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Flash Fiction – Lucien and Serenna July 30, 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.

Serenna’s study overlooked the great hall of the House of Winds.  She had purposefully had it built there, with a window to look down on the weatherscope.  It was one of the wonders of the northern kingdoms, a two story tall machine made entirely of brass.  A highly detailed globe hung in the middle, with endlessly spinning hoops all around it to denote weather patterns.  Little brass clouds slid out on wires, and lamps to mark the sun and moon swung around outside of it all. It was mesmerizing to watch, but it always filled Serenna with anxiety.  On one hand if it was active, she knew her husband was alive. But on the other, if he needed to draw on so much power then in all likelihood his life was in danger.  For years, when they had first married, Lucien had spent more time at war than at home, earning his nickname of ‘Battle King.’   She was no battle mage, to follow him to war. Her skills lie with the mind, and healing, so while he was gone she quietly fretted in her study, watching the weatherscope spin.

It had been spinning off and on for days now, since he had gone to bring their daughter home.  Serenna went about the day-to-day business of running the most prestigious House of the Winter kindreds, but every time she saw the rings move, her thoughts went back to their last conversation.

Lucien had come into her study, and asked her to seal the room so they would not be overheard.  Then he had simply sat down next to her, and held her hand.  “I know about the compulsion spell. Why, Renna?”

At first, guilt at the disappointment in his voice had made her look away.  Anger had swiftly followed though, and she lifted her chin defiantly. “I did what had to be done.  Ky and Eva murdered in the own home, along with everyone else, and for what?  One of those keys?” She waved a hand in a sharp motion at the weatherscope.  “Kyrios was a Dragon Lord, as strong as you, and yet he was cut down all the same.  Look at what happened to that poor boy of theirs, branded with the key at ten years old. It is no wonder Loki has struggled to handle the energy, and he will need to hide for years yet if he is not to be killed as well.  Do you want that for our daughter?  To spend her life as a target for every power hungry madman in the Realms?”

“Nox is stronger than you know, and she had such potential, even at five years old. She would have out-done all my achievements, given time.”

“She still has all that potential, but for the wrong element!  How would she hide her true ancestry?  She is not evenly balanced like you, Luc.  She is Air down to her fingertips, how would she have covered that?”

His face turned cold. “Now she is nothing, Air or Ice. You should have spoken to me, Renna.”

“When? Where have you been these past fifteen years, Luc?  You have distanced yourself from us both, and left me to raise our child all but alone.  And I have done so, as best I saw fit,” she said, so full of anger it had nearly made her choke.  She jerked her hand free from his and stood up. “She will never hold one of those damned elemental keys, I have seen to that.  She is not ‘nothing.’ She is as close to human as I could make her!”

Lucien suddenly looked more tired than she had ever seen him.  He stood up as well, and brushed a lock of her blond hair from her face. “I love you, Renna. You have been as strong and wise a consort as I could have ever asked for. But this time you were wrong.  I’ll admit that I am as much to blame for this –  I should not have left you to raise a child you could not hope to understand.  Elementals are not like you. Nox is not like you.  I will bear an equal part of the guilt in this, and will do my part to set it right.” He placed a hand on her shoulder and looked into her eyes. “I leave at dawn to bring her home.  Grimmalkyn will be returned to the graveyard where he can do no-one any harm.  I need you to find a way to undo the damage your spell has caused to our daughter.  Work swiftly, Renna.”

Just like that, the fifteen years she had spent working to get her daughter out of the bloody political games the elemental Lords played was ruined.  She knew her husband well – he had yet to name Kel as heir, despite the intent behind adopting him into the House.  Lucien still meant Nox to follow him as ruler.   Serenna would have to deal with that when the time came. Lucien could not undo the compulsion spell without her help, and she had no intention of removing it. If he thought that little talk of his changed anything, he was sorely mistaken.

There was one thing they agreed on, and that was the need to deal with Grimmalkyn.  It was time that accursed beast of Lucien’s was put down.  There would be no return to the graveyard for him, unless it was a permanent rest.  And as for Nox…Serenna had at least a week until they returned home.  Time enough to make new plans for her wayward daughter.

<–Previous Back to Start Next->

A quick note – Starting next week, I will be taking part in WeSeWriMo – the Web Series Writing Month.  Nox and Grimm will be coming to you twice a week for the month of August, with new episodes on Tuesdays and Fridays!


1. Laura Eno - July 30, 2010

ARGHHHH! At least I only have to wait until Tuesday…
Let’s see – I want to lock Serenna in a desolate tower, kick Lucien in the butt, unchain Grimm, fix Nox,… 🙂

techtigger - July 30, 2010

I love it when I make my readers yell ARGHHH! I feel as if I’ve truly done my job well *grinz*

2. Gracie - July 30, 2010

Jeez, what is it with domineering mothers?? She’ll be sorry for meddling one day soon…

What a great epsiode. And I get to read twice a week now? Too excited!

…reminds me to get my own registered for WeSeRiMo.

Can’t wait for the next one!

techtigger - July 30, 2010

I think in order for her to be sorry, she’d have to actually admit she’s done something wrong. Not likely! 😉

And yay! another one on WeSeWriMo!

3. asthemoonclimbs - July 30, 2010

I always love it when instead of straight villains, it’s just people with different opinions on how things should be, all conflicting with each other. Good work, and I can’t wait to see what happens when they get back.

techtigger - July 30, 2010

thank you! For me, that’s the difference between an antagonist and a villain. I usually prefer antagonists because they have so much more depth to their character. And it’s fun to generate a little sympathy for the devil *grinz*

Although, with a true villain you get those lovely *muhhwaahaaahaa!* moments 😉

4. ganymeder - July 30, 2010

I actually feel for both parents, wrong as they both were they both wanted what was best for their daughter. Sad commentary on the scars we give our children in the hopes of protecting them. Well done.

techtigger - July 30, 2010

thanks! That’s what makes them such interesting characters to me – they are not evil, but they are not right, either. That kind of grey area makes them more unpredictable, and keeps you guessing as to whether or not you can trust them at any given time.

5. Walt - August 1, 2010

And the plot thickens….
The more I read this serial, the more I enjoy it. I’m looking forward to two installments per week. Keep up the good work!

techtigger - August 1, 2010

thanks! twice a week is going to be a challenge, but it should be fun too. Speaking of which, I had better get writing! 😉

6. Mari Juniper - August 1, 2010

Wheeeee! Nox and Grimm twice a week! WeSeWrimo rocks! heh

I’m joining too, but I’ll post weekly, heh. 😛

techtigger - August 1, 2010

yay! Looks like bunch of us are taking the challenge!

7. Sam - August 2, 2010

Yes indeedy! Add me to the WeSeWriMo list. My goal is fairly modest, but if everything goes according to plan, there ought to be something different involving Botchett appearing towards the end of August.

Aaargh! I need tog et a message to Nox not to trust either of her parents, and if anything happens to Grimm I’ll give Lucien and Serenna a good hiding myself!

8. kashicat - August 2, 2010

It appears I’ve got a lot of backup reading to do! But this is quite exciting.

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