The Master. Flash Fiction.

Ugh. I’m sick.

I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I figure why not use it as a place to vent. My throats all swollen, I’m fairly certain it’s viral rather than bacterial as there is no pus (you’re welcome for that information by the way.) so it’s just a waiting game until my body decides to step up and kick the invaders ass. Luckily pain killers are on hand to help soothe my throat a little.

I don’t have a whole lot to report really. My life has been fairly boring the last while. I’ll have to get back into writing these things. I’ll think of something interesting for the next one that I do. Like how I’ve managed to keep all the plants I’ve gotten alive! Or how they all keep getting invaded by pests (such as fungus gnats, aphids and spider mites. They’re indoors, where the hell are these little assholes all coming from!?) or how my crochet is going. And with that, I’ll leave you with the image that I’m actually an 80 year old woman in disguise.

The Master.

Jacob had done it. He had actually done it. He stood outside the room, waiting, listening. They all said the Master was immortal but Jacob didn’t believe it. No one was immortal but God and the Master wasn’t a God. He couldn’t be. The Master didn’t know everything, even though he liked to claim he did. He didn’t know the things that people did, the deals they made behind his back, the food they snuck when he wasn’t watching. No. The Master was no God and like any man, he could be killed, regardless of what the others thought.

Jacob had spent days getting the right plants, grinding them up. His mother used to bring him for walks through the woods when he was younger. At the time they just seemed like a fun adventure, wandering amongst the trees, picking sweet berries and eating roots for dinner. At the time he didn’t understand it was because they were poor, that his father drank all their money. His mother was a good teacher and he was a good student. He knew most of the plants of the forest. She was always careful to point out the poisonous plants, the ones that you should never, ever eat. The one he had picked was one that had a sweet flavour, berries that looked like little eyes. He had been extra careful when picking them, and again when grinding them up to mix into the Masters food.

It was easy enough to get the berries into the food, his only fear was being caught by one of the cooks or that the Master wouldn’t eat it. If that happened then someone would be given the left over’s.

Jacob jumped as there was a single bang on the table. He scurried into the room to clear away the plates. First he refilled the Masters cup, that was the most important thing, then he gathered everything, keeping his eyes on the floor. He tried not to smile as he saw that all the plates were empty. The berries were supposed to work quickly. He removed the plates and brought them to the kitchen. He quickly placed the plates down and raced back. Once in the room he busied himself with tidying and checking the fire. The berries would start working any second.

He was finished with all his duties, yet the Master was still alive. He knew the berries were poisonous, he had even tested them on a rat. It hadn’t lasted more than a minute. What was taking so long? He had definitely used enough, of that he had no doubt.

The next morning he woke at the usual time and carried on his duties. He was tired, he could not fall asleep, he spent most of the night tossing and turning, fretting and worrying. Expecting that at any moment the cry would go out that the Master had died, but the news never came.

He had just finished starting the fire when the Master walked in, he looked down at Jacob and smiled at him once. A small, hard smile. Jacob shuddered. He knew now that he was wrong. Jacob knew that the Master was aware of what he had tried to do. They were right, it wasn’t just tales. The Master couldn’t die. The Master was a God. Jacob scurried from the room, just as he reached the door the Master called out.
“Jacob. I know what you did. I’m proud of you. I look for that kind of ruthlessness in my subjects. I cannot let that attempt go unpunished, but you have caught my attention. Continue to do so and I see great things in your future. A very many great things.” The Master started to laugh, Jacob fled the room, the laughter ringing in his ears.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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