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Flash Fiction – Jail Break May 21, 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 studied the bars of the cage that held her. Round stones marked with spiral carvings lined the floor in a square, and a matching set were embedded in the ceiling.  Roaring columns of pure, elemental fire connected the sets of stones and made up the bars of the cage.  She shifted her sight to view the energy signatures, squinting against the glare of the fire.  There was no doubt about it; she was not the first ice elemental to be held here.  There were traces of chill energy splashed about everywhere, right up to the edge of the fiery bars.  These bastards had been torturing her people.   Nox clenched her fists, and bit back her temper.  Getting angry was not going to get her out of here.

Grimm’s deep, rumbling voice was a faint echo in the back of her mind.  “I’m somewhere above you, little one.  I can probably break this cage they have me in, but they will roast you if I try.”

“Some of the stones of my cage are loose.  If you can growl a sound wave at me to rattle them, I think I can pop a few out.”

The hound’s voice sounded worried. “I can do that, but this place is in ruins.  It was one of the old watchtowers on the border of the House of Winds. If I shake it up, it’s likely to come down on our heads.”

“We’re running out of options. That spell the Morning Lord threatened you with is pretty indiscriminate; it’ll bind any spirits connected to you.”

Grimm let out a few colorful curses.  “We’re soul-bound. He’ll own you too.”

“Yeah. We’d better get started…aw, crap, I’ve got company.”

A young fire elemental in a guard’s uniform walked in. He took one look at her and headed straight for the cage.  Nox braced herself and said, “Grimm, NOW!”

Grimm’s howl was almost sub-sonic, and rattled the entire tower. The loose stones in the cage jumped around in their settings, and Nox slid a tendril of her aura under them to flip them out across the floor.  Then she dove out of the gap in the cage and rolled to her feet by the table which held her gear. She grabbed her bow, drew it back and aimed the glowing red targeting box right over the guard’s heart.  She motioned for him to back away.  “Don’t make me kill you.”

The guard had a bemused look on his face.  “Um, Hi. I’m here to rescue you?”  He pointed at the voice changing buttons on his collar. They were the same ones the snowborn courier had worn at the inn.  “Remember me? I’m on your side.”

Nox’s gaze remained icy cold. “Prove it. Ditch the disguise, and show me your real face.”

He sighed, took the buttons off and ran a hand over his face and hair to dispel the masking potion. “Hello, luv.  Did you miss me?”

Nox nearly dropped the bow.  “Loki?  But…what are you…you were supposed to go somewhere safe!”

“No, you ordered me to go somewhere warmer to finish recovering. “  He nodded to the cage, and gave her a completely unapologetic smile.  “Look, I found a nice cozy fire in a room with a beautiful woman. I feel better already!”

The tower shook with another of Grimm’s howls.  They ducked under the table and huddled together, with Grimm’s voice ringing in their minds.

“Balor, you coward!  Get back here and fight!  It’s not so easy when you aren’t picking on little girls, is it?” the hound howled.

Nox glared upwards. “I’m not little, I’m petite, dammit!”

The tower shook one more time before settling into an uneasy silence.  The ghostly hound materialized right next to the table.  “You can come out now.  The Morning Lord ran away,” he said, with a vicious, toothy grin. “I got a piece of him though. His face won’t be quite so pretty anymore.”

“Nice work!”  Loki said.  “Now all we have to do is get out of here.”

The hound tilted his head to the side.  “When did you get here… nevermind. There used to be a network of portals between the watch towers.  With any luck they are still intact.”

“Lead the way, furball,” Nox said, as she shoveled her gear back into her satchel.

Grimm led them deeper into rubble strewn remains of the tower.  Finally he stopped to sniff at a doorway.  “This is it. The portal will bring us out at a gatehouse along the inner defenses.”

“And here is where I leave you two,” said Loki. “This is too good of an opportunity to gain intel on the enemy. Lucien needs to know what’s going on in his back yard.”

Nox started to object, but caught herself. He was a spy, this was part of his job. “Be careful,” she said and squeezed his hand.

Loki said.  “Hey Grimm, give us a minute?”

“A minute, for what?” Nox asked, then blinked in surprise as Grimm disappeared.

“For this.” Loki pulled her close and gave her a kiss that made her knees go weak.  By the time they came up for air, her arms were twined around his neck and he held her so close she could feel his heart beating next to her own.  He gave her a boyish grin. “I’ve been wanting to do that for months.”

