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Fool’s good (my English Festival - Short Story Competition! submission)

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    Fool’s gold

    The indentured servants of the mad god Dionysus, given to mercurial wit and even swifter temper, Satyrs are by their nature, impetuous, guileful and tempestuous. Despite their morphology resembling that of a hybrid of man and steed, they still on occasion deny their heritage by attempting to prove their superiority over us lowly mortals. But for once, I bested them at their own game.

    On the road to Athens, I was imperiously confronted by a satyr, his arrogance buoying his motives, his greed coating his very words.
    “Silly Human!” he snorted, giving a mocking bow.

    I stared coldly at him.

    “Out of my way Halfling.”

    It roared with genuine laughter, the sinews of its chest tightening and the hair of his legs bristling in the baking sun.
    “In a rush are we? Hmph. You demigods are all the same. Think your better than everyone else. Neither man nor god. Two halves of nothing still adds to nothing in my book!”

    The irony of his mocking words were not lost on me. I smiled coldly at him, the chill of my smile dampening his hubris. A fool and his money are easily parted, (especially in the taverns of Athens) but a fool and his opinion are not. This vile creature proved to be no different in that regard.

    “Human! Human! Human! A game!”

    I did not speak, merely allowing him to continue his monologue.

    “You think are you strong and brave? Well prove it! Tell me your fear, that which makes you tremble and pray for Zeus himself. When I summon it, I will see just how quickly you turn on your heel and flee like a washerwoman!”

    I smiled wanly.

    “Very well halfling. I accept your challenge.”

    His eyes constricted in suspicion, no doubt judging me according to his own inferiorities.

    “I sense a trick here mortal.”

    “In that regard you are correct Halfling. You act stronger than you are, and the only magic I see thus far is your detainment of me from my journey.”

    His brow furrowed in barely concealed rage.

    “Then tell me! What is it you fear more than anything in this world?”

    I continued to stare blankly at him, a rictus grin painted onto my face.

    “Answer me!” His frustration was evident, his power diminishing.

    “Hmph. Halfling, I have no faith in your power. You are too weak! You surely could not summon something so ugly, so terrifying, so fearsome!”


    My eyes locked with his.

    “I fear gold coins. The sight of them, their lustre. The more they are, the greater my terror.”

    And as he gleefully waved his hands, showering me with the gold coins, I vaulted my horse, scooping up as many as I could physically carry, dropping even my sword and shield so that I could stuff my pockets with more of the coveted items.

    I could hear his curses and bellows as I rode away.

    Now. To Athens. I have a tavern debt to pay.

    **My entry for the TSR Short Story Competition**

    An enjoyable read. I quite liked the ending. You made a small mistake, though. It's a tiny error, don't get me wrong. Just thought it'd help if I pointed it out.

    "You think are you strong and brave? "

    Loving the theme, Greek mythology
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