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Flash Fiction – The Binding January 1, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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This story is part of a weekly series, updated every friday. Click Here to read from the beginning.  (Picking up where we left off two weeks ago in ‘No Mercy.’   Happy New Year!) 


“No.” 

“Nox, I could have killed Loki. I nearly did!”  

“No, you wouldn’t have.  You are a guardian, you can’t hurt anyone you’ve agreed to protect.” 

Grimm heaved a sigh.  “I am a guardian under a curse, little one. This is the only way to make me safe.  What if you had still been unconscious from the chloroform?  Do you think I could have stopped?  The curse grew stronger with every man I killed.” 

“You were fighting it, I could see it.” She said. 

“Yes, I was fighting it, and losing.”  The hound hung his head, and his tail drooped low. “We tried, Nox.   But I failed.  You have to bind me to your will, and return me to the graveyard.  It is the only way. I do not want to risk hurting my friends again.”  

She lifted her chin stubbornly.  “No. I told you I would never give up on you, and I meant it. This curse has dominated your life for thousands of years.  It’s about time you took your life back.” 

His mental voice sounded weary.  “But at what cost?” 

“If there’s a cost, then I’ll pay it. I bound myself to you the day I set you free, remember? I pledged my life to giving you your freedom.  Did you think that was a joke?” 

He looked up at her. “Oh child, what have you done?” 

“I realize you may not have noticed, but I am not the little girl you told stories to anymore.  I will help you break this curse…” 

“No!”  he growled.  “I won’t let you.  You don’t know what you’re saying!” 

“It’s already done, Grimm.  I offered that day, and you accepted.” She wagged a finger at him and smiled.  “You can’t take it back now. Trust me, I’m good at finding loopholes in spells.  Goodness knows my mother gave me enough practice at it.” 

Just then the door banged open, and Loki entered with an armload of bags. The sudden breeze wafted the smell of exotic spices upstairs. “I come bearing dinner, and lots of it. I figured we could all use a quiet night at home after the mess today.” He elbowed the door shut.  “Not to mention we have a bit of brainstorming to do as well.  We need to figure out how they opened those portals, who all the players were, why they were making a grab for us…”  He paused long enough to set the bags down in the kitchen.  “…and what our next move is.”  He finally looked at the two of them. “Ah, did I interrupt something?” 

“No.” 

“Yes.” 

They glared at each other. 

Nox crossed her arms.  “Grimm thinks I should send him back to that awful graveyard, that he’s not safe to be let loose.” 

“I’m not.” Grimm growled.  “Your father knew that, and I should have listened to him!” 

Loki hooked a chair with his ankle, spun it around and sat down with his arms resting on the back.  “You want to know what I saw today?”  he said, with a wry smile. He lifted a hand and started ticking off points on his fingers.  “First, you shielded me from the flood.  Second, you took out the elementals causing the flood. Third, you cleared the way so that I didn’t have to fight anyone on the way in.  Fourth, despite the fact that the black stuff in your aura looked like it was trying to eat you alive, you still kept looking for ways to stall, and get us safely out of there. So yes, you miserable cur, let’s punish you for your heroics.”  

Grimm shook his head.  “You’ve been spending far too much time with Nox.  You’re getting to be as crazy as she is!” 

Nox laughed. “Give it up, furball.  You’ve been out-voted, you belong here.”

Grimm flopped down on the floor and sprawled out with a heavy sigh.  “If I’m going to stay, you’d better have a solid plan in place, little one.” 

“Way ahead of you. Now that I’ve finally seen the chains that are holding the curse on you, I can start figuring out how to unlock them.  For the longest time I thought you were just being melodramatic when I heard them.  You know, ghost, chains, wooo.”  She waggled her fingers at him.

Grimm and Loki looked at each other in confusion. “What chains?”

“Oh come on, how else did you think I always knew where you were?  I just listened for the clanking sounds.”   Nox frowned as she saw their skeptical looks.  “I’m not crazy.  I could see them clear as day when I lit up your aura, they’re connected to manacles just above your paws. Here, I’ll show you.” She reached out and ignited his aura, which had returned to its usual swirl of black and gold.  “There, see?” 

Loki rubbed his beard.  “No, not really.  But I’ll take your word for it.” 

Grimm held up one paw and peered closely at it. “Nothing.”  He put his paw back down.  There was something he was forgetting about his curse.  Something someone told him a very long time ago.  

Nox waved a hand in front of his muzzle.  “Yoohoo, are you going to sit there all night, or are you going to eat? 

Grimm blinked in surprise.  They had served dinner, and his was already getting cold. What had just happened?  “Oh, sorry.  I guess I was busy thinking.”  His voice trailed off, and he stared at his plate.  What had he been thinking of? Oh well, can’t have been important, and he was very hungry.  He could always ask Nox later.  “So, what were we talking about?” 

“How to get those chains off of you.” she said. 

“What chains?” 


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Comments»

1. David Shrock - January 1, 2010

I snickered at the ending. Another fun moment. I like chemistry between these characters, and delivers well in this one.

2. Julie (Okami) - January 1, 2010

It’s killing be to wait for each week’s installment – thank you for making it well worth the wait.

3. Laura Eno - January 1, 2010

I sooo love this series! The dialogue was even more enthralling than usual and you left a real puzzle at the end there. Can’t wait for next week!

Are you eventually going to publish this in book form? I’ll be your first customer.

4. ganymeder - January 2, 2010

I love these stories. You’ve created such interesting characters!

5. Sam - January 2, 2010

And I’ll be your second customer. Love this series, the characters, the dialogue, everything! Simply brilliant! 🙂

6. Tim Remp - January 5, 2010

The chains that bind and are often overlooked. Looks like I’ll have to go back and read your story from the beginning. 😉

http://timremp.blogspot.com/2009/12/aftermath.html

techtigger - January 6, 2010

hello! Welcome aboard, I hope you enjoy reading the whole series 🙂

7. Mariana N. Blaser - January 7, 2010

Ohh, can’t wait to know what Grimm is forgetting about!

You’re doing a great job at keeping us hooked! 🙂

8. Walt - August 20, 2010

The story is progressing very well. Your got me hanging on with every installment.

9. Xanto - September 3, 2010

I can’t say enough good things about this series! I’m going to hate when I catch up and will have to wait for the next installment!


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