16-Knives at Night

  We were already running when a sentry shouted the alarm. More torches followed the first and the carriage started to smoke and burn. I drew my knives and saw blades flashing in Quill’s hands as we charged—barefoot—back toward the camp. Men ran toward the burning carriage, themselves just silhouettes against the dying campfires. “It’s…

15-Flames

When I left the Countess tucked in a blanket in the cushions, I thought she looked a little better. Less like she was going to shatter from all the feeling she couldn’t show to her subjects. I went to the neighboring tent and shucked my outer layer, sitting in the cushions and flipping a knife…

14-Sacrifices

I spent the rest of the day in the saddle, riding a few steps behind Druskin, rather than be trapped in box dragged by horses. Lunch had been mercifully short since we were trying to make it to Gar Morwen in four days. Brell, her legs tucked under her gracefully, had turned to Quill and…

11-Debrief

  It was late when I walked into the long sitting room in the guest suite where I’d left the others the night before. Quill and Eliah were sitting in wing chairs by the fire, books ignored in their hands, eyes on the door as I entered. They both relaxed when they saw me. I…

8 -Testing the Water

The rooms where Galo brought me were just down the hallway from the Countess’s chambers. They were small…but luxurious after weeks on the road. The walls were covered in tapestries depicting horsemen, falconers, and rolling hills of grass. Heavy curtains covered tall windows. The bed was set into the wall, and when I tested it,…

4-Breakfast

I arrived at Curry’s Catch at seven. The long building was a glorified shack sitting right on the dock, and it reeked of bait, fish, and fried food. I could hear voices and the occasional laugh inside. A handful of horses loitered at the hitching rail, and his bay, Brimborren, was among them. I noted…

3-Notorious

It had not been easy to hack to head from the monster, but we managed. Only broke two knives in the process. It took long enough that our shirts dried and our nymph stripes, which bloomed blue across our bodies when in water, had faded enough for us to return without giving away our mixed…

2-Teeth

The river was clear where it closed over my head, but just a few feet away the cloud of silt roiled through the water. Dark shapes thrashed in the cloud but judging by the amount of red tainting the river, the cow didn’t have long. I swam toward the fray, my efforts hampered by the…

1-Monsters in the Water

I had spent three days perched in a gnarly oak tree watching for monsters, and I was bored. My branch extended over a little river, commanding clear view of the river and the fields on either side—not that there was anything to see. Cattle lazed peacefully in tall green grass to my left. Plowed earth…