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Flash Fiction – Raise the Dead, Part 3 August 18, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
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This is the next episode for WeSeWriMo, the web series writing month. As part of the challenge, I’ll be trying to do 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 winced as the combat medic cleaned the claw marks on her back with antiseptic and applied one of her mothers’ healing plasters.  She took a quick look at the fight raging between the ice elementals and the Chimaera, and waved the man off.  “That’s good enough, Jens, you had better get back out there. I’m afraid they’ll need you more than I do.”

“All too true, milady.”  He waggled a finger at Loki.  “Just you take good care of her, young sir, or there’ll be harsh words between us.”   A yell for a medic came from the lines, and Jens hurried out of the room.

Loki stood with his back against the doorway, arms crossed, where he could keep an eye on the battle and Nox at the same time.   “Why does everyone think that I can keep you out of trouble?”

She smirked at him. “Good question, since you’re usually aiding and abetting me.” She leaned out over the ruins of the balcony.  “Speaking of which, can you melt us some steps? We need to move fast if we’re going to help Grimm.”

Loki pushed himself away from the door.  A quick gesture sent a jet of flames rippling down the wall into the courtyard, and pieces of stone slumped into crude stairs in its wake. “What sort of trouble are we running off to find now?”

The steps froze solid beneath Nox’s feet as she ran down them. “This is the second time Grimm has taken off when something happened to the ghosts here.  Pretty odd behavior for someone sworn to protect my family, isn’t it?  There has to be some connection between him and the ghosts.  Tyrus’ crypt is the closest.  It’s near the portal in the city walls.”

“If that’s the case, then we go by horse,” Loki said. “We do not have time to fight our way through the Chimaera on foot.”

They pelted through the castle to where the rest of the troops were guarding the horses and supplies.  Nox grabbed her satchel and hung it around her neck, to avoid having it bang against her back.  Loki saddled up Sybarite and gave Nox a leg up onto the horse.  He swung up behind her, and they cantered out past the guards through the castle gate.

“Hang on tight,” Loki said. He snapped the reins and yelled “hyah!”  Sybarite took off like a shot, his iron-shod hooves ringing on the cobblestone streets. Nox huddled down as close to the horse’s neck as she could get without banging her nose on its bobbing head.  Loki reached past her leg to tap a carved stone in the horse’s tack, setting off the earth casting embedded in the stone.   The ground ahead of the horse’s hooves smoothed out perfectly flat as the earth energies flowed outwards around them.

It didn’t take long for a pack of Chimaera to find them.  The first one stood blocking the road, a bull with ram’s horns and a stingray tail.  Loki urged Sybarite to run faster.  As they closed in, the earth casting lifted the cobbles beneath the beast and tossed it to the side.  By the time the bull staggered to its feet they had already galloped past.

Nox laughed.  “You left the safety on! And here I thought that was just for keeping pedestrians from getting mowed down.”

“Sybarite bucks me off every time I fling fire past his head.  So I boosted the power on the casting as an alternative defense.”

“Nice!”

The creatures quickly learned to stay out of their way, letting them get through the city in minutes. The gatehouse was dark, completely shaded by the five story tall city walls.   Loki swung down off of the horse and helped Nox down as well, to avoid jarring her back.  Then he formed a saber out of flames, lighting the area. “Someone did a thorough job of busting up this tomb. Watch your step.”

Nox put out a hand to keep Loki from stepping inside.  “Hold up, there are bone fragments everywhere.”  She crouched down and picked up a piece, causing the faint remnant of an aura to glow around it.  Her brows knit together as she concentrated, and the glow spread outwards to surround every piece of bone in a silvery corona.  “Okay, let’s hope I remember that cantrip mother taught me.”   She muttered an arcane phrase, and the bones twitched and moved closer together.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s a bone-setting spell.  Doesn’t seem to work so well on dry, dead bones, though.  I’ll need to alter it.” She thought for a moment, then nodded to herself and chanted another phrase. The bones started to vibrate in time to the rhythm. She sent a pulse of energy out into the room. “Tyrus, you are needed.”

Bone dust flowed across the floor and filled the gaps in the bones.  A misty shape began to form.  “Tyrus, you are summoned!” she said.

The bones rolled together, snapping into place and forming a full skeleton in the center of the room.  “Tyrus, report!”

The ghost knight materialized and stood at attention.  “Lieutenant Tyrus, reporting for duty,” he said, his voice faint but clear. He looked down at her from where he hovered.  “Lady, you are truly Lord Galen’s descendant. No one else could have summoned me back from the Long Road.”  He drifted down in front of them. “There were others on the Road as well. You must find them, bring them back!”

“Where are the other crypts?”

“There is one at every gatehouse – four in the city walls and twenty in the outer defenses,” he said.  “Most can be reached by the portals, but there are some you will have to ride to get to. Hurry, or our captain is lost!”

Nox nodded.  “Stay here, and guard your bones at all costs.”   She closed her eyes and sent a thought out to Grimm.  “Hang on, just a little bit longer!”


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Comments»

1. Laura Eno - August 18, 2010

I’m so happy that she’s able to bring the ghosts back! Yay! But is Grimm really listening to her…?

techtigger - August 18, 2010

well, we talk to people who are in a coma without knowing if they can hear us. I figure she’d keep trying, even if he did’t respond.

2. Gracie - August 18, 2010

Excellent! Loki left the safety on… too funny. And so cool Nox can call back the ghosts. Hope she gets to Grimm in time.

Love it! Ready for the next one. 🙂

techtigger - August 18, 2010

heehee – i had this image in my head of the cobbles lifting up in a V, like a cow-catcher on a train 🙂

3. Mari Juniper - August 18, 2010

Ohhh, what tension! More, more, please!

This made me LOL: “Why does everyone think that I can keep you out of trouble?” heh

techtigger - August 19, 2010

yes, I think he’s given up on keeping her out of trouble, and settled for simply minimizing the chaos that follows in her wake 😉

Reminds me of a line from the D&D players manual “trouble finds the swashbuckler, whether he’s looking for it or not” 😀

Mari Juniper - August 20, 2010

Awesome line! 😀

4. ganymeder - August 19, 2010

I like the image of the road bucking the monster… 🙂

techtigger - August 19, 2010

could become a new sport, bowling for bad-guys! 😀


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