Years had passed since he first entered this trance, and now all he could remember was the battles. They were all that was left to him, all he knew. One by one, the lords of this realm had come here to challenge him, and, one by one, they had died by his hand. So many men. So many faces.
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They sit us down on plain wooden chairs and tie our hands behind our backs. Thick rope cuts into my ankles as they fasten them to the legs of the chair. I look around. A wooden cabin in the middle of nowhere. Basic furniture. An old sofa that has seen better days. Dust everywhere.
“Tell me again, Taylenel,” Clarrisa whispered in her lover’s ear. “How deep is your love for me?”
“Lady Adir, Department of Safety and Health,” she said. “My father is the Duke.” She glanced back at the sloping, stony path. “It’s a long climb up here.”
If Fume hadn’t burnt off his eyebrows long ago, he would have raised one now. “I do live on a mountain.”
Her husband was sleeping–sleeping, but not snoring. She watched the steady rise and fall of his narrow chest, waiting. Something gnawed away in the back of her mind, like a weasel pulling on the tail of a half-dead gecko. She didn’t want to wake him, but she could wait no longer.
“To my sister, gentlemen. My sister, who could spin gold from straw!”
His words were scalding yet his voice was a tepid. “There is no similarity. There is no studied. There is no paranormal.”
Stardust coiled in her hair as I watched her, braided through strands of ebon; her eyes were as dark, without soul.
The Little Men are really small; they clean the world and help us all…
For the third time in a week, Ligish removed the locking pin from the back of his skull, opened the doors and examined his brain through an automicroscope.