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Flash Fiction – Raise the Dead, Part 4 August 20, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
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Welcome to the next episode for my WeSeWriMo challenge.  I’ll be wrapping up this min-series next week.

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


Grimm could sense when one of the ghosts crossed the threshold between the realms of the living and the dead.  He had run off as soon as the first one passed over, hoping to catch the perpetrator in the act.  Unfortunately, the enemy technomancer had caught him instead.  Grimm had entered one of the crypts at a run and gotten hit straight between the eyes with a spell.  The next thing he knew, his spirit was hurtling down the path to the Long Road and somewhere along the way, like always, he changed back from a hound to a man.

The Shadowkin were waiting for him there.   They surrounded him, over eight hundred malevolent souls that wanted nothing more to destroy the last remnant of the House of Winds.  There was only a moment to choose – try to regain control of his body, or keep the Shadowkin from getting to Nox through the soul-bond she shared with him.  Which was no choice at all, really.  Grimm placed himself defiantly between them and his friend, and hoped that he could buy Nox enough time to get help.

He called in every favor the Long Road owed to him, and settled in for an ugly fight.  The Shadowkin were not trying to delay him this time.  They were spending their un-lives recklessly in an attempt to wipe him out.  Every time he cut through one of his enemies, they were dragged off by the invisible tide that draws spirits to their final rest.   There were always more to take the place of the fallen though, and Grimm was slowly being overwhelmed.  He had just taken another vicious hit when the Shadowkin made a rapid retreat.

There was a sharp tug in the ever-present tidal pull that nearly knocked Grimm off his feet.  Then another caught him, and another. It was like standing in rough surf, and the waves were dragging him back towards the Long Road.  Just in front of him a small spirit materialized.

“Grimm?  Is that you?”

His heart sank to the ground as he recognized Nox. She was his anchor to the mortal realms, and if she was here… he pushed that thought aside and reached out to catch her spirit before it could slip away.  “I am afraid so,” he said.  Grimm put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side, placing his body between her and the Road. “Stay close, little one.”

She looked up at him and made a funny face. “Loki was right. You’re huge!”

“No, you are just very small,” Grimm teased. He gave her a lop-sided smile, a lump forming in his throat. He had wanted to see her in person one day, but not like this.

“Humph. I’m petite, you big lug,” she said. “Look at you, your biceps are as big around as my waist!   Are you sure you aren’t a mountain kindred?”

He laughed.  “I am very sure.  What happened after I left?”

She looked around, suddenly confused.  “Well… Loki was helping me bring back the ghosts when we ran the Morning Lord’s technomancer.  We stopped him before he could break Evan’s tomb, but something he was doing didn’t react well to what I was doing, and…”

“Boom,” Grimm finished for her.  He had seen the results when technomancy went wrong, and it was never pretty.

“Yeah.  I think I hit my head?” she said, not sounding terribly confident.  “And then I saw you.  So, what’s the plan?”

Grimm shifted his stance again.  The tidal pull was getting stronger, and he had to dig in his feet to stop them from sliding closer to the Road.  He turned so that she wouldn’t see the lie on his face.  “We get you home,” he said.  He spun his sword point-downward and dug it into the ground next to his right leg, and braced his foot against it to stop them from sliding further.  There was no need to keep the sword at the ready.  The Shadowkin would not bother risking themselves when all they had to do was wait.

Nox squinted as she looked at the horizon. “Those dark spots are the Shadowkin, aren’t they.”  It wasn’t so much a question as an angry statement.  She held out her fists and pressed them together at the thumbs. “You know, I have a bunch of their names. It would be a shame to let them go to waste after all the trouble I went through to get them.”

“You know what is happening to us?”

“Don’t ever play poker Grimm,” she said, and gave him an impish grin.  A blinding blue glow formed between her fists, and she pulled them apart to the sides until her aura formed the arc of a bow.  “You know, this whole place is energy.  I won’t even need a focusing crystal here to make an arrow.  Brace me, would you please?”

“Do you think you can reach them?” Grimm asked, as he shifted to stand behind her.

“I have their names.  I can’t miss.”  She muttered the start of a summoning spell, and recited a name three times.  “Malketh. Malketh.”  She drew back the bow, and in the distance one of the shadows was pulled closer to them. “MALKETH!”  The arrow leapt out and flew straight to its target, exploding in a shower of electric blue sparks.  The spirit shrieked and collapsed, falling into the invisible tide.

Nox chanted out more names, and the Shadowkin scattered in dismay.  It did them no good though, every time she called one, they had no choice but to answer her summons.  She scowled as she drew back the bow again.  “That takes care of the ones from the vault.  Now for the bastards that tried to make me kill Loki!”

Grimm had a fierce grin on his face.  “Hel hath no wrath…Have I mentioned that I really enjoyed working with you?”

“We’re not done yet, I still have a few more names.  Duros. Duros. DUROS!”


<–Previous Back to Start Next->

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Comments»

1. Gracie - August 20, 2010

Hurray! They’ll make it. I know they will. You have a beautiful hand with magic and energy, Angie. Not to mention action and suspense. This is a great episode.

Gets better every time. LOVE it.

techtigger - August 23, 2010

thanks! It’s been fun working out the pseudo-science behind the magic. 🙂

2. Maria Kelly - August 20, 2010

Oh, I hope they stand true to the end and get all the Shadowkin. Great episode!

techtigger - August 23, 2010

hooboy, my warped little brain just got an image of Nox with a Pokemon ball. Try to catch them all! *lol*

3. Mari Juniper - August 20, 2010

Ohhh, you’re as cruel as Sam! Nox can’t die just now… 😦

techtigger - August 23, 2010

heh heh heh 😀 I’ll take that as a compliment! *grinz*

4. Cecilia Dominic - August 20, 2010

Catching up on your #WeSeWriMo activities. You go, girl! These episodes are as exciting as always, and they stand alone well. I believe that Loki and Nox’s father will figure out some way to bring them back.

Cecilia

techtigger - August 23, 2010

It’s been a blast writing them 🙂 although I’ll be going back to the regular schedule after wesewrimo, or my WIP will never get done!

5. lauraeno - August 22, 2010

Very suspenseful, as always! How are you going to drag them back though, Angie? *drumming fingers while waiting for the next one*

techtigger - August 23, 2010

Hang in there! 🙂


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