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Flash Fiction – Raise The Dead, Part 2 August 10, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
Tags: , ,

This is the third 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.

Nox sprinted through the castle, her feet slipping on damp, moss covered stones.  Twice her feet slid out from under her as she took a corner too fast, but she just picked herself up and kept running.  All her attempts to reach Grimm through their soul-bond had failed, and she was getting more panicked by the minute.

She skidded through an archway into what had been a small courtyard garden.  Tangles of vining roses and centuries of fallen leaves made a thick, prickly carpet on the ground.  There were arched entryways on the other three walls as well, and none of them looked familiar.  Nox spat out a curse – she must have made a wrong turn somewhere.  She thrust her fist into the air and sent up an electric blue flare from her aura to try and signal Grimm or her father.

It never crossed her mind that others might be watching.  A stuttering yowl drifted out from the far entryway, followed by glowing yellow eyes.  Nox froze in place.  “Aw, crud.  No ghosts to hold back the Chimaera.  Stupid move, Nox,” she said to herself.  She quickly ran over her options, and came up with a blank. She didn’t have a single weapon or tool on her, and there was no way she could outrun it. Almost everything she did with Ice used a touch of Air as well, and that would only bring more of the creatures.  No help for it though, she had to do something.

The Chimaera stalked out into the courtyard. It was same type that had attacked the waypost, a huge feline with long spines running down its back.  Nox knew all too well what its claws could do, so her aura shield was useless as well.  It  mirrored her movements as she backed towards the door, and let out another hair-raising yowl.  It was toying with her, like a housecat does to a  mouse.

“C’mon, girl, you’re smarter than this critter, think!”  Her eyes darted around the courtyard, looking for anything she could use.  The walls were all solidly built, but there were some small cracks she could work with.  She flicked a hand at the wall next to her, and icicles sprouted out sideways like rungs from a ladder.  The Chimaera roared and lunged for her as she scampered upwards, just missing her with a swipe from its claws.  It backed up and took a running leap at her.  Nox flattened herself against the wall and made long, sharp spears of ice sprout out all around her.  The Chimaera screamed as it slammed into the spikes and dropped back to the ground. It reached out with one of its claws as it fell though, and left bloody scores down Nox’s back.   Her own screams joined those of the creature, and it was all she could do to hang on.

The Chimaera limped back towards her, leaving a trail of gore in its wake.  Some of the broken-off spears still hung out of it, and it let out pained snarls as they snagged on the vines. Even so, Nox could see it was getting ready to jump again.  She numbed her back and made the agonizing climb up the last few feet to a second-story balcony.  She pulled herself over the edge and crawled away from the opening.  Once she was back inside, she slapped her palms down on the floor and sent ice snaking down through every little crevice.

The creature hit the wall with a thump, and started clawing its way upwards.  Nox began to shake from blood-loss and the effort of creating so much Ice without summoning any Air to hasten the process.  One set of claws latched onto the edge of the balcony, and the creature’s snarling face came up as well.  A second set of claws dug into the stone, but as its full weight hung from the balcony there was a loud CRACK.   Something akin to hatred filled the creatures’ eyes as it hung there, and then the balcony tumbled to the ground below, smashing the Chimaera beneath it.

Nox flopped, stomach down, onto the floor and lay there with her heart hammering in her chest.   She could hear shouts and footsteps getting closer, punctuated by yowls and screams of pain.  Loki’s voice rose up above the din.   “Lucien, she’s over here! Send the medic!”

She could feel the warmth radiating off of him as he knelt by her side, the dragon tattoo standing out stark black on his arm.  She tried to get up.  “Did you get my warning in time?”

“Don’t try to move, luv,” Loki said, gently keeping her still.  “We saw your flare just before the Chimaera attacked.”  He looked around.  “Where the Hel is Grimm?”

“He went nuts when the ghosts started disappearing.  His eyes were red – I don’t think he was in control of himself.”

Loki scowled. “Well, at least the blood curse will be turned on those damned monsters.”

“No, it won’t.  Only works against people.”

“And we’re the only people within fifty miles,” he said, jumping up and running to yell out the door.  “Lucien, we’ve got a bigger problem than the Chimaera!”

“Tell me something I do not know,” came the cool, sardonic answer.  Nox staggered to her feet and leaned against the doorway next to Loki.

The Lord of Ice stood in the center of the hall with his sword at the ready, his guardsmen to either side.  Beyond them loomed a huge, spectral hound with burning red eyes, flanked by hordes of the Chimaera.   Nox let out a small cry. “Grimm!”

The hound turned its gaze on her but when it spoke, it was with the voices of the Shadowkin.  “Yes, this is Grimmalkyn. He has finally taken his place as leader of the Chimaera, as we had always intended.”

Nox could see her father was pulling in energy for a lethal strike.  “Grimm is still in there!  Don’t hurt him!”

The Shadowkin filled the hall with their mocking laughter.  “Yes, there is still a fragment of the guardian left.  But not for long…”

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1. Gracie - August 10, 2010

Oh, no! Poor Grimm! Darn that Lucien.

What a great episode. The action just rolls along, and the tension is high and tight. Loved it.

When’s Friday getting here? 🙂

2. lauraeno - August 10, 2010

Not Grimm! I can’t stand it! 3 more days…

3. ganymeder - August 13, 2010

Dammit! They’ve got to save Grimm! Damned Shadowkin…

Great storytellling, but I want more. 🙂

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