Flash Fiction – Sons of Earth July 6, 2012Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
Tags: #fridayflash, flash fiction, Nox and Grimm
(We pick up the adventure with Nox, still in the underground cavern where Loki is buried up to his chest in cooled magma…)
Nox sniffled from the damp, faintly sulfuric smell that permeated the chamber. She had no idea how Loki survived it for a month, but then, he had almost fully merged with the volcano to control it. He probably hadn’t noticed. She was getting a headache though, and hurried to find a way to get him out.
“All right, let’s see if we can’t break you loose,” she said, shifting to get her legs under her.
Loki let out a resigned sigh. “This is embarrassing. How am I supposed to impress a girl who insists on saving me?”
Nox kissed his forehead. “You kept my people from being wiped out by a volcano. Consider me impressed.”
“Oh, well, there is that.”
Nox grinned as she scooped some loose gravel from under her knees. “You do realize you’re a hero, right? Five territories were in the fallout zone, and more downriver would have been affected by floods and mudslides. They’re all talking about what you did. I’m afraid you’ll have to give up on the spy thing, you’re too well known now.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” Loki said, with a rueful note in his voice. “I had rather gotten used to anonymity though.”
“Better get used to being in the public’s eye, Lord Dragon. I can give you pointers if you like; I’ve been there my whole life.” Nox groped blindly along Loki’s arms until she found enough space to get her hands underneath them. She slid her arms through and locked her fingers together behind his back. “Okay, when I say go you push up and I’ll try and help pull you out. Are you ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” Loki said. “Mind the roof when you pull, luv. I don’t want you to bash your head. There is only about four feet of space.”
“I’m just going to roll backwards,” she said. “On the count of three. One, Two, Three!”
She could feel his shoulder muscles flex as he braced his hands and pushed upwards. She tensed her own legs and pushed up and back, but stopped when Loki let out a yelp.
“Wait!” he said, his voice going up a little. “Ah, ungh, let me down.”
“What happened?” Nox asked, slipping her arms free.
“The family jewels are getting a bit roughed up. I need to heat up the magma to soften it. Bloody Hel,” he cursed, shifting gingerly. “Hey, don’t laugh. You may want to have a few little Lord Dragons with me some day.”
Nox giggled, blushing furiously. “I’m sorry, of course that’s…heehee…not funny at all. Ahem…” The ground warmed as he shifted some more, and Nox bit her lip to keep from laughing at the colorful string of obscenities he let out.
“All right, I think I’ve got things adjusted,” Loki said. “Let’s try that again. Gently, this time.”
“Of course, dear,” Nox said, as she got her arms around him again. “Ready, set, heave!”
It went more smoothly that time, so much so that Loki popped out of the hole and landed flat out on top of her. “Oof!” Nox said, as all the air in her lungs rushed out.
Loki cursed again, having banged his own head on the way out. “If I ever get my hands on the Earth kin that did this, they are dead men,” he growled.
Nox sucked in a few deep breaths before saying anything. “What is it with you and the House of Earth? First Roald, now this?”
Loki moved to take some of his weight off her. “Randolph, the Earth Lord has five full blood sons, possibly a dozen bastards and a horde of fosterlings. Roald and a bunch of the other young siblings had few prospects, outside of serving as minor functionaries under their older brothers. So they banded together and started their own mercenary group, called the Sons of Earth. Clever title, eh?” he said, his voice dripping with scorn. “Their methods are as dirty as the mud they adore. I’ve crossed swords with them more than a few times while working for your father.”
“Wow, you really don’t like them at all,” Nox said. “Um, no offense sweetheart, but are you ever going to get off me?”
Loki let out a warm laugh. “Don’t worry luv, after the beating I just took your virtue is safe. For the moment.”
She didn’t need to see him to know he had a roguish grin on his face. Her own turned bright red. “Loki, c’mon –“
“-you know, you’re very comfy – ” he said, yawning. Then he laid his head on her shoulder, and started to snore.
“That is not funny,” Nox said, giving him a shake. His skin felt hard, like it was turning to stone again. “Oh crud, he really is asleep. Loki, wake up!”
As Nox struggled to get out from under him, the cavern shook and filled with the sound of earth and stone grinding together. A breath of fresher air blew across her, followed by an amused male voice. “Well, what do we have here?”
“Who’s there,” Nox demanded. The voice sounded vaguely familiar, but not enough to let her put a name to it.
“My, what a sordid tale this will make,” the man continued, “Lady Ice buried alive, beneath the statue of a naked man. How much would your wealthy father pay me to let you out, I wonder? And how much more not to spread the tale?”
Nox shot a frosty glare in the direction of his voice. “If you know my father at all you will let us go and run while you still can.”
The voice laughed. “Big talk for such a little lady. I’d save your breath though. Your lover is going to get a lot heavier. I’ll come back in a few minutes. Maybe you’ll be ready to make a deal by then.”
There was a strong smell of earth as the man’s casting hit, and Nox gasped when Loki’s weight doubled. He started to merge with the mountain again, crushing her beneath him….
This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated regularly as a part of #fridayflash on twitter. If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.