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Flash Fiction – Mind Games March 12, 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.  

Nox still sat on the floor hours later, piles of notes stacked in front of her.  She put the journal down, hugged her knees to her chest and rested her forehead on them.  Slow footsteps approached her, but she did not need to look up to see who it was.  She could feel the warmth radiating off of Loki before he entered the room.  “You shouldn’t be out of bed yet,” she said. 

The fire elemental carefully lowered himself to the floor to sit beside her. “Misery loves company.  I am guessing that is not a romance novel?” he said.

She ignored his joke. “I think I need to bleach my brain after reading that. No wonder a pacifist like Lord Galen went to war. The things the Shadowkin did were horrible.  I don’t know how Galen found the courage to study their work so closely.”   

 “He probably had the same reasons you do.  He wanted to help the people who had suffered at their hands.”

“But unlike me, he actually had a chance of doing something to help.”   She looked up at him, anguish in every line of her face.  “If you had been someone else before, like Grimm, but there was no way of changing you back, would you want to know?”

“You can’t break the curse?”

Nox hunched her shoulders.  “I haven’t even gotten to the curse yet, I’ve only read through the parts on the physical changes.  They broke his body before starting on his mind.  Even Galen couldn’t figure out if they merely transfigured his body and overlaid the psyche of a hound, or if they used a hound as a base and shoved Grimm’s psyche into it.”

Loki winced. “You think they did the latter.”

“Galen did.  I honestly have no idea, I’m no biomancer.  If his body is gone, he will always be a hound, and there is no chance of changing him back.  So, if you were going to be stuck as a hound for eternity, would you want to remember that you were anything else?  Should I keep trying to get Grimm’s memories back?”

Loki thought of the ghost warrior he had met by the Long Road.  We are who we remember ourselves to be, the ghost had said.  Loki gave her an encouraging look.  “If I were Grimm, I’d want to know. The man he was deserves to be remembered.”

Nox still looked miserable.  “I just feel like I failed him.”

Loki had never seen her look so dejected, she had always been so confident.  It was like the life had been sucked right out of her.  He put an arm around her shoulders.  “Luv, for two thousand years no one has lifted a finger to help Grimm.  Everyone, including your father gave into fear, and bound him with so many spells he was nothing more than a slave.  You,” he pointed a finger at her, “have done more for him in a bare few months than anyone has since Galen passed on.  You haven’t failed him yet. You are just getting started with your studies, I’m sure you will find something. You always do.”

Nox leaned her head against his shoulder.  “I hope you’re right.”

The curse was pleased with its work. For two thousand years it had not been able to make headway against Grimmalkyn.  The guardian was too strong, thanks to the spells Galen had laid upon him. With Grimmalkyn’s spirit anchored to a graveyard, the curse could only batter itself senseless against cold stone and earth.  But now, the guardian was anchored to a mere girl through a soul-bond.  Two souls made as one – and half of Grimmalkyn’s soul had been devoured by the Shadowkin.  The darkness within him was ever so slowly seeping into her.  For now, the curse could only fuel her self-doubts, and exaggerate her fears.  But it had a foothold in her mind, and as she became more unstable, it would be able to do more.  Soon, the nightmare would begin.  First the girl would fall, and then the guardian.  And then everyone else would die. 

To be continued…

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1. ganymeder - March 12, 2010

Wow. You are just set on everyone NEEDING to come back for more; aren’t you? Well, fine then, I’ll keep reading… 😀

Seriously- Great job! I love how you make the serial into self contained stand alone stories each week, yet still leave the little teaser at the end to keep us coming back. Love it.

And the curse is sentient? The plot thickens…

2. Julie Jordan Scott - March 12, 2010

I am also transfixed by the sentient nature of the Curse. It was unexpected and delightful simultaneously.

3. Marisa Birns - March 12, 2010

Oooh, that ending does leave one anxious about what comes next! Such a wonderful serial that makes one, as ganymeder said, coming back for more.

Sentient curse forgets that Loki is in the mix, and I know he will fight for her!

4. Sam - March 12, 2010

Eek! A sentient curse – what a wonderfully evil thought.

Another absolutely cracking story, thoroughly enjoyed it. 🙂

5. Kim Batchelor - March 12, 2010

This is my first time reading the series, but I get a sense of the story which is standalone. I’ll definitely be back for the next installment with that intriguing ending.

6. soesposito - March 12, 2010

Poor Nox! I know she will find a way to help Grimm but am cringing for the battles to get there!

7. Maria Kelly - March 12, 2010

Another great installment, as usual. I love these stories. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Keep ’em coming!

8. Laura Eno - March 13, 2010

Oh, no! A sentient curse, with Nox unwittingly doing its bidding. Fascinating stories, Angie!

9. Randilin - March 13, 2010

Loved the story, now I hae to go back and read the rest of the series.

10. Walt - August 20, 2010

The ending really grabs ahold of you. The plot thickens!

11. Xanto - September 3, 2010

I am a little creeped out by the sentient curse! And now Nox is opened to it. Ahh! Great writing! I love this series!

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