*Please refer to this post for Treasure Hunt Giveaway details.
Genres: Dark Fantasy/Short Stories
Format: .mobi (Kindle-compatible)
Number of Prizes Available: 3
“What had she tried to say to him at the end?”
Cerena’s face transformed in the last moment’s of her life, the fear fleeing, and a strange, calm serenity overtook her. Her lips moved, whispering three words.
The Assassin was forever changed.
A decade of blood stained his hands. None of his victims had ever weighed down his conscience. He was merely the tool, the living weapon wielded by his employers. His victims had begged for their lives, had cursed him with their dying breath, and stared in uncomprehending disbelief.
But none had ever been calm in their final moments. None had ever stared up at him with such serenity.
Cerena’s blue eyes and her final words haunted the Assassin. Three simple words plunged his soul into torment.
Could a heart that had long been dead and desiccated beat with remorse? Can the Assassin survive against the crushing weight of his crimes?
Click-click. Click-click. Clack.
She frowned, stopping, peering back into the mist. Was there someone else in the fog? It was so thick, a fool all in motley could be standing not three pace in front of her and she would not even see him.
“Hello?” she asked cautiously, Bessie’s warnings now lighting a small fire of panic in her belly. She clutched at her cloak, pulling it tightly around her, and listened. She strained, trying to ignore the blood rushing in her head as her heart pound a rhythm of fear.
Nothing. Only the echo of her own words parroting back at her.
Slowly she relaxed.
Get a grip, woman, she told herself. She suppressed a momentary stab of irritation at Bessie for planting the sparks of fear inside her. Cerena smoothed her cloak, reminding herself that Bessie was just concerned for her safety. Anger is black, is darkness, the very absence of Elohm’s Colours, she repeated the catechism to herself, weighing down your heart like an anchor. Let go of hate, of all black emotions, and allow your heart to freely soar up into Elohm’s light.
With a deep breath, she kept striding through the fog.
It’s just my imagination playing games with me, she decided as she made the right turn onto Ostler Way. No one was following me.
She tried to gather her thoughts, trying to think about what needed to be taken care of at home before she could retire and seek the lonely solace of her bed. Asht would be home tomorrow, unless his business in Ustervin ran that extra day, and she reminded herself to lay out her prettiest dress for tomorrow. Her cheeks flushed, thinking on the purple dress that showed just a hint of her bosom. It wasn’t, strictly speaking, within the guidelines of Modesty, but you could be a little immodest with your husband, alone in your house; Asht was a passionate man after all, and she enjoyed it when his passions were aflame.
Click-click. Click-click. Clack.
Just my imagination, she kept telling herself. She quickened her steps; only three jewelchine streetlamps before Fishmonger Row.
Click-click. Clack. Click-click. Clack.
She peered over her shoulder, but couldn’t see anything through the white haze except the fuzzy light of the last streetlamp. There were only two lamps to go, her heart thudding in her chest.
Was it getting closer? Another worried glance over her shoulder revealed nothing. Her stalker could be just paces behind her, cloaked in the fog’s white blanket.
Her breath came in quick, ragged gasps as panic nibbled away at her thoughts. She reached the twelfth lamp and went left onto her street. Only four more lamps and she’d be home.
She started to trot. Whoever followed her was closer.
Three lamps to go. Click-click. Clack.
Panic overtook her in a flash, like fire consuming dried tinder, and she broke into a run, hiking up her skirt. She was beyond caring that a man might see her ankles and calves, beyond caring about Modesty; she just had to get away from that clack.
Two lamps to go.
She ran faster, her boots slipping on the damp cobblestone and she barely kept her balance. The last lamp was just ahead. She reached into the pocket of her skirt, grasping the amethyst bound in copper wire—the jewelchine key to the tenement’s building’s front door—tightly in her sweaty fist.
What is the name of Cerena’s husband?
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JMD Reid has been a long-time fan of Fantasy ever since he read The Hobbit way back in the fourth grade. His head has always been filled with fantastical tales, and he is eager to share the worlds dwelling in his dreams with you.
Reid is long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest in and around the City of Tacoma. The rainy, gloomy atmosphere of Western Washington, combined with the natural beauty of the evergreen forests and the looming Mount Rainier, provides the perfect climate to brew creative worlds and exciting stories!
When he’s not writing, Reid enjoys playing video games, playing D&D and listening to amazing music.