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Flash Friday 16/08/2013: Shopping Trip

August 16, 2013

“Are you sure you need avocados?” Paul said.

“Am I sure? Of course I’m bloody sure.” Susanna put her hands on her hips. “How on earth am I going to make guacamole without avocado? That’d be an, I dunno…a ‘guaca’ or something.”

“Thank goodness for that. If you said the other half, I would have begun to seriously worry about what you’re serving our guests tomorrow.”

“So, I need you to go out and get some avocado pears for me. Is that alright with you?”

“Well,” Paul said, wincing at the thought. “Nobody around here sells them, do they? I mean, Buy Fast have a meagre fruit and veg section at best.”

“True,” Susanna said. “And Food-4-U only stock food if their calorie count could double as someone’s yearly salary.”

“So you know what that means, don’t you?” Paul said. “Where I’m going to have to go to get avocado pears, I mean.”

“Aye,” Susanna said, looking like she was attending a funeral. “Only one place that will.”

“That’s right. The King of the Mountain, who resides within Mount Peril, which lies across the Orcish killing fields and through the accursed dark elf swamp of despair. I shall need a horse, rope, and survival supplies for my journey.”

“Bugger that,” Susanna said, waving her hand in a dismissive manner. “Just take the Range Rover, I filled it up with petrol the other day.”

“Then the gods have smiled on me already,” Paul said, taking hold of the car keys in his pocket. “I can only pray that they maintain it for the voyage ahead.”


The King of the Mountain was one of those kinds of people. Most of the time, when someone is declared king, they accept it as a right of passage, donning the crown and taking place on their throne, ready to do a spot of ruling and a little corruption on the side to spice things up a bit. Every so often, there would be a king who’d know they were a king, and wanted everyone else to know just how happy they were to be one. It would have been a passing phase, if not for the fact that this particular king was immortal.

The King of the Mountain sat atop his throne. ‘Throne’ was actually a little bit of an understatement, as his long-lasting life meant that he had accrued what more like a dragon’s-worth of loot, on top of which he’d sit and throw coins and jewels at passers-by (who didn’t mind in the least). He was usually jolly, but today he was more-so, with good reason.

“You have returned from your quest,” the King said. “You have brought peace to the orcs that threatened our homeland, slain the dragon that nested atop of our peak, found the captured princess in the evil hive of bandits, killed the evil lord, saved the day, and, well.” He took a sip from his mug. “I don’t know how you do it, but you always know exactly how much sugar I like in my tea. Why, if you were an adventurer like the others, I’d pay you as a teasmaid.”

“Heh,” Paul said, rubbing underneath his sleep-worn eyes. “Yeah, yeah, thanks, and stuff.”

“My gratitude is wide, and my thanks is deep. My–“

“Respect is felt a thousand times, and your compassion will be sung for a thousand years,” Paul finished. “I know already. You said it the last time. And the time before.”

“Did I? Perhaps I did. All the memories tend to melt into a big puddle when you’ve lived as long as I have. Never you mind, however, for now we come to the fun part.” The King rubbed his hands together. “I can offer you, Paul, a fine blade indeed.” He reached backwards into his loot pile, extracting a long-sword. “This blade is very special indeed. Keep an eye on it at all times; should the blade of it start to glow a light blue colour, it means there’s someone nearby who is currently experiencing a large amount of annoyance. Obviously, you can’t see that at the moment, because–oh, hold on.” The king turned the sword over in his hand, its glow making it look more like a lightsaber than a sword. “I think it’s broken or something.”

“Yes,” Paul said, rubbing his temples. “Yes, it has to be broken, my King.”

“So, there’s that for you. Oh, and we have this nice map thing with that newfangled GPS stuff on it. Alerts you to all adventuring parties currently forming in taverns in your local area. Or how about this magical ring, enchanted with special protection against imminent death should you mention to someone that you have a wife and kids back home during a wartime situation? Or, maybe this will take your fancy–“

“Look,” Paul said. “Do you have any avocados?”

“Avocados?” the King repeated, pausing mid-dig. “You just want an avocado?”

“Well, two, actually. Two will do.”

“Two avocados. Yes, I can do that.” Dragging his hands out of his hoard, he threw two avocado pears down to Paul. “There you are. Pleasure doing business and all that.”

Paul caught them, watching them as if they were live grenades. “These aren’t enchanted, are they?”

“What? No, of course not.”

“Not magical in any way? Not picked from a special, magical tree?”

“Not at all. Just avocados.”

“Didn’t obtain them from anyone suspicious, did you?”

“My dear Paul,” the King said with mirth. “You act like I cheapskate people.”

“It’s not that. It’s just that last time, you convinced me the eggs were actually from chickens. Took us ages to get the scorch marks from the dragon hatchings off of the table, you know.”

“And it was a mistake. I promise you. nothing is hatching from those avocados except ideas for your next meal.”

“Alright. Thank you, King,” Paul said, leaving the throne room with his prize in hand. Next time, he’ll just skip the hassle and order online.

998 words(!!)

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  1. As just this morning I was moaning about where to get fresh lemon balm and gelatin *sheets*, not powdered, I can relate to this very well.

    Fun story! Does the King of the Mountain have any spare quests he needs doing in exchange for a marzipan rose?

    • Hah! I’m sure he’ll have one or two in there, although he’ll be more interested if you make a good mug of the hot stuff.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. What a fun one. Nice work.

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