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Flash Fiction – A Rose on the Grave October 21, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Nox brushed an inquisitive ant off of the picnic basket that sat to next her. Loki was stretched out on the far side of it, propped up on one elbow with his eyes fixed on her.  She was trying hard not to blush, but it wasn’t easy.  They had never been so entirely alone before – all of their dates had been in public places, and there were always people around at her parent’s mansion. Out here in the unsettled lands, near the ruined waypost of the Wind kindreds, there was no-one but the birds and bees.  Even Grimm was away, taking a little time off.

Loki conjured a flame in mid-air, and toasted some bread on it. “Any word from Grimm? I never got a chance to thank him for helping to spring us all out of prison.”

“No, he said he needed some time to think. Something he ran into during the battle upset him, but I didn’t want to pry.  We always try to respect each other’s privacy.”

“Good to know,” Loki said, with a roguish grin. He moved the picnic basket out of the way and sat down next to her. He handed her a piece of toast and put one arm around her shoulders. “You know, I’ve always wondered. What is it like, being soul-bound?”

Loki was very warm, this close, which made her heart start fluttering like a moth. She nibbled on the bread crust to buy some time to regain her composure. “Well, you know how identical twins tend to sense what the other is feeling? The theory is that they have one soul, shared between them.  It’s kind of like that. ”

“So, he’s your two thousand year old twin brother?”

“The spell doesn’t make us relatives, it just forged a connection.” Nox said. “We’re still two entirely different people. We just know what the other one is thinking, unless we make an effort to block each other out. We’re getting much better at it. We don’t want to share everything.”

“Definitely good to know, since he is not my type. Too furry,” Loki said.

Nox spluttered out a laugh. “You’re terrible!”

“Oh sure, laugh all you want, but I draw the line at four feet,” he said, with a wink.  “Although, if you have your way he will be ditching the fur suit soon enough. Any idea what happens to the soul-bond when he is a man again?”

Nox had a sudden flashback to Death giving her a pitying look, and saying that she might well find a way to bring Grimm back.  She had not mentioned that to Loki.  “I don’t know,” she said, a little subdued.

“Do you want the bond to break?” he asked, quietly.

The tone of his voice made her look up at him. Was he jealous?  Or just concerned?  There was no way to check his aura for the answer, without him noticing. She decided to try and dodge the question. “I’m sure it will go away when the need for it is gone. Galen was very good at conditional enchantments.”

He gave her a half-smile. “That is not what I asked.”

Crud. How could she answer a loaded question like that, without it coming out all wrong? She looked down, and saw that she had shredded her toast into crumbs. “It’s not that simple,” she said, quickly brushing her skirts clean, and hoping he hadn’t noticed.  “It’s like asking someone if they want to cut their arm off. The answer is no, of course not. They need it.”

She realized how badly that could be taken, and hastily added, “I mean, I don’t NEED need him, not like I need …you…um… oh, Hel.”  She grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him. Thankfully, he was more than happy to return it, with interest.

“Why didn’t you just say that to begin with?” he teased.

—-

Somewhere far overhead, Death watched as the young couple stumbled through the first steps of a dance that was as old as time.  He had been keeping an eye on the one whose soul was bound to his servant.  The guardian and the girl, both utterly devoted to each other. And yet, they both had given their hearts to someone else. One’s love was starting to bloom, even as the other’s had withered and died.

Death turned his gaze to his servant, who wandered through the woods where his love had betrayed him. Grimm padded unerringly to the spot, and placed a rose on the grave of all his youthful hopes and dreams.  The hound sat there for a long time, struggling to let go of the past. Only the dead clung so hard to the moment that sealed their fate. Grimm wanted to live again, but he was still caught, somewhere in between.

Death never tired of seeing the ways mortals found to complicate their existence.  To have this drama played out on his very doorstep was a novelty, but it was one that could not last for much longer. Still, they had surprised him before, and perhaps they would again.  He had no stake in it either way, outside of curiosity. In the end, they all would come to his door. He left the lovers to their games, and returned to the realms of the dead.


<–Previous   –BeginningNext->

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.

A Night Out With Nox and Grimm – The Video! October 18, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Wow, this evening was a blast!  I got to listen to 15 local authors reading their short stories, excerpts of novels and poems, in a wide variety of genres. They were kind enough to put the new folks like me in the middle of the roster, which gave me time to get over the jitters and really enjoy myself. 

