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An archive of my participation in the Friday writing challenges at handsonkeyboard, a LJ comm where the mods post about the trials and tribulations of the written word.

Friday Challenge for 2010-11-12

402: You have your reward

(This drabble is based on Kilerkki's Firedrake universe. Check out her writing on painted_on_sky)

The prisoners’ rebellion was swift and brutal. Surin wrapped her hands around the Warden’s neck, smiling as she met his terrified gaze. “What was that about making me scream, sir?”

371: Through the door

(Firedrake)

“There’s nothing for you here,” the General said. “And I could use an aide who isn’t a desk worker.”

Surin lifted her gaze from her bandaged hands and smiled coldly.

281: The brightest day

(From my orig-fic, The Clockwork Wars)

On the seventh day the Clockwork Knight rode out to meet the Thief of Dreams. “Seriously?” she asked him. “Feathers?”

The Thief touched his hat self-consciously. “It’s in style.”

Round Two for the 2010-11-12 Friday Challenge

054: The shedding of innocent blood

(Firedrake)

“It’s all right,” Kassian said, reaching out to touch her shoulder. Shaniel looked down at the dead soldier and lowered her hands.

“He was--” her voice trembled and she stopped, taking a deep breath and willing herself to stop shaking. “I’m fine. It doesn’t matter.”

329: In the name of

(Firedrake)

“Holy Son--” Wynn covered his eyes and staggered back, winded. “Put some damn pants on, Rauri!”

Tanas blinked at his roommate and looked down to see that he had, actually, burned off all his clothes while practicing a working. “...The tailor’s going to kill me.”

064: A promise you never meant to keep

(Original)

“Traitor,” he snarls, struggling to his feet. Defeated, surrounded by the bodies of his friends and followers, he still maintains the fearless determination that brought him to power.

She wants to break him.

“Arthur,” she purrs, drawing her sword. “How I’ve missed you, dearest brother.”

Round Three

117: Not much of a soul

(Original)

Lin was born with Bastien’s curse--a crescent-shaped birthmark at the base of her neck and eyes that filmed over black when in a rage. Her father took a brand to her skin to hide the signs of her damnation. Her mother tied a strip of cloth over her eyes and taught her to navigate by sound and touch.

062: The price paid

(Original)

There was an old weaponsmaster in town whose eyes had long ago gone milky white with disuse. From him, Lin learned to fight--how to tell where an opponent was from the quality of silence in a room, how to wield a walking stick with a slim blade hidden inside. She never asked her parents how they’d paid the man.

379: As it is written

(Original)

The legend of the swordswoman carrying Bastien’s curse--a girl who wields a cane-sword and fights blindfolded--reaches even the small town where Lin has hidden herself.

She redeemed the Old Gods, they whisper. She fought alongside the Chosen and ended the blight. She disappeared after the last battle and was never seen again.

Behind her mask, Lin smiles.

Round 4

132: I will forget how much I loved you

(Original: Clockwork Wars)

“You can still come back,” Ish said. Her eyes behind the mask were sorrowful, but the grip she kept on her sword was all battle-readiness.

Aren nocked another arrow to the string, hands trembling. “Come back? To what? I’m one of the Fae, now.”

“The Fae don’t send their own to fight a fully armored knight in just leathers and old runes,” Ish snapped. “You’re expendable to them--but never, never to me.”

111: No one will know

(Original: Clockwork Wars)

Aren broke away, gasping. “We shouldn’t--”

“Why not?” Ish leaned in towards him again, breath ghosting over his ear. “We are engaged, after all.”

“We’re also supposed to be a state dinner, ” Aren hissed, flushing as skillful fingers undid his cravat. It wasn’t fair, that she could overwhelm him with just a simple touch.

Ish smirked, pushing him against the closet wall. “Minor details. They won’t miss us. And try not to make any noise.”

247: Those that will come after

(Original)

They won’t recognize her, of that Lin is sure. The shadows hide her face better than a mask ever could. It’s just--

Well, no matter. What’s past is past, and Lin is used to having her loved ones taken from her. Still, when she sees Keevan teaching a class of novices a coulé she remembers showing him all those years ago, the feeling that flares in her chest--

Is not anger. Never anger, with him.

Round 5

014: Tomorrow we die

(Firedrake)

She finds Tanas in his room the night before, lit cigar dangling from his lips. “I didn’t know you smoked,” she remarks. There are many things about him that still remain a mystery.

He chuckles. “We’re marching to our deaths in the morning. What better time to smoke?”

“That’s true.” She crosses the room in three long strides, hands coming to rest on his shoulders. “But I can think of other things to occupy our time.”

“Surin,” he breathes out, like a prayer. He tastes like smoke and sharp regret.

011: Underneath a summer sun

(Original: Clockwork Wars)

Aren left the graveyard at high noon, making his way down the mountain path. Uncle Victor was waiting for him with the horses, face unreadable. “Took your sweet time about it, boy.”

Aren ignored him, well used to the old man’s grumbling.“What was she like?”

“Kind,” Victor said after a moment. “Smart. Thoughtful. Had the whole family wrapped around her little finger. Wasn’t a thing we wouldn’t do for her.”

“It must have hurt a lot, then, when she left.”

“It tore us apart, boy. Me most of all.”

373: Fire in the hole

(Original)

He flung the grenade into the room and slammed the door shut, engaging the auto-lock.

Kevin gaped at him. “You just--”

“No time. Move it!” Reese grabbed the boy’s arm and towed him down the hall, ignoring the blare of the alarm and the shouts of soldiers on the floor above.

Security breach in Cell Block 13. All authorized personnel respond immediately. Attention--

They made it down to the garage, barely. Reese threw Kevin into the getaway vehicle and slammed on the accelerator.
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