First StepsIt was over. Jowd looked around the living room, his living room in his house, taking in every detail. This room he saw only this morning, not five years ago, and not ten years ago.
He felt as if he’d been running on automatic up to now. He’d chased Yomiel, they stood off and he made that terrible decision all over again. There was the flash of bright light and pain and the world doubled.
He knew everything that happened. After all he’d just experienced it. He just watched it all with three ghosts.
Everything after became a series of steps to follow. From the park to the hospital, and from the hospital straight to home with two weights in his coat and on his soul, and a little cat tucked deep into one of his coat pockets (apparently comfortable—his new state had its advantages it seemed).
Home became his only focus where wife and daughter waited. Home where he stood frozen on his doorstep, staring at the door he passed through for the last time five years ago an
The AngelI always wondered what the odd old man did every evening with a broom in hand. He always stood at the door of a crypt, sweeping. I paid him no mind for a while. My mind was occupied with visiting my beloved.
Her grave stone rested, tucked in a corner of the cemetery under a large oak tree. It grew easier over time but each visit was a reminder of her absence.
And yet, every time I came, there was this man and his broom while above towered the angel statue of the crypt. I wondered what there was for this man to do every evening like this. Surely there shouldn’t always be something for this man to attend to every night. It was the great outdoors after all. What use was sweeping stone and dirt?
I decided, on a whim I suppose - after all this time it didn’t seem right that we hadn’t exchanged any words at all—to greet this fellow and ask what it was he was doing.
He only said the angel must be kept happy and returned to his sweeping without another word.
The next ni
A New Battle Ch.1 ReduxJade Curtiss, Colonel, Necromancer, the Emperor’s right hand man, and too many other titles, stared at the gleaming city of Grand Chokmah spread before him, dazzling and sharp against aching eyes. His side burned even as a numbness spread through him and he glanced down with a grimace at the red starting to seep through his uniform. His makeshift first aid was starting to give way. He had to hurry.
He braced himself and passed through the city gates, waving off the guards’ questions. A quick skim of the bustling city streets and a tide of dizziness told him to swerve into a side alley. He knew the ins and outs of the streets and the many shortcuts would be quieter and easier to pass through without incident.
He staggered and leaned against the wall to gather his strength back and stave off the burning memories. Screams, fire, faces contorted in agony on both sides. Now wasn’t the time to focus on such things. Time enough for that later. Getting to Peony came first.
In the End“What’s this? A half empty pint?” Lowell asked as he entered Ariela’s tavern and took in the sight of Syrenne sitting empty handed. He took a seat across from her and eyed the beer sitting on the table.
“Are you feeling okay?”
“What, can’t a girl drink in peace?” Syrenne retorted.
Lowell made a long slow show of looking around the tavern. It was a quiet hour with few people. The usual punters would come soon, he knew, but for now there was plenty of room for a roaring drunk and yet here she was being quiet and thoughtful. He’d certainly seen many strange things as a mercenary, not least the recent events of the war and its end, but this one ranked up there among the strangest.
He caught Ariela’s eye and mouthed ‘How many?’ She raised one finger. He blinked in surprise before turning back to Syrenne with a winning smile.
“Of course! But I don’t see any here.”
“Oh shut up, you.” Th
All Things ChangeTick, tick, tick. Click.
Vimes scowled at the board. That was another of his trolls taken out with a quiet, near instantaneous move.
“Your move, Vimes.”
Lord Vetinari stared at him over steepled fingers and Vimes found himself wondering again how he got roped into this. All the while the clock ticked away counting down their time.
It was unspoken fact that no one dared give voice to, yet finely distilled rumours already flowed from the palace and spread like alcohol in a dwarf bar throughout the city. The Patrician’s health was failing.
No doubt there were some few who saw opportunity and schemes were whispered from ear to ear, but the Patrician was one step ahead with a man who spent his life so many steps ahead that were he to fall there would be no one to catch him before he was up and running again.
“Lipwig,” Vimes said flatly while moving a troll toward a group of dwarfs. The ticking of the clock beside them started to grate on his nerves. His mind wa
Promises to KeepThe chill was piercing and still could not overcome the burn of pain, of loss, of failure. Zanarkand lay behind - a dead city at the centre of the never-ending spiral. Gagazet lay ahead.
To Bevelle, Besaid, Zanarkand. A chant repeated endlessly pushed his heavy feet forward. One slow step after another. Where feet failed hands sufficed.
“When this is over… could you bring Yuna here? I want her to lead a life far away from this conflict.”
“Take care of my son. My son, in Zanarkand.”
Promises to fill. How didn’t matter.
The sight of a marker filled his vision. They stopped here. They paid their respects while a quiet dread grew. This was only one of many fallen summoners. Another battle won by Gagazet. It wouldn’t win this one.
“But I have come to kill grief itself. I will defeat Sin, and lift the veil of sorrow covering Spira.”
They all fell in the end and for what? One dies and the other starts the cycle anew
What the heck, cat?When the detective came this time – Jowd, Sissel reminded herself; he has a name – he brought the cat. She never understood why – how many people brought their cats while visiting? But he was here and the cat was here and now he and Yomiel talked and she left them to it. Yomiel may have forgiven the man, but try as Sissel might she found it hard to. He was part of the whole mess that separated them for ten years. How did Yomiel maintain an actual friendly relationship with him?
Not that she ever understood what they talked about. It seemed to range anywhere from painting to oceans to cat care. And why did Yomiel seem to care so much about the cat? The cat who now lingered by the entryway into the living room and stared at her and shared her namesake. Just a coincidence, Yomiel had said.
Sissel hesitated. She had tried to visit the cat before only for him to dart away – usually straight to Yomiel (and not your owner, oh strange little beast?). Sissels had good ta
The Newest Family MemberAlma hurried to the hall when she heard the door open. She knew he was injured but all right from his call. However, she wouldn’t be fully satisfied until seeing him for herself.
Jowd slowly removed and hung his coat and her mouth thinned at the stiff awkwardness in his step. She wanted nothing more than to make him sit and reassure herself that he was all present and accounted for.
His shoulders were slumped and eyes tired. It was his expression that in a way worried her more than anything else. He looked so worn and somehow distant. Yet when he looked at her his face lit with a broad smile, relief permeating through his features. She was reminded of his return from a trip one time, but this was far more intense.
“I’m so glad you’re all right. I can’t imagine what a long day this must have been.” she said. She gasped when he laughed then suddenly stepped forward and swept her into his arms, holding her close.
“You could say that,” he mur