Rutger Galtiarii 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. There was a tie this week, so the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules. Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Rutger Galtiarii
Master Wu sat at the window, dabbing his brush gently here and there on the canvas, carefully capturing the grace of birds in flight, as they flew to their migratory lands.
As he painted, Wu thought about his country. He knew the State was all-knowing and all-seeing, yet it could not see these birds in flight, or the turning of the leaves, or the inevitable approach of winter.
Master Wu knew that winter was coming, and that it was part of the endless cycle of change. He also knew that his country, like all nations, were subject to the cyclical seasons of history.
Spring was the time when a nation sprouted like a bud through the efforts of brave and adventurous pioneers.
Summer saw the growth and flowering of art, culture, leaders and great ideas. It was a time of vigour and strength.
Fall signalled a period of decline, and like leaves falling to the ground, a nation’s spirit of vitality and strength also fell.
And winter saw the inevitable collapse, as barren lands, destitution and envious foes signalled its demise.
Master Wu thought about these cyclical seasons, and he worried about his country. There were problems in the land.
He wiped his brushes and laid them on the table. He was an advisor to the Emperor. And he had an appointment to see him later in the day. What should he tell His Highness?
Winter was soon approaching.