Ann Zimmerman is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Ann Zimmerman
Before me on the garage sale table lies a re-enactor’s treasure trove – sword and sheath, chain mail shirt, golden goblets, coin chests, brass dish of apples, and more. I control my excitement so the toothless old lady won’t rip me off. Her prices are reasonable. However, when I inquire how much for the entire lot, she seems reluctant to sell.
“Are you sure?” she asks.
I nod my head and hand her cash.
At home I survey my purchases. I can hardly wait for the upcoming Knights of the Round Table weekend. The sword appears heavy, but feels light as baby’s breath. Amazingly, the mail shirt fits me perfectly.
On my deck I sip wine from a goblet. Opening the smaller chest I pour out weathered coins from an unknown country.
In the larger chest I discover a yellowed parchment map. It portrays a small village with mountains to the west, a southern stream, prairie land east, and forest in the north. The layout looks similar to my own town. Near the top of the map I read the words, “Here there be dragons.”
I don’t care that these items are only well-made fakes. They seem so authentic. As I ponder my good fortune, I bite one of the apples. Suddenly, I feel dizzy and my vision blurs. I listen to the brook gurgling behind my house. In the distance, I hear a loud roar.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say it sounds like a dragon.