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Flash Fiction – Shall We Dance November 13, 2009

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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This story is part of a series. Click Here to read from the beginning.


Grimm could not believe how much noise one small demi-human could make.  Nox getting ready for a date was like having a tornado rip through the apartment.  He sighed, and carefully marked the page of the book he had been trying to read with the silk ribbon attached to it.

“So, who’s your latest chew toy?”  Grimm teased.

Nox set down her eyeliner long enough shoot a withering glare at the hound. “His name is Roald, and we’re just going dancing.”

 “You never ask me to dance.”

A smile dimpled her cheek.  “I would, but you have two left feet.”

Alas, but you are right!” he said, looking mournfully at his paws. “Oh cruel fate, that left me a lowly hound…”

“Oh brother!”

Grimm snickered.  “You know, there is one dance I can do.”

Nox grabbed a pillow off the couch and threw it at him.  “If you do a leg dance on me I’ll have you neutered!”

“That’s one mighty pretty leg you have there, missy.” 

The doorbell cut short her reply.  She gave her make-up a last, quick check in the mirror and tossed a few things into her purse.  “Before you ask, yes, I have the aetheric box and I’ll call you if anything happens.”

“Have fun, short-stuff.” 

“I always do!” 

She hurried downstairs to the door, leaving Grimm in blissful silence.  He was just about to re-open his book when he heard the door slam open again. 

 “Grimm!”  Nox yelled. 

The hound dove down the stairs into the workshop.  Nox staggered inside with a strange man slumped against her.  Grimm put his head beneath the man’s arm to support his weight while Nox kicked the door shut.  They carefully guided the man to the floor.

“..sanctuary,”  he whispered in a hoarse voice.

Nox and Grimm exchanged a startled look.  “Santuary is granted.” Nox said.  Then she noticed his shirt was soaked in blood.  “Oh, crap. Get the medical kit, furball.” 

“Way ahead of you.” Grimm was already digging through piles of boxes to unearth a small, white case.   He dropped it next to where she knelt.  Blood was starting to pool on the floor, staining her dress.  “Hurry, little one, we’re losing him.”

Nox pulled a fragile looking crystal from the box, held it over her patient and crushed it.  Fine powder spread out over him, and then gathered in glittering swirls over his wounds.  “Be well, cousin.”  The words activated the spell woven into the dust, and the man shuddered as his flesh began to knit shut.  Nox held him down to keep him still while it worked.  “His aura is weak.  He’ll have to stay here for a few days at least.”

Grimm gave her a confused look. “Since when do you have a fire elemental for a cousin?”  

She shrugged.  “Technically, all of the kindreds are related, even if they won’t admit it.  Just like all humans are related.  Fortunately for him, the set-spell is triggered as much by belief as fact. As a scientist, I believe he’s very distantly related, so it works.”

“In that case, you’ve just become my favorite cousin.” the man said, smiling faintly.

“Welcome back to the land of the living.” Nox reached down to check his pulse.  “Stay still, that spell needs a few minutes to take full effect.”  She took a closer look at her visitor.  He was an average height, whipcord lean and had a saturnine face.  His ginger colored hair was cut short, as were his beard and moustache.  His eyes, when they opened again, were the color of cinnamon. 

“You’re Lucien’s girl, aren’t you?”  He gripped her arm with feverish strength.  “You have to warn him.  The House of Storms is lost, the Queens’ guard has turned traitor.  The Morning Lord rules in her stead…”  He fell back, eyes closing again. 

“Looks like you’ll get to start your new job as spy master a bit early.”  Grimm said.

Nox got up, searched for a clean rag and wiped the blood off of her hands. “I need to give my messenger birds a test run anyway, might as well do it now.”   She scribbled a note on a piece of paper and folded it into an origami hummingbird.  Her aura flared a brilliant blue, wisps of it wrapping around the bird.  She cupped it in her hands, whispered a few words and then tossed it into the air.  The little wings whirred as the bird zipped around the room, then it disappeared with a *pop*.  

A mumbled voice came from the floor.  “Don’t think I properly introduced myself, I’m Loki.”  He shakily pushed himself up on his elbows, and looked up at her. “Oh dear, I’ve ruined your evening plans.  How careless of me…”

Nox pressed him back down, a wry smile on her face. “Stay still, you stubborn fool.  I can resurrect the dress, but not the dead.” 

“And here I thought technomancers could work miracles.”  He said.

She held her thumb and forefinger close together. “Only small ones.  I’m afraid you won’t fit in the palm of my hand.”

He gave her a rakish smile. “Ah, but you hold my very life in your hands.  I am in your debt, dear lady.”

 She let out a very unladylike snort. “I can see why my father picked you for his spy corps.  You’re a real smoothie.” She helped him to sit up.  “C’mon, if you’re well enough to flirt, you’re well enough to stagger upstairs.”

Grimm allowed Loki to lean on him again to help him walk, and Nox ran ahead to clear off the couch.  Loki’s face was ashen by the time he made it up the short flight of stairs.  “You know, I think I might have to accept your offer to stay here…” he said, slowly falling into unconsciousness.

Nox shook her head. “This one’s going to be trouble.”

Grimm snickered. “I say that about you all the time.


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Comments»

1. Marisa Birns - November 13, 2009

Loved it! Loved the banter between Nox and Grimm, the description of Loki (who brought the serious not the mischievous, eh?), and just everything else about it.

This continuing tale is so very good!

2. Laura Eno - November 14, 2009

I wanna be Nox. She can do such cool things. I love these stories!

3. CafeNirvana - November 14, 2009

I wanna be Grimm 🙂

4. mazzz_in_Leeds - November 14, 2009

lol, the leg dance 🙂
I like the juxtaposition of the lofty “Sanctuary is granted” with the “Oh crap”

Love these two characters (and I suspect Loki is a keeper)

5. soesposito - November 15, 2009

Hmmm, seems like they have a new ally. Your dialog is so well done, you put us right there in the room with them, loving these guys!

6. David G Shrock - November 18, 2009

The banter is fun. Grim and Nox have good chemistry.

I like the old world family style mixed with modern expression. The magic is described well, but what are the limitations? We catch some of the limits when Grimm comes under the trap in the previous flash.

The writing is fluid and styled well for early teen to YA readers; fun for adults, too.

Except for one instance, each flash chapter is a nearly self-contained adventure within the serial. This is nice for weekly episodes, and the passing reader looking for a sample. The flash episodes are small enough for new readers to catch up; I just read 1-7 during my lunch break.

Very nice work.

7. donnacarrick - March 12, 2010

Fabulous story. I’m so grateful for The Penny Dreadful for bringing this to my attention, so I can keep up with the episodes. Well done, Angie.
Donna

8. Walt - August 4, 2010

Nox grabbed a pillow off the couch and threw it at him. “If you do a leg dance on me I’ll have you neutered!”

I’ve never heard it referred to that way. Reading that line created a laugh out loud moment.

9. Xanto - September 2, 2010

Lovely episode! I have a feeling that Loki is going to be my new favourite character!


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