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Flash Fiction – Storm Winds March 26, 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.  


The armor weighed down on Grimm’s shoulders, and his arms grew heavy from swinging the blade.  The Shadowkin, still in the form of jackals circled around him, their mocking laughter echoing across the grey plain.  He had taken out at least thirty of them, but it was not enough.  They had slowly forced him away from the passage to the mortal realms.  He had to get back to Nox. She was his only link to the living world, and if they cut him off from her, he would be lost forever.    

(“Give up.”  “Give in.”  “You are beaten.”  “She is ours!” said the Shadowkin, their voices harsh in the still air.)

Grimm gave them a disgusted look.”Two thousand years, and you still can’t think of anything worth saying?  Pathetic.”

(“This ends here.”  “Today you die.” “So sad, Grimmalkyn, brought down by a woman again.”)

Grimm’s eyes narrowed.  “I am going to enjoy killing you.” 

The Shadowkin attacked all once.   Grimm raised his blade and met them head-on.   The sword flashed out, left, right, left, and three Shadowkin fell.  He grabbed another by the throat as it leapt at him, snapped its neck and flung it into its comrades.  The Shadowkin tore into him, claws screeching across his armor and leaving gouges in it.  He killed several more, but there were just too many of them.  He could not hold his ground, and every step away from the living world brought him closer to oblivion.

—-

The Shadowkin talked directly to Nox now, promising her everything she could desire.  She caught a distorted glimpse of herself reflected in an old set of armor.  Her dark hair was matted with dust and cobwebs, her face pale and slack. The only color came from her eyes, which burned brimstone red instead of being their usual dark blue.  It didn’t matter though.  Soon nothing would bother her again.

(“Yes, yes, power and more!” “Study the artifact.” “Let us guide you!” “Take back what is yours!”)

She cleared more cobwebs away from the table where the artifact was placed.  “I can be the heir again…”

All but one of the voices fell silent. (“Wrap the coil around your arm. Extend the hollow blade, and turn the dial.  Slice through the auras of your enemies, and their powers will flow up the blade and into you. “)

“Will my aura turn black like Grimm’s?”

(“Black as night and stronger than death itself.  This is the very blade we used to make Grimmalkyn.”)

Nox leaned closer to the artifact, studying every bit of it.  “The spells imbued into it are fraying. Someone may be able to undo the changes.”

(“That has always been so, even when it was new.  But you, Technomancer, you can build a better one.  Make it stronger, to cut all the deeper.  You can perfect what we had begun.”)

“Yes… I can make things better.  Hard luck for you, though.”  She got a wicked smile on her face.  “Now, Grimm!”

Grimm stopped retreating.  Every step backwards had lured the Shadowkin closer to Death’s domain.  The Long Road was, quite literally, the highway to Hel, and since he had just recovered 50 of its most-wanted souls, it owed Grimm a very big favor.

Grimm threw his head back, a look of fierce exultation on his face.  He called out to the winds…and for the first time in 2000 years, the winds answered.  He rocketed up into the heavens, storm clouds swirling around him in a wild tempest.  He pulled them in tighter, spinning them faster and faster.  He hung suspended for one glorious moment in a solid wall of air, and then he let it go.  The tornado hammered down into the Shadowkin, tearing them to shreds and flinging their bodies towards the Road. They scrambled to escape, their claws sinking into the ground but the winds just ripped them loose one by one. Grimm reached out and sent down a second funnel cloud, and a third.   More of the Shadowkin were hurled into the air, where Grimm was waiting for them.  

The Shadowkin made a last, desperate assault on Nox. 

(“You cannot fight us forever.” “Your loved ones will pay!” “We will control you.” “We will murder them all!”)

Nox smirked. “Go ahead, stick around for a while.  Just remember, the entire time you’ve been looking into my mind, I’ve been looking into you.  The longer you stay, the sooner I’ll find a way to tear you apart.”

(“You lie!”  “Break her mind!”)

The sudden pressure in her head made Nox lurch against the table, knocking the artifact to the floor.  She forced herself to stand upright again.  “I’ve already started collecting your names.  Rakash. Avannor. Duros. Malketh.”  The Shadowkin wailed as their names were called, and fled back through the soul-bond into the ether.

Grimm materialized as soon as they left, his form wavering for a moment before settling as a massive hound.  “Not bad, short-stuff.  I’ve never seen them run so fast!”

“Are you okay? It sounded like they put up a fight.”

He sat down, his tongue lolling out in a big doggie grin. “Are you kidding? I haven’t had this much fun in centuries!”  He tilted his head to the side.  “Still, they won’t underestimate you again.”

“No, but it was worth it. I got all kinds of interesting info out of them, and they won’t try poking around in my head again anytime soon.”

“Should we thank your mother?  If we hadn’t been watching for another of her coercion spells, they might have gotten the jump on us.”

 “I somehow doubt she’d appreciate the sentiment,” Nox said, laughing.  “How many did you get?”

“127. Only 873 to go!”

“Outstanding work! We should celebrate!”

“The BBQ Shack has that half-a-heifer special!” he said, licking his chops.

 “Dinner it is!”  Nox said. “We’re going to beat them Grimm. I know it.”

“I think you’re right,” he said, still remembering the feel of the wind on his face.


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Comments»

1. lauraeno - March 26, 2010

Whew – I thought they had her last week! And I’m so happy to see Grimm in his doggy state back again! 🙂 Looking forward to next week, as always.

2. ganymeder - March 26, 2010

Awwwww, I love how this was so dramatic and dark and ended on a high note. Big doggie grin indeed!

3. Marisa Birns - March 26, 2010

Oh, what a relief! It looked so …er…grim for them.

This was an exhilarating read.

4. Nishida - March 26, 2010

Quote: “Grimmalkyn, brought down by a woman again.” unquote.

I demand to know who this brazen hussy is! How dare she! Rawr!

Oh, and brilliant ending to a very dark episode! 😀

5. Sam - March 27, 2010

Phew! I thought Nox was a gonna for a minute there. Brilliant episode as always, can’t wait for the next one.

“The BBQ Shack has that half-a-heifer special!”

I laughed out loud at this line. Great stuff! 😉

6. asthemoonclimbs - March 28, 2010

Very nicely done indeed. Ah, the pride of the evil is often their undoing.

7. Mariana N. Blaser - March 29, 2010

Great reading as usual Angie!

You really got me on this one. I was waiting for a tip as to a plan of theirs, but you surprised me big time, heh. ;P

Can’t wait for the next installment, and the reference on Grimm’s past (the woman).

Hmm, I wonder how’s Loki doing all the while? 😉

8. Walt - August 21, 2010

The mention of the woman got my attention. Can’t wait to learn more about Grimm’s past.

9. Xanto - September 3, 2010

You got another hook in me. Who is this “brazen hussy”? I must know! I thought Nox was a goner as well! Glad to see Nox is back!


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