she caught a glimpse of the sheen and shuddered once more.

In the throne room, the King sat on the seat of bones, his bodyguard arrayed around him like a fence of blades.

“Welcome Envoy,” he said.

The envoy inclined their head and clicked their jaws together. The King’s Representative watched the Envoy’s hands disappear into their robes and emerge with a handful of beans. She looked to the King for guidance.

“A gift. Please,” he said. The King’s Representative nodded and held out her hands as the Envoy gave her the beans.

The bodyguard parted ranks to let her through and closed up behind. She laid the offering out on the dais and stepped back, watching both the King and the beans for any change.

When the beans began to hatch, she tried to stamp on as many as possible, but there were too many and what emerged too armoured. First the creatures gnawed through the stone, then the bodyguard. The King’s Representative felt them in her bones, and as they eroded her insides to dust she watched the Envoy step over the slaughtered ranks, split the King in two, empty the Regent out and seal themselves up in the now vacant skin.

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