Grimm materialized at the far end of the corridor.  “Sorry kids, we’ve got company coming. Time to go.”

Loki let her go and kissed her hand. “I’ll see you soon.”  He gave Grimm a wave and trotted back the way they came, putting his disguise back in place as he went.

Grimm led Nox through the portal.  “That’s an amazing shade of red on your face, short-stuff.”

“Ohh, hush, you.”

“No, really, we might not need a lamp,” he teased.

“Paybacks are a bitch, and I’ll be doing the cooking!”

Whurfs of canine laughter echoed around the tower as the portal closed behind them.

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1. Marisa Birns - May 21, 2010

Oh, whew! I should know by now that you always make sure that they get out of trouble so I shouldn’t worry.

Love the paybacks are a bitch sentence!

You are still on fire with this series 🙂

techtigger - May 24, 2010

heehee – Nox is sort of a self-rescuing princess 😉 I had fun writing this one!

2. Jen Brubacher - May 21, 2010

“Look, I found a nice cozy fire in a room with a beautiful woman. I feel better already!”

That made me smile. 🙂 It sounds like it could get steamy in here.

techtigger - May 24, 2010

Oh yes, there’s a ton of chemistry between those two! The question is, will it heat up, or go boom? 😉

3. Sam - May 21, 2010

Go Loki! I’ve been waiting weeks for him to do that! Another wonderful episode, Grimm’s teasing of Nox made me chuckle.

techtigger - May 24, 2010

Yeah, it was about time those two got a good smooch in!

4. Laura Eno - May 21, 2010

Lots of funny one-liners in here! I love how you show that a cliff hanger doesn’t necessarily have to be a life or death situation to still be potent.

techtigger - May 24, 2010

absolutely – I wanted to tie up some loose ends in this one, but still keep the story rolling. (and I will NEVER write a triple cliffhanger again, too hard to write out of it with only 1000 words!) 🙂

5. ganymeder - May 21, 2010

>“I’m not little, I’m petite, dammit!”<
I *LOVED* that! Nox is such an incredible character.

I hate to keep saying the same thing, but I absolutely adore this series. I grinned through the whole thing.

techtigger - May 24, 2010

I’m always glad to hear that my goofy one-liners make people smile! Thanks!

6. Deanna Schrayer - May 21, 2010

I just love your dialgue in this series – it’s so realistic and makes it easy to picture the scene.
My favorite line – “I’m not little, I’m petite dammit!” HA! I’ve said that so many times myself. Cracked me up!

techtigger - May 24, 2010

Thank you! I’ve been working on using the characters to set the scene in the dialogue, good to know that it’s working 🙂

7. Mariana N. Blaser - May 21, 2010

Finally the kiss scene, hurra!

Loki pulled her close and gave her a kiss that made her knees go weak.

Good description of a great kiss. It sounds as you’ve been kissed like this before Mari-girl. I sure hope so, heh. ;P

8. Mariana N. Blaser - May 21, 2010

Akk! The flu got on top of my. Sorry Angie, I was reading a tweet from Marisa when I writing the comment. So much for multi tasking when feeling ill… phew!

I hope you’ve had a killing kiss like that too dear, but you knew that already, right? ;P

techtigger - May 24, 2010

I guessed you meant me! 🙂

Why, yes, I may have had a smooch or two like that … *grinz*

9. Julie (Okami) - May 21, 2010

I want my own Grimm – oh what I one – named Kota!! He’s just not quite as much fun!!

techtigger - May 24, 2010

yeah, but I bet he doesn’t sass you either! Still, it would be fun, wouldn’t it?

10. Gracie - May 22, 2010

I love this series, Angie. He kissed her! At last!

And the banter between Nox and Grimm is priceless.

Great work, always.

techtigger - May 24, 2010

Thank you!

It was about time I gave Loki a break, I’ve been putting the poor guy through the wringer lately. Of course, there’s still the curse to contend with… *muuhwwhaaahaaah!*

11. Cecilia Dominic - May 28, 2010

I like Loki and Nox as a couple. Great chemistry! Glad she’s self-rescuing.


12. xantojones - September 13, 2010

Ugh, I was dreading the inevitable kiss. But I’m sure deep down I’m happy it happened.

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