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Flash Fiction – Raise the Dead, Part 1 August 6, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
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This is the second bi-weekly episode for WeSeWriMo, the web series writing month. As part of the challenge, I’ll be doing two episodes per week for the entire month of August.  Enjoy!

If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.


It was Grimm’s turn to be studied by Nox.  She picked up his paws, turned them this way and that, and made lots of hmmm sounds before scribbling madly in her notebook.  He had no idea what she was looking at, but he was more than willing to be patient while she worked.  He still could not believe he had one of the elemental keys, or figure out why Lord Galen would have given it to him. The souls of over eight hundred Shadowkin were trapped in his head, and only his and Nox’s combined willpower kept them in check.  The mere thought of what they would do with the power of a key made him shudder.

Nox gave him a curious look. “Something wrong, furball?”

“Just thinking. Are you sure you want to go home?”

She set his paw down and shrugged.  “I can only do a cursory survey of the keys out here.  I need my magnifiers and force gauges, and probably a ton of other tools that will have to be custom ordered from specialists. Not to mention the problems of having things delivered out here into the monster-infested wilderness,” she said, giving him an impish grin. “I don’t think Trans-Dimensional Shipping offers package insurance for Chimaera attacks.”

Grimm snorted.  “I was not concerned about myself.  I have lived as a hound for thousands of years, a few more or less will not matter.  I was worried about you.  Are you really going to trust your mother to undo the spell she placed on you?”

“Do I have a choice?  Compulsion spells are nearly impossible to break from the inside, and I don’t know anyone else with the skill to do this.  Certainly none that I would trust mucking about in my head.”

“You know how to break them though, why not try to teach me?  Once that is fixed, the Shadowkin will be effectively bottled up, and we will not need to go back.  I am serious, little one, I am fine with going on in this form.  I do not need to be changed back.”

Nox gave him a sad smile.  “I am not going to live forever, Grimm.  What then?  If you have no anchor to the mortal realms, you won’t be able to fight off the Shadowkin.”  She shook her head. “You may have been sworn to protect our family, but we were given a responsibility as well.  I won’t close my eyes and leave this mess for future generations to clean up.  Duty before self.  I will see this done.”

Grimm heaved a sigh. “You sound just like your father.”

“He’s not all bad, you know.”

“He is not all good, either.”

“But he and mother are family.  That has to count for something, right?”

“Perhaps.” Grimm said. “Listen, little one. I know you want so much to be able to trust your parents. But you need to keep your eyes open. Promise me you will.”

She leaned her head against his.  “I promise.”

“Good,” he said, and gave her a playful nudge.  “We have a few hours before your father plans to head out.  I can give you a tour of the castle, and tell you stories about the House of Winds like I used to when you were a little girl.” He gave her a sly look. “Well, you are still little… ”

She swatted his furry shoulder.  “I’m petite, dammit!  Puh-teet!”

Whurfs of canine laughter echoed around the empty hallways.  “Whatever you say, short-stuff.”

A warm breeze blew through the ruins of an ancient guard tower on the border between the territories of Wind and Ice.  It flattened the grass around the tower and roused its guardian from his crypt.  Gerard had been a Wind Knight in life and now, as a ghost, he still watched over his post, keeping the Chimaera from escaping into the valleys beyond.  He knew there were many farms out there, and even cities beyond the horizon, though he had never seen them.  They had all been built long after he died.

He drifted to face the wind, trying to decide what it was that had disturbed him.  It was early yet for the air to be so warm, but summer had often come swift and hot to the mountain plateau.  He let the breeze carry him out further from the tower, and floated up higher to get a look at the surrounding countryside.  Nothing moved, except for the long grass swaying in the wind.

By the time he realized what had drawn him out, it was too late. Pain like he had not felt since the day he died shot through him, and he rushed back to the tower with the last shreds of energy he had.  Glowing yellow eyes filled the dark room around where his crypt now lay broken – his bones were all shattered into tiny pieces.  A voice rolled out of the gloom. “Go, children of the Shadowkin. The guardian will stop you no longer.”  Chimaera poured out of a portal into the tower in a seemingly endless wave.

Gerard made a last desperate effort to sound the alarm, but a pudgy, balding man stepped out into the light and held up the last unbroken bone.  “Goodbye, guardian.”  There was a loud crack as he broke the bone over his knee, and the ghost faded away.

Miles away, Grimm stopped mid-sentence.  The hound threw his head back and let out a keening howl.

“What’s wrong?” Nox asked, looking around in alarm.

Grimm’s eyes changed from grey to brimstone red. “Someone is destroying the ghosts,” he snarled, his claws digging furrows in the stone beneath his paws.

“Please, calm down. You’re losing control, Grimm!”  She tried to hold him back, but he brushed her aside.   He let out another keening howl and disappeared, leaving Nox standing alone.

“Bloody Hel,” she cursed, and ran full tilt back through the abandoned castle to warn her father.


<–Previous Back to Start Next->

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Comments»

1. Timothy P. Remp - August 6, 2010

Very good installment. Love the characters you’ve created.

-Tim

techtigger - August 6, 2010

Thank you! I’ve had a lot of fun developing these characters 🙂

2. Gracie - August 6, 2010

Uh-oh. Who’s the little bald man?

Another great episode. Waiting anxiously for Tuesday now. 🙂

techtigger - August 6, 2010

heheh – I’ve mentioned him a few times before, he’s the Morning Lord’s pet technomancer

https://techtigger.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/flash-fiction-auramancer/

https://techtigger.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/flash-fiction-somnolence/

3. Maria Kelly - August 6, 2010

Another wonderful episode! I’ll try and keep up with them now that you’re doing them twice a week for WeSeWriMo. I can’t wait to see if Nox and Grimm are able to stop the rest of the ghosts from being destroyed.

techtigger - August 6, 2010

thanks! Next episode will go live on tuesday 🙂

4. lauraeno - August 6, 2010

Angie…you’re killing me! I want to plow through this book. This is such an exciting world!

techtigger - August 6, 2010

i’m just glad I can still keep you all guessing – i’ll have done over 50 episodes by the time wesewrimo is done 🙂

5. Mari Juniper - August 6, 2010

Oh, thank god for WeSeWrimo!

techtigger - August 6, 2010

*lol* yes, for one month i will be an episode writing machine! 😀

6. Scath - August 6, 2010

Uh-oh. 0_o

Wait for Nox, Grimm!

techtigger - August 6, 2010

🙂 but she’s safe and sound in the castle. What could possibly go wrong? *whistles innocently*

7. Deanna Schrayer - August 7, 2010

“I’m petite, dammit! Puh-teet!” – love that line Angie! Love the whole story, the whole series. You have built such an amazingly brilliant, and eerie-feeling world with Nox and Grimm.
Keep ’em comin’!

8. Sam - August 7, 2010

You can cut that whistling out, right now, missy, you’re not fooling us for a second! 😉

Oooh, you keep doing this – everytime the dust settles and I get to take a breath, you lean in and so casually tip me off a precipice again. And I love every second of it!

Another awesome episode, and I’ll echo Laura too, I wanna read the book. Now!

techtigger - August 7, 2010

*muhhwahaahhaa!*

ooh, wait, did I cackle maniacally out loud again? darn, they’re on to me… 😉

9. Phyl/kashicat - August 7, 2010

Okay, now I have to go back and start everything from the beginning. Which I have LOTS of time for. Heehee!

Excellent, dramatic, and suspenseful episode! /adjectives

techtigger - August 7, 2010

thank you! it started off as a bunch of one-shots for #fridayflash, but it’s quickly grown out into a much bigger story. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂


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