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Flash Fiction – No Mercy December 11, 2009

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
Tags: , ,

This story is part of a weekly series, updated every friday. Click Here to read from the beginning.

Grimm’s howl drove the cultists to their knees.  The sound ached with despair and the dread certainty that all things end.   Death had been given a voice. 

The water elementals who had been flooding the tunnels outside were the first to fall. The ghostly hound moved through walls and under doors, slunk through darkened rooms and hallways.  The only warning his enemies had was a slight chill in the air, and a glimpse of brimstone-red eyes before the end.

Loki followed as best he could, though he had to take a more conventional route.  He shoved a door open and stepped over the bodies that had blocked it. There was no doubt which way the hound had gone, he was taking a straight line towards Nox.  Loki slipped quietly to the end of the hallway, careful to keep the dagger he had shaped out of flames concealed behind him.

 In the room beyond, Grimm crouched, snarling, his hackles up and claws digging into the concrete floor.  A group of New Dawn cultists huddled together on the far side, their frantic chants generating a shield made of light.  One of them grabbed Nox by the throat.

 “Stay back, beast, or I will snap her neck!”

Nox hung limp in his grasp, her face bruised and bloody.  For a moment Loki thought she was still dazed by the chloroform, but she was looking straight at Grimm.  Her eyelid drop in a slow wink, and Grimm’s tail twitched in response. Then all hell broke loose.

The electric blue energy of Nox’s aura flared up in a loud CRACK where the man’s hand touched her skin, sending him flying backwards.  Grimm leapt over her as she fell, taking down the two men nearest to her.  Loki flung his dagger into the throat of another cultist and sprinted into the room.  A burst of flames leapt from his hand and shaped itself into a rapier, which he slashed across the eyes of a cultist.  The man spun away, screaming.  Loki skidded to a halt near Nox.  His sword flickered downwards, and the ropes binding her parted with a hiss.

Grimm’s mental voice sounded strange, almost sinister. “Get her out of here, fireborn.”   He took down another attacker with a single swipe of his paw.

“Nox, can you run?”  Loki asked.

“No, I can barely walk, I landed hard when I fell through that portal.” she said.

Grimm’s voice cut painfully through their minds. “GET HER OUT!”  He ripped the throat from the last cultist standing.  Before the body even hit the floor he had turned, and started pacing towards Loki.

“Oh no, it’s the curse, he can’t stop!” Nox cried.  “Loki, stay behind me. And whatever you do, don’t move!”

Loki turned pale as he realized what was happening. “Oh bloody hell.. we need to leave, now!”

Grimm’s voice was almost unrecognizable. “Too late for that, mortal.”  His form started to blur as he stalked towards them. “I told you that there was a reason Lucien never set me free.  Once the blood curse is invoked, I can show no mercy.”  His eyes were locked on Loki, who had plastered himself back against the wall.  “Everyone in this room must die.”

Nox limped forward, her face set in a stubborn scowl. “If that’s true then you’re going to have to kill me as well.  I’m injured, I can’t run.  I’m so damn tired I can’t even focus enough to keep a shield up.  So there it is.” She stood face to face with the hound. “Either kill me, or control it.”

He let out something between a whine and a growl. “Please go. It was only your father’s will that kept the curse in check. I thought I could control it on my own, but I was wrong.” His eyes darted back and forth between her and Loki. “If I kill him first, you should have time to get out.”

She put her hands on either side of his muzzle and forced him to look at her. “I’m not going anywhere. You’re my best friend, and I ‘m not giving up on you. You can beat this thing.”  As she touched him, his aura ignited – but instead of being balanced equally between black and gold, it was mostly dark.  “Now you can see the real enemy.” she said.  “That curse is going to kill me.  Defend me from it.”

There was a flicker of hope in his eyes.  She had just set the two sides of his nature against each other, guardian and destroyer.  “Clever girl…”  The gold in his aura flared up, and started gaining ground on the black.  The curse laid on him was ancient and strong, but he had been a guardian long before that. And he could not be defeated while defending his chosen one.  A blinding flash of golden light filled the room, and when the glare finally died down, Grimm had changed back to a normal hound.  He eyed up the dark bruises on Nox’s pale skin. “You look like a dalmatian, short stuff.”

Nox laughed and threw her arms around his neck in a hug. “I knew you could do it. I knew it!”

Loki let out the breath he had been holding. “Is it safe to move now?”

Grimm nodded. “Yes, it’s safe. I’m sorry.”

“No harm, no foul.” Loki said, and slid down the wall to sit while he waited for his legs to quit shaking. 

Nox limped over to him, and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you, for coming to help save me. That was a brave thing to do for someone you barely know.

He blinked in surprise, then smiled.  “We’ll call it even.”  He accepted the hand she extended to help him stand up.

Grimm pointed to a door with his nose.  “Fresh air, that way.  Let’s go home.”

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1. Marisa Birns - December 11, 2009

WONDERFUL! Exciting, nerve-racking, and a long exhalation of breath at happy ending to this part.

Absolutely loved it. You are so very good with this story. Well done!

2. Laura Eno - December 11, 2009

I munched a whole plate of crackers without noticing it while I read this! At least it wasn’t a tub of buttered popcorn. Awesome, thrilling. I knew he wouldn’t hurt her but I couldn’t see how you were going to stop him. Excellent! Now I need more crackers…

3. ganymeder - December 11, 2009

I simply love these stories. When I saw the characters names in the tweet, I had to follow the link. You have a real gift.

4. Julie (Okami) - December 11, 2009

I love this story – can’t wait for the next installment.

5. Olivia Tejeda - December 12, 2009

I was waiting all week for this installment and it didn’t disappoint! Full of action and great story telling! Thanks for sharing it! ~ Olivia

6. Anne Tyler Lord - December 12, 2009

I love these characters! They are so creatively different. The visible auras are fascinating to me. I felt like I was really there, watching it. I am shaking a little too.

7. iapetus999 - December 12, 2009

Exciting! I could feel a lot of drama. Is this the end of the story?

techtigger - December 12, 2009

No, this is just barely the beginning of the story! Actually, it’s back-story that I decided to write out as a weekly serial, so check here every friday to see more 🙂

8. michelledevans - December 13, 2009

great story , looking forward to next friday

9. Donna Carrick - April 12, 2010

What wonderful imagination, Angie! Well done.

10. Walt - August 5, 2010

I was kinda hoping Grimm couldn’t get the blood curse under control, that would have been some awesome action.

11. Xanto - September 3, 2010

@Walt, I don’t think Loki getting his throat ripped out would have made me very happy!

Great installment!

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