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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.


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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. FARfetched - October 21, 2011

This had a strong feeling of… finality to it. If so, good ending. If not, we’ll be looking forward to the next chapter!

techtigger - October 21, 2011

it’s more a sign of change. I can’t say more than that. 😉
thanks for the comment, always glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

2. ganymeder - October 25, 2011

Oooh, lots of sinister foreboding in this one, tragic romance, good stuff… 🙂

techtigger - October 26, 2011

Oh yes, lots of fun stuff hidden in this one! 😀

3. ~Tim - October 25, 2011

“Death never tired of seeing the ways mortals found to complicate their existence.”

I think it may be what we are best at.

techtigger - October 26, 2011

As I wrote that, I kept thinking of the line, “what fools these mortals be” 😀 Then again, life would be terribly dull without all those complications, wouldn’t it?


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