Monday, August 8, 2011

Flash Fiction: Temperance

After all the great comments yesterday I'm afraid my head is beginning to swell. I'm going to have to start making beanies in a larger size so they fit me! Also, Georgia (the name used in yesterday's story) is the name of the font I'm writing in right now. It's one of my favourite fonts.

Today's flash fiction is about the virtue 'temperance', which also has an incredible definition:

Restraint, temperance, justice. Constant mindfulness of others and one's surroundings; practicing self-control, abstention, moderation, zero-sum and deferred gratification. Prudence to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time. Proper moderation between self-interest, versus public-interest, and against the rights and needs of others. (Vice: gluttony.)

I haven't pre-written a story for today, so I'll just start writing and see what comes out (followed by a quick edit, of course).



The king's mother stood at the side of her son's throne, a regal smile on her lips. Her eyes, however, revealed her rage. 

Her fool son had no idea how to rule. He gave understanding and kindness when it was clear that punishment and humiliation were needed. That is how her husband had ruled, and the treasuries had tripled in a mere four years.

Her stomach churned as she witnessed her son pardon the debt of a frail peasant. Does he not realise this commoner is dishonest and greedy? When will he learn to revere the crown as he ought?

So tell me, what do you think?
Garbage or gold?
If you want to read what others have written, follow this link!


  1. Golden! Your stories are so elegant and interesting I get completely drawn in! You are a literary genius in the making.
    ~ Beka.

  2. Oh Bekaboo, what would I do without you? You give me chocolate, toy cows and now also beautiful compliments! :) hehe!

  3. I wonder who raised the king, there's a big contrast between his and his mothers way to see the world. I want to know what happens next, does the mother carry on watching from the side or does she action against her own son.

    I love stories that give rise to questions. I'd say gold.

  4. I agree, elegant is just the right word. I like way you've used contrast here, looking at Temperance from the POV of someone who is anything but. It's very effective! (GOLD)

  5. In some small way even the POV character is displaying temperance... at least at the moment she remains silent and lets him pardon the peasant, she may not agree but she doesnt outwardly oppose... yet.

  6. garbage.... from your loving hubby :-P

  7. You make me want to read more, which is a good thing! :D I like the juxtaposition here.

  8. Definitely gold, I love how you continue to see the Virtuous one through the eyes of another, though actually Glitterlady's observation that even the mother is showing some temperance is apt. So layers and complexity even in a flash fiction--very nice.

  9. @Emilia - when I was imagining the story, I could see the mother trying to siee control - whether or not she would succeed is a different story!

    @Charity girl - thank you :) I was going for high contrast so I'm glad it worked!

    @Glitterword - I'm glad you picked up on this, it was going through my mind as I wrote it that the mother is also displaying some aspects of temperence - though not for the right reasons!

    @ my husband... shoo.

    @ Rebecca - yay! That's great! Thanks :D

    @ David - thank you! It's amaing how much can be packed into such a small amound of words :)

  10. When one focuses on only making money, the world starts to fall apart. It can't sustain itself like this forever. This is particularly relevant to today's world: the US debt and the riots in the UK.


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