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Flash Fiction – Into the Wild April 9, 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.  


After a short meeting with her father, Nox called for Grimm and the two friends headed back to her workshop in town. It had been a silent journey, she was still hurting from having to leave Loki, and Grimm could not think of anything to say that would make it better.   She had not even been able to say goodbye to Loki, for fear that the curse would attack again.

An hour later, they were busy packing for a road trip. Grimm fetched items from the shelves while Nox shoved them into a bag that should have been far too small to hold it all. At one point she put her arm in past the elbow.  Grimm looked at it warily.  “Are you sure that thing is safe?”

“Relax, furball, I haven’t had a pocket portal blow up in weeks.  Although I did have one implode.  Made this really cool *boompf* sound.”   She pulled her arm out and reached for a pile of books.  “We can’t bring a pack animal, too many predators out there. Trust me, the bag is stable enough.”

The hound’s ears flicked forward.  Curiosity about the nebulous ‘plan’ Nox had for attacking the Shadowkin curse had been eating him alive all day.  “We’re not taking a portal?”

“Nope, we’re going to hoof it.  Well, walk it. Like I said, no horses.”   She set the bag aside and pulled a map out of a cubby hole over her desk.  She looked at him for a long moment, obviously still deciding whether to tell him their destination or not.  He did not take offense at it though, what he knew, the Shadowkin knew as well. 

She shrugged and rolled out the map.  “Father said you’d remember how to get through all the ward spells. If you don’t want to go though, I’ll think of something else.”

Grimm looked at where her finger was pointing, and his heart gave a little leap. “Home,”  he said, with a note of longing in his voice.  “We’re going to the House of Winds.”  Excitement bubbled up in his chest and his tail wagged dangerously fast in the cluttered workshop.

“Easy there, furball!  The castle is a ruins, it won’t be quite like you remember it.”

“But we are going there to get my memories back.”

“Amongst other things,” she said.

He took a look at one of the clocks that told time in this dimension. “When do we leave?”

 “As soon as I pack some food.  We can restock at the guard posts along the way, but once we’re past the last one we’ll only have what we can carry.  Which is quite a lot, actually.”  Nox peeked inside the bag.  “Probably room for a week’s worth at least.  Ain’t technology grand?” 

“It is certainly useful.  As long as it doesn’t go *boompf* while your arm is inside the bag.”

She just grinned and put a few empty coffee mugs on the corners of the map.  “Father suggested we take the north pass through the mountains.”

Grimm shook his head.  “No, that way is prone to avalanches.  I know a shortcut by the eastern route.”

“I don’t know. That takes us awfully close to the territories run by the House of Storms.  Last bit of intel had the Morning Lord holed up there like a fat spider, waiting for something to fall into his webs.”

“He won’t have my route blocked.  I doubt there’s anyone alive who remembers it.”

Nox shrugged.  “Okay, I’ll leave the route up to you then.” She hopped off the stool she had been sitting on, and headed upstairs to rummage through the kitchen.  A few minutes later they were locking the shop up behind them. 

Grimm lifted his nose to the wind, breathing in deeply.  It was good to be on the road again, after a month cooped up at the mansion.  There was an eager bounce to his step as he paced beside his small friend.  He was going home!

—-

Loki burned the note Nox had left to ash.  She was sending him away, with the excuse that he would never fully recover if he kept hanging around here.  He flung the ashes into the fireplace and headed for her room. He could have left weeks ago, he had been hanging around for her.  He still wasn’t sure just what had happened the day before, but he wasn’t going to let her go without getting an answer. 

Her door was open, so he didn’t bother knocking.   “We need to talk.”

“I believe we do, young man.”  Nox’s mother looked up from the piles of papers she was sorting through at her daughter’s desk.

Loki bowed.  “My apologies, Ambassador.  I’ll come back another time.”

“No, sit down.  She’s not here.”

Loki took the chair across from her.  “I have not had the chance to thank you properly, Lady Serenna.  This is the second time your healing spells have saved my life.”

“And you have saved my daughter’s life as many times.  Unfortunately, I am going to have to ask you to put your life at risk again. Do you know where she has gone?”

“No ma’am.  I’m sure you guessed from my, ah, abrupt entry, that we’re not exactly on good terms right now.”  He was surprised to see a sympathetic look on her face.

“It has begun, hasn’t it?  The distance, the lies… For years I could do nothing but watch as the curse changed my Lucien.  I have fought in every way I know how to keep it from my daughter, but my own husband has worked against me.  He could not see the danger while bound to Grimmalkyn.”

“Grimm would never hurt Nox.”

“But he is not always the one in control, is he?”

Loki sat forward, fear for Nox turning into a cold lump in his stomach.  “Where is he taking her?”

She held up a book about the House of Winds. “To the most dangerous place in the world.”


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Comments»

1. Marisa Birns - April 9, 2010

Oh, excellent! This series is just so very good, and it keeps me wanting to move to the next chapter.

Love the bouts of humor. “As long as it doesn’t go *boompf* while your arm is inside the bag.” is a favorite. 🙂

Keep up the great work!

2. ganymeder - April 9, 2010

And you hook us again! Shame on you. 😀

I can’t wait to read next week’s installment!

3. Laura Eno - April 9, 2010

You always twist it to show the turn of events in a different light…
I can’t wait for the next one!

4. Cecilia Dominic - April 9, 2010

Where can I get one of those portal bag thingies? Great installment!

CD

5. Sam - April 10, 2010

Every week you do this to me – these stories are not long enough! 😉 Wonderful characters, setting, plot, all of it. Can’t wait till next week.

6. Mariana N. Blaser - April 11, 2010

Ohh, it seems that they’re an official couple now! Even Lady Serena agrees with it. I’m wondering if she’ll keep the nice-nicey attitude once the danger goes away, ehh.

Angie, I hope this story never ends. Love it, love it! 😀

7. Walt - August 21, 2010

I like what the mother adds to the story but I don’t trust her. Another good installment.

8. Xanto - September 3, 2010

I like how unpredictable this story is! Keeps me guessing! 😀

9. Peter Newman - December 5, 2011

Ohh, interesting. You do a great job in hooking me back for the next one.


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