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Flash Fiction – Going Home August 27, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction, WeSeWriMo.
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WeSeWriMo is coming to a close, and this wraps up the mini-series.  There will be one more episode on tuesday, and then back to the regular schedule on fridays.

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


Nox hated riding horses.  At 4’10”, it was a humiliating experience. Either the horse was too tall, and she looked like a child perched on top, or the horse was more of a pony, and she still looked like a child. She glared up at the big, muscular brute one of her father’s guardsmen had brought over for her.  This one was so broad through the chest that her legs would probably stick out sideways

Loki led his own horse over next to hers. “Why don’t you ride Sybarite, luv?  He may be lazy, but he has a smoother gate than the warhorses Lucien brought with him.”  He gave her an elaborate bow, and turned the necessity of helping her to the saddle into a game of flirting.  He let his hand rest on her knee after he adjusted the stirrups. “There now, all comfy?”

She felt a blush creeping up on her face.  “Yes, that’s fine, thank you.”

He lowered his voice. “If you don’t want to go home, Sybarite can outrun any of the horses here.  There is still some masking potion in the saddlebags, along with everything else I use to disguise myself while spying.”

Nox tapped the side of her head.  “As long as Mother’s compulsion spell is in here, there is nowhere I can go that they can’t find me.” she said, placing a hand on his arm.  She could feel the heat radiating off the dragon tattoo, even though it had disappeared beneath the surface of his skin again. “Thank you for offering though.”

“The offer still stands, even if you only want to get away from all this for a little while.  I could go with you – I am a master at staying hidden and you know you are hopeless at cooking. If I don’t go, poor Grimm would starve.”

Nox shook her head stubbornly.  “Absolutely not.  I will not let you throw away everything you have worked towards for my sake!”

“And here I thought the guy was supposed to protect the girl,” he said, with a rakish grin.

“Pfft. Chauvenist,” she said, but returned the smile.

There was a small commotion behind them as Grimm made his way through the guards, who quickly shifted their horses to make way for him.  The hound looked positively cheerful, his ears up and tail wagging.  “Good morning, little one.”

Nox waved to him.  “Good morning! How are the ghosts settling in?”

“They are fine. That was a brilliant idea, moving their bones here to the castle.”

“The castle defenses are still intact, so the Morning Lord should have a hard time disturbing them again,” she said.  “I just wish we could have gotten to the ones that were stationed along his borders. I hate the thought of leaving them scattered like that.

One ghost knights, Evan, appeared next to Grimm.  “Those on the borders have been gone too long, there was nothing you could do for them.  Those that remain though, are in your debt.  Not only did you risk your life to bring us back, but you also risked oblivion in the hereafter in your fight against the Shadowkin. “ He floated up until his head was on a level with hers.  “For this, and your ceaseless efforts to aide our Captain,” he said, with a nod to Grimm, “I am honored to name you a Knight of the Winds, and welcome you into our ranks.” The ghost solidified enough to place a silver pin, shaped like a feather, on her collar.

Nox was stunned.  She had idolized the knights as a child, learning every story she could about their fight against the House of Shadows.  While here, they had become her friends as well.  But never in her wildest dreams had she thought she would be asked to join them.  “Th.th..thank you!” she stammered.

The rest of the ghosts appeared, and raised their swords in a salute.   Lucien’s guards cheered as well, banging their spears against the ground.

Grimm sent a thought for her alone to hear.  “The others may think this is only an honorary title, but everyone who is important knows that you are truly one of us.  Welcome to the House of Winds.”

Nox beamed at him.  “Did you just grant me dual-citizenship?”

“If you ever decide to cut ties with the House of Ice, you will always have a place here.  It is a bit of a fixer-upper,” he said, his tongue lolling out in a doggie grin, “but it does have that old world charm.”

“We will come back again, either way,” she said, taking a last look at the ancient castle. “We are definitely coming back.”

 

A week later, Nox was back in her workshop.  She looked around at the familiar clutter, thinking how small it looked after the vast, empty halls of the House of Winds.  She had only been gone a few weeks, but it felt like her whole world had changed. She reached up to touch the silver feather, and smiled.  Sometimes, change was good.

Grimm rumbled from upstairs in the kitchen. “You need to clean out the fridge, short-stuff. Something in here just growled at me.”

“Growl back, you’re bigger than it,” she said, laughing.

“But it’s green…”

Nox picked up letters that had piled up under the mail slot and headed upstairs.

Grimm had already sprawled out on the couch, lying on his back with his paws in the air and his tongue hanging out over his muzzle.  He wriggled into the squashy cushions.  “Ohh, that feels sooo good!”

Nox laughed at him.  “Should I leave you two alone?”

“I missed this couch.  I used to sleep on the ground all the time, but after few months of living here, I have gotten spoiled.” He shifted enough to make room for her to sit.

Nox leaned back against his side and closed her eyes.  The apartment was small, but it was home.  And it was good to be back.


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Comments»

1. Mari Juniper - August 27, 2010

Ahhh, I feel cozy after seeing that big dog with his tongue pending of happiness. 🙂

Love the continued exchange between Loki and Nox. Will they get to bed already?

techtigger - August 28, 2010

They haven’t even gone out on a normal date yet, and you’re tossing them into bed? *lol* It is fun writing the sparks between them though 🙂

2. lauraeno - August 27, 2010

I love the thought of Grimm afraid of something green in the fridge! I’m still holding my breath about the showdown with her mother…

techtigger - August 28, 2010

can’t blame him, who wants to eat food that might bite back? *grinz*

oh, and we’ll be seeing what mommy dearest has been up to soon enough 😉

3. Gracie - August 28, 2010

And I love that the ghosts made Nox a knight. Like Grimm said, it won’t be for show, I’m sure.

Love it, Angie!

techtigger - August 28, 2010

Thank you!!! 🙂

4. Maria Kelly - August 28, 2010

Great as usual. I love the fact that the ghosts made her a knight. I love this strong female character you’ve created here.

techtigger - August 30, 2010

Thank you! That was one of my goals with this series, to have a female lead that was neither a raving bitch, nor a helpless damsel in distress. Always glad to hear I’m hitting the mark 🙂

5. ganymeder - August 30, 2010

I love when Grimm gets all doggy-ish. Nice installment!

techtigger - August 30, 2010

can’t you just see him cuddling into the cushions! *lol*


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