Flash Fiction Friday – A Little Temperance

Last night on the stream, I decided to write some flash fiction for my new D&D character, Temperance, a dragonborn monk. Here it is:

The girl dipped the rag into the water bowl and then wrung it out, black-scaled little hands twisting the excess water out of the torn, stained fabric.
​”Stupid Father Illethor,” she mumbled as she bent over to scrub at the sticky substance of the floor. It did not take too long to get the remnants of her breakfast, a spilled bowl of oatmeal, off of the cold stone slabs but even so, by the time she was finished she was cranky, warm and hungry. She knew there was no point asking for more oatmeal; Father Illethor was a stickler for teaching the children taken in by the monastery that food was precious and should not be wasted.
​She sighed, picking up the bowl and rag as she stood, and wentinto the kitchen to pour the dirty water out through the kitchen window onto the herbs that grew below. They got breakfast, at least. Then, dragging her feet as she went, she headed to Father Illethor’s study and knocked on the door.
​”Enter.” The word came delayed; he was probably reading.
​She opened the door and took a single step inside. “I finished it,” she said.
“Good. Good,” the silver-haired elf nodded, looking up at her from the big leather-bound tome on his desk. “Now, what have you learned from this?”
“Not to practice cartwheels at the table,” she replied and, when his eyebrows make an effort to meet above his nose, she quickly continued. “Because food precious and not to be wasted.”
He paused a moment, then nodded firmly. “Excellent,” he said. “And did you finish your morning reading?”
“Yes, Father.”
“Then you may go to help Brother Aldus in the gardens,” he said, and turned back to his tome. She carefully closed the door behind her as she left.
Brother Aldus had always been her favorite among the monks. With his laughing eyes, he sometimes seemed the only person there who appreciated her temperament. Long hours and years spent in the gardens had made his skin leathery and his heart happy, and though he moved slowly and methodically from plant to plant and tree to tree he seemed to understand why she needed to just run. Mornings like this, when she’d gone without breakfast, he would turn a blind eye as she stuffed a handful of berries here and a carrot there into her mouth. After a few hours of helping him prune the apple trees, he wiped his hands on his robes and nodded to her.
“All right,” he said. “You can run off now. Just be back by dinner bell.”
She grinned at him, and turned on her heel. He had figured out long ago that she was happier, healthier and more at peace if she got to get out and burn off some of all that energy that sparkled under her onyx scales, and when he had the chance he was happy to let her slip off and explore the area around the monastery as she pleased. There were no real dangers there, after all.
It was a beautiful day, full of birdsong and gentle breezes. By the time the dinner bell rang she was back in the garden, sweaty and dirty-footed but grinning with contentment. She darted inside to join the other children for dinner. Sitting across from Eli, a thin boy with a mop of brown, tussled hair, she quietly regaled him with tales of her excursion. He was always a rapt audience, and never tattled.
“And there was a deer there and when it saw me it got scared and it jumped, like this!” She took a great leap, illustrating the startled animal, and as she landed a familiar sloshing of oats and clatter of wood sounded through the dining hall, hushing all other conversation.
“Tempera-”
“Yes, Father Illethor,” she said, not waiting for him to finish. “I’ll go get the rag.” She sighed, tail dragging behind her dejectedly as she left the room.

It’s late here so bye!

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