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Regulars here will remember me mentioning Writing Magazine, Writers Online and Talkback, the writers’ forum. I have also written about the One Word Challenge, the monthly competition on the Talkback forum where a prompt of just one word inspires a piece of flash fiction of no more than 200 words. (or poetry of no more than 40 lines).

A collection of these flash fiction and poetry pieces was recently published by Alfie Dog publications. The One Word Anthology is available from Alfie Dog, or Amazon, in electronic or paperback versions. 10% of the revenue from the anthology goes to support the Medical Detection Dogs charity. I have four pieces of flash fiction in the anthology.One Word Anthology Cover

July’s word for the One Word Challenge was ‘eclipse’ and produced a varied response. There were werewolves, solar and lunar eclipses, dark horror, love and lust, theatricals and human sacrifice (it was thwarted, nobody died).

I am pleased to say that, after some thorough judging, my offering was chosen as the winner, so here it is …

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Gildane’s Day

The armies had faced each other across the valley for three days. A standoff, neither willing to be the first to lead the charge in to battle.

Occasionally a small scouting party would gallop from the opposing lines, and ride through nomansland shouting and taunting, and waving their standard high in the air.
Gildane sat quietly on an outcrop watching his enemy. He thought about what blind Celdar had told him, and hoped the old seer was right.

Just before noon he sent errands along the lines. Archers, then foot soldiers, then the knights on horseback, each had been waiting at ease.
Exactly one hour after noon they came to order, as a man, with no shouted command. They stood silently and faced their enemy.

Gildane watched the early autumn sky. Just as the old man had predicted, a dark shape moved across the sun, and gloom fell across the valley. Gildane’s army charged, archers let loose flight after flight of arrows, the foot soldiers ran forward shouting. As the eclipse reached its darkest point the horsemen galloped through.

His enemy panicked at the enveloping darkness. They turned and ran, dropping their weapons. Surely Gildane must be a god?

(c) 2013, K. Patrick Moody
199 words