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Flash Fiction – Ancient History January 22, 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. 

From the journal of Lord Galen, master of the House of Winds.  

Wintertide, in the 10th day of the Snow Moon

The patient is resting.  I would weep if I had tears left to shed, but this war has numbed my capacity for grief. So many of my people are dead, or broken beyond all hope of recovery.  I founded this House as a place of healing, a sanctuary, and here lies one who dedicated his life to my dream.  I could not ask for a more loyal servant, nor a more faithful defender of the helpless.   Our enemies called him the hound, and with his usual good humor he took it as a compliment. 

I say he lies here, but there is little left of the man I knew.  They have given him a new name, Grimmalkyn, and he will answer to no other.  I would not have recognized him at all, if not for the intelligence I saw behind the eyes of this poor, tormented creature.  The House of Shadows has acquired a biomancer, and they have begun unholy experiments combining man and beast, the living, and the dead.  The lucky ones did not survive the process.  I suppose they thought it would be amusing to turn the man into his namesake.  We managed to stop them before they could finish their evil work, but I was unable to reverse the changes.  He is a hound in truth now, and a hound he will remain. 

Estrel, in the 30th day of the Ice Moon

We are losing him.  Despite our best efforts to remind Grimmalkyn of who he was, he is slowly losing any memory of life before his transformation.  I fear for us all if he should lose his fight with this curse the shadowkin have laid upon him.  He needs some anchor, some tie to the mortal realms to give him the strength to keep fighting.   Many of his old comrades in arms have offered to be soul-bound to him, but a life is so fragile, so easily lost.  If his anchor dies, there will not be time to establish a new connection, and the curse will be set loose.  Even now, he wanders the halls arguing with ‘the voices.’  I do not think he can hold on for much longer.  

I realized too late that the shadowkin allowed us to rescue him.  Their intent was to create a monster, the ultimate weapon to track down and kill every man, woman and child connected to the House of Winds.  And I, in my compassion and pity, brought him here into our midst.  It is only a matter of time before the last remnant of the man is gone, and only the monster remains.  I must find a way to save Grimmalkyn, for all our sakes.

Maya, in the 4th day of the Flower Moon

The war is escalating.  I doubt that I will live long enough to find a cure for Grimmalkyn.  All I have done is buy him time.  His anchor is hidden, in earth and stone, and in the departed souls of his brothers in arms.  The graveyard I chose for him has remained undisturbed for centuries, and it is my hope that it will do so for many more.  I have cast every spell I know to help bolster his fading memories, but there are still many gaps.  He does not remember what was done to him, or that he was once a man.  All he remembers is his duty, and his devotion to protecting the lives of our people.  He clings to it like a drowning man to a piece of driftwood.  I have used that protective instinct to spellbind him to guard my bloodline.  Having a purpose has calmed him, and, so he tells me, silenced the voices in his head.  

I cannot allow him to remember the process used to bind him to the graveyard. What he knows, the curse knows as well, and it works constantly to free itself.  I have left the key to the binding with a friend, in the hope that someday the curse will be broken, and he can safely be set free again.

Juno, in the 21st day of the Summer Moon

We make our final stand at dawn.  The only slim bit of hope is that there are as few of them left as there are of us. With luck, we will take them down the Long Road with us.  I have sent the wounded away into hiding, and have warned them to forget they ever had any tie to the House of Winds.  If we fail, that name will only bring them to grief.

Tonight, I will make my last attempt to break Grimmalkyn’s curse.  I have found what I hope is a weakness in it.  The willing sacrifice of one he has sworn to protect may at last break its hold.  A life for a life.   I will pour all of my energy, all that I am into a final strike.  At the least, the energy will strengthen Grimmalkyn, and give him the means to keep fighting.

I have left the last defense of the citadel in the hands of my generals, for they know better than I how to wage a war.  I am a man of peace, a healer.  This sacrifice will be my last gift to our people.  If I can safeguard them from the certain death that lies hidden inside of Grimmalkyn, then I can die content in the knowledge that I have done my best for them.

 I must go, it will soon be midnight.  It is time.

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1. ditty1013 - January 22, 2010

Sort of Kafka’s METAMORPHOSIS meets high fantasy! Really nice work here!

2. Laura Eno - January 22, 2010

Even if he is a dangerous, cursed hound-man thingy, I still want a Grimm of my own. 🙂 Another great story, as always!

3. Sam - January 22, 2010

Another fantastic story. Grimm & Nox have got to be among the favourite characters I’ve read for a very long time. 🙂

4. Cecilia Dominic - January 22, 2010

Oooh, so now we know where Grimm came from. Those ancient journals are always so darned interesting!

Great job, as always!


5. ganymeder - January 23, 2010

Wow. It reminds me quite a bit of Island of Doctor Moureau with a magical twist. Great work.

6. techtigger - January 24, 2010

Thanks for the comments everyone! I really do appreciate them, it keeps me motivated to keep writing, even when life gets crazy.

I’ve always had a bit of the mad-scientist idea floating in the back of my head. Nox is a bit of a one herself, but in a good way 😉 The real challenge has been adding the fantasy element to the science, and make it work. I hope you’ll all bear with me as I work out the mechanics of it all 🙂 I’ll do my best to make the trip an entertaining one!

7. Walt - August 20, 2010

Wicked twist to the journal. Can’t wait to find out how Nox reacts to the newly gained information.

8. Xanto - September 3, 2010

It’s nice to finally see how Grimm was created! I always liked to imagine him as a man. Now I know I wasn’t too far off!

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