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Flash Fiction – Letters Home July 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.


Lucien sat alone in his study.  Two origami birds had fluttered in and unfolded in his hand an hour before, and he had re-read the notes at least a dozen times since then.  It was hard to believe that those two, fragile scraps heralded the end of every plan he and Serenna had made.

He had not shown them to his wife yet, not until he had come to some decision on how to act.  Grimm had tried to warn him that there was more going on between Nox and her mother than just two strong-willed women butting heads.  Lucien had not listened, and now, when it was perhaps too late, he was regretting that decision.  Loki’s letter added another layer to the already deep troubles surrounding his daughter.

Lucien raked his hair back out of his eyes and read the notes again, hoping that this time he would think of some way to untangle the dangerous mess.

————-

Father,

I am writing this from within the observation tower of Lord Galen’s castle.  We’ve had to move camp again, though I hope we can stay secure here for at least a few days.  Shadowkin creatures roam the streets below us; we can hear them day and night.  The ghosts call them Chimaera, after an old fairy tale monster.  It seems too whimsical a name for a horde of foul-smelling, killing machines, but I guess it’s better than calling them critters.

I should probably explain the ghosts.  The last defenders of Zephyra are still here, in spirit.  Wind knights, true air elementals.  They’ve been keeping the Chimaera penned up in and around the city, for the most part.  Or at least they were, until the Morning Lord took over the House of Storms.  He’s been systematically taking out all the ghosts stationed along his new territorial borders.  He was almost certainly behind the Chimaera attack on our waypost.  All he had to do was take out the guardian ghost, leave a trail to lure the critters to fresh meat, and you can figure out the rest.

He knows about Loki.  So do I, now.  I begin to see how little you trust me, or my judgment.  If you had let my orders stand, and sent Loki back to work spying for us, rather than on me, his secret would have been kept.  You have what you wanted, I am safe from the Morning Lord’s attentions – he has a bigger fish to reel in now.  I’ll let you figure out how to handle the aftermath of this.  Why waste my time offering ideas for dealing with the problem, when my job as spy master is obviously nothing more than a sham?

Odds are, you and mother already know that I have summoned Air.  She has always had a tracer built into her spells, to let her know when the safety has been tripped.   Yes, I know about that too. I even understand the reasons for casting the spell.  But I will never forgive you for what you have done to me.  Never mind that you have made me a cripple, and left me to suffer my whole life.  The spell has created a fatal weakness in my psyche, and the Shadowkin know it.  Was that why you were so horrified when you realized I was soul-bound to Grimm?  Did you know they would have an open gate into my mind?

You know what? Forget it.  Even if you remove the spell now, the damage is done.  I will never be right, or whole.  I had only to ask the ghosts here about that, and they can only tell truth.

Don’t bother telling me we’ll talk when I return, I’m not coming home.  I intend to stay here, to keep working to free Grimm of his curse.  Damn the danger, I will succeed or die trying.

– Nox

————-

Lucien,

We’ve got a problem.  My uncle and I have crossed swords, and he knows that the dragon mark is not lost.  The fight ended in a draw, but I do not doubt that he will make another try for it.

The good news is, he won’t dare use anyone other than his brainless cultists to come after it.  Any other fire elemental would at least hesitate, if not outright defect to my side.   I have no wish to start a civil war amongst my own people though, so let’s keep playing this your way, for now.  Politics and behind the scenes deals, until we are in a stronger position.

He has plans for Nox.  He has tried to capture her twice, but I have no idea why. Bargaining chip?  Maybe his pet technomancer wants to study her work?  It doesn’t make any sense though, why put out a death mark out on her, and then try to take her alive?  Something has changed.  We need to figure out what it is, and fast.  Rest assured though, he won’t lay a hand on her while I am with her.

I know this is probably not the best time for this, but at the rate things are moving, I may not get the chance to speak to you in person.  I know you and my father were close friends, and you have done more for me than I can ever hope to repay.  I owe you my life, and my freedom.  I also know you have other plans for Nox, but I am hoping you will rethink them.

I wish to formally request the right to court your daughter.  I love her.

Don’t tell her I asked for your permission though, she’ll never forgive me.

-Loki

———-

Lucien pushed his chair away from the desk.  The time for making plans was over.  The Morning Lord’s actions could not go unanswered.   As for Nox… first, he needed to talk to his wife.  Then he would talk to his daughter.  In person.


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Comments»

1. Sam - July 9, 2010

Fabulous episode! I love how the letters answer some questions I’ve held for a while, and bring plenty of new ones to mind. Will be back next week for (hopefully) more answers. 🙂

techtigger - July 12, 2010

I like using a letter or journal for getting across someone’s inner thoughts, rather than ‘she thought to herself’ or some other device. Let’s you be a bit more candid, and play with the voice. Just have to make sure I don’t over-use it, save it for when it’ll have the most impact 🙂

2. Gracie - July 9, 2010

Another great episode. As long as you write ’em, I’ll read ’em. 🙂

I love the two letters. All Nox’s anger expressed so well, and Loki– go, Loki!– asking for permission, is priceless.

Lucien’s got his hands full. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

techtigger - July 12, 2010

Yeah, I wanted to show Nox losing her temper as she wrote. She never quite manages to stay as cool and composed as her father, though she does try 🙂 that’s part of why loki is so fascinated by her, a winter kindred with a hot temper! 😀

3. Mari Juniper - July 9, 2010

From time to time I remember this is all back story and I itch to see what’s coming. Besides the next episode, of course! This is one of these days. Me wants mooore! 🙂

techtigger - July 12, 2010

Well, some of it is back story, some things are happening off to the side of the WIP, and some will be in it. I’m kind of dancing all around the WIP 😀

4. Deanna Schrayer - July 10, 2010

Angie, I love how Nox’s letter begins on a light note and then you can feel the anger building and building. Wonderful job with that, with this whole episode. Love this series!

techtigger - July 12, 2010

Thanks!

Yes, there’s that moment when she decides to toss decorum aside and just say what’s on her mind. Which is going to make her next meeting with her father entertaining…heheheheh

5. Laura Eno - July 10, 2010

There is so much to this series, even though it’s only back story. You must put these in their own book!

techtigger - July 12, 2010

I’m thinking when I eventually get the book done, I’ll take anything that doesn’t end up in it, and put them into short stories. Or who knows, maybe some will be fodder for other books 🙂 I have so many ideas for this series, it’s sometimes hard to decide what to use!

6. Marisa Birns - July 10, 2010

Oh, yes, the letters help to answer some of the questions that Sam and I probably have in common.

Okay, Lucien, do your best to untangle this mess!

techtigger - July 12, 2010

Oh yeah, daddy’s got his work cut out for him!

7. ganymeder - July 10, 2010

Ooooooh, confrontation time! Feels like all the plot threads are coming together. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

techtigger - July 12, 2010

I figured it was about time I pulled together some of the bajillion loose threads I’ve made 🙂 Of course, every answer seems to cause a new problem… *hee*


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