I have regularly joined in responding to the 99-word flash fiction prompts at the Carrot Ranch for almost seven years. Today, I am joining in something a little different — a Valentiny Contest run by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill. Although this is the sixth Valentiny Contest, this is the first I have entered.
The contest asks writers to write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels brave! The maximum story length is to be 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day), but it can be less. For more details and to read other entries, pop over to Susanna’s blog. Entries must be posted by Sunday February 14th by 11:59 PM EDT. (Words in italics are from Susanna’s post.)
My story is not specifically to do with Valentines’ Day, but I was pleased to find that the name Valentina means brave. Fergal also means brave. I have been brave to have a go. The word count of my story is 214 words exactly. I hope you enjoy it.
Playing to Win
On one side of the arena, Prince Fergal raised his sword. “I am the bravest of the brave, the strongest of the strong. No one can defeat me.”
On the opposite side, Princess Valentina raised her sword. “I am the bravest of the brave, the strongest of the strong. No one can defeat me. I challenge you to a duel.”
“I am Fearless Fergal!”
“I am Valiant Valentina!”
The riders kicked their hobby horses into action. Across the arena they galloped, swords drawn, ready for mortal combat.
As they neared the centre of the arena, Fearless Fergal’s horse stumbled, flinging him to the ground.
“Ouch!” he cried, clasping an elbow.
The spectators held their breath. What would Valentina do? Would she drive her sword home and declare herself the victor? Would she insist that Fergal be her faithful follower forever more? Was there any way Fergal could claim victory?
Fergal didn’t look so fearless clutching his arm and rocking from side to side.
Valentina released her sword and leapt from her steed. She knelt beside him.
“Are you okay, Fergal?” she asked.
The spectators swarmed.
Fergal nodded. “It’s just a little graze.”
“Shall we go again?” Valentina asked.
“Another day. Let’s play something else now.”
The contest done. The crowd dispersed. Friendship won.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.