Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Sale

“I’m interested in this.”
Parmack laid a drawing out across the oak counter. Lines on the parchment were rough, curves subtle, but the smithy could tell what was drawn there. 
The Greatsword of Ahm-En-Suul.
And though the old merchant wanted no part of this affair at all, the fierce warrior took rather unkindly to negative answers.
Endil Wackan, blacksmith of kings, looked his rough customer dead in the eye.
“Aye.” Endil replied. “I’ve heard of it, but it’s lost. Gone for all time, it’s said, melted in dragon-fire.”
Parmack’s eyebrow rose, in an elusive way that gave no hint of his disposition at all.
“I have many other fine blades.” Endil continued. “Sil-Blades, Mystaran Hammers. I think I may have an old Baran greatsword left over from the War.”
The stoic warrior’s face still offered no expression.
Anxiety turned to fear in Endil’s stomach as the seconds ticked by. This soldier was known to cut out the tongues of liars.
“Very well.” Parmack’s gray eyes pierced the smith through to the back of his skull. Endil was certain he felt something in that instant.
“Lead the way.” The warrior uttered. “I’d like to see what I’m buying.”
Parmack’s words cut Endil to the bone. What he was buying? As if he’d already made the purchase. What did that mean?
Icy terror replaced the marrow in Endil’s bones as he realized exactly what Parmack meant.
The immense warrior already knew Endil did indeed have the sword he was after.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Twelve years is a long time to be gone, to be imprisoned.
Twelve years since he'd seen his home, twelve years since the raid.
Jaq-ci knew it would not be a heart-felt reunion. It'd had been  his bull-bullheadedness that had gotten him captured in the first place.
If only his imprisonment had been the extent of the consequences of his actions. But they weren't.
His anger had brought the wrath of a great and powerful army upon the innocent people of his woodland village. His pride was as much to blame for the death and suffering that followed the attack by the Hatar as any invading army.
And after twelve years of punishing him for his crimes against them, the Hatar had sent him home to face the rest of his sentence.
The timing of his release was not coincidental. It was only after Jaq-ci had accepted his role in the invasion that the Hatar had let him go.
"I was young." Jaq-ci would say. "Full of pride, and ambition. But I didn't destroy my own homeland."
But he'd had as much a hand in it as the Hatar. It was Jaq-ci who'd attacked the Hatar's trade caravans over an imagined slight on his fiance. It was Jaq-ci who'd incited civic pride and moral superiority to whip his compatriots into a frenzy, all so they would help him gain a measure of revenge.
In the end, Jaq-ci had learned there hadn't even been an incident. He'd merely misheard a few words from a language he didn't fully understand in the first place. But the pride and vanity of youth hadn't allowed him to make that determination, and his ambition to prove himself worthy had  barred him from acknowledging even a simple mistake.
And the villagers whom he'd so desired so much respect and admiration had payed for that pride, many with their very lives.
He'd thought about running. The world was a big place, after all.
That idea was cast aside. This was his home, even if no one wanted him there.
And so Jaq-ci returned to Tres-Oakes, village of his birth.
He wasn't killed outright upon his return, though that sentiment did run through the village throughout his life. But he was an outcast, shunned by most, and constantly reminded of the mistakes of his youth by the yawning chasm of emptiness left by the death of his beloved, who'd died not at the hands of the enemy, nor her own people, but at her own.
Jaq-ci's life did serve one positive purpose however, as a lesson in humility for generations to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Cold wind pushed into the room as Dale forced the frozen window open; not an easy task holding a gun. But he wasn't
about to put the weapon down, no sir.
Footsteps thudded behind him. He knew what was approaching, and it terrified him. Struggling out the window, Dale fell into a foot of soft snow.
The heavy footfalls subsided.
 Dale’s heart fell into his stomach. He had nowhere to go. Miles around showed nothing but a peaceful white landscape that was actually anything but peaceful.
Having no choice, Dale turned around to try his luck in any random direction. Anything was better than going back into the building, and certain death.
Then the heart that had fallen into his stomach dropped into his shoes.
She was there, awaiting him like a coquettish young lover, with no inhibitions, no shame, and no clothes.
Suddenly a voice, the voice that had guided him through the dangers inside, rose inside his mind.
“Bullets are now ineffective.”
Dale dropped the gun as the svelte young woman took seductive steps toward him, hips swaying back and forth in a mesmerizing pattern. Only one thing left to try.
Dale shot forward, took her in his arms and kissed her like it was their last day on earth.

It wasn't. Because he meant that kiss, meant it because at one time she had been his true love, before her body had been invaded. His kiss, and his love, freed them both from the tyranny of possession.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Despite the howling wind’s best effort, Dorian stood firm upon the green grass, looking out over the cliffs to the wild, reckless ocean.  She awaited her love’s return.
Long had he been gone; absent from her life. She clung to him in her heart though, and the belief that he would someday return.
Years she had spent on these cliffs, hoping, praying.
“You asked for it, you know.”
Em’s brusque voice cut through the wind, as though the breeze itself were scared of Dorian’s imposing sister.
“Falling in love with that uncouth sailor.” Em continued. “Now you come up here , so everyone can see you and feel sorry for the poor seaman’s bride.”
Dorian blinked, careful not to let her hostile sibling see the motion. Em wasn’t concerned with her sister’s well-being, she was jealous the younger woman had found love, where Em herself was lonely, and bitter.
It needn’t have been that way. Em was beautiful, passionate, and charming in her own way. But fate had taken her chosen from her at an early age. Instead of accepting what happened and moving on, Em had instead become resentful, and angry. Now she wanted her sister to join her in that misery.
But Dorian held on to love, held on to hope.
“I wish you could see things differently, Em. Life is not against you, and neither is anyone else. If you could just…”
“Bah.” Em waved off Dorian’s reply and departed.

Dorian turned to await her true love.