Flash Fiction Title: The Sacred One
Word Count: 600
Cover Challenge: The Song of the Saurials
The Council of Five stood before the three who had been chosen. They had sought dozens for this most hallowed duty, and after months of deliberation, these three were all that remained.
Malachi, the leader, addressed the young huntress first. “Tell me, Leda, daughter of Amelia, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”
Leda lifted her head defiantly. “I am the most skilled hunter of my generation. My knowledge of fields and forests exceeds that of everyone in my family. I have tamed dozens of beasts and slain hundreds. I can protect the Sacred One.”
Malachi nodded and turned his attention to the elder mage. “Tell me, Harcourt, son of Ema, why should you be chosen to host the Sacred One?”
“For decades, I have studied both music and the arcane,” said Harcourt. “Only the High Mage of Dunforth himself knows more than I. My intellect and magical knowledge will be vital for the Sacred One to have.”
Malachi acknowledged the answer before he turned to the final candidate, the Saurial priest. “And you, Vikla, offspring of Ekmar, why should you be chosen?”
Vikla tossed their head and raised their staff. “Because I am the first. I am the first of the Saurials to study magic and the first to be accepted into the great university at Dunforth, and I am first in my class there. Who better to host the Sacred One than one who has gone where no Saurial has gone before?”
Malachi accepted this last answer, and turned to converse with his fellow councilors.
Two minutes passed. Then four. Then ten.
Finally, the councilors turned back to the three. “We have chosen,” Malachi said. “Vikla, you will host the Sacred One.”
“Yes!” Vikla cried. “I mean, thank you for this honor, Councilors.”
Leda and Harcourt gave them a dirty look. Vikla stuck out their tongue.
Malachi lifted his hands, as did all of his fellow councilors. “Are you ready, Vikla, offspring of Ekmar?”
Vikla bowed so their nose-horn touched the ground. “I am.”
“Then hold out your arms and receive the Sacred One!”
Vikla did so, and a moment later, their arms were filled with a squirming, squalling human infant.
“What,” Vikla said.
Both Harcourt and Leda jumped away, as though the infant had scalded them.
Malachi smiled beatifically. “I believe that being hosted by the Saurials will be quite the boon for the Sacred One. Thank you so much for your assistance, Vikla.”
“But I—” Vikla’s eyes widened in panic, and they thrust the baby toward Leda. “Surely you would be a much finer host, Huntress!”
Leda shook her head and took another step back. “Oh, hell no.”
Harcourt bowed to the Council. “A most excellent decision, Councilors, I am certain that the Saurial will be a perfect parent—er, host. I thank you for your consideration but I must confess, I am most happy to have been passed over.”
“Harcourt!” Vikla yelled.
The Sacred One screamed at the top of her tiny lungs.
Harcourt snapped his fingers and vanished, and Leda all but ran from the room.
Vikla stared at the Sacred One in horror. “How do I make it stop this infernal noise?”
Malachi leaned on his staff. “Oh, I have faith you will figure it out. But…I might suggest checking her undergarments, first.”
My roommate had a baby last Friday, so you can imagine where this particular story came from. >.>