Yay, a new start that might be fun to play with:
To say that I live in a haunted house is to not quantify haunted and not qualify house.
The house part is pretty easy to deal with. It’s an old Gothic cathedral that rivals some feudal castles that includes fallen masonry that could take your life. And it’s not in the main body of the church, but the knight’s barracks off of the side of church’s walls–north side, as is traditional. And like most buildings in the region, the north side is the only safe side to live on.
And haunted? Yes there are ghosts. Whisper and Vesper I suppose were once holy maids of our faith, and can take on the shape of women when they please, but most days they rest at my feet in the form of sight hounds. I suspect they prefer to because they spend their afterlife with a broken man who can’t hear what they say, and nothing is more aggravating than a man who doesn’t listen.
But they do not haunt me. No, it’s the ghosts I cannot see that fill my mind’s vision. This city and its faith are dead, lost in a war that decimated our people. I alone survive, holding the contents of our history and culture. I’m an unfortunate soul that was knocked unconscious on the battlefield, to wake up amongst my brethern with a mind that couldn’t recall why we fought. What did we fight? It wasn’t human, an equal.
I can see children playing in the market–they aren’t there. Wives gossiping in tea houses–when have I last drank properly brewed tea?
I had intended to spend the rest of my days in penance, as long as the headaches lasted, but by some mercy they wased after nearly two years, and I intend to walk this world and see what man’s hubris as wrought. Perhaps mankind still lives out there, somewhere, but I suspect, with the size of the desolation in my own home, that it’s a misplaced hope.
To any who finds this letter–if there be minds to read it–the city was once called King’s Port. I am Valentine Auger knight and former laypriest of Arden. I head East, towards the face of destruction. Head north if you want to live.
Need to have a look, but I’m sure to have used such a word/implying of it in use…
Will return if I have…
Enemies to lovers to enemies to lovers to—
Just as the music switched up, Tabitha felt a hand settle on their shoulder.
“May I have this dance?” A familiar voice asked.
Tabitha’s eyes widened. Their heart sank to their stomach. Not here. Not now. Not on their one night, their one night to leave this whole mess behind them—
They spun around and scowled down at the figure in front of them. The soft wings had been hidden under a beige waistcoat and white collared shirt. Black claws and gray skin and pointed ears hidden by some illusion. A coppery domino mask covered up impish features but didn’t hide a nervous smile and a faint blush.
Even at a masquerade ball, Tabitha’s ex was able to pick them out in a crowd.
“What are you doing here?” Tabitha whispered harshly, pushing aer hand off their shoulder. “I told you, I don’t want to see you—”
Moth stumbled back a step. Tabitha felt a pang of guilt when they saw the sharp hurt flicker across aer features, but did their best to shove it down.
“I’m sorry,” Moth said quietly. “I’m sorry. But something happened, at the… at the place. We need to talk, and I figured if I came here, tonight, no one would really notice, and I—I even dressed up! So please—” Moth extended aer hand once more and bowed aer head, though aer gaze remained trained on Tabitha. “May I have this dance?”
Tabitha raised an unimpressed eyebrow at the formality. “Gentleman that you are,” they replied sarcastically, setting their gloved hand in aers.
The last section of my recent chapter...some scene setting included...
Karen tested the lock of final stairwell door on the first floor’s hallway, completing her security checks, and turned to a nearby bathroom. Polanski emerged from the doorway, flicked off the bathroom lights, and strode towards Karen, adjusting her old tracksuit. The women greeted each other with a brief hug, then Karen motioned to the hall’s far end. A soft light within Krista’s room illuminated the darkened passageway.
‘I guess Freyja’s a night-owl,’ Polanski said as the pair set off. ‘Or Krista’s demanding more bedtime reading from Dov.’
‘Dov was right about her,’ Karen said. ‘I watched Freyja read her dictionary like a favourite novel.’
‘Yet how much did she understand,’ Polanski said. ‘Was that a show to impress Dov?’
‘Freyja would not lie, especially to Dov.’ Karen placed a hand on Polanski’s back. ‘Dov is not one to lie, either. Though he did say an interesting half-truth.’
‘Your question on the stairs?’ Polanski asked. ‘Was that a test?’
‘If it was, he passed,’ Karen replied. ‘Curious Dov didn’t mention if Freyja’s attachment was reciprocated.’
‘Dov’s actions answer that question,’ Polanski said. ‘But this is new for him. Maybe there’s some uncertainty.’
‘Freyja’s new for everyone,’ Karen said. ‘What do you think about this?’
‘Like Dov, my mind is in mild shock.’ Polanski shrugged. ‘I thought the technology for Freyja was at least ten years away.’
‘Lander is a very clever doctor,’ Karen said.
‘Among other things.’ Polanski sighed. ‘Well done with keeping this a secret.’
‘You don’t approve?’ Karen caressed Polanski’s back. ‘You think this was a mistake?’
‘I understand the motives, maybe better than Dov.’ Polanski smirked. ‘And nothing about Freyja was a mistake, not even her exceptional assets.’
‘No complaints from Dov, so what harm was done?’ Karen asked with a faint smile.
‘Such chutzpah,’ Polanski replied. ‘We’re lucky Dov has considerable patience.’
‘One of many talents he will need.’ Karen motioned for silence, crept up to Krista’s room, and peered around the open doorframe.
Dov was seated in Krista’s reading chair placed beside the head of Freyja’s bed, with the hardback edition of illustrated Germanic tales open in his lap. Dov’s left hand marked his progress in a story while his right hand clasped the forearm of a sleeping Freyja, who’s own hand mimicked his hold. Dov looked up as the women tiptoed into the bedroom, then glanced over his shoulder to Krista’s bed.
‘A familiar touch, with a calming voice,’ Polanski whispered as she crouched beside Dov’s chair. ‘No surprise both girls are asleep with the lights on.’
‘I thought of leaving after Freyja dosed off,’ Dov whispered. ‘But she didn’t let go. I can’t risk waking her.’
‘So don’t.’ Karen navigated around the piles of language books and dictionaries clustered before the new draws, extracted a blanket from the wardrobe with practiced stealth, and gestured for Polanski to clear Dov’s lap. ‘Krista won’t complain about an extra roommate for tonight.’
‘I’m sure you have slept in less comfortable places.’ Polanski retrieved and closed Dov’s book, and ruffled his hair as she rose to her feet. ‘With far less pleasant company.’
Karen draped the blanket over Dov, tucking in the sides as if making a bed, then placed a light kiss on Dov’s cheek as Polanski switched off the bedroom lights. ‘Good night, dear Dov. Try not to snore.’
Ooo this is fun~ ᐠ( ᐛ )ᐟ
Just a lil snippet from me:
His pupils flicked down to me again, the rest of him still as a stiffened corpse. “It is Skye, isn’t it?” His affect remained flat, and his tone even. Low. Nearly a whisper.
Yet it made my hackles raise all the same.
These are great y’all!
The ending of the first chapter of my new WIP:
Cheers erupted around the room, and the guests toasted. Letitia and Milo embarked on a tour of hugs and kisses, with Milo’s parents and cousins first, while Ludmilla sank deeper into her chair.
“You okay, Millie?” Elliott whispered in her ear.
Ludmilla gulped. “We need to talk.”