Here are two small pieces that I came up with last month in response to some daily word prompts on Twitter. Not sure if they’ll go anywhere other than the random fragments folder but I thought I’d repost them in their entirety. I did keep them in the sections as I originally posted them so they are still in their raw unedited form, for better or worse.

Untitled 1

It had been four days, as far as Wylan could tell, since they’d last come for him. They hadn’t wanted him to confess, there was little doubt about his part in the killings. Instead, they had wanted to know where the others were, the ones who’d left him.

He would have shared the information if he’d had it, but the plans they made had no doubt been abandoned as soon as things began to go wrong. Maybe even as soon as he’d known them. He’d told them anyway, having no reason stay silent.

Perhaps they’d realised it was useless, that he had nothing of use to offer them and that was why they’d let him be. Wylan supposed he should feel some kind of gratitude that they hadn’t continued with their questioning regardless. He knew the type well enough.

Questioners were oft known to take pleasure in their work, as like to prolong things well past anything save their own amusement. But the ones who had charge of him had been different, cold and dispassionate; interested only in his words, not his screams.

When they seemed satisfied that no more could be wrung from him that last time, they had returned him to his cell. They had even left him loose within the tiny room rather than keep him in chains. Wylan slid a hand beneath his tattered shirt & scratched.

In his darker moments, Wylan wondered if this was intended to be another of their weapons. More subtle than the ones the Questioners used; the insects were like to be more insidious, more difficult to ignore. Or perhaps he gave them too much credit for cunning.

As he clawed ineffectually at his skin, Wylan’s fingers found the rough patch above his heart. As they traced the runnels of ruined flesh, he felt the blood in his veins quicken and begin to race. ‘Alathas’ he thought bitterly.

He could see her face again, see the sudden ruthless decision seize it as she loosed the arrow at him. Fast as she was, a second was already on its way when the first struck him. Alathas knew her business well and had not felt the need to confirm his death.

Untitled 2

Ashes drifted down, settling to create a fine gray layer over the ruins of the temple. In the silence, Melia’s cough sounded as loud as the crash the columns had made as they collapsed. She choked, fighting to expel the dust she had swallowed.

Melia struggled to rise, wincing as weight came down on her left ankle She had no idea how long since the attack began, how much danger she might still be in but she would not risk waiting. She limped to where the altar had once stood, now so much cracked & broken rubble.

She scrabbled through the stone and ash, frantically searching as she listened for any sign of danger. It was like the debris in the air deadened everything, the sounds of the world muted and soft. Her fingers found the chill steel of an athame and she tugged it free.

There should be money close by too, the offerings made by those looking for a touch of the divine. But digging coins from the rubble would take even longer than she had already spent and Melia’s nerves were already shrieking at her to be away from the temple.

She tucked the athame into a grubby sleeve, whispered a short prayer to her Lady Ilithyia for protection and began to pick her way through the ruins.

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