Archive for October, 2012

Trifecta: Nightlark

Posted in Fiction, Tacar on October 16th, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

Camilia was relaxing in a chair by the window when the slim black figure materialized out of the shadows.  She noted the ebony leathers with an amused arch of the eyebrow.

“How dramatic.  Dressing for your office?”

A smile appeared on the dark face as he sketched a bow.  “Dressing for travel.  I’m leaving for Maj Malai this evening.”

“Ah.”  She glanced out at the bright face of the moon.  Almost at the full; only a few nights from the hunt.  “You wanted to speak with me personally?”

A slight inclination of the head.  “All of the essentials were in the report my office provided to Sai” — Sai had briefed Camilia on it — “But our people in Shin Ai have picked up… some concerning sentiment regarding the Kanjirian trade agreement.”

“There’s been no mention of that in the dispatches from our embassy.”

“Indeed.”  His tone was studiously bland.

She sighed and put a hand up to rub the bridge of her nose.  The embassy in Shin Ai was the one her father had appointed the oldest of her half-brothers to.  Vahl, who’d had five years before her birth to think he might inherit the throne.

“Very well.  You will return to Maj Delumai…”

“Within the week.  I might have a word with my counterpart while I’m there.”

That drew a quirk of the mouth from her.  “You astonish me.”  She could think of few things less likely than two Tevalle spymasters resisting the temptation to exchange secrets.  “Good hunt to you.”

“Your majesty.”  He did her the courtesy of letting her hear the door open and close on the way out.

Camilia turned back to the window opening on the moonlit courtyard.  “Need you have given me so many siblings?”  There was no answer, but in a tree, a nightlark began to sing, so Camilia smiled and turned away.

Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word BLACK (adj.): 3: dressed in black .  Thanks for reading!

Trifecta: Stygian Shore

Posted in Fiction on October 8th, 2012 by Annabelle – 17 Comments

The witch finished the incantation and held her breath for a long moment, waiting.  A gust of icy wind swept past the candles ringing her living room, and a hollow voice sounded.  “Who summons me?”  A figure stepped out of the shadows into the circle of flame.

The witch’s eyes widened.  Tall and bony she had been expecting.  Dark flames in the eye sockets, check.  And okay, the grimoire hadn’t actually said there’d be black robes and a scythe, but this…  It was wearing a white wifebeater and a baseball cap — backward. A shiny black button shirt was slung over its shoulder, and the waistband of a pair of striped shorts protruded from the top of the jeans.  She couldn’t keep herself from reading it.  Abercr–  She shook herself.

“You’re kidding me.”

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Trifecta: Uneasy Lies the Head

Posted in Calere, Fiction on October 3rd, 2012 by Annabelle – 15 Comments

A clatter sounded from the other end of the room, cutting through the din.  Callie’s head jerked.  One of the other servants had dropped a charger of roast pig spectacularly on the floor.  She turned back to the table and filled another goblet.  These Atan loved their wine.

She brushed a sleeve.  Murmuring an apology, she withdrew.  She wasn’t at all sure they understood her, but it hardly mattered.  She kept her head down, and they ignored her.  She was happy to be nothing.

The duke sat at the head table by the guest of honor.  He was uneasy in his cousin’s seat, so newly come to him.  It was a very different gathering than the ones the old duke had used to have, these minor nobles in ill-fitting Atani robes bowing and scraping and laughing too loudly.  But he had fought, and so was gone. It made her face flush with shame, but in her memories of that day, the horror of the children’s execution was overwhelmed by her relief at being left alive.

The duke’s wife, white-faced, sat erect next to him.  Her smile was brittle and her movements tight and sharp.  Everyone knew why.  She had been a votary of Amala.  For anyone else, that would have meant an execution, but her life had been spared… for now.  Spared on condition of her husband’s obedience, his cooperation with their new overlords.  Callie wondered if the duchess felt the same way she did: kneeling before their altar, thinking she was damned, damned for betraying her faith.

The Primate, newly arrived from overseas, sat nearby, his forearms resting lightly on the table.  He was short, stocky, pale, and he coiled in the chair like a snake.  Callie shivered.  She was the littlest, the tiniest mouse.  There was bigger game under his eye.

The duke raised his glass in a shaking hand.  “To our glorious lord, the Dawn Emperor!”  The desperate roar of voices assaulted her ear, and she turned away.


Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge!  This week’s prompt calls for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word UNEASY (adj.):

1: causing physical or mental discomfort
2: not easy : difficult
3: marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed <gave an uneasy laugh>

Thanks for reading!