Photo © Alastair Forbes
Morano motioned a servant to remove his sandals. He stretched, digging his toes into the sand. Another boy ducked under the shade-leaf to refresh Morano’s drink, then that of his guest.
He admired the sun reflecting off the waves, making Harrael wait.
Harrael was no idiot. He waited.
From a lacquered box, Morano pulled a letter, unfolding it with tongs so Harrael could read it. “It’s the best evidence we have against Paraen’s rebellion. Now the jaen will have to renounce his niece.” His grin widened. “Our trading agreement will proceed.”
Harrael glanced warily at the boys fanning them.
“Don’t worry, they’re deaf.”
Celebrating their impending victory with ludicrously-piled plates of food, they tossed morsels to the seagulls.
Emboldened, the gulls mobbed the feast, a flurry of wings. The boys were frantically shooing when Morano realized the letter was gone. “Stop that seagull!” But it was gone.
The seagull dropped the letter into Paraen’s hand. “Excellent work, Allina.” She examined it briefly before burning it. “Are our friends still with Morano?”
“Both of them. And quite ineffective at catching me.” If seagulls could smile, Allina would have.
“Teaching them lip-reading was a worthwhile investment.”
“One of your better ideas, indeed.”
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. To join in with the challenge, or to read the other stories inspired by this photo, click on the link.
Big thanks, as always, to our host Alastair Forbes! Sadly, he has announced that he’ll be stepping down from SPF at the end of the month, after five wonderful years. I hope someone else will be able to take on his mantle, but he leaves us with big shoes to fill!
This is one of those stories where I imagined an awful lot of other details that couldn’t be fit into 200 words, but hopefully it still stands on its own. And hopefully it’s clear that Paraen is a wizard, and Allina is her familiar!
I am making progress on my Camp NaNaWriMo goals, and plan to post an update at the halfway point. Happy writing this week, my friends!