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Flash Fiction – Love Lies Bleeding September 30, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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The grey plains were always so deceptively peaceful.  Grimm waited there, somewhere between the realms of life and death, for the attack that he knew was coming. He shape-shifted quickly from a hound to a man, and took up his armor and sword.  Nox would be vulnerable while she fought to free Loki, her attention focused solely on the battle around her.  The spirits of the Shadowkin would not be able to resist the chance to kill the woman who had destroyed so many of them. It would be up to Grimm to keep them from getting her.

He peered into the distance, but there was no sign of his foes. They were out there though, he knew it in his bones. It was just a matter of figuring out what form the attack would take.  “You know that the only way to reach her is to go through me,” he called out, his deep voice echoing through the gloom.  “So why don’t we get this over with?”

He paused to listen, and in the endless silence of limbo, light footsteps approached. There was only one of them coming, but that made him even more wary. He gripped his sword and shifted his stance, ready to unleash Hel.

When the attack came, he was in no way prepared for it. A voice he had not heard in over two thousand years drifted across the featureless plain, and his sword nearly fell from nerveless fingers.

“Captain Aurengrey of the Wind Knights.  Hero of the House of Winds.  Faithful servant of Lord Galen. I have called you thrice, will you answer the summons, my darling Grey?”

Grimm’s heart turned to ashes. He closed his eyes and lowered his sword.  “Hello, Katya.”

When he opened them again, she was there in front of him, her auburn hair standing out like a beacon in the colorless void.  Her eyes were still a vivid leaf green, and no lines marred her delicate features.  There was a flash of silver at her throat, and he saw that the feather badge he had given her still hung from its chain around her neck. She was even dressed in the same clothes he had last seen her wearing.

Grimm could not move, and he knew it was only because somewhere, deep down, he wanted to see her again.  That old, half-forgotten desire gave her power over him. He cursed himself for a fool, and tried to squash any old feelings he might have for the woman he had once planned to marry.

Almost as if reading his mind, she smiled. “Why so sad, my love?  Was it not your greatest wish to see me one more time?  Here I am,” she said, turning in a teasing pirouette.  “Are you not pleased?”

“The last time I saw you, I ended up with four paws and a tail. I have developed a few trust issues since then.”

She let out a rippling laugh.  “You always did have a wonderful sense of humor, Grey. It was one of the things I loved about you.”

“I am having trouble remembering why I ever loved you.”

She pouted and reached out to run a finger down his chest.  As she did, his armor disappeared, to be replaced with the uniform he had worn the day he was captured. “Ouch, still harboring a grudge, Grey? That is so unlike you.”

He chose a point somewhere over her shoulder to look at, and stared out into the void.  “My name is Grimmalkyn now, remember? You chose it for me yourself.”

“The grim of the Shadow Kindred!  It seemed a fitting name for your new life.  A life that is stlll within your reach, my love.  Galen stopped us before we could complete the transformation, and left you stranded in this awful limbo.  But I can make it all better.”   She laced her arms around his neck, and molded herself to his body. She laughed has he closed his eyes again. “Your mind may deny it, but your body remembers me. Why fight it?  Say the word, and you can have your body back in the mortal realms, just as it was. No more scars, no more chasing shadows. You can be young forever, and spend eternity with me.”

She gave him a slow, deep kiss. As their lips parted she looked into his eyes, but there was no joy in them.

“Haven’t I suffered enough?” he said.

Anger flickered across her face. “You are mine, Grey.  Body and soul, you belong to me.”

“I’m afraid my soul is bound to another, and I do not think she is inclined to share.”

“The half-breed? You would cast me aside for that?” She stepped back, fury marring her pretty features.  “You fool, do you think she will leave her fiery lover for you?”

Grimm laughed at her. “Soul-bound is not the same as soul-mates.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very fond of Nox, but your barb falls far short of the mark. I’ll give you points for creativity though.”

“The day will come when she is gone, my Grey.  You will outlive her, and everyone else you now call friend.”  She turned and walked away, fading into the landscape.  “When you tire of wandering the world alone, come and find me.”

Grimm watched her go, his heart breaking all over again.  “What would be the point?  The woman I loved never existed.”

The one hope he had clung to all these years was that his beloved had been forced to betray him to the Shadowkin against her will. It was only through Galen’s intervention that he himself had not become their pawn. For millennia he had dreamed of finding a way to save her, to break the hold they had over her. But the truth could not be hidden here, so close to Deaths domain. Her love had always been a lie.

The rest of the Shadowkin gathered on the edge of the plain, and he could hear their mocking laughter.  They expected this to be the last blow, the one that finally broke his spirit and set them loose on the world.

A year ago it might have worked.  But now, Nox was depending on him. She had trusted and believed in him when no one else would. She had given him real hope, and showed him that there was still more to life than what lay in the past. And there was no way in Hel he was going to let them have her.

Grimm readied his sword, and the dark smile on his face stopped his enemies in their tracks.  “Well, what are you waiting for?” he said. “Let’s get this party started.”


<–Previous   –Beginning–  Next->

This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

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Comments»

1. Sonia Lal - September 30, 2011

I like it! Were and old betrayal.

techtigger - October 1, 2011

Yes, very old, and cuts very deep. But at least now he can move on. Glad you liked it!

2. Mare - September 30, 2011

I love your use of description in this piece. It’s just enough to make everything that much more real to the reader.

techtigger - October 1, 2011

thank you very much! I’ve been working a lot on finding a balance in these flashfics, between description and moving the plot along. Good to know it’s working 🙂

3. FARfetched - September 30, 2011

An age-old story, one that has broken many men. But Grimm’s resolve, and his dedication to Nox, has made him whole — more of himself than he could ever be as Katya’s puppet.

Great episode here. Even if the Shadowkin overwhelm him, Grimm has won the important battle of this night!

techtigger - October 1, 2011

Thank you for the comments! Nox has been good for him – when the series started out he simply did as ordered, and followed her lead without question. Now, he’s starting to get back his sense of self, and self-worth. It’s been a lot of fun writing that transformation, and there’s more to come 🙂

4. Virginia Moffatt - October 1, 2011

Nice to see the scales fall from his eyes. Well paced and told. Hope he gives them hell!

techtigger - October 1, 2011

thank you! Don’t worry, Grimm’s a pro at thrashing Shadowkin 🙂

5. Al Bruno III (@AlBruno3) - October 1, 2011

Very nicely done.

techtigger - October 1, 2011

thanks, I’m glad you liked it!


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