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Posts tagged ‘serial’


“The trick to finding someone, is to stress them into fleeing,” Tosca said, eyes crinkling. She lifted tattooed fingers to the mask covering her nose and mouth, and inhaled. The blue smoke, rising from the lit cigarette in her hand, disappeared into the fine mesh of her mask with an unpleasant, rasping sound.

“I’d expect this from you, but a priest?” Tosca gestured at Aella. “This saddens me.”

“I was not running,” Glimmer said, eyes defiant. “I was going to Galborea to retrieve your payment.”

Tosca’s brows lifted. “Curious. If you have ties to them, why borrow from me?”

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: trick, inhale, sadden)

on the road north

The evening sky had a queer plum-yellow tint to it on the day Sayla found herself riding north with Warden Draeyn. She had no idea if she could trust the man, but she could not ignore the map, or the hastily penned note from Kalen inside its edge. Follow Draeyn, Sayla, it had read. My life depends on it.

“I prefer traveling at night,” the Warden called back to her. His massive, black stallion snorted, perhaps in agreement.

Sayla eyed the rowan trees along the road’s edge. “Isn’t it more dangerous?”

The Warden’s laugh boomed. “Only if you’re a bandit.”

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: queer, north, rowan)


Aella cauterized the wound with calm efficiency. She eyed Glimmer’s sweat-beaded face as she set aside the heated fire poker, and set to work bandaging her shoulder. “It’s a miracle the bolt didn’t go through your heart.”

Glimmer’s grimace softened. “Lucky for me Tosca employs the cheapest, not the best.”

“I don’t understand why she’d send the Collectors after you. You don’t gamble.”

“I had to do everything I could to find Sayla’s brother…”

“Ah. Does Sayla know?”

“No!” Glimmer blurted. “No. She still does not know about his…crimes.”

“I hardly believe it. Kalen always followed the rules. Always.”

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: cauterise, miracle, Tosca)

hammer & seal

Crafted simply, but skillfully, the colossal hammer resting on the large man’s shoulder seemed at odds with his friendly, sun-beaten face. Staring at it, Sayla could not decide what it was about the weapon that prickled the skin on her arms, and yet the feeling washing over her was gut-souring malevolence.

There was no bloodthirsty zeal in the man to match what she felt from the hammer, and Sayla watched with wary confusion, as the Warden leaned the intimidating weapon against the table, and handed her something from his pocket.

It was a border map, and bore her brother’s seal.

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: border, malevolent, zeal)


Gold eyes met green across the beer-splattered table, neither blinking, as their overturned drinks dripped onto the floor. Hand on her brother’s sword, Sayla could not see a way out of this deadlock. She doubted she could intercept the man’s hand if he lunged with his knife, but perhaps her longer blade would be quicker.

A hand, more boulder than flesh, fell onto her shoulder. “You’ve insulted the maiden,” a jovial voice boomed.

The man facing her gaped, his ruddy cheeks paling. Abruptly, he dropped his knife and straightened fully, raising both palms. “No offense meant, Warden Draeyn.”

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: deadlock, intercept, maiden)

a summons

The sun sat hot and heavy in the bleached sky, and filled the tiled cloister with the heady, too-sweet stench of overripe peaches. Aella, despite being covered in heavy, white robes, seemed comfortable in the heat. Her umber face was dry and calm.

“The summons came, then?” Aella said.

Glimmer nodded, and clutched her waist. “They can’t know, can they?”

Aella’s eyes sharpened beneath the brim of her hat. “No, they would not be so subtle if they suspected. It is merely your time.”

“Sayla said to run.”

“Perhaps. Though the request is valid, there may be time to delay.”

Continuation of Ironblood

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: brim, cloister, valid)


Cass was regretfully introduced to the feckless Rendal the following day, when she was compelled to firmly dissuade an errant hand on her backside with a few choice words, and a firmly-wielded dagger.

He was greasy and unkempt, with long, blond lashes that fluttered and clumped around his bloodshot eyes. Apparently given to ear-grating tautology, Rendal babbled endless excuses and apologies, until Cass cut him off with a firm wiggle of the blade.

“Sir,” she said, narrowing her eyes as his mouth gaped in a silent yawn. “Perhaps your energy would be better spent on catching the Red Lady’s killer.”

Continuation of The Red Lady

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: grease, tautology, yawn)


Callon was not one for abnegation, especially when it applied to whiskey and medieval weaponry.

“You plan the best dates,” Jaen said. She grinned a tight, dark smile and ran a finger over the sharpened point of a crossbow bolt lying on the table.

“What, no words of caution? No demands to think and sober up first?” He grinned. “No attempts to handcuff me again?”

Jaen handed him the bolt. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

“You’re hoping Sirius puts a bullet in my chest, aren’t you.”

“You’ve got a strong core. You’ll live. More importantly, you’ll provide a distraction.”

Read the on-going story here

(Written for The PredictionChallenge words: abnegate, core, whiskey)

wait it out

An expression of contentment tugged on the corners of Callon’s mouth, as he stared at the TV over Jaen’s shoulder.

Growling, Jaen gave him a none-too-subtle jab in the ribs. “Here we are discussing Sirius’ skill with rib bones and ribboned muscle, and a damn hockey game turns out to be your lullaby. Wipe that flaccid look off your face, and focus.”

Callon tapped his temple with a bottle of beer. “Multitasking, Jaen dear. So, perhaps we let Sirius complete the summoning. Give the Keldoor Brothers something to play with.”

“And put our heads in a sack? No thank you.”

Read the on-going story here

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: flaccid, lullaby, sack)


Plucking languidly at the fine, blue strands of her uncombed hair, Royal stared hard at the center of Callon’s forehead. Avoiding his gaze was nothing new. With measured slowness, Callon placed the grisly photos on the table, then leaned back in his chair. Jaen began to tap her foot impatiently, until Callon put a stilling hand on her knee.

“Sirius,” Royal said, without looking down.


“Sadly no longer beleaguered by the pecuniary difficulties gifted by Lennox.”

“Seems not. You see the words? Indecipherable jargon to Jaen and me.”

“It’s ritualistic Keldoorian.” Royal met Callon’s eyes. “It’s a summoning.”

Read the on-going story here

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: fine, jargon, pecuniary)