Category Archives: The Gift to Celestine Redux

Tess (in Boots)

“Loretta…” Meducia cooed.

Loretta rolled away from the voice, pulling her blankets high. It was too early for her games. Too early to learn more. She had been up half the night with the awful woman’s latest foul potion, stewing away. The addition of two cups of bat pupils near the end had created such a stench that it was a wonder it didn’t still permeate every pore in the wooden hut’s walls.

“Loretta.” Meducia repeated, more firmly.

The one-eyed girl considered her position. On the one hand, if she answered the witch, surely she would get thrown into one task or another. Some mean-spirited and ugly task, designed with the particular intent to scold her for being ‘such a lazy child’. On the other, if she pushed her luck hard enough and long enough, it was just possible she might finally make the sinister old bat snap and kill her. Plus, she’d get more time in bed. It was certainly the more appealing of the two options.

Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part III

“PROTECT THE KING!”

The words rang hollowly in his ears, but Lt. Platts felt his body reacting to them. His legs were pumping, his right hand drawing the longsword from its sheath at his side. He had reached the first step of the dais when he felt intense heat behind him and to the right. There were screams of agony, battle cries, the sounds of more steel scraping from scabbards or crashing to the ground, and above all, the great whooshing roar of flames bursting amoungst his men. Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part II

The King was looking decidedly nervous.

The Fifth Wizard was peering up at the man from his ceremonial position on the dais. He could hardly blame the young king. He was only 25, after all, and headstrong. The lad had been trying to assert his independence since he was as tall as his father’s knee, but the old King Delimar had been a man of peace, a diplomat, filled with stoic reserve. The young prince’s rambunctiousness – his disinterest in his studies and his boredom at the day-to-day run of the realm – had been incomprehensible to the steady patriarch. Since his father’s death, the King Steven had always seemed decidedly uncomfortable in his crown, surrounded as he was by his father’s men, each of them acting just as they had in his father’s time. Old cobweb-addled minds, the lot of them. Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part I

There was a gentle rap at the door. Cornelius Noomid looked up from the scroll before him, frowning. He thought he’d kept his shopfront locked this morning. Perhaps he’d forgotten to lock it the night before. With a shrug, he called for whomever was beyond to enter, and be quick about it. The door opened, and a tall, slim young man, adorned in gaudy raiment including a simply preposterous hat proclaiming him a “Wizurd” stepped lightly though, peering about the room slightly disinterestedly.

“Good day, Master. The Princess has arrived.”

Continue reading →

A Swift Departure

The Princess could hardly see for her tears. She was speedily fleeing from the corpse that had been left upon the cold black marble behind her. Her father’s purpled face, his horrifying, pained expression. The hands, grasping at his throat, scratching at the tender skin…

The emperor had died in agony, that was plain. Had died on the very day when his careful planning had been met with triumphant success. The bloodline of the Lunestan Emperors would go on to become the bloodline of Nostan Kings with her marriage to the King Stephan III of Indellium. The isle would finally become a land undivided, a nation that might grow and flourish beyond its borders, and perhaps one day carve out an even greater place within Terra. And all without bloodshed. With the combined powers of the Lunestan and Indellium armies, so long kept trained and vigilant upon the river border, they would be poised to make great military gains in short time with veteran troops and the power of their combined navy. Continue reading →

She’s Baba Yaga, They Say.

Blood oozed slowly between the fingers of the girl’s right hand and slid down her bare arm, a crimson slash against her skin, tanned nut-brown by the prairie sun. Her breath came in shudders and gasps, but she did not cry out, though tears rolled down the other side of her oval face, co-mingling with the blood that dripped from the tip of her chin.

“Ahhh. I see you’re done. And how did the ritual go, my sweet?” Continue reading →