Home > Columns > Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley > The Last Serpent by Angela Pryce

Last month in the Facebook Group, The Charmed Connection, members of Charmed Writers posted some flash fiction short stories in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Charmed Connection members voted for their favorite stories. The top four stories will be published this month on A Slice of Orange.

Picture of Angela Price

Our second story is by Angela Pryce.

Angela has a short story, “One Kind of Angel” is included in Charmed Writers Presents: Flash Fiction 2019. Her first full-length novel, The Devil’s Caress was released this month by Boroughs Publishing Group.

You can find Angela on social media at:

FB: @ItsBetterToReign
Twitter: @AngelaPryceMuse
Instagram: @AngelaPryceMuse
Website:  Angelaprycethemuse

The Last Serpent

Angela Pryce

The child tossed in her sleep. In her dream, she was all grown up and riding a gray horse. A man rode beside her on a black destrier. His green eyes were fierce as he whispered, “Danger.”

“Fiona?”

The child shook her head. A frown creased dark, winged eyebrows.

“You’re dreaming, Fiona.”

Fiona felt her body being shaken. In her dream her horse pranced and shied. “Wake up, mo chroí.”

Fiona sat up, blinking, confused. Her lips felt stuck together. “Mam,” she managed. “Someone’s here.”

“No one but us, angel.”

“But he told me—”

“You were dreaming.”

Fiona looked into her mother’s eyes and insisted, “Someone is here.”

Her mother shrank back, searching her daughter’s face.

Out front, a shod hoof rang against stone, the sound clear over the crashing surf. Fiona’s skin prickled as every hair stood up. The next words Fiona spoke rang with precocious authority. “Mam. Run.”

Her mother stared at her, stroked Fiona’s dark hair from her sleep-sticky cheek. She kissed her daughter once, nodded. She was rising from the wooden stool when the first pounding came against the door.

Fiona felt numb as she watched. Her mother pressed herself against the bedroom door, red hair glimmering in the firelight, one hand fumbling for the catch behind her even as the other clapped over her own mouth to stifle her scream.

The front door shook violently.

Fiona heard her father’s startled shout. Her mother fumbled the latch open, tried to push against a door that must be pulled. Another slam against the front door. A dull cracking sound.

Her mother stumbled forward as the bedroom door was pushed open. Fiona’s father reached through, grasped his wife around the waist, hauled her backward. He looked for Fiona.

“Daidí, no!” Fiona cried, but her father ignored her. He lifted her from her bed, wool blanket and all. “Put me down! It’s Mam!” Fiona thrashed in her father’s arms as the front door gave and several men tried to shove their way in at once.

Her father spun to face them, squeezing Fiona too tight. He reached for the fireplace poker. A sword was held to his throat. Fiona stared at the sword, watching her breath cloud the sheen of the steel. Three strangers strode across the room, forced the bedroom door open. Fiona’s mother was dragged from the bedroom, taken from the house.

Her father sat on Fiona’s bed, holding her and stroking her long hair, soothing only himself.

A different kind of man entered the cottage.

Fiona knew this man with his dark robes and malicious eyes. He upended cookware and threw her mother’s jars down from the shelf. His long, greedy fingers reached for the scrolls that only her mother knew how to read.

With a roar, Fiona’s father was across the room, batting the thin priest back one-handed, guarding his wife’s treasured scrolls with a feral snarl.

The priest laughed. He reached for a neatly labeled jar. “This alone will do,” he said, “to condemn the last snake in Éire.”


We hope you enjoyed reading Angela’s story. You can read Veronica Jorge’s story, “Fiona Malone’s Fresh Fesh” and remember to stop by on April 24th for the next story in the series, Roxy Matthew’s “Payment in Kind.”


Read Angela Pryce’s short story, “One Kind of Angelin Charmed Writers Presents: Flash Fiction 2019 and get her new novel The Devil’s Caress.

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Buy now!
THE DEVIL’S CARESS


Author Bio
Author Bio
Marianne H. Donley writes fiction from short stories to funny romances and quirky murder mysteries. She makes her home in Tennessee with her husband and son. She is a member of Bethlehem Writers Group, Romance Writers of America, and Music City Romance Writers.
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Marianne H. Donley writes fiction from short stories to funny romances and quirky murder mysteries. She makes her home in Tennessee with her husband and son. She is a member of Bethlehem Writers Group, Romance Writers of America, and Music City Romance Writers.
  • Veronica Jorge says:

    Hi Angela, Nice to see your story here!

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