OK, so I’m a little bit late this month with completing the Flash Fiction Draw writing prompt. And this year, as you’ll recall, Jeff Baker is in charge of the prompts. This month’s prompt was for a western, in the Tower of London, including artificial grass.
Well, that’s a doozy. And as always, I took a few liberties. The artificial grass is referenced but not actually seen, and the Tower of London is an object in the distance, along with… well, a few other unusual landmarks.
So, without further ado:
The farther the traveler went, the stranger the landscape became. About a mile or so back, the trail had changed to a runner of artificial grass beneath his horse’s hooves. Now, he stopped at the crest of the next rise to get his bearings.
Off in the distance, through the midafternoon heat haze, the Tower of London rose at the top of a hill. Closer still, dominating the broad, flat river valley below, was a giant pyramid on one bank of the river. On the other, a gantry and launch platform atop which stood a sleek rocket, gleaming white in the sun.
They should have reached town by now, and the bank, where the guard shift would be changing and the vault would be at its most vulnerable. Instead, they were… here. Wherever here was.
The traveler’s riding companion came up alongside him. He turned to ask her what she made of this bizarre environment, but the sight of her mount left him speechless. She sat astride a machine that looked like some cross between a silver bicycle and a bird, sleek and angular, that hovered about two feet off the ground.
“What the hell happened to your horse?” he asked when the power of language returned to him.
“That,” she said, leaving with her firearms against the handlebars, “is an excellent question. I have no idea.”
He turned back toward the river valley spread below. “It’s like we’re riding through someone’s imagination, or maybe their dream.”
“If someone’s imagination can turn my horse into this contraption, then we have bigger worries than liberating all that gold from the Central Bank and Trust.”
He rubbed the stubble his chin with one hand before looking over at her again. “Worries… or opportunities?”
She frowned. “How do you mean?”
He nodded toward the scene ahead. “Why steal from the bank when you can steal from royalty? Gold, or gold and crown jewels?”
Slowly, she smiled. “I like the way you think. So, pyramid or tower?”
“It’s farther away, but… tower. Definitely tower.”
She gripped the handlebars and stared forward resolutely. “Let’s ride.”