The Saturday Scribblers are an amazing and incredibly talented group of writers and poets. I can’t say thank you enough to them for inviting me to join in their annual event at the Speckled Hen pub.  If you live in the Reading, PA area and are looking for a freindly and supportive writing group, watch Sue Lange’s  blog (@suelange) for their upcoming events.

A note for those who have already read the first episode of Nox and Grimm – I only had cliff notes with the main plot points, and had to wing it. So if you watch this and think, huh?  Those are not the words!  Well, they are tonight. 🙂

So here it is, my first time reading anything from Nox and Grimm. Please don’t laugh too hard. Unless it’s a funny bit. Then it’s okay. 🙂

A Night out with Nox and Grimm! October 14, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Exciting news!  (or at least, I’m really excited!)  🙂
 
I will be doing my first ever reading of my #flashfiction at the Reading Reads festival! If you are near Reading PA, stop in to the Speckled Hen pub on Tues. Oct. 18th from 6-8pm. I’ll be reading the very first Nox and Grimm story I ever wrote, a proper ghost tale for the season.
 
Many thanks to Sue Lange (@suelange) for the invite, and you can find all the details for the event on her blog. (listed under saturday scribblers at the Speckled Hen)

A whole evening of good food, and 15 authors sharing their fiction, what’s not to love? 🙂

Spread the word! 

Flash Fiction – Me and My Shadow October 7, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Loki caught a glimpse of someone creeping up on him out of the corner of his eye. He kept moving, his saber sweeping through the fluid motions of the sword drills he practiced every morning. A twig snapped, and the figure hesitated, but came closer again when he did not react. He flicked the blade up in a high guard, and caught another glimpse of a small figure mimicking his stance, standing a few feet behind him.

Loki grinned as he recognized who it was. He swung the saber around and down, slowing his movements to make them easier to follow. His shadow mimicked them almost perfectly.

Jinn was the youngest of the fire nomads they had rescued from the New Dawn cultists. He snuck out here every day, fascinated as all little boys are by swords. But this was the first time he had gotten the courage to join Loki in his workout. He hadn’t said a word since being set free, but Loki took this move as a good sign that he was starting to recover from his ordeal.

The two of them went on like that, mirror images of each other, the fiery saber and willow switch whistling through the cool morning air. Finally, Loki spun on his heel to face the boy and brought his sword up in a salute.  Jinn copied the move, the whippy willow twig flopping back and forth in front of his face.  Part of the end had broken off, and hung by a thin strip of bark.

“Well, that won’t do,” Loki said, careful to hide the laughter bubbling up in his chest. “Here, let me see your sword.”  He took the switch and held out as if checking for kinks or nicks in a real blade. The broken piece fell off. “No, that won’t do at all. Hmmm, what does this need…I know, how about a little fire? Can you light the end of it?”

Jinn looked down at his toes and shook his head.

“Would you like me to show you how?” he said, and handed the switch back.

Jinn nodded his head so vigorously Loki thought it was going to fall off.  This time he couldn’t suppress a chuckle.  “All right, hold your sword out at arms’ length. Now, the key to Fire is knowing that it flows from the heart,” Loki said. He stood up, and drew a line of fire in the air in front of Jinn, from his chest, across his shoulder and down along his arm to his hand.  “Follow that path. Let the energy flow, don’t force it.”

Jinn scrunched his face up in concentration, his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth.

Loki held his breath, hoping that the torment Jinn suffered in the New Dawn prisons hadn’t damaged his ability to channel Fire.  Jinn made an impatient noise, and then POP!  The broken end of the stick burst into flames.

Loki clapped him on the shoulder.  “Well done!  Now, I want you to go practice lighting that and putting it out, okay? Once you have that down pat, I’ll teach you some new tricks.”

Jinn nodded again, and a big smile lit up his whole face.  He started to run off, but stopped, dropped the stick and ran back. He threw his arms around Loki’s waist and gave him a hug. “Thank-you-mister-dragon,” he said, the words tumbling out in a jumble. Then he ran off, scooping up the stick and waving it around like a holiday sparkler.

Loki laughed so hard his sides hurt.  “Mister dragon.  I think I like that better than Lord Dragon. I wonder if they’ll let me change my title?” He shook his head. “No, probably not.”  He took a breath to compose himself and re-formed the saber out of living flame. Then he picked up his sword drills where he had left off, only this time at full speed, and with a smile on his face.


<–Previous   –BeginningNext->

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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