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Alfredo il Sanguinario

Awakening in the Dark. Entry into Matthew Fromm's High Fantasy Challenge.

By Paul StewartPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Alfredo il Sanguinario
Photo by Sam Sy on Unsplash

Terra Bellissima was vibrantly colourful and full of beautiful countryside. It was famed for its meadows of yellow and green, tall trees with the bluest of leaves and clementine-scented rainfall. The land may have been in a state of violent flux, but its beauty was still awe-inspiring. Even to an old, battle-weary warrior like Alfredo.

Waking up with the worst headache he had in years, Alfredo il Sanguinario found himself in complete darkness. There were sparkles of light coming through above him, but they were tiny and offered no means of escape. It took him a moment to recollect the events of the last couple of days. He was captured by a legion of the King's men. It took a legion. He wasn't called, il Sanguinario, The Bloodthirsty, for nothing. The legion were...well let's just say they were cut down to size...some of them literally. They proved too much even for Alfredo, though.

"That's what happens when you face off against Cursed, wretched men" said the quiet voice of Alfredo's companion, Baltic. A tiny black and red dragonfly, full of sardonic wit and the inate ability for pissing off Alfredo by pointing out the obvious. "If my companion wasn't the most cowardly dragonfly this side of the Great Sea, I may have stood a chance." Alfredo barked back, pulling his sword from its sheath and wiping the fleshy entrails, blood and guts from the blade. The strong scent filled his lungs and perked him up somewhat.

They were a formiddable foe, he had to confess. The Cursed always put up more of a fight than ordinary warriors. That's how he ended up here. In the dark. Pressing his hands on the muddy, dank ground beneath him, he got to his feet and looked around a little. They appeared to be in some kind of underground, and very dark, prison.

As he walked around in the dark, he caught a whiff of something less appealing than the blood and guts of his enemies. Maybe it was because he couldn't see much, but the smell reminded him of burnt flesh that was not in the least bit human. It was a familiar that gave him a bad feeling.

"Can you smell that, Baltic?" he asked surveying the dark room. He began walking slowly around the edges, finding a cold, wet and sticky wall. "Smells like a heady mix of Dragon's breath, Dragon's blood and Dragon's piss" he mused in reply. Alfredo ignored his friend for a second. This wasn't a was a Dragon's lair.

Alfredo hated dragons. He wasn't scared of them, though. Not in the traditional sense. He had a unique condition that made him allergic to Dragon's blood. Not ideal when his daily life included fighting Dragons. Did it deter him from facing these beasts? Not a chance.

It just meant he had to fight smart and avoid leakages from the Dragon's body. The noises from the darkness told him that fight would be sooner than later...


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: This is my (first) entry into Matthew Fromm's great High Fantasy flash fiction challenge. You can find out more about it here:

Basically...from the man himself:

In 500 words or less, I want you to weave me your best High Fantasy story. The author’s notes will not be considered in the word count.

So, there we go. This is my first real attempt at writing anything that could be considered high fantasy. Not sure if it really counts as flash fiction as it could be seen as more of a first part than a completely standalone story. It is what it is, I guess?

For more stuff by me, here are a select few:

You can also find my profile and the rest of my work here.


About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

I put myself into all writing I publish.

Self-pubished books and etsy store coming soon!

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

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Comments (6)

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock21 days ago

    Allergic to dragon's blood! That's a new one. At first I found myself wondering why the cursed had let him keep his sword. Now I'm thinking something else is going on.

  • Stephanie Hoogstad2 months ago

    I love Baltic! I never would have thought of a dragonfly as a companion. The allergy to dragon’s blood is very imaginative as well. Thank you for sharing this with us, and please continue to write Alfredo’s story.

  • Kristen Balyeat2 months ago

    Such a great story, pal! I love your colorful and descriptive language. "clementine-scented rainfall"! OMG, that is the most gorgeous description of rain I've ever read. You had me sitting right there with the dude. I need you to keep writing this one because I have to know what happens! Does he kill it swiftly and without "leakage"? Or does he break out in hives and have an asthma attack?

  • Matthew Fromm2 months ago

    Loved this and entered into the challenge.

  • Oh no, please you have to continue this! You can't leave us at a cliffhanger!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Paul, loving the fight smart line!!! Awesome microfiction!!!❤️❤️💕